How to Find a Good Plumber

It can be very difficult to find a good plumber. The very good ones are in high demand because they are all about their work and their customers. Sadly, some people want to cheat you out of your money, but this guide will help prevent that.


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    Check to make sure that they have a plumbing license. The most basic rule is to be sure that they're licensed and carry full insurance that protects you and your neighbour's property in the event of a catastrophe.
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    Get two or more references and read online reviews. You can even ask to see some of the work they have done. Read their Facebook page and twitter feed to see how they are interacting with their customers
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    Ask how long they have been in business for. At the very least, this tells you they shouldn't disappear on you. Theoretically, reputable companies should last, while disreputable ones fade. But sadly, that's not always the case.
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    Get another bid/quote for the job but make sure you are comparing apples with apples. Some companies strip their jobs back to the absolute minimum so they can come in at the lowest price, but the work won't last the longest possible time. Ask the company that is more expensive why their price is at that level, so you can determine if there is a difference.
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    Ask about their guarantee. Is it money back? Is it limited in any way? Is it written on your bid/quote? Plumbers with great belief in their performance standards put their money where their mouth is.
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    Finding a plumber who gives pricing for small jobs over the phone isn't necessarily the sign of a good plumber. Some plumbers prefer to provide quotes only when they are in front of the job so they get it exactly and 100% right. From a plumber's and customer's perspective, there's nothing worse than saying it will cost $X to fix and get to the home, only to find that its really $Y because of some complicating factor.
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    The real key is to get flat, fixed quotes so you know exactly what the plumber will do and exactly what you will pay. The only way this will be truly accurate is if the plumber is in front of the work.
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    Ask neighbors or nearby friends for plumbing referrals. The best way to find a good plumber is to have referrals from people you trust. Ask a friend, relative, or colleague you trust for a recommendation.
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    If you've had a good experience with another professional, such as an A/C repair technician, a roofer or an electrician, try asking them for a referral. If they've been working in the industry for a while, chances are they'll have some contacts. And if you call a plumber based on a reference, be sure to let the plumber know immediately who referred you. They might even give you a discount.


  • Ask the plumber who comes to your home how long he has worked for that company. It could be an indicator of a great company that cares for employees and customers. Also ask how many years experience he has.
  • If it's a big job, get three quotes or bids. If there are vast differences between quotes, question each company about their quote and the price. You will learn who cares enough to give you a lot of detail, who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about your job, and you'll start to learn the details of the work. The cheapest bidder may have underestimated and might sting you for it later, or they may be cutting corners in some way, or it could be a good price. If its very expensive, they might be using a different work method, quality of fixtures/parts, or sometimes they don't really want your business because they are short staffed, or your job is too small/time consuming/involved to generate much of a profit from. (although in the current financial climate that's a bit unusual these days)
  • Small business plumbers will be much more affordable because their overhead is lower. But sometimes one man operations are young guys who have just started out and are very inexperienced. Larger companies will have higher overheads, but they will have more staff to respond when you need it and they have greater resources to provide workers with solid equipment and good training (hopefully).


  • Check to see how much they charge per hour; then find out WHEN they start charging. Some plumbers begin charging as soon as they leave their office -- so you could end up being charged $80+/hr for them to drive to your location.
  • If you get a gut feeling they are not honest, get rid of them.
  • If they frustrate you with no shows, always being late, or making you chase them at every step, it's a bad sign.

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Categories: Plumbing Drains Waste and Vents