Hiring a qualified plumber – 12 essentials to look for
When you need to hire a plumber, there are a variety of factors you should look out for to ensure you’re getting the right professional for the job. So from what qualifications and insurance they possess to exactly how transparent they are with their pricing, our helpful guide shows you the 12 things to look for when hiring a qualified plumber.
Whether it’s a burst pipe, a toilet that won’t flush, or simply fixing a leaky sink, you’ll know exactly what to look for and what to ask the next time you need to hire a plumber.
Find a good local plumber
The first step to hiring a plumber is to obviously find one and there are various methods of doing so.
Friends and family
Asking friends and family is one great resource for finding a trusted plumber as it gives you the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the work your plumber has previously done. However, unless they have carried out multiple jobs for friends and family, it’s always worth checking on their reviews online to double-check they are consistent in the work they perform.
Another good method for finding a good local plumber is simply to ask other tradesmen, such as an electrician or decorator. They may be able to recommend you a reliable plumber that they have previously worked with, while you may also get a discount for mentioning who referred you.
Looking online is also a great way for discovering the widest selection of plumbers, as well as all manner of other tradesmen, and a quick search can easily bring up plenty of local results.
However, with so much choice on offer, it can be rather difficult to decide on the best option for you. Sites like the Government endorsed Trustmark scheme is a great place to start looking as the scheme offers a register of guaranteed high-quality tradesman for hire. Any plumber, or other professional, who joins up for the scheme must sign a strict code of conduct guaranteeing good trading practice, good customer service and technical competence.
Here at Homyze we ensure each and every one of our handpicked tradesmen is fully vetted and insured to give you total peace of mind. While booking is easily done through our app, website or phone.
Online reviews are another great barometer for checking to see whether or not your plumber is truly as good as they say they are. As with all online reviews, there are bound to be a few negative ones thrown in with all the good, so don’t let that put you off hiring a plumber if the vast majority are good.
Though bad reviews shouldn’t be completely ignored, and it’s worth taking into consideration what the issue was to warrant a poor score. If it’s the same issue appearing in the negative reviews again and again, it’s probably best to look elsewhere, but if not, don’t let it worry you too much. In this modern, Internet age, negative reviews are all a part of life and always to be expected.
If you do still have any niggling doubts when hiring a plumber, don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good tradesman will happily be open and explain about his previous jobs, especially if it means new work coming his way.
Making sure your plumber has all the correct qualifications is perhaps the most important part to check when looking for work to be done around the home. At the very least you will want to hire a plumber with at least a level 2 Diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating, and a level 3 Diploma if such work involves a domestic gas heating system.
Alongside qualifications, insurance should be at the top of your list for things to look out for when hiring a plumber. Most plumbers will be heavily insured up to a fairly large amount (Here at Homyze, we insure all our tradesmen up to £5 million) and as such, any issues or damage that may occur can be resolved without too much worry.
However, without insurance any costs incurred from unfortunate incidents will not be covered, leaving you and your plumber with costs that will need to be resolved.
While qualifications are incredibly important, plumbing experience can also go a long way. An experienced plumber will have at some point seen it all before and will be able to offer up a solution to your problem quickly.
The last thing you want when you’re suddenly faced with a burst pipe is a plumber with little availability. When enquiring with a plumber you’ll want to know when is the earliest that they are usually available and whether or not they also operate 24 hours in cases of emergency.
Accreditation and Certification
Making sure that your new plumber is registered with the correct body to legally be able to carry out work on your home’s plumbing system is another key thing to look out for.
If you’re hiring a plumber to carry out any work that involves gas, such as a gas boiler, then they will need to be Gas Safe Registered. This accreditation needs to be renewed every 4 years and ensures that your plumber is up to date and proves their trade experience and safety.
The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is another accreditation that we recommend you look out for. And while not legally required, it does show that your plumber follows a code of professional practice and provides unhappy clients with a contact point to complain about poor work.
Checking to see where your plumber is based and if they are local to you is incredibly helpful to know, especially in cases of emergencies. A local plumber may also be able to advise on other local tradesmen if you require further work on your home to be carried out.
Most plumbers from a reputable company will more than likely have a customer promise. This promise can often go a long way to reassuring clients that the company take what they do and their clients seriously.
Having a plumbing problem fixed only to then be hit by a higher than the quoted estimate or another unexpected bill can end up leaving you feeling rather frustrated. To avoid such a problem, always make sure that your plumber gives you a clear and accurate estimate for the work that they plan on carrying out.
You should expect there to be a number of different parts to the job that you will likely be charged for which include:
Find out whether your plumber charges by the hour or charges a flat rate dependant on the work carried out.
While your plumber may not be able to give you an exact estimate of any materials that they may require before they start, ask that they inform you of any, as well as the costs, as and when they need them.
Call out fee
Some plumbers, as well as various other tradesmen, may charge a call out fee for any work that they carry out for you. Always confirm this with your plumber before inviting them over to your home to check on the problem.
Self-employed or employee of a large company?
Not the most important thing to look for when hiring a qualified plumber, but still worth checking to see, is whether your plumber is self-employed or part of a company.
A self-employed plumber may be able to offer you a better price for the work carried out and will most likely be local, helpful for when you need them in an emergency.
Meanwhile, a larger company will be more likely to provide a reliable service, having built up a reputation as they’ve grown into the company that they are today.
Checking to see if your plumber has an online presence, such as a website or various social media channels, provides a great opportunity to see how they work and makes contacting them when you have an issue a lot easier. And while a lack of online presence doesn’t necessarily indicate a poor tradesman, it does make it a lot harder to build up a picture of who they are and how they work.
A website with a blog of useful tips and advice also shows how willing they are to share their knowledge with their customers, as well as showing how open they are to attract further business and growth.
Hiring a professional plumber to fix a problem within your home can often present itself with all manner of questions. However, with a bit of prior knowledge of what to look out for and what to ask, you can ensure that everything ends up running smoothly.
So whether it’s a burst pipe, a toilet that won’t flush, or simply a leaky sink, you’ll know exactly what to look for and what to ask the next time you need to hire a plumber.
If you do need to hire a plumber in an emergency and don’t have the time to wade through a mountain of plumbers online, then Homyze provides the perfect solution. Booking is straightforward and can easily be done through the app, website or phone.