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How To Hire a Trusted Professional Electrician

Plumbers are important for maintaining clean water standards and proper plumbing. Follow this handy how-to guide and avoid the common pitfalls associated with hiring a plumber for your home. This article will provide you with helpful tips on finding the right professional for the job. Hiring a plumber can be challenging, especially if you haven’t identified the problem and are not sure what is wrong with your septic system or your kitchen sink.

Hiring a Professional

It’s important to hire a trained plumber. Hiring someone without proper training could create serious health risks. You could expose yourself to toxic chemicals such as: PVC primer, pipe sealants, drain cleaners and mold, for example. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says exposure to mold can cause certain health risks such as respiratory illnesses, nasal stuffiness, throat and skin irritation. Also, working on plumbing can put you in cramped spaces causing strain on your back and legs. It’s important to wear proper eyewear and gloves at all times when working. Save yourself the trouble and hire a professional.

Interview Process – 6 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Plumber

  1. Do you have a license? Make sure they have a license and it’s up to date.
  2. This estimate you’re giving me, does it include all the costs associated with the job? Sometimes plumbers will give you an estimate that only covers initial cost and may not include parts, labor and the possibility of future problems.
  3. Am I paying you hourly, or is this a fixed rate? It’s possible that the plumber is using an hourly rate and also charging for the cost of materials. If he’s going by an hourly rate, even though the materials are a fixed cost, you’re still paying a high premium for labor. Be sure to know what exactly you’re paying for before signing a contract.
  4. When am I paying you? Find out if the plumber requires 100% payment upfront and if so, cancel the project and find someone else. It’s best to pay using an increment scale. Once one element of the project is completed, pay for that and so on and so forth. This way, you can keep track of the quality of the work and protect yourself in the unfortunate event of shoddy workmanship or unsatisfactory contract.
  5. Will you clean up after yourself and do you charge extra for it? It’s important to find out if the plumber is going to leave behind old parts and make a giant mess leaving you, the homeowner with extra work on your hands. Be sure to ask. Some might charge extra, but it’ll be worth it.
  6. What will you do if something breaks? Find out if the plumber you’re working with has a warrantee or guarantee on products they use and make sure you receive it in writing. It’s also a good idea to make sure the plumber is insured and bonded; better safe than sorry.


Many states require special licensing for plumbers. Only a few states do not. The states without licensing requirements include: New York, Kansas, etc. Look up the plumber’s license number before hiring them.

Training & Experience

Some plumbers are only required to have a high school diploma but many go through an apprentice program which requires a standard amount of hours in training.

What’s the difference between an Apprentice Plumber, a Journeyman Plumber, and a Master Plumber?

An apprentice plumber cannot work alone. He or she will have basic knowledge and understanding of the trade with limited to zero experience and must be accompanied and supervised by a master plumber. A Journeyman Plumber has completed a required amount of training including documented work history and passed a certification course. He or she is now able to work alone without the supervision of a Master Plumber. They can work independently or for a plumbing company, but they cannot open their own business and can even hire an apprentice to work for them. However, only a Master Plumber can open his or her own plumbing business, which is a separate exam and certification program.

References – Make sure to get at least three references and be sure to call them!

Questions to ask references:

  • What is your overall job satisfaction on a scale from 1-10?
  • What was the scope of project in question?
  • What was the level of professionalism of plumber and company?

Neighbors/Friends – You can ask around your neighborhood for referrals, but make sure to do your own footwork in addition by calling the company, finding out how long they’ve been in business, if they are licensed and carry insurance, if they can do the kind of job you need at the rate you desire or can afford.


Before hiring anyone, you need to get an estimate. The estimate should include the following:

  • Length of time for repair, cost of parts (if any) and the cost of labor
  • Flat fixed quote

Finally, when receiving an estimate, be cautious before accepting an extremely low quote. It could be a warning sign that the plumber uses cheap materials or cuts corners in his or her work.

Insurance & Bonding

Your plumber and company needs to be insured. Make sure to ask what kind of insurance they provide in case there is an accident or mistakes made during the project, this will protect you and eliminate your liability. It’s also good practice to check the plumbers’ work compensation and liability insurance before signing a contract.

Time in Business

Find out how long the company has been established. If they have been in business for 10+ years, there’s a good chance they have a solid reputation in the plumbing business. This can be an important clue and eliminate some extra time hunting for a company, but it’s still equally important to read reviews, check references and get a solid estimate before moving forward with a company.


Find out about guarantees for your particular project and any parts/systems you may need to purchase. All plumbers should guarantee their work, including the parts. Many warranties cover the plumber’s work for up to one year. If the plumber refuses to guarantee his or her work, hire someone else.

Common Plumbing Problems:

  • Dripping faucets
  • Leaky pipes
  • Low water pressure
  • Broken water heater
  • Slow or clogged drains
  • Running toilets

Top Brands:

General Electric, Gerber, Grohe, Kohler, Moen, Delta, Toto, Whirlaway, Whirlpool, and American Standard.