Just like any other contractor, it’s imperative that a plumber is reliable and qualified for the job. Here are 15 questions to ask a plumber before hiring them to do any type of work for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Q. 1 – Are they licensed, bonded and insured?
- 2 Q. 2 – What is the total cost of the job? Will it go up?
- 3 Q. 3 – What is the payment schedule?
- 4 Q. 4 – Is their work guaranteed?
- 5 Q. 6 – Do they have a physical address?
- 6 Q. 7 – How long have they been in business?
- 7 Q. 8 – Who will be doing the work?
- 8 Q. 9 – Do they clean up when the job is complete?
- 9 Q. 10 – Do they have a list of references that you may contact?
- 10 Q. 11 – What are their emergency plumbing rates?
- 11 Q. 12 – What plumbing services do they provide?
- 12 Q. 13 – Do they do a complete criminal background check on all of their employees?
- 13 Q. 14 – What caused the plumbing problem?
- 14 Q. 15 – Is there anything you can do to keep the problem from reoccurring?
Q. 1 – Are they licensed, bonded and insured?
Getting a plumber’s license is a step that a qualified plumber takes to show competence in their trade. A bond is where money is posted through the state in case the plumber you hire disappears or goes bankrupt. Insurance protects you the homeowner in the event a plumber damages your property.
Q. 2 – What is the total cost of the job? Will it go up?
Make sure you get a written estimate of the exact scope of work to be performed and how much it will cost. For any additional expenses, establish clear parameters whether or not a written approval will be required.
Q. 3 – What is the payment schedule?
Smaller jobs typically mean that you will have to pay the plumber at the time the service is being rendered. This is normal.
However, much larger jobs are typically broken up into an initial deposit, milestone payments, and a final payment upon completion of the job. Make large payments upfront are strongly discouraged as it reduces the incentive to complete the job in a timely fashion.
Q. 4 – Is their work guaranteed?
Find out if there is a warranty for new installations. Make sure to ask if the plumber will come back for repairs at no charge if their work is not to your satisfaction.
Q. 6 – Do they have a physical address?
Plumbing is a business and any professional plumber will have a physical mailing address that you will be easily able to verify. Beware of plumbers who can’t provide you with a physical mailing address as these guys are more likely to try and scam you out of your hard-earned money.
Q. 7 – How long have they been in business?
You only want to hire a plumber who has some history under their belt. That way you will be able to call references to see how they performed on other jobs as well as feel comfortable that they know what they are doing. You want a plumber that has a good reputation in your community.
Q. 8 – Who will be doing the work?
It would stand to reason that you want the most qualified plumber to fix your repair problem. The problem is that most plumbing companies have technicians on staff with varying degrees of experience and capabilities.
Be sure to find out which plumber will actually be doing the work and what kind of experience and qualifications he has. You should feel very confident with the answers they provide and if not keep looking until you find the right one.
Q. 9 – Do they clean up when the job is complete?
There’s nothing worse than having a plumber come out to your residence, fix your plumbing problem and leave your house in a mess. Make sure you know what is know exactly of what is included in the quote.
Make sure cleanup is included as part of the quote (at no extra charge to you) so that you won’t be tasked with the responsibility of cleaning up old plumbing parts, boxes, and other trash.
Q. 10 – Do they have a list of references that you may contact?
There is no faster way to get to know what type of plumbing company you are about to hire than calling a few of their previous customers. Also, check online websites such as Yelp reviews, Google reviews, and the Better Business Bureau. These resources should paint a fairly accurate picture of the kind of business they operate.
Q. 11 – What are their emergency plumbing rates?
Not all plumbing companies offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services and those that do offer it with premium prices. You want to know if you have a plumbing problem in the wee hours of the night that you won’t be charged exorbitant fees unnecessarily.
Q. 12 – What plumbing services do they provide?
- Repairing toilets
- Unclogging sinks
- Thawing frozen pipes
- Garbage disposal repair and installation
- New bathroom install
- New kitchen install
- Water heater install and repair
- Doing back-flow certifications
- Locating underground pipes
- Drain cleaning
- Water jetting Video line inspection
- Grease trap pumping
- Other ___________
Q. 13 – Do they do a complete criminal background check on all of their employees?
Yes everyone deserves a second chance but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want them around or in your house. A reputable plumbing company will perform extensive background checks on all of their employees before ever hiring them. Ask them if they do background checks.
Q. 14 – What caused the plumbing problem?
A good plumber should be able to explain to you what it was that caused the plumbing problem in the first place. Every plumbing problem has inherently built into it what was the cause.
Q. 15 – Is there anything you can do to keep the problem from reoccurring?
Ask the plumber you hire is there any preventative maintenance tactics you can employ to keep the same type of plumbing problems from happening in the future. Maybe you can get on a maintenance program that keeps your plumbing system tuned up for a nominal monthly cost.
Locating and hiring the right plumber boils down knowing the right questions to ask and then asking them.