Use caution, commonsense to hire Black Friday plumber

November 26, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 26, 2010

The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers.

Black Friday is best known for door-buster sales and the busiest day of the year for retailers. But Thanksgiving excess — think grease and food down the drain, plus houseguests — puts a strain on household plumbing.

For Washington residents in need of a Black Friday plumber, the state Department of Labor & Industries advises people to choose carefully.

“Not all plumbers are created equal,” Bruce Springer, technical specialist of plumber certification at L&I, said in a statement. “Professional plumbers have specialized training and certification from the state.”

The agency advises homeowners to take the following steps:

Before a plumber starts work, ask to see his or her state license for a certified residential or journeyman plumber.

Ensure the company the plumber is working for is registered with the state as a general contractor or a specialty-plumbing contractor. L&I offers a tool for consumers to determine if a contractor is registered.

Contractor registration ensures the company is bonded and insured should something go wrong with the job.

People learning the plumbing trade must maintain an active trainee card and must be supervised by a certified plumber on the job.

In addition, be sure to ask for a plumbing bid in writing before the work starts, in order to avoid confusion later.

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