Where and How to Find a Plumbing Professional

We live in a world where many of us have a do-it-yourself mentality. After all, can’t YouTube videos teach us most things we need to know? Few would disagree that plumbing might just be the exception to that rule. 

So, if we’re not doing it ourselves, we’re calling in a professional. And a reputable, reliable plumbing professional is a gift when you find one.  Here are a few tips on where to look and what to look for in that important new partnership:

Where to Find Them

  • Referrals are almost the most fruitful way to find a professional tradesperson of any type...plumbing included. For example, if your neighbor recently finished a renovation or needed repair work done, ask them who they used and if they were happy with the service. 
  • If you know any contractors or real estate agents, they’re another great source for referrals. Because they’re in the home business, they often hear of people by reputation and/or have worked with them personally.
  • Be cautious if you’re using online websites that tout their ability to connect you with a plumber near you. While they may show reviews and ratings, it’s hard to know what standards and criteria they base them on. Also, many of them are “pay for placement” so it’s not always an accurate representation.  Referrals as mentioned earlier are clearly the way to find a match for you!

What to Look For

  • Foremost, make sure that person is a licensed plumber. Forty-eight of the 50 states require plumbers to hold a state license (New York and Kansas are the exceptions). 

  • Ensuring the plumber carries insurance is critical. The coverage will help protect them (and anyone working on their team) in case of an accident or injury.
  • As you’re “interviewing” the plumber to see if they’re a good fit for you, be sure to get a sense of how long they’ve been in the business and what kind of work they’ve done. Some plumbers specialize in repair work, while others might be stronger in new construction or remodeling work.  Many times, the longer they’ve been in the business, the more they’ve seen. Experience often means they been faced with more scenarios and are better equipped to deal with a wider range of plumbing issues.

  • If the plumber did not come from a referral source, ask them for a couple references. Pre-screened referrals often provide glowing remarks.  However, you might uncover things to look out for if you ask “If you could change one thing about their service what would it be?”

  • Be sure to find a professional who stands by their work. Many plumbers will literally provide a written guarantee of the service they provide. If they don’t, reconsider them as an option.

  • Find out who will be doing the work on your job. Many plumbers are a one-person shop, while others have a team. Understanding if it’s them or a team member (who might have less experience) might help you make your decision, or give you cause to ask to meet the others as well.

  • Understand their pricing and how/when they bill. Many bill on an hourly basis…another reason it’s important to comparison shop if you’re able. Submitting your payment to them after work is completed and approved is key. 

  • If possible, find someone local who lives nearby. You never know when urgency will play a factor in getting to the scene of a plumbing issue! Someone living in your area will also be more familiar with the local, county and/or state codes that have to be met.  

Give yourself time to find the right plumber for you. If you anticipate a renovation in the next 6-8 months, start asking around now.  And, be sure to screen a few different candidates before landing on the one that’s just right for you.  

When you do find a plumber that’s right for you, it might just be a partnership you have for years to come!