Your plumbing deserve the services of a licensed and insured plumber. These qualifications tell you a lot about the skill, training and professionalism of the individuals who’ll be coming to your home to deal with plumbing issues.
Plumbing is a skilled trade, not a part-time sideline practiced by the local handyman or the anonymous guy on CraigsList whose only credentials are a cell phone number. Professional plumbing work, like any contracting, also requires a high level of compliance with local codes and regulations, as well as financial responsibility for all work performed.
Here are some ways to make sure you’re hiring a licensed and insured plumber to repair existing problems or handle your new plumbing installation:
- Licensing – All states require plumbers to be licensed. In California, the process is rigorous and requires four years of apprenticeship, including course work as well as on-the-job training. Only after a successful apprenticeship is a candidate permitted to take the comprehensive examination for a plumbing contractor’s license. Consumers can verify the license status of any plumbing contractor online by visiting the state Department of Consumer Affairs Contractor State License Board website.
- Insurance – In California, contractors aren’t legally required to carry general liability insurance. However, since this insurance covers any damage caused to your home as the result of a contractor’s work, the California Department of Consumer Affairs recommends homeowners seek contractors who are fully insured. If a contractor isn’t insured, he/she should should explain to your satisfaction why they don’t carry such insurance and how they would pay for any damages. All California plumbing contractors with employees are required to carry workman’s compensation insurance.
- Bonding – A bond provides financial protection against issues such as substandard work that doesn’t meet codes or instances where the job isn’t completed and/or materials or labor by subcontractors isn’t paid for. Every California plumbing contractor is required to satisfy minimum state requirement for bonding and should be able to supply written proof of the bond.
Don’t take chances on unprofessional plumbing performed by unskilled workers. For a licensed and insured plumber in southern California, contact the established professionals at Reliance Home Services.
Image via Shutterstock.com