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Educational Consumer Tips

Selecting a plumber or plumbing contractor

Author: Better Business Bureau

When choosing a plumber or plumbing contractor, BBB advises you to:

  • Do your research. View the company's BBB Business Review to see its accreditation status, the length of time the company has been in business, its complaint resolution efforts and any past advertising concerns. Also check complaints with the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiner's Enforcement Division by calling 800-845-6584, ext. 65249.
  • Check licensing and insurance. Ask for the Responsible Master Plumber's name and license number. Master Plumber license numbers begin with the letter "M". License numbers which begin with "A", "T", "J" or any other letter are not Master Plumber license numbers. You can verify the license and insurance status at the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiner's website.
  • Shop around. Ask several companies for estimates. Determine whether you will be billed hourly or a flat rate for the job, exactly what work will be performed, how the plumber will contact you if further work is needed and acceptable payment methods.
  • 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.  
  • Read the fine print. Get everything in writing and read the contract thoroughly before signing. Make sure the total price, all verbal promises and guarantees are included. If there is a guarantee, find out how to contact the plumber about the guaranteed work and how he will rectify the situation should a problem arise.
  • Get a reference. Ask the plumber for the names and contact information of previous clients and verify those references. Though a plumber is unlikely to put you in contact with unhappy customers, refusal to provide any references is a red flag.