When faced with emergency plumbing repairs, it might be tempting to choose the first available plumber you find. But choosing a qualified plumber from the start is important to ensure your plumbing problems are fixed correctly. So how do you weed through the plethora of plumbing companies that are out there and ensure you’re getting the best one? By following these tips on choosing a qualified plumber.

The search:

  • Reviews: Right off the bat you can skip ahead of the line and start with a pool of quality plumbers by going onto a ratings website such as Diamond Certified or an app such as Yelp. Search for plumbers in your area and filter by ratings. You should only look at plumbers with decent online reviews, but remember, the sample of people who are calling for plumbing services aren’t in a good mood so, unlike with restaurant ratings where people are having a leisurely, enjoyable experience, people calling for an emergency plumber may not be as apt to remember the experience positively.
  • Responsiveness: When you make that initial phone call, and those thereafter, did someone pick up the phone right away? If you call after hours do they have an emergency phone number and answering machine? You want a plumber that is available and can be reached if you find a water leak in the middle of the night.

The Interview:

  • Licensing and Insurance: Before you bother with the etiquette of your potential plumber-for-life, you can get one very important thing out of the way – does your plumber have the proper licensing and insurance? All plumbers in California should be licensed with the state and should have liability and workman’s compensation insurance. Plumbing and electricity are two accident-prone trades and if the plumbers doing this work for you are not properly insured, you are liable.
  • Looking out for your best interest: Next, make sure you are not going to get sold services and products that you don’t need, so that your plumber can make a quick buck. A good plumber will listen to what you want and offer you multiple solutions – not just try to sell you on what they think is best.
  • Post-work service: Make sure that your potential company is able and willing to service any equipment that they install for you. Nothing is worse than paying big bucks for a leaky faucet repair just to have you’re the entire faucet fall apart the next day. A good company knows this and guarantees their work. This is another reason that you want to make sure you hire a local company – it is much more difficult to get warranty work from companies based outside of your area. Although this is something that will occur after your initial plumbing services are completed, its good practice to know this information before deciding whether to hire a company.

The Process:

  • Pricing: Look for a plumber that charges by the hour and is honest and up front with their pricing. Flat rate plumbers are typically more expensive in the long run as they are usually encouraged to sell more. Typically, flat rate plumbing technicians will receive a commission based on each service sold.
  • Contract: Have your plumber draw up a contract or a ‘scope-of-work’ agreement to delineate exactly what will be done, the risks, and the guarantees. This will cover you in the case of poorly done work, neglect, or malpractice.

The next time you have a leaky pipe or backed up shower drain, don’t be too hasty in choosing a plumber. Just remember the above tips to ensure the job is done right the first time.


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