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How to Find a Plumber

Whether you have a leaky faucet or you need to have plumbing installed for your dream house, knowing how to find a reputable plumber is a vital skill for any homeowner. A plumber has years of training in how to assemble, install, and repair plumbing pipes, parts, and fixtures. This specialized expertise can be very valuable when you consider the simplest leak can cause thousands of dollars in damage while creating a massive inconvenience for you and your family.

See our article on Questions to Ask your Plumber.

A couple things to want in your plumber before doing a search: because plumbers deal in health safety - sewage removal and water supply contamination - they are generally required to be licensed by the state in which they plan to do business. You want a licensed plumber. A reputable plumber should also have at least $500,000 in liability insurance in case something goes wrong with your repairs and a worker’s compensation policy if he or she is hiring others to assist with the job.

Plumbers can generally be grouped into two types. There are plumbers who specialize in general household repairs and those who primarily work on remodeling projects. When searching for a reputable plumber, you’ll want to make sure you select someone with the skills and experience that best match your project.

Word of mouth is often the best way to find a reputable plumber. Ask other homeowners in your area, including family, friends, and professional acquaintances, for their advice. If you need a plumber for a remodeling project, local realtors often are very generous in sharing their personal recommendations. You may also want to ask those who are in charge of obtaining plumbing services for commercial properties such as gyms or large apartment complexes, since they’ve likely worked with a variety of contractors in the area.

If you’re not having any luck locating a plumber through word of mouth, or you’d like a second opinion, using the Internet for reviews is a great option to consider. Simply type the name of your city and the word “plumber” into your favorite search engine and you’ll be taken to directories of local plumbers with reviews and contact information. Think of the Internet as a modern version of the yellow pages.

The cost of a plumber’s services can vary widely, depending upon your location and the experience of the particular person you wish to hire. Most plumbers charge by the hour, although some may opt for a flat fee. If your plumber charges by the hour, don’t forget that you’ll be expected to pay for time spent buying replacement parts and traveling to and from the job site. Additional charges may also apply for emergency plumbing jobs that take place after hours or during a holiday.

Whenever you hire a plumber, it’s always a good idea to ask for a quote upfront. A reputable plumber should be willing to provide you with a written quote that states his or her hourly rate, plus any applicable additional fees. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises when the job is complete.

The reason for hiring a plumber may not be pleasant but hiring the right plumber should turn a bad beginning into a good ending.