4 Things You Need To Know About Before Hiring a Plumber

If you own a home you should expect to eventually require the services of a plumber. Plumbers perform many services including cleaning drains, repairing leaky pipes, clearing backed up sewer lines, installing water heaters, and repairing toilets, among others. But before you hire a plumber, here are a few things you should consider.

Licensed, Bonded, and Insured

Be sure you are hiring a plumber who is licensed in your state. This protects you from unqualified plumbers who could leave you with a worse situation than what led you to seek one in the first place. Angie’s List has a list of licensed plumbers you can check against.
Your plumber should be bonded (which is usually a requirement for obtaining a license). What this means is that your plumber has insurance that protects you from problems during the job. This includes damage to your property, lack of permits, and incomplete work among others. A plumber should also have contractor’s insurance that includes liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. Liability insurance covers damage and injuries that occur on the job. Worker’s compensation pays injured workers for lost pay and medical expenses. As a homeowner, you want to be sure you’re not on the hook if an accident occurs. A responsible plumber has this coverage.

Get A Quote

A plumber should offer you a quote for the total cost for the job, including labor and materials before starting the work. It is generally a good idea to get several quotes from different plumbers. This will give you a ballpark figure for what the going rate is for that kind of work in your area, and also allow you to comparison shop for a good rate. Some plumbers give you an hourly rate, but push for a quote for the total cost of the work instead. You can’t know ahead of time how long a job might take, and a surprise bill at the end would be painful. A plumber should offer a quote only after coming to see the problem firsthand. Don’t settle for a quote over the phone from someone who hasn’t been to your home yet.

Reputation and Experience

For challenging jobs, you are going to want a plumber with some years of experience. This may push up the cost of the work, but you should also consider how much a poorly done plumbing job could ultimately cost you. A less experienced plumber will likely charge less, and for some less complicated jobs, this may be fine. Consider the reputation of the plumber you hire by seeking references, talking to prior customers, or making use of sites like NextDoor or Angie’s List, which can offer testimonials from people who have worked with them before.


Make sure to find out if the plumber offers a guarantee for their service. This is often described on their website or business marketing materials, but it doesn’t hurt to ask about it when talking to the plumber directly. Make sure you are clear on what the plumber guarantees.

Hiring a plumber doesn’t have to be a chore. Remember to get that quote up front, make sure they are licensed, bonded and insured, check their reputation, and get that guarantee. If you cover these bases, you should soon be on the way to stress-free plumbing repair.


Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash