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Educational Consumer Tips

Hiring a Plumber

Author: Better Business Bureau
Category: Home Improvement

Just like any other type of contractor, it is imperative a plumbing contractor is reliable and qualified for the job. Searching for a plumber before any work or repairs are needed will allow homeowners to hire a plumber they trust. Preparation allows customers to hire a plumber they feel comfortable with. It is important to follow these tips when choosing a plumbing contractor to hire.

Tips for Hiring a Plumbing Contractor:

Ask for Recommendations.  Ask family and friends for recommendations when searching for a plumber. They will be able to steer you towards trustworthy plumbers based on their past experiences.  Further your search online at to assess accreditation, ratings, reviews, and complaints.  

Look at Credentials.  A plumber hired to do any type of work or repair should be licensed and insured. This will prevent the homeowner from being responsible if the plumber is injured on the job. Check the plumber’s credentials with the Board of State Examiners before hiring. Find out the expiration date of the license and insurance, and how long they have been a licensed plumber. If more than one plumber is working to tackle the job make sure each plumber has a current license and insurance.  
Get Three Estimates.  When a larger job needs to be completed, get at least three different estimates. Compare the prices carefully; the lowest estimate may not be the best bargain. Keep in mind, plumbers with greater experience may charge a little more for their work. Understand how the plumber plans to charge for the job being done. It may be a flat rate for all work or the plumber may charge an hourly labor fee.  

Look into References.  Ask the plumber for a list of references where they have previously completed work. Contact a few of the references to ask if the final cost was as estimated, if the job was done on schedule, and if the quality of the job has held up since the work was done. Try to contact one of the references that had a similar job done as the one being requested.

Get a Written Agreement.  A contract should provide specific details of the job and should include: description of the job, materials needed, cost of the materials and labor, completion date, and any type of permits or inspections that are needed. Work out a payment system that pays the plumber according to how much work has been completed. Never make the final payment before the job is fully completed to satisfaction. Save a copy of the contract in case it is needed for future reference.

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