Most home owners never give an actual thought to an emergency plumbing service until one is needed. In an emergency, every minute counts, so you should always ask these questions before hiring a plumber to avoid surprise fees and to protect yourself.
Ask the emergency plumbing service how soon and quick they can fix the problem. Emergency plumbers are on call 24 hours a day, but if they have to drive a long distance to get to your home, response time will certainly be delayed. If you have a leak, extra response time can lead to thousands of dollars of damage to your home or office. If they are several hours away, ask if they can refer an emergency plumber closer to your home or business.
Inquire about hourly rates and see if the plumber can give an estimate or rough quote over the phone. Many plumbers will not give an estimate without seeing the plumbing problem, but you can ask for a ballpark figure for your particular plumbing problem.
Some emergency plumbers also charge a service call in addition to the hourly rate and parts used for the plumbing job. This charge applies if they come to your home whether they fix the problem or not.
Ask what forms of payment the plumber will accept. Some plumbers take credit cards, but others will only take checks and cash
Ask about the warranty on both the parts and labor. The manufacturer should cover the warranty on parts used in the job. The plumbing service should warrant its work performed by the plumber.
Ask if they keep most parts stocked on their truck or if there will be round trips to the store. If the plumber must go to the store to get parts, ask who pays for that time, this could be a hidden expense
If permits are needed, will the plumber get them? Most plumbers will pull the permits because they are familiar with the process and know the procedure.