5 Tips for Hiring a Plumber

Hiring a plumber for plumbing services, whether they be emergency needs or regular maintenance, can be intimidating to the average homeowner. For many people, finding the right plumber with years of experience means trial and error. However, the reality is that it doesn’t need to be difficult to find the right plumbing company for all your plumbing needs. If you need a plumber to look at your sewer, check on your water heater, or help with emergency service, here are a few tips to find a plumber who’ll do a great job for you.

1. Do some online research.

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For most people, the search for a good plumber starts with the internet. If you lived in Chicago and were looking for a licensed plumber in Chicago, for example, it’s likely you’d Google those terms and begin your search for a free estimate for your plumbing needs. If Google is your go-to helper when searching for a professional plumber, there are a few things you should look for to increase your odds of being happy with that plumbing system repair or upgrade.

Look for plumbers who are licensed in your area and whose websites include customer reviews. You’ll also want to check for plumbing companies who are upfront about pricing, offer a variety of services, and have years of experience. While a new plumbing company might work out fine, going with a company with a history of successful repairs in your area is a good idea unless you know people who’ve tried out the newer company.

2. Talk to friends and family.

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Never underestimate the importance of word-of-mouth recommendations when it comes to finding a plumbing company for any plumbing needs. If you have friends, family, or co-workers who swear by a plumbing company in your area, consider giving them a try. Some people make the mistake of ignoring word-of-mouth recommendations in favor of a more affordable plumbing quote and ultimately regret it. Paying a little more for a plumbing service you’re able to trust will pay off in the long run.

3. Ask about licensing and insurance.

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Any reputable plumbing company will be fully licensed and insured. While it can be tempting to hire a handyman or general repair person to help with that clogged garbage disposal or septic repair, hiring an unlicensed person to attend to your plumbing needs is a big risk. When making a decision on who to hire to fix your faucet or for your emergency needs, be sure the plumbing technician is licensed and insured.

4. Get bids from three plumbers for bigger jobs.

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When you need emergency service it’s not always possible to get three bids for your plumbing emergency. However, if you have time to attend to your plumbing issues, it’s a good idea to get three bids from professionals in your area. Especially if you’re looking to hire experts for a brand-new plumb install or a bigger job, you’ll want an affordable price. The most reputable companies will be happy to offer a free estimate and will be happy to make a bid on any job—big or small.

5. Get contracts or estimates in writing.

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Some companies will automatically put any bids or estimates in writing, while others will offer an oral bid. Ask for any plumbing estimate to be put in writing to protect yourself from price inflation as the work begins. At the same time, be aware that added expenses may come up if your plumbing is older or your technician isn’t able to get a full look at the problem prior to starting it.

At the end of the day, hiring a good plumber doesn’t need to be difficult. Taking the time to do some research, talk to people you trust, and looking for signs of professionalism and clear contracts are all great ways to know you’re in good hands with the right licensed plumber.

Derek Sullivan

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