If you're facing a plumbing problem that you're unequipped to handle on your own, then the benefits of hiring a licensed plumber may or may not be obvious to you. Maybe you know of a local handyman who says he can fix it for a very reasonable price. Perhaps some plumbers who advertise in your area are unlicensed, but assure you that a license is no real indication of talent or skill.
As temping as it can be to cut prices by hiring somebody without license, you should resist. Unless you're dealing with a trusted family member or friend whose work you've seen first-hand, an unlicensed plumber can, in the long run, cost you much more money than you'll save in the beginning.
Why Plumbers Become Licensed
Like any other industry, the plumbing industry requires (in many areas) that a plumber complete a test, have a certain number of hours working as an apprentice, or display some other similar test of knowledge before they can become licensed. This license may be certified by the state, municipality, or country in which the plumber will be working.
Obtaining such a license shows the industry, and potential clients, several things. It displays a willingness to comply with all current laws, regulations and safety measures recommended, instead of relying on outdated and potentially harmful methods. It also shows that the plumber wants his clients to know that he's a professional. This shows dedication to his field, distinguishing him from somebody who may look at plumbing as a way to simply make extra money on the side.
There are several professional organizations that provide ongoing education, and licensing often means that a plumber is taking advantage of this education. This is once of the many benefits of hiring a licensed plumber, since classes that demonstrate the newest products and methods ensure knowledge and dependability.
What's the Harm in Hiring a Plumber Without a License?
Anybody looking for work can be very convincing, if they are unlicensed, that they will do just as good of a job as somebody with a license. While this may be true, you're still better off to hire a licensed plumber.
The training that a licensed plumber goes through ensures that they are up-to-date and current. Somebody unlicensed may be using outdated methods, which can lead to costly mistakes.
Licensed plumbers are usually required to carry insurance. This can save you thousands. If the plumber is injured while working on your property, their insurance will cover their medical care. If there is no insurance, you could be stuck paying those high bills. Insurance, in many cases, can also ensure that the work the plumber does comes with assurance of quality. This might mean the difference between the plumber coming quickly to repair a small resulting leak for free, and waiting for another plumber to come and fix the first plumber's mistakes...at full price.
As you can see, there are many benefits of hiring a licensed plumber, and really no disadvantages. You will pay a little more in most cases, but when you think about the hassle and potential cost of hiring somebody unlicensed, you'll see that you truly get what you pay for.