What All You Need to Know When Hiring a Commercial Plumber in Australia
- 25 - 03 - 2019
- By Heritage Plumbing
Being the owner or manager of a commercial facility is a huge responsibility. Before hiring a plumber there are several things you should consider. Although most commercial plumbers have residential plumbing experience, not all residential plumbers have commercial experience.
Notwithstanding, there may be similarities when dealing with residential and commercial properties; but commercial plumbing problems tend to require urgent repairs and have a greater impact on more people.
In addition, when commercial plumbing problems arise it can prevent your business from functioning as it normally would. Commercial plumbing problems have greater upfront costs to address the repairs in most cases. It could also cause expensive delays in your business as operations are stalled while the plumbing repair is being completed.
You may not need a commercial plumber on a daily basis, but there is a lot more to be concerned about as it relates to commercial plumbing issues. Not only are the pipes and other systems much larger than residential systems, but they also have specific requirements that demand specialised plumbing services.
Hiring a novice plumber for a commercial job can have major consequences. Not only does a commercial plumber require a different skill set, but they must also follow different plumbing and building codes as well as abide different licensing requirements.
When you bring in a plumber for your commercial facility, it’s very important to make sure you bring in the right plumber for the job. But how can you distinguish which commercial plumber is right for you?
Below we’ve provided information for commercial property owners and managers that can assist them with what to look for when hiring a commercial plumber in Australia.
1. Readily Available
When disaster strikes at a commercial facility it is extremely important that commercial plumbers are readily available on demand. Most plumbing disasters that occur at commercial facilities require immediate attention.
Commercial plumbers, some of who are set up to respond to urgent plumbing repair calls, is one area that commercial property owners and managers should look out for when selecting a commercial plumber.
It’s a huge inconvenience to have a major commercial plumbing problem and have to wait for a long period of time before help arrives. The problem could worsen while you’re waiting, which could also create more setbacks and become more expensive.
2. Good Reputation
We’ve all heard that a person’s reputation precedes them. Well, the same is true for commercial plumbers, and with the use of the Internet, it’s easy for people to perform a minimal amount of research to find out more about their services.
When deciding on which plumber is best for you and your facility, be sure to perform enough research to learn as much about the plumber as possible and whether he’s got a good reputation and is a member of local and/or national plumbing associations in Australia, such as The Master Plumbers Association.
3. Industry Knowledge
When sourcing a commercial plumber, it’s very important to make sure the plumber has adequate industry knowledge that’s suitable for the task at hand. Having the right knowledge for commercial plumbing catastrophes allows the plumber to apply their knowledge to the situation in a manner that provides you with confidence. After which, you will feel assured that your situation will be resolved in an efficient and costly manner.
You should seek out plumbers who are knowledgeable about the plumbing job itself as well as about the proper plumbing codes for commercial facilities, and Australia based compliance and regulatory requirements in general.
4. Experience and Qualifications
When you try to find a commercial plumber, their knowledge should also be combined with an adequate amount of experience and qualifications. For example, you might feel more comfortable with a plumber who’s been in business for 20 years as opposed to one who has only been in business for one year.
The commercial plumber with 20 years of experience has probably seen it all and is no stranger to the type of plumbing problem that you may be faced with at your commercial facility.
Having years of experience is one of the main factors that qualifies a commercial plumber to perform services at your facility.
5. Industry Specific Experience
It’s one thing to have general plumbing experience, but it’s a completely different thing to have industry-specific experience. For example, if you own a commercial facility at a hospital the plumbing needs may be quite different than those that would be found at a restaurant or at a hotel.
When researching plumbers for your specific business, be sure to ask about whether or not the plumber is familiar with the various plumbing needs for your particular industry.
6. Licensing and Insurance
Don’t be afraid to ask a potential commercial plumber about their license and insurance. This is a requirement and most plumbers should be happy to provide you with this information upon request.
Commercial plumbing insurance for commercial plumbers who operate in Australia is General Liability Insurance. It protects commercial plumbers from various accidents that could happen due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes accidents result in lawsuits that could cause plumbers financial setbacks. But commercial plumbing insurance is also beneficial for the customer as well. It covers things such as additional damages to the job site, harm caused to others as a result of the plumbers work and much more.
Commercial plumbing insurance is mandatory for plumbers that provide services in Australia and proof of insurance should be readily available.
Having insurance protects both you and the plumber from a wide variety of financial risk associated with having a plumber performing services at your facility – it’s always great to find out if your potential plumber carries it.
7. Referrals and Recommendations
There’s nothing more rewarding for a business owner than to receive a referral and be highly recommended by other satisfied customers. When seeking out a commercial plumber, be sure to check out their website for testimonials.
You can also ask the plumber to provide you with a few referees that you can call before bringing a plumber on board. It’s a great way to verify the quality of their work and check out their track record before making a final commitment.
8. Economical and Affordability
Running and maintaining a commercial facility can be very costly. That is why it’s important to request a quote as early as possible. In fact, it’s a great idea to have a plumber visit the property before an emergency occurs.
In doing so, the plumber can perform an assessment of the layout of your plumbing and pipes. Afterward, the plumber is in a better position to identify any potential threats that you should be concerned about.
Allowing a plumber to come by and perform regularly scheduled maintenance services will also cut down on cost. They will be able to reduce and possibly prevent altogether, major damage from occurring in the future.
When seeking out a commercial plumber, find out if regularly scheduled maintenance services can be arranged in advance. That way you can establish a long-term relationship with your plumber. The plumber can, as a result, become familiar with the plumbing at your property and can better estimate what your current and future plumbing needs will be. This can also save you a lot of money in the long run.
Since many plumbers tend to take advantage of people who are facing a crisis by charging astronomical prices during an emergency, it’s really important to take heed and develop relationships with plumbers in advance. This will prevent plumbers from being tempted to overcharge for plumbing services when you need them the most.
Plumbers tend to be a lot more practical with customers who take the time to get to know them and allow them to provide regular maintenance services on their behalf. Those who have an ongoing relationship in advance will benefit when a plumbing disaster strikes.
9. Charging Fees to Perform Estimates
If you’re faced with a plumbing problem and you are seeking several plumbers to come out to perform an estimate, you may want to find out if a fee is charged. Some plumbers will charge a call-out fee to do an assessment of your plumbing job. Whereas others will not charge a fee at all.
Charging a fee for an estimate is justified by some plumbers in that they take the time to drive to your location and spend time assessing your plumbing issue knowing that they may or may not be hired for the job. However, it also allows customers to make note of the plumber’s willingness to come out and provide them with an estimate which could lead to additional business at a later time.
There are some costs associated with performing an estimate. Some are referred to as estimate fees, or trip charges that plumbers may or may not be able to recoup. If charges for estimates are involved, this is something that you want to know about beforehand so that you’re not surprised by extra fees when you receive your bill.
10. Flat or Hourly Rate
When you are provided with a quote, is important to find out if the plumber that you are considering charges a flat rate or by the hour. You also need to find out if the job that is being quoted includes a quote for both parts and labour.
It’s important to find out if you will be charged by the hour because some jobs take much longer than others, and sometimes plumbers may not be aware of what they will encounter until they arrive and view the problem.
There could be surprises that have not been factored into the cost. The problem with this is that it could take 15 minutes or a few hours longer than anticipated. But you as a manager or property owner don’t want to be hit with a huge plumbing bill and be surprised about the final cost. That’s why it’s very important to get an estimate of how long the plumber thinks the job may take based on their previous experience; then provide you with a general range of how long it may take to complete the services. This provides you with a general idea of what the cost may be if you are going to be charged by the hour.
11. Location and Locality
Because most plumbing catastrophes happen at the worst possible times – typically when you least expect it, it’s important to find out from your plumber if they are located in your general vicinity.
If you happen to have a plumbing emergency at your commercial facility, there’s nothing worse than having to wait for a long period of time before you can receive the help you need.
12. Quality Equipment and Tools of The Trade
Taking on a commercial plumbing project is a huge undertaking. Not only does it require a certain level of knowledge and skill set, but it also requires the right kind of equipment. It’s important to find out if the plumber has the right equipment needed to accomplish the task at hand. Not just the right equipment, but updated and quality equipment.
In addition, it’s good to work with commercial plumbers who are concerned about using the best tools in the industry – the best tools that top plumbers would use for specific commercial plumbing jobs.
Commercial plumbers should be well equipped with the latest tools of the trade. This is important for them when faced with common commercial plumbing issues based on the industries they serve the most.
13. Continued, Ongoing Education
Like in other trades, the laws and regulations change over time. Commercial plumbing is one of those areas that requires ongoing learning and updated certifications.
Be sure that your plumber has an updated plumbing license and certificate that affords him the ability to face problems that arise today. That way he can apply the latest tools and techniques to the job based on what he or she has recently learned, as opposed to what’s been learned several years ago.
14. Customer Care and Follow Up Service
The term customer care and follow up services should not be taken lightly. It is a huge responsibility to put commercial plumbing problems in the care of a professional plumber. When seeking out a commercial plumber, you should ask about their customer service and support capabilities.
As a commercial property owner or manager, you want to be sure that if something urgent takes place, a plumber will be there as quickly as possible. Even if you suspect there’s an issue, you want to be able to call a commercial plumber that you can rely on and that takes your commercial plumbing issue seriously.
A good commercial plumber should allow you to reach him or her 24 hours a day seven days a week should an emergency arise. They should be willing and ready to let you know the best way they can be reached during normal business hours and after hours as well. This could be through an after hour call center, through their website, by phone, or text messaging.
Whatever the method, interacting with commercial plumbers and establishing a relationship beforehand should be like calling one of your business partners to assist you with your issues.
A plumber that follows up on your plumbing issue suggests that the plumber is taking the initiative to go over and beyond the call of duty by checking on your overall well-being as it relates to your plumbing issues.
During the follow-up process commercial plumbers who also offer regularly scheduled maintenance services show great customer service as well as putting preventive measures in place that will further reduce major damages from occurring in the future.
Follow up services is a great way to build customer loyalty and encourage additional business through referrals and word-of-mouth. Whenever a customer feels well taken care of, they become satisfied customers that soon become part of your overall marketing and advertising strategy – they get the word out about your performance on your behalf.
15. Guarantees and Warranties
When choosing a commercial plumber, select one who stands behind their work. It suggests that the plumber is confident in their work and that they provide quality services and use quality parts and labour. Their parts should come with a warranty and should include some of the best tools and materials in the industry.
Plumbers who guarantee their work and the products they use to perform their services are ideal when seeking out commercial plumbers for your next plumbing job. If something goes wrong after the plumber performs the services, he or she will most likely come back to address the issue for you free of charge.
To sum up, although as a manager or commercial property owner, you may not require the use of a plumber on a daily basis, it is important to know who to turn to when a plumbing disaster strikes. Hopefully, the information above has provided you with knowledge about what you need to know when hiring a commercial plumber in Australia.
If you have more helpful information that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
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