How To Choose A Professional Plumber

by Rachel Laurendeau on April 29, 2013

While many simple plumbing issues can be addressed by the savvy do-it-yourself homeowner, major plumbing problems or upgrades should be left up to professionals. But how does one find a qualified plumber without worrying about getting fleeced?

Below are our top tips to keep in mind when you’re looking for qualified plumber when a plumbing emergency strikes or simply when you need help with a home improvement project.

• As with most contractors, one of the best ways to find a plumber is to go by reputation. Ask your friends, family or neighbors for referrals. Often, real estate agents, builders or other contractors are good resources since they frequently deal with local plumbers.
• Plumbers are required to be licensed in most states. You can ask them for proof of their current license and use their license number to verify that there are no complaints against them.
• In addition to being licensed, a professional plumber should also have proper insurance, including liability insurance and a worker’s compensation policy.
• You will be looking for an experienced plumber. Generally, you want to hire a master plumber or an experienced apprentice who is working under his or her license. The plumber you hire must know and follow current plumbing codes and you must find out if they will be responsible for getting approval and pulling permits for the work.
• If you are still not convinced by a particular company, get a written estimate from more than one contractor for the particular plumbing services that you require. While price may help you in your selection, it probably should not be the only determining factor. The cheapest bid is not always the best choice. In some cases, companies who are desperate for work will underbid their competitors but then will cut corners or use inferior materials to make up for their low price.
• It is common to receive a warranty on services provided by a plumber. Ask what type of warranty is offered, its length and what it covers (service, parts, products, etc.).

Although you may not have your plumber on speed dial, it is a good idea to choose a plumber before a plumbing emergency such as a burst pipe in the ceiling or broken hot water tank. That way, you have time to do the proper research and make decisions without your hip waders on.

Related article: Troubleshooting Home Plumbing Issues

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