What to Ask When Hiring a Commercial Plumber

Commercial Plumbing is quite different than residential plumbing.  The main difference is that plumbing problems in a commercial business carry a cost greater than the repairs.  Having to close your restrooms affects your bottom line and a major problem could keep your doors closed for an extended period.  So, when hiring a commercial plumber make sure the plumber you hire can answer all 8 of the following questions.

  1. Is There an Hourly Rate or a Flat Fee? – Plumbers can charge you a flat fee for labor and parts or they can charge you a separate fee for labor.  Know exactly what you’re getting in to when you hire a plumber.  An experienced plumber should know how long a job will take to complete.  Getting a flat fee is best so you won’t face the prospect of paying additional charges for a job that runs longer than expected.
  2. Licensing & Insurance – This may seem like a no brainer, but always check the licensing and insurance of any contractor including plumbers that you might hire. Not all plumbers are properly licensed or insured.  You don’t want to have a job completed that doesn’t pass inspections. Should there be mistakes made that cause unforeseen damage to your property, you’ll be glad you made sure your plumber has liability insurance.
  3. Ask About Charges for Estimates – Some plumbers will charge what is known as a “trip fee”. This is the cost incurred by the plumbing company to send over an experienced plumber to assess the job.  While this isn’t unusual, know what this charge will be before agreeing to set the appointment.
  4. How Long Has the Plumbing Company Been in Business – While years in business doesn’t guarantee perfection, commercial plumbers who have a long track record will have more reviews and experience in dealing with a wide range of commercial plumbing repairs. Commercial plumbers with many years in business are also more likely to have a seasoned staff of plumbers to ensure you will receive quality work.
  5. Warranties – This is a must. Before entering into any contract with a commercial plumber discuss and ask for written proof of their warranties.  Parts themselves will be covered by a manufacturers warranty, but how long will the plumber warranty their work?  Will they come back at no charge to correct a leak or fix a problem that results from their work?  This is also a good sign of the confidence they place in their finished product.
  6. Who’s Going to do The Actual Work? – It’s important to determine will the plumber who bids your job going to be involved in the work. Some jobs may only require one plumber while more involved projects may involve a team of plumbers.  Are they employees of the company and is their work covered under any warranties offered by the commercial plumber?  If you can’t get a straight answer to this question you should continue your search.
  7. When is Payment Expected? – Contractors in general including plumbers will often use a payment process called “retention”. Retention means that payment will be expected on-going as specific tasks are completed.  This gives you flexibility and encourages the job to be completed on time.  Any plumber who asks for 100% payment up front is a red flag and someone to avoid.
  8. Clean Up – Once the job is completed, who’s responsible for cleaning up? Depending on the complexity of the work, there could be substantial amounts of old plumbing parts, boxes, etc.  Make sure you ask if clean up is included in the total price quoted for the job.  If not, is that a separate charge or the responsibility of the business owner.

Finding a commercial plumber you can count to keep your business running is important.  In Tampa and the surrounding area, rest assured that The Clean Plumbers will meet and exceed all of your expectations by providing you with well trained, experienced, licensed plumbers for any plumbing need.