Taking care of your home's plumbing requirements affects every aspect of your home. From the kitchen to the bathroom, your home relies on piping which carries water safely to every section of your home. To install and repair these lifelines in a manner that eliminates the risk of water damage and provides ample water pressure, you'll need to hire a licensed and insured plumber. These contractors have specialized experience, which enables them to handle these complex systems with professionalism and efficiency.
Why Hire A Professional?
It's a fairly straightforward task to fix a leaky faucet, or other minor issues around the home. However, when you look at replacing a leaking pipe in the center of your home, or adding a bathroom as part of an addition onto your home, it's best to call in a professional.
Professional plumbers work on projects where a $5 section of pipe can potentially cause thousands of dollars worth of water damage and other safety hazards. It's not necessarily the complexity of these jobs that makes them too onerous for the average homeowner, but the requirements that this work be completed within strict coding guidelines and the potential danger if things go wrong.
Most states throughout the United States require plumbers to carry a professional license. This license certifies that they have the experience and educational background to complete the work to a minimum industry standard. Of course, having a license does not guarantee perfect work, but it's a good indication of professional skill.
Secondly, licensed plumbers are required to carry professional liability insurance and a worker's compensations policy in order to protect their clients from on the job accidents and property damage. It is important that you verify a plumber's insurance policy prior to hiring them. This is especially important when you consider that if a plumber is hurt on your property without a proper workers compensation policy, you could potentially be on the hook legally for taking care of that individual's medical bills and more.
Building a relationship with a reliable plumber in your area is important to do, even if you don't currently require his or her services. This can be as simple as having a plumber come out and inspect your home's plumbing and provide guidance on ways to maintain the integrity of your home's plumbing. Having a reliable plumber on standby will provide peace of mind, and a quick, reliable response in case you wake up in the middle of the night to water pouring into the basement of your home. Moments of stress often lead to poor decision-making, and getting to know your plumber through a long-term business relationship is far superior to trying to rush through the listings in a phonebook when you need help most.
Types of Piping
There are multiple styles of piping available for your plumbing project. By working with a licensed contractor who specializes in this area, you can gain a clear understanding of which type of material is best for your project. Below we'll discuss a few types of pipes and some general pros and cons to help you understand why plumbers recommend certain types of pipe.
As the price of Copper has shot up over recent years, it's become increasingly rare in new projects. Copper pipes are an excellent choice in terms of longevity and water safety. Copper will almost never suffer from material failure that can results in tainted water, and you'll find copper in many homes that date back to a home's original construction. The extreme lifespan of copper piping cannot be overstated.
Cross-Linked Polyethylene (PEX)
PEX lines are a flexible, hose-like alternative to copper piping in homes. PEX works perfectly in tight, hard to reach areas that require a precision fit. Because of their flexible nature, they require a minimal number of joints. Instead, your plumber can simply bend the PEX line to meet the contours of your home.Â PEX is also significantly less expensive per foot than almost every alternative on the market, and still boasts an impressive lifespan.
The one major drawback of PEX lines is the supposed risk for water contamination. Although multiple tests have shown the toxins that could potentially shed from the PEX lines being minimal to non-existent in water samples, many homeowners still like to let the water run for a while prior to using water that is transferred through these lines.
Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC)
CPVC has proven to be the easiest piping to install. Any household saw can be used to cut CPVC pipe into lengths that fit your project's requirements, and the addition of chlorine into the piping makes it completely safe for drinking water. The manufacturer of the piping provides the fittings for the joints, which makes this type of pipe exceptionally simple for homeowners to install themselves.
The only major con of using CPVC is the fact that it's roughly 60% more expensive than utilizing PEX. Of course, this is still cheaper than utilizing copper piping, but it's not quite as durable as Copper.
Polypropylene Pipe (PP)
PP is a more environmentally friendly alternative to CPVC. PP is bonded using heat instead of potentially dangerous chemical bonding agents used to bond CPVC. This process does require specialized equipment, which makes it more difficult for homeowners to install themselves. The cost is significantly higher per foot than most alternatives, coming second in cost only to copper piping. This is primarily designed for homeowners who have a significant concern about their environmental footprint.
Hiring the Perfect Plumber
Your search for a plumber, as with most contractors, starts with reviewing our all-inclusive directory of contractors in your community. You'll be able to view detailed reviews from past clients, as well as view their licensing and qualifications. Once you've selected 2 to 5 highly qualified plumbers, you'll want to schedule an in-person consultation.
The plumbers can then provide written estimates for their work on your project, and you can move onto the hiring phase! Of course, we always appreciate an informative review of their work on our site once they've completed the work. Best of luck!