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Check out plumbers before Black Friday plumbing disasters

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November 25, 2013

Tumwater – Here are two Thanksgiving leftovers to avoid: excessive plumber bills and shoddy plumbing work.

The day after the big feast is typically the busiest day of the year for plumbers, thanks to extra helpings of scraps and grease plugging up pipes and houseguests straining the plumbing system.

To avoid clogs, don’t pour animal fat, cooking oil or poultry skin down the drain or garbage disposal. And wait at least 15 minutes between showers to let drains do their job.

If a plumbing crisis strikes, however, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recommends consumers take time to choose a well-qualified plumber.

State law requires plumbers be certified to do jobs inside buildings. Plumbers also must work for a company that’s registered as a general contractor or a specialty plumbing contractor. Registration ensures the contractor is bonded and insured if something goes wrong.

In addition, consumers should:

  • Get three bids for the job.
  • Before calling plumbing companies, check whether they’re registered contractors at L&I’s www.protectmyhome.net.
  • Ask each company for the name of the plumber who will do the work. See if the plumber is certified at www.protectmyhome.net.  Plumbing certification isn’t required for workers pumping out septic systems.
  • Ask to see a certification card when the plumber arrives.
  • If it’s a trainee, the worker must have an active trainee card and must be supervised by a certified plumber at the jobsite.

Shari Purves-Reiter, L&I outreach manager, recommends people find a good plumber before an emergency, then keep the contact information handy.

“It’s better to have a plumber ahead of time than scramble to find someone after your kitchen is flooded,” Purves-Reiter said.

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Broadcast version: Here are two Thanksgiving leftovers to avoid: excessive plumber bills and shoddy plumbing work.

The day after the big feast is typically the busiest day of the year for plumbers, thanks to extra helpings of scraps and grease plugging up pipes and houseguests straining the plumbing system.

If you need a plumber, make sure they’re registered. Check contractor registration at the Department of Labor & Industries’ website, protectmyhome DOT net.

 

For media information: Debby Abe, L&I Public Affairs, debby.abe@lni.wa.gov, (360) 902-6043

Connect with L&I: Facebook (facebook.com/laborandindustries) and Twitter (twitter.com/lniwa)

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