For most people, calling a professional, licensed plumber is the obvious thing to do when they have a plumbing emergency. There are other situations, however, when the average homeowner might underestimate the importance of hiring a licensed plumber. Calling a licensed plumber is almost always the wisest and cheapest choice in the long run.
Sometimes the desire to save a few dollars might prompt a homeowner to call a handyman or a friend who “knows about plumbing” when they have a minor, non-emergency issue. This may look like a cost-effective solution on the surface, but there are several potential pitfalls.
- First and foremost, a professional plumber is much more experienced than a handyman or hobbyist. Here in Columbia, the requirements to become a journeyman plumber include over 6,000 hours of active employment as an apprentice. A handyman, by definition, is a generalist and simply does not have the focused training and practical experience of a licensed, professional plumber.
- Also, the average handyman may not know all of the current code requirements, and may not know which plumbing fixture brands provide the best overall value. His recommendations could result in further costly repairs, or potentially affect the resale value of your home.
- Lastly, if something does go wrong, is your handyman insured? Does he stand behind his work? When you consider the potential costs associated with water damage repair and mold remediation, the risks associated with hiring a handyman are far greater than any savings.
Although often overlooked, there are three other times you should consider hiring a licensed plumber:
- Before you buy a new home
- If you’ve never had a full inspection of your existing home
- You notice subtle changes in your plumbing system
Home inspections are a common part of buying a new home. A home inspector, like a handyman, needs to have a broad skill set. Often there are small clues that suggest larger problems, and they might overlook something that a licensed plumber would catch. Knowing about a major plumbing problem up front gives you leverage during the negotiation process, and might ultimately affect your final decision if the issues are severe enough.
If you’ve never had a full plumbing inspection of your existing home, you should have a licensed plumber perform one, even if you’ve never had any issues. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average home in Missouri is over 30 years old. Your home could have the original and now 30-year-old plumbing, or it could just as easily show evidence of multiple repairs and many forms of “creative plumbing” dating back decades. Your plumber will give you a realistic assessment of the overall state of your system, and advise you if there are any areas that need immediate attention.
When you live in a place long enough, you develop a sense for how your home smells and behaves under normal conditions. If you start to notice sluggish toilets, odd smells, variations in water pressure, or anything out of the ordinary, pay attention. Your house is trying to warn you that something is wrong. Minor annoyances can suddenly turn into expensive, emergency repairs. Don’t put off calling a licensed plumber when you notice changes in your system.
For most of us, our homes are our largest investment. Preventing issues is much easier and cheaper than dealing with emergencies. We here at Brian Wear Plumbing can identify any areas of concern with your existing home, or one that you are interested in buying. Professional work performed by a licensed and insured plumber represents the best long-term value for you as a homeowner.
So give us a call and let us help you protect your investment.