If you are not sure what the difference is between a plumber and a plumbing contractor look no further. Essentially the main difference is that a plumber will fix issues such as a clogged drain, leaky faucet, or something small. It's usually a single person who works for him or herself. A plumbing contractor usually deals with larger construction type jobs. It might be remodeling, renovations, handling large jobs that involve the entire water supply and plumbing system.
What Does a Plumber Do
Plumbers can handle plumbing issues regarding burst pipes, overflowing toilets, and various minor issues. Essentially they handle a repair or the plumbing system and not a full install of the plumbing system. They can though install some fixtures like faucets, commodes, sinks, tubs, showers, drains, garbage disposals, and so forth. Plumbers can handle these jobs with ease. Plumbers typically take on the smaller repair tasks over the large tasks.
What Does a Plumbing Contractor Do?
A plumbing contractor will handle more difficult responsibilities. They can also do all of the above tasks mentioned. A plumbing contractor usually works during home construction installing not just the entire plumbing system but sometimes the gas connections, water heaters, and so forth. They might also install water softening equipment and any other appliances that need to be connected to the water system. They can still, of course, also handle the maintenance that you need on these systems; however, most of the time a plumbing contractor will prefer larger jobs.
Hiring a Plumber or a Plumbing Contractor
Typically, once you've hired a plumbing contractor you can also ask them if they will give you information about who to call to fix smaller tasks. They will more than likely give you their card. Sometimes plumbing contractors cost more than individual plumbers but they are also usually a lot more prepared to do larger jobs if you should need a huge repair on something than the sole proprietor plumber.
In addition, most sole proprietor plumbers will expect payment up front the very day of the service, once they've finished the job, while a plumbing contractor might be more amenable to send a bill that you can pay later assuming you have paid half up front before work begins.
Whether you feel more comfortable hiring a sole proprietor plumber or a plumbing contractor will usually depend on the job they're doing and your experience with plumbers. If you already know a plumbing contractor you'll be more likely to call on them. But, if you look for a plumber in the phone book or online for a small job it's better to call a regular plumber for a small job as a contractor who has no experience with you may not want to take the small job of fixing a clogged drain.