Plumbing problems are a part of everyday like that we will all have to deal with eventually. Whether the issue is something seemingly simple like a clogged drain or leaky faucet, or something more complex like changing a pipe or installing a new sink, any plumbing issue is likely to cause major headaches. In addition to the hassles caused by plumbing issues, finding a reliable, licensed plumber can be a challenge in itself. Below is a guideline on how to choose the right licensed plumber for you and your plumbing needs.

Make sure you’re hiring a licensed plumber

You should only hire plumbers that are licensed, bonded, and insured. The license confirms that plumber has the training and knowledge needed to tackle all types of plumbing problems, which means your interests will be protected if something goes wrong with the plumbing job.

How much experience do they have?

Just because a plumber is licensed doesn’t mean they have experience as well. It’s crucial that make sure the licensed plumber you hire has experience with the issue you’re having before they arrive. Although an experienced plumber may cost more than one just starting out, he’ll likely get the job done much faster and with greater accuracy and skill.

How much will it cost?

Most plumbers are willing to come to your home, take a look at the problem, and provide you with a free estimate before beginning to fix the problem. When you get the cost estimate, ask the plumber if the amount quoted includes the cost of materials, labor, and fixing the issue. You should also ask if the total estimate is a flat rate (one that can go up due to labor costs) or is an hourly rate (which excludes the cost of materials). The latter can end up being more expensive than originally quoted if the job runs longer than expected.

Do they provide a guarantee/warranty?

Ask what type of guarantee the plumber provides for their work. Do they offer a written guarantee? What happens if you’re not satisfied with the work when it’s done, or if something goes wrong after they leave? If you don’t get a written guarantee or warranty, you may find yourself responsible for paying for another round of repairs if further problems or complications arise.

Do they have insurance?

If you’re going through a plumbing contractor, make sure they provide their employees with worker’s compensation and liability insurance, as these cover the plumber in case they get injured on the job. If the plumbing contractor doesn’t provide this type of insurance, and the employee gets injured while on your property, you will be held responsible for the plumber’s medical bills and related costs. Liability insurance pays for any damages to your home that arise through the actions of the plumber. Without liability insurance, you will likely end up paying for these damages.

How quickly can they respond?

If you have an emergency plumbing problem, find out how quickly the plumber can get to your house and how long it will take to complete the job. While you may be able to reach an emergency plumber at any time of the day or night, it may take them a while to arrive at your house if they have to travel from far away.

Do they have the parts and permits needed to get the job done?

When you contact a plumber, ask if they keep most plumbing parts in their work vehicle. If they don’t have the parts needed on hand, they may have to go buy parts from a hardware store, which may add to the cost of their services. If you think the plumbing issue you’re having may be causing structural damage to your home, be sure to find out if the plumber will be able to quickly get the permits needed to get the job done.

What do their reviews say?

Although everyone prefers to get work done on their home by people they know and trust, not everyone is lucky enough to know a plumber. If you don’t know a plumber and are unable to get a referral through family or friends, the next best option is to research local plumbers online and check out their reviews on sites like Angie’s List. If you can’t find any reviews for a plumber, or if the online reviews about their work are overwhelmingly negative, it’s best to consider someone else.



Finding a dependable, skilled, and licensed plumber can be overwhelming, especially when you’re in the middle of a plumbing emergency. Choosing the wrong plumber can end up costing you a great deal in terms of money and peace of mind. Make sure you put as much time and thought into the decision as you can. To avoid having to choose a plumber on a whim because you’re bathroom is flooding and you need someone to get to your house right away, you should consider doing research ahead of time, as you are likely to have to hire a plumber at some point in your life. Whether you do your research ahead of time, or wait until you have a plumbing emergency to choose a plumber, this guideline should go a long way in helping you pick a skilled and reliable plumber.