Educational Consumer Tips

Plumbing Contractors

Author: Better Business Bureau

The following comments provide general information for consumers, and do not necessarily reflect the practices or record of any particular company.

Ask friends, neighbors or co-workers for names of plumbers. It is a good idea to request proof that the plumbers have workmen's compensation and general liability insurance.

Get at least three estimates before you choose a plumber. Keep in mind that plumbing companies may vary in their billing procedures, do not rely on hourly rates. Some charge based on time and material and others may charge a flat rate.

The estimate from the company should be broken down and the price to include any additional charges such as equipment fees and trip costs. Most companies charge extra for overtime, weekends, holidays and emergency calls. Make sure to ask about these rates.

Make sure you read and understand the contract before signing. A contract should be easy to read and all materials and products listed by model number and manufacturers name. Look for the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) stamp on products. The contract should also list specific services item by item, warranty provisions, either the contractors or the manufacturers or both, and permit information. Make sure that the plumbing permits are in the contractors name; it is their job to obtain any permits.