Hiring the Best Plumber You Can Find

Hiring the Best Plumber You Can Find

Hiring a great plumber is one way to keep your building and property in great shape for decades to come. The peace of mind that you get when you know your plumber is the best one for the job is unbeatable. Plumbing can have all kinds of problems that lead to potentially huge water damage repair bills and time spent living or working in another building while someone repairs the plumbing and cleans up.

How do you get the best plumber around for your property? One of the most important things to know is that working with a licensed plumber is required in many cases. Anything larger than a small repair job will almost certainly require a licensed plumber. Licensed plumbers go through many years of training. This training can be from many sources, including a formal apprenticeship. These trained individuals are the ones you can rely on for careful preventative service, good communication, the right tools, and lasting quality work.

Licensed plumbers also pass a state-level exam and put up contractor’s bonds and insurance. They know about the local codes, the best materials, and the right tools. Working with licensed contractors is the smart way to go.

Communicating Your Needs and Finding Journeyman Plumbers

In some cases, you may have an apprentice plumber on the job with a supervisor. The best thing to do is always hire a journeyman plumber. However, they are harder to find and harder to contact for scheduled jobs. If you find out that only apprentice plumbers are available, you should ask about which master plumber is training them and if they have someone to call about questions on the job.

Keep in mind that it’s not impossible to find and hire a journeyman plumber. Many journeyman plumbers will post their information online. Some larger companies with multiple offices will hire journeyman plumbers when they can, and you can either look for the information on their websites or call an office’s headquarters about your specific plumbing needs. Companies want to make sure that they always do the right thing for their customers. If you have a certain problem with your plumbing that you know you need a journeyman for, you can talk to the management at the company to make sure they send you someone qualified.

If you call and don’t tell them the details of your problem, they may send out someone in an apprentice program thinking that an apprentice plumber will be able to take care of things properly for you.

Some reasons you may have an immediate need for a journeyman plumber are:

  • Several attempts by different people to repair the same problem without success
  • No visible diagnosis of the problem
  • A large-scale leak or breakage that will take exceptional management and a lot of experience
  • A multi-layer problem or large installation issue

Besides calling office headquarters, you can ask for word-of-mouth recommendations from people who have had great plumbing service. Since journeymen are able to supervise their own work, they are likely to run their own businesses. These might be smaller operations in many cases, and it can be difficult to find them on a list. However, the quality of their work is worth the time spent finding someone.

In some cases, you may have success getting through a longer list of independent journeymen if you ask for business contacts at your local union shop or trade school. Some people do on-the-job apprenticeships through a union or go to a trade school for several years in order to pass the journeyman exam. The people at the union and school offices may be able to recommend someone recently graduated or more experienced who works in the area.

Journeyman and Master Plumbers

Journeyman plumbers have passed the journeyman exam and have at least four years of work experience as a plumber, unless they completed an apprenticeship.

If plumbers acquire many years of work experience on difficult jobs, they can sometimes become a master plumber. A master plumber trains apprentices and is exceptionally qualified to work on difficult jobs.

These plumbers are best contacted through networking and word-of-mouth recommendations. You may be able to find a few websites with contact information for a master plumber locally by searching for companies that have been in business for over 10 or 15 years. Contacting local unions is another way to find master plumbers.

Specialty Licenses for Plumbers

Master plumbers who work for many years can achieve upper-level licenses that are specialty based. To find a specialty plumber, you will likely have the best luck looking on job boards that allow recommendations and references. Angi and Thumbtack, for example, can yield good results in many locations.

However, word of mouth is still a great way to find people with high levels of skill and experience. Make sure to start your search early and give details about your plumbing issue. Keeping a contact network updated before you have a plumbing emergency always helps. You may also be able to get references in some cases by calling general contractors who work with master plumbers with specialty licenses.

Building Your Contact List

Many people don’t know that they should get a contact list started as they search for professionals to work on their properties. Other homeowners, business owners, people at your local chamber of commerce, and union management can all be great contacts. You should aim to diversify the individuals with whom you network as you expand your contact list; friends often share the same couple of service professionals and look for new workers who might offer specialized skills. Don’t be afraid to talk to people who work in many different fields because everyone needs an amazing plumber! Your software salesman may not work in the trades, but he might have a plumbing recommendation from work, a local pool, or his own house.

Talking to people who work in construction is also a great strategy, even if you don’t know them. When you look for members of the construction trade, be sure to give your contact info as well. Be specific about the type of work you need done, and explain why you need someone with a certain license. Clear, friendly language will help you expand your network faster.

Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air has served the Sacramento, CA area since 1976 with exceptional service and quality. We are now a general contractor offering a huge list of plumbing services to our Sacramento community. We offer installation on many plumbing and irrigation systems, including large systems like those in hospitals and vineyards. We work with gas lines, reverse osmosis systems, repair slab leaks, perform hydro jetting, tankless water heaters, backflow prevention, sump pumps, drain cleaning, video pipe inspection, and UV water purifiers in addition to plumbing installation and repair for homes and businesses.

We also provide central AC installation and repair alongside heating installation and repair, humidification, ductwork repair and installation, ventilation, commercial project work, and indoor air quality improvements.

Contact Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air today to work with us!

A Homeowner’s Guide to Replacing a Garbage Disposal

A Homeowner’s Guide to Replacing a Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal can be a very effective tool for breaking down food particles to get them safely down your plumbing. However, most garbage disposals are rated for 10 years. Therefore, most homeowners will end up having to replace them multiple times throughout their lifetime.

Common Signs That Your Garbage Disposal Needs to Be Replaced

While it’s likely that your garbage disposal will experience a few issues over its lifetime, there are some key signs that will indicate that it’s time to think about replacing the unit entirely. These include when:

  • It constantly resets
  • It won’t deodorize
  • Its blades won’t chop effectively
  • It has a leak on its bottom
  • It has physical damage like a cracked housing
  • It gets clogged frequently

When you determine that it’s probably time to replace your garbage disposal, you have a few different options on the market to choose from. It’s a good idea to take a moment and assess how well your previous garbage disposal met your needs. Did you have issues with constant clogs? Did it feel like the motor wasn’t powerful enough to handle your needs?

When you go to purchase a new garbage disposal, it may be time to consider purchasing one that has more horsepower. If the sound of your garbage disposal working is way too noisy for your ears, you may want to spend a little extra money and invest in one that has an insulated chamber. Other options include a corrosion protection shield, anti-splash baffles, and even sound baffles.

Starting the Removal Process

You’ll want to start by turning off the power to your garbage disposal. Leaving it on can lead to an accidental electrical hazard. Start by removing the drain tube and the dishwasher drain tube, if you have one. These are typically held on by metal clamps that require you to unscrew them to loosen them up.

When you go to remove your garbage disposal, it will drop down quickly. While it doesn’t weigh a ton, it still weighs a hefty 15 pounds. This can be difficult to catch as it falls. Do yourself a favor and create a support with wood or something sturdy to hold your garbage disposal as you loosen its attachments.

Turn It Counterclockwise

Your garbage disposal is held in position by a mounting bracket attached under your sink. You’ll want to stick a screwdriver in one of the loops for the bracket and turn it counterclockwise. You may have to use some force to break it loose. Once the bracket is fully loose, your garbage disposal will fall right out. This is where having that makeshift support will come in handy.

Once your garbage disposal is free of the mounting bracket, you’ll want to disconnect its electrical connections. Most will have a faceplate on the bottom that needs to be unscrewed to give you access to the electrical components. You can use needle-nose pliers to pull the wiring clips free of the garbage disposal. Make sure that you use a screwdriver to loosen the grounding screw and pull off the copper ground wire.

Reseal Your Drain

While you have your old garbage disposal out, it’s a good time to reseal the drain to your sink to prevent it from leaking for another 10 years. You will need to remove the existing mounting bracket and push the drain up into the sink. Scrape off all of the old putty that is underneath the drain so that you have a clear surface for good adhesion.

Next, take a new roll of plumber’s putty and apply it to the underside lip of your sink drain. Push down until the drain is fully in place, and use something heavy, such as your old garbage disposal, as a weight to hold the drain in place until the putty dries up. Once dry, you can go ahead and put your mounting bracket back into place.

Put in the New Garbage Disposal

Get your new garbage disposal and remove its faceplate. You’ll want to connect the grounding wire to the grounding screw and the other wires to their necessary locations. If you’re not sure where each wire connects to, ensure that you consult the instructions that came along with your unit. Hooking up the wires backward can actually lead to damage to your new unit.

Once all of your wiring is hooked up to your new garbage disposal, it’s time to put it into your mounting bracket. Be sure to twist the bracket in a clockwise direction this time to tighten up the bracket. Lastly, you’ll want to reattach the drain tubes. If you don’t have a dishwasher drain tube, make sure that you leave the plastic plug in the disposal. Once everything is hooked up, go ahead and turn on your power to ensure that your new garbage disposal works correctly.

Helpful Tips to Keep Your New Garbage Disposal in Great Condition

Your garbage disposal is something that you need to be running on a regular basis. If you don’t run it, the blades will start to rust and create a whole world of problems. Do yourself a favor and make it a habit to turn your garbage disposal on at least once per day. If you don’t have anything to grind up, use ice. Ice works to help sharpen the blades and clean out any excess debris that is stuck inside your garbage disposal.

Be very mindful of what you put down your garbage disposal. Items like banana peels, celery, potato peels, cornhusks, coffee grounds, eggshells, and, of course, silverware should never be put down your garbage disposal. Hard items can wear out your blades prematurely or even cause them to break. Materials like eggshells and coffee grounds aren’t going to damage your unit, but they do tend to increase your risk of experiencing clogs.

When you’re running your garbage disposal, make sure that you’re running water down it. Water helps to allow the food particles to move around and assists the blades in doing their job correctly. Let the drain run for a few minutes after you run your disposal to allow any food particles to make their way down your drain very quickly.

Lastly, you’ll want to make it a habit to clean out your garbage disposal every two weeks. You can easily do this by adding ice to your garbage disposal along with some rock salt. These work as abrasive surfaces to sharpen the blades and make sure that it washes down any excess food particles. You’ll want to let your garbage disposal run for a full minute to ensure that all of the ice makes its way through. If you’re dealing with any nasty smells, you’ll want to pour a cup of vinegar down your drain alongside a half-cup of baking soda to help neutralize the odor.

Reliable Plumbing Services

While handy homeowners can use this guide to replace their own garbage disposal, it’s always better to turn to a professional plumber for help. A professional will ensure that your disposal is installed correctly and completely safe to use. Professional installation will also ensure that your new unit lasts its entire expected lifespan.

At Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air, we offer reliable Plumbing services, including garbage disposal repair and replacement, for the entire Sacramento region. We can also help with all of your heating, cooling, duct repair and replacement, indoor air quality, heat pump, zone control, thermostat, HRV/EVR, dual fuel system, and commercial needs. Call us today to schedule your next appointment.