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We’ve all been there.  A plumbing problem arises and we have to hire someone to work in our home.  This can be a stressful situation.  Not only is your house under duress, but you now have a stranger working in your personal space.

How do you know you can trust your plumber?  This doesn’t apply to just private residences either.  Maybe you run a business and a sink overflowed.  You’ll want to hire the best commercial plumber Los Angeles can offer.  But no matter what your water problem is, you can count on Torrance Plumbing and Heating.

For over ninety years, we’ve built a reputation on dependable service.  From Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach, we never take advantage of our customers.

We have the credentials and experience to back up our claims, but unfortunately the same can’t be said for all plumbing companies.

If you’re considering hiring a plumber to repair something in your home, then here are a few basic tips to keep in mind.

Get an estimate in writing 

After the plumber inspects and analyzes the problem in your home or business, ask him to spell out his estimate on paper.  Watch out for those who describe the plan verbally, but promise to send you the estimate later.  They never will.  Get it in writing before the project starts.

Another thing to watch out for is the dirt-cheap estimate.  Anyone who says he’ll fix your water heater at an astonishing discount is probably desperate, and possibly unqualified for the job.

Be weary of extra sub contractors

Sometimes when a plumber is courting your services, he may indicate or even specify that he’ll be fixing that leaky faucet or clogged sink himself.

But then a curious thing happens.  After the job begins, you start to notice that your house is suddenly full of sub contractors or “assistants”.  Who are all these people exactly?

It’s not uncommon for a plumber to have an apprentice.  However, what some unscrupulous contractors do is hire on extra friends and family.  He’ll delegate his responsibilities to them, whether or not they’re qualified.

Make sure you get him to commit to number of workers up front, and to notify you if he has to bring anyone else on.

Don’t get punished for your address

If you or your business resides in an affluent part of the city, a plumber may charge you more.  He may look at the nice homes and expensive amenities and figure you’ll never notice – or won’t care – if he hits you with an exaggerated estimate.

Residents of, say, Malibu or the Pacific Palisades might be targets of unfair price gouging; they shouldn’t stand for it.

If you’re suspicious, ask him to spell out the cost of all parts and labor.  You can at least check the charges for parts via the internet or your local hardware store.

Beware scare tactics

Some plumbers will try to play on your fear, suggesting that if you don’t accept their work at their inflated rate, you’re headed for disaster.

Unfortunately, this is more common among the elderly, and sometimes single women.  Don’t fall for it.  If you smell a scam, move on to the next plumber.