PLAY IT SAFE: HIRE FULLY LICENSED PLUMBERS
We know how tempting it can be to hire any old plumber that pops up in the yellow pages or who sends you a Chiefs calendar in the mail. They promise to fix your plumbing problems for an unbelievable price, especially in an emergency. But don’t choose so quickly. Before hiring any plumber, make sure they are a fully licensed plumber.
Think of all the other professionals you’d never consider hiring without checking their credentials first: teachers, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, etc. A plumber is no different, and a license is proof of training and professionalism in the plumbing world.
In order to be a licensed plumber, someone must pass a test evaluating deep understanding and high level plumbing knowledge. A separate test must be taken for each city in which the plumber will be working. Or he or she can opt for a master plumbing license, which most cities accept. Being a licensed plumber means he or she agrees to abide by city codes; codes put into effect to protect consumers from unsafe work and practices.
Cities like Grandview, Leawood, Independence, Kansas City, Olathe and Overland Park issue permits ONLY to licensed plumbers. Should a city inspector stop by, and believe us they do, the inspector can shut down a job. At that point, it’s common for an unlicensed plumber to walk away from the job rather than go through the licensing process, leaving you back at square one and possibly down some deposit money. If it was a larger plumbing issue, you’ll go without service for longer than you might have planned.
Unlicensed plumbers aren’t held to city codes or professional standards, which will most likely create big headaches for a business or homeowner down the road. Not only does licensing reflect the plumber’s skill and knowledge, but also his or her dedication to a job done well. A licensed plumber will carry insurance to protect both parties and be bonded. These things don’t come cheaply, and is why some who call themselves plumbers don’t bother.
While at the beginning of their career, many plumbers can work under his or her company-wide plumbing license, sort of as apprentice to a master plumber. United’s plumbers average two to three decades of experience each, so many young plumbers choose to start their careers with us. Working under the plumbing company’s license does not excuse plumbers from following codes enforced by city licenses however.
The bottom line is, plumbing can be a tricky undertaking and poor work can cause a lot of additional damage to a home or business that goes unnoticed until well after the shoddy plumber is long gone. Unlicensed plumbers don’t tend to last too long, so it’ll be difficult to find him or her again if something does break again or fails to operate even just a few months after it was “fixed” the first time. Be on the safe side. Financially and for peace of mind, only hire a fully licensed plumber for residential or commercial plumbing projects that you’re involved with. Sure, unlicensed plumbers are more affordable. But they cost a lot more in the long run should something go wrong.