How Do You Know if a Plumber is Good?
When hiring a plumber, it’s important to discern whether your plumber is good at their job and cares about the quality of work, or if they’re just there to make a quick buck.
While this might not be a concern for minor plumbing issues, it is always good to have a go-to quality plumber who can take care of any problem that arises.
Typically, the more experienced a plumber is and the higher quality their work is, the more in-demand their services will be. A higher quality of work means fewer repairs and problems in the future, which is why it pays to work with the pros.
A good plumber will also know his way around piping and appliances, and won’t be afraid to tell you when he’s uncertain about a problem.
What Should I Look for When Hiring a Plumber?
There are a few basic things you should look for when hiring a plumber.
A good plumber will be experienced, care about customer satisfaction, quality of the installation or repair work they do and have the proper licensure or certifications.
At the bare minimum, experience and proper licensure and certifications are essential to ensuring the work is of good quality. Good reviews online can help you determine whether they care about customer satisfaction and quality of work.
What Do Most Plumbers Charge Per Hour?
There is no set hourly rate for a plumber, which can be nerve-wracking for some homeowners. (1) Depending on the type of job, how the company prices their jobs, and the experience of the plumber, you can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $200 per hour. Some plumbers utilize a flat rate to ensure the job is worth their time.
“If they’re behaving like a professional, they expect to be paid like a professional.”
If you are in the market for plumbing quotes, Same Day Pros can help you find plumbers who are available in your area. Just search for the services you need and enter your location, and we’ll help you find a pro who you can rely on.
Emergency Plumbing Services
When learning how to hire a plumber, it is important to determine whether the issue is an emergency, or if it can wait a few days even if it requires turning the water line off to that area of the home.
Emergency plumbing services are reserved for critical plumbing issues that cannot wait to be addressed; as you might imagine, these services often cost a lot more as they must be willing to pull a plumber off another job, or out of bed at night to help you repair the problem.
These emergency plumber services employ more plumbers to cover more shifts and tend to specialize in emergency services over general plumbing. These services may also be available on weekends or holidays when other, regular plumbing companies are closed to provide their fewer staff members with time off.
Often, companies that offer 24/7 plumbing services price their services higher knowing that plumbing problems don’t always happen during business hours, but they have more availability than a general plumber who does not offer these services.
Do Plumbers Give Free Quotes?
In many cases, plumbers will provide free quotes to come to your location and provide an estimate for the project.
In other cases, they charge a minimum fee to cover their employee’s time and fuel expenses, as many clients will get quotes but never move forward, and it takes them away from being able to work on paying clients’ projects.
It is important to distinguish whether a plumber is willing to provide a free quote or not when you are pricing different companies and whether you are willing to pay for the quote based on how reliable or legitimate the company appears to be.
When you do receive a quote, you should request an itemized list for the quote, and ensure that it includes all fees, not just the bare minimum. Some plumbers will leave out additional costs like clean-up or assessment fees, while others assume this cost at the plumber’s hourly rate.
Why Is Plumbing So Expensive?
A good plumber is expensive, but they get the job done with quality in mind, on a fast timeline, and with plenty of experience to go around.
Still, plumbing is undervalued, and this profession commands a lot of dedication to move up the ladder. Before a plumber can work on projects unsupervised, they must go through a written test and several years of on-the-job training. That kind of expertise and experience is worth paying for.
Furthermore, plumbing is considered a labor-intensive job, requiring the worker to be in top condition as in most cases they must deal with a variety of dirty and water-logged conditions in tight spaces to provide their services.
Between the dirty working conditions and the years it takes to provide quality services, plumbing services are on trade that is in high demand but struggling to keep up in supply. This, too, drives the cost of plumbing up.
Furthermore, the plumber may not receive the actual rate quoted as an hourly wage; this often covers other expenses and fees that go to the company, before the plumber is paid.
Can I Do My Own Plumbing?
While it is possible to do your own plumbing, especially for minor drain clogs or leaks that are easy to access, it is not recommended as DIY work can unintentionally make the problem worse, especially if the repair is covering up a symptom of a more involved problem. (2)
Common tactical plumbing errors are usually simple things. Overtightening fittings, using the wrong pipe glue, and crossing fitting threads are the major ones.
Doing your own plumbing is not advised especially when the repairs are exterior or within the walls. It is always better to have the problem resolved by an experienced contractor who can diagnose the issue, pull permits when necessary, and draw on years of training to provide the most reliable results.
Doing your own plumbing can also be dangerous, especially when it comes to heavy appliances or piping that connects to the HVAC system; repairs or replacements that are made improperly can potentially result in damage to these systems, voided warranties, or safety hazards.
Additionally, using the same plumber can help the contractor gain experience with your plumbing system, allowing them to diagnose the issue faster as they are more familiar with the inner workings of your individual home or business.
How to Hire a Plumber You Can Rely On
When you are looking for a plumber, it is important to first select a few options that have good reviews and ensure that each has the licensure and certifications you need for your project.
For example, if you are renovating or doing exterior work, a master plumber may need to apply for city permits to complete the job.
Once you’ve done your due diligence with a few companies, get a quote from each to see who can provide the most value for the cheapest amount. It is important to understand what these quotes entail, as some quotes for labor-only but might not include parts or other service fees, while others are up-front with their pricing and provide you with a full list.
A full, itemized list with your quote will help you better understand what you are paying for and how that might fluctuate with unexpected events or if additional work is necessary.
Hiring a plumber in your area is easy with Same Day Pros. Simply search for the services you need and enter your location, and you’ll be provided with a list of providers that are ready to start working with you today.
Easy Checklist for Hiring a Plumber
Below is an easy checklist to review when you are hiring a plumber. This checklist might not be a one-size-fits-all, but it covers the basics that you need to know for most plumbing problems.
- Can the plumber address the issue properly?If your plumber specializes in exterior work, but you have an interior leak, they may not be the best fit for the job.Additionally, your plumber may not be able to address the problem if it originates off the property, on a neighbor’s private property, or public or city-owned land.
Typically, if the problem is within the home or adjacent to the home, it can be addressed by most plumbers.
- Is the plumber insured, bonded, and certified?Your plumber should be experienced, with all of the licensure and insurance necessary to provide quality work with peace of mind. Having work done by an uninsured or uncertified contractor can cause problems in the future if the plumbing is ever in need of repair.
- If needed, can the plumber pull permits for your project?If you are doing a renovation or exterior work, you may need to request a master plumber’s time so that they can pull dig permits from the city. This is dependent on where you live and the type of project, so the plumbing company can usually give you a better idea after learning about the project details.
- Are the plumber’s online reviews mostly positive?Checking a company’s online reviews isn’t always a foolproof method of finding out whether they are legitimate and trustworthy, but it’s a great indicator to start with. A plumber with reviews that are mostly, if not entirely positive, can be a good sign of a company that values its customers’ business.
- How is the plumber’s customer service?Customer service is important, and how your plumber treats you and the issues you are experiencing are a big part of the experience. If they are understanding, compassionate, and willing to work with you to get the job done, they’re more likely to value your business.On the flip side, however, despite the stressful situation, it’s important that you treat the plumber with respect and compassion as well; recognize they’re there to help you, not make the problem worse.
- Can they service the issue in the timeframe you need?Sometimes, you find your dream plumber for all your problems, but they can’t service your home in time.For example, if the home’s only toilet is backing up, but your go-to plumbing company is booked out for three weeks, you’ll need to find a different plumber to solve the problem.
- Are they within your budget?No one wants to spend money on repairs, but it’s a necessary part of homeownership. It’s important to get quotes from a few different companies to ensure that the company is within budget.Make sure that you are provided an itemized list with all items included so that you aren’t surprised by any additional fees.
Do I Need to Hire a Plumber, or Can I Wait?
It is typically best to hire a plumber as soon as you find an issue. Waiting will only prolong the problem, and can even wear on the pipes, making the problem worse over time.
Emergency plumbing services after-hours or on weekends or holidays typically costs a lot more, however. While you might not be planning your next plumbing disaster, there will be times when you ask yourself if the cost is worth it, or if you could wait a few more days.
Depending on the severity of the problem, it may be safe to turn off the water to the area and wait a few days until your plumber can address the problem during normal business hours.
If it is a major leak within an area that cannot be turned off, or the main sewage line backing up, however, the cost of repairs could become much greater than the cost of the emergency services to minimize damage. The sooner a plumber can address the issue, the less time there is for the problem to cause damage.
- NYTimes.com, Lesson One: The Price the Contractor Quotes is an Estimate, https://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/22/garden/22contractors.html
- Forbes, Ask The Contractor: Things You Should Know About DIY Plumbing, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/home-improvement/ask-the-contractor-diy-plumbing/