How to Find and Hire a Plumber

Understanding your plumbing problem, doing your research, and checking reviews and qualifications can ensure you find and hire a good plumber.
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A qualified plumber can save you time and money when dealing with plumbing emergencies or jobs such as inspecting your plumbing or replacing damaged pipes.
From clearing up a clog, stopping a flood from broken or damaged pipes, or even just providing an annual plumbing inspection, finding and hiring a quality plumber can ensure you get the job done right the first time.
In this three-part article, Part 1 will cover how to know if you need to hire a plumber in the first place, Part 2 discusses how to find a plumber, and Part 3 goes over how to hire a plumber.

Part 1 of 3: How to know if you need a plumber

While there may be some plumbing problems that are easy fixes, such as clearing minor clogs in drains or fixing small leaks in pipes, most plumbing problems are best left to the professional. To help determine whether you need to hire a plumber, follow these steps:
Step 1: Diagnose the problem. Gather as much information about the plumbing problem as possible. You’ll want to be able to clearly communicate your repair needs to your plumber, should you determine one is required. Take photos if possible that you can e-mail or text to your plumber to help them best fix the issue.
Step 2: Determine if it may require a professional. As noted, some basic plumbing-related issues can be fixed at home, such as minor clogging in drains through the use of drain cleaners such as Draino or basic leak repair through replacing accesible pipes or connectors.
But, the following repairs are recommended to be left to a professional plumber:
  • Water pressure issues
  • Water temperature issues
  • Installation or major repairs of new pipes
  • Pipes that have frozen due to severe weather
  • Sewer backups
  • Septic tank problems or backups

Part 2 of 3: How to find a plumber

Once you have diagnosed your plumbing problem and determined that you do, in fact, require the assistance of a professional plumber, there are a few easy steps you can follow to find a qualified plumber to repair the problem.
Remember, during an emergency you may not have time to do all of the legwork required to ensure you have the best plumber possible, so it is recommended to find a plumber before you have an emergency occur and have their contact information readily available.
Steps to help find a qualified plumber in your area include:
Step 1: Go online. A few websites that specialize in connecting you with a local plumber that can help include:
And, don’t forget you can also type “Plumber in my area” into a Google search to find local plumbers that may not be affiliated with a national chain or hiring agency/website.
Step 2: Ask around. Friends, family members, and coworkers are all great resources for finding a good plumber. In addition, real estate agents often have a list of trusted, qualified plumbers. If you are buying a new house, ask for their recommendation.
Step 3: Do some research. Unlike other service providers, it may not be possible to call a plumbers references. However, you can also check out their reviews and any positive or negative feedback that may have been left about their services.
Review websites such as Yelp are great resources to find out more about a potential provider. In addition, you can check their ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Part 3 of 3: How to hire a plumber

To hire a plumber, follow these steps:
Step 1: Call your selected plumber. If you planned in advance and followed the steps in Part 2, you have already selected a plumber. Call them and find out if they can help.
Sometimes, your selected plumber isn’t available and there may be times when you have a plumbing emergency and must hire a plumber immediately. In a situation where you have to hire someone quickly, don’t be pressured to hire the first one that pops up in your Google search. Take a moment and check if they have any reviews or ratings, and call at least two plumbers for quotes if you can.
Step 2: Check for their license. It’s very important that you hire a licensed plumber, so don’t be shy about asking for their license number or proof of licensing. Hiring a licensed plumber can also protect you financially, should you need to pursue legal matters against the plumber.
Step 3: Request a quote. Before you hire a plumber, ask them if they can provide a quote for their services. Ask to be notified if the work will cost more than the original quote, if possible, before they move ahead with anything not originally discussed. If you do not have emergency requirements, ask for bids on your project from multiple plumbers.
Step 4: Sign a contract. It is very important to sign a contract with any service provider that covers what the job is, expectations, costs, the time period the job is expected to be completed in, and any recourse you have if the job is not completed correctly or if damages occur as a result of negligent work.
Find out if they provide any guarantee on their work and make sure it’s in writing, as well.
By ensuring you have done your homework, you can rest assured that you have a plumber working to fix your problems or inspect your plumbing correctly, efficiently, and at a price you can afford. And remember, it’s helpful to locate a plumber you would hire before a disaster occurs.
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