Look in the Dex Portland OR phone book and you will literally see hundreds of plumbing sites competing for your business. The metropolitan area of Portland has 2.1 million people and as of 2000 there were 237,269 housing units (which I’m sure has grown since then); all which at one point or another will need some type of plumbing services in the next five years. This begs the following question for a typical homeowner in Portland: how do you choose a good, honest, and professional plumbing business?
To start off with I would highly suggest you do all the legwork and due diligence way before you have plumbing issues. The question is not if something will happen in the future, it is when something will happen. Finding a plumbing company now that you like will make life easier later on because you will know exactly who to call when you need something.
Here are four questions to ask yourself any and prospective plumbing business in the Portland OR metro area.
First, make sure the company has all the credentials needed to operate a legitimate business of this nature in the city and state. To do plumbing work in Oregon you need a license. As state law mandates all plumbing companies need to register themselves with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board and the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services. Every company that is compliant with this receives what is called a “CCB”number. Look for it. Whether a company is advertising in the Dex Portland phone book or on the internet they should put that six digit number someplace where you can see it. Without it you cannot do any business in the city of Portland or for that matter the state of Oregon. These departments make certain that individuals and businesses have at least four years of experience or have completed some sort of apprenticeship school or program.
If they have that its times make make sure they are properly insured. Its standard practice for a legitimate plumbing company to have general liability insurance, be bonded, and carry a workers compensation policy if it has more than 3-4 employees. This may seem like asking a lot but all these things are requirements by law to keep substandard companies out of the local marketplace. Its the cost of doing business and protects them and you. The Building Codes Division of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services are known for rejecting permits of companies that hire unlicensed workers or do work at is not up to code. Several years ago this division shut down a large plumbing company, JRT Mechanical Inc, from doing work in the Portland area for five years because some of its workers did installation jobs in the city plumber in Allen texas did not have the proper credentials. You want to make sure the perspective plumbing company you get in the Portland area is good with this agency because if not it could be a sign of trouble.
Next, find out how long they have been in business. Optimally you want a plumbing business with at least three-five years of experience. By this period of time they have hopefully seen a lot of different scenarios and have solved many different kinds of problems. I hate to say avoid the newer less experienced companies, because everybody has to start from some beginning, but they are going to work slower and less efficient than well established ones. As you are in business for a while you gain hands-on expertise, knowledge, and the acquire the proper tools. This can only come to a business with time. According to the Portland Water Bureau corroded galvanized pipe in homes and businesses causes 90% of the water flow problems in Portland’s homes. Galvanized piped was installed in just about every home in the area before 1980 and its usually left without protection and uninsulated near the hot water heater, under the sinks, or on the property side of the water meter attached to the house. This type of pipe easily corrodes on the inside and that corrosion debris builds up in the pipes and either prevents or completely stops water flow. Again you need to find a company that is good at quickly diagnosing these problems, finding where the corrosion happened, and having the right tools on-site to fabricated new pipe and install it.