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How to find a Good Plumber

We’ve all heard the horror stories about cowboy plumbers that spend 10 minutes replacing a tap and the next 45 minutes texting his girlfriend before handing over an invoice charging well over the odds before riding off into the sunset.

By no means are all plumbers cowboys. In fact it’s fair to say that the majority of plumbers most definitely aren’t. But you know the saying …. one bad apple in the cart. It really doesn’t take much to tarnish the reputation of the entire plumbing industry.

If you want to know how to find a good plumbing service then read our guide to finding a reputable plumber.

Follow these steps

  • Recommendations and referrals
  • Make sure that their plumbers are registered and properly licensed.
  • Check how long they have been in business
  • Make sure they are well insured
  • Ask for guarantees
  • Read online reviews
  • Request a quote or estimate for the work you need doing

Recommendations and referrals

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Ask a friend, family members, neighbours for recommendations to see if they have any suggestions on a good local plumber. You’ll be surprised at just how often a plumber is required so someone might be able to offer up a name or telephone number that you can call. If you’ve had a good experience with another company or tradesman in the past ask them if they can recommend anyone.

Referrals are the best way to find a reputable and trustworthy plumber to use. It’s much better than using opening the yellow pages and choosing a plumber at random. But not everyone knows someone that can recommend a reputable plumbing service so you may have to find one for yourself. If you can’t find anyone that ca offer a recommendation you’ll probably need to find some time to do a little research in order to safeguard yourself – providing your plumbing emergency hasn’t left you wading through a flooded kitchen that needs fixing fast.

The internet is the the perfect resource for finding information that can help you find out about them and the type of plumbing and heating services they offer.

Make sure that the Plumber is Registered

Depending on the type of work that’s being carried out you plumber should be registered with a certain organisation such as CIPHE, Gas Safe Register.

These bodies ensure that members are competent and properly trained with the necessary skills and commitment to high standards so that they can perform the type of work you are employing them for.

Approved Traders Schemes

It’s essential to do a little research when it comes to confirming if the logo’s you are seeing on a plumbing company’s website are actually legitimate. Anyone can claim to be approved or qualified but it’s not sensible to simply take their word for it. Investigate a little further and find out if your plumber is being honest. A reputable plumbing company should provide you with links on their website to lead to their lusting page on the schemes website. If they don’t then contact the trade body to find out if they are being honest and that they are really registered.

Check how long they have been in business

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It’s always a good idea to check how long the company has been around. It’s fair to say that reputable companies tend to stick around whereas disreputable firms are more likely to go awol half way through a job.

Make sure they are well Insured

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Always ask about insurance and how it affects the type of work that will be carrying out in your property. It’s important that your chosen plumber carry adequate liability insurance for related damages.

Ask about Guarantees

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Find out the guarantees that are offered. Plumbers with belief in their own performance tend to offer guarantees. We offer a 12 month guarantee on the parts we replace.

Read Online Reviews

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Definitely look for online reviews. Companies such as Checkatrade and Which? often do a fantastic job at ensuring that the reviews left by customers on their website are legitimate.

Not every plumber is going to have a 100% glowing review score. Mistakes do sometimes happen but it’s how mistakes are rectified and how customer complaints are dealt with  is what you should look out for.

Checkatrade is a popular online directory of recommended and trusted tradesmen who have been vetted and monitored and meet strict standards of trading.

One thing to note is that when you see most online directories such as checkatrade you are required to enter the type of service you are seeking, for example plumbers, electricians etc. and provide your postcode. The search will show a listing of local plumbing companies or whichever trade you have chosen to search. Be careful not to assume that the closest plumbing company (usually the top one on the list) is necessarily the best for you. Many other plumbing firms, such as Baker Smith Ltd. cover a large territory and will have plumbers and heating engineers across areas we cover.

Request a quote or estimate for the work you need doing

It’s best to try to speak to the plumbing company directly to discuss their charges and ask questions. You’ll often get a feel for the type of company you are working for just by having an informal chat and asking more about their charges.

We recommend that you get at least 3 quotes for the work you want done – and don’t automatically assume the cheapest is always the best. If the tradesman claims to be able to do a job very cheap, or will give you a discount for cash, treat them with the utmost suspicion. Low prices often mean cutting corners.

Ask about call charges, extra charges (such as parking), the cost of parts that may be required, how long it is likely for the problem to be fixed, rubbish clearance fees and about fixed rates. For larger jobs you can always ask for a “project” price rather than getting billed based on the number of hours worked.

Be aware that plumbing companies charge by the hour. For smaller plumbing jobs this can sometimes mean that you are spending over the odds so look for a company that offers half hourly rates.

For larger jobs it’s for the plumber to visit you at the job site to price for it. There’s nothing worse than getting a quote over the phone only to be surprised when the job comes in a lot higher than expected. It is always best to get a fixed priced quote for the job.

Be wary of anyone who asks for 100% of the fee upfront. You usually will pay a deposit but don’t be duped into handing over large sums before work has started.

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