Choosing a plumber can be pretty difficult. A quick internet search for ‘plumbers near me’ or ‘5 Star Plumbing near me’ brings up pages of local businesses you’ve never heard of. Most pride themselves on similar selling points, too. So how do you pick just one?

Well, the good news is you won’t have to spend hours researching. Nope, when you’re looking for maintenance or an emergency plumber you can still make a quick decision.

image - 9 Tips on Choosing a Professional Qualified Plumber

9 Tips on Choosing a Professional Qualified Plumber

1. Is the Plumber Licensed or Insured?

When choosing a professional qualified plumber, you want one that’s fully licensed and insured. While it might not be the first bit of information you come across, it’s one of the most important.

Working with a licensed and insured plumber means you’re covered if anything goes wrong.

For example, Metropolitan Plumbing in Australia list license numbers on their website. Metropolitan also mentions their public liability insurance throughout several service pages.

Knowing the business number and licenses means you know the business is legitimate. When something goes wrong you do not want a rogue from down the street waving his wrench around.

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2. Are the Prices Upfront and Transparent?

While it may be annoying for some plumbers, knowing in advance what things will cost is beneficial. Whether you have a budget to work to, or not, you really don’t want to discover any extra charges too late.

A professional plumber should be able to provide upfront costs on site. This will help you make any decisions. And when it’s a big decision like a new hot water system you don’t want to make the wrong choice.

If a plumber isn’t willing to provide an upfront cost, ask why. Before going ahead with any work, you should know what you are up for.

Also, ask whether rates are fixed or if you pay by the hour. Some costs can catch you off guard and so you want to be aware of any and every possibility. The last thing you want is a nasty surprise on the invoice.

3. What do the Reviews Say?

Don’t commit to any plumber without first checking reviews online. Google Reviews and Product Review are two of the best, while even the Yellow Pages are still hanging around online. Even take a look at Facebook as you’ll likely find honest feedback there.

Knowing exactly what past customers think means a lot. There’s no chance of a business filtering reviews, and you can weigh up the positive and negative. Just remember, though, bad reviews will always stand out the most.

Often quantity and quality play a part in reviews. Look for highly reviewed plumbers with average ratings of 4.5 stars or above to be in the elite category. High ratings equal a professional, qualified plumber you can trust.

4. How Does the Website Look?

For some people, this may be irrelevant. And even 10 years ago your average plumbing website certainly wouldn’t have looked too flash. Now, however, quality websites are fairly easy to piece together.

A good website shows a professional, qualified plumbing business puts effort into its image. An engaging social media presence is also a great insight into how they want to be seen.

You’re not looking for a business sharing memes every day. Instead, you’re after someone who provides information and shows an interest in their followers and customers.

5. What is Their Reputation?

How long has the business been around? What’s their reputation? If a plumber has been around for a long time it likely means they’re doing something right.

So, if you happen to remember a catchy jingle from the past for a business that’s still going, that’s a helpful sign in choosing a professional qualified plumber.

6. Are They Local?

You might not have a local plumber with a head office you can walk into for a booking. But it’s still nice knowing they live nearby. Local plumbers care about local customers. When an emergency comes up they’ll put you first and will arrive promptly.

7. Do Your Friends Have Personal Recommendations?

Why not ask what your friends think. It doesn’t need to be a 10-page survey, just a simple post on social media. Their input will hopefully include some feedback that supports other online reviews. And, it puts a face to the reviews you’re checking out.

8. Can They Handle an Emergency?

When emergency calls will a plumber be able to arrive promptly? You certainly can’t predict or plan for a plumber to be on call, but you’ll need one.

Service within the hour, 24/7 service, it all sounds great. Except that’s what most plumbers claim today and that may not be the case.

Don’t settle for a plumber who says they can be there between 8-5 next Tuesday. Call around and secure someone who will arrive when you need them. Not when it suits their golf schedule.

9. What’s Customer Service Like?

When do you call a professional plumbing service who answers the phone? Is it a gruff, short-tempered tradie who wants to end the exchange quickly? Is it a young, eager plumber, or perhaps a warm receptionist? Your first interaction will really make or break the deal.

You want someone that is helpful and interested in your problem. Not someone who’s keen to book the job and take your money. A plumber should also make you feel like a top priority. And it’s completely understandable they will be busy.

The days are long and some jobs are taxing. But if the plumber is the person who takes calls directly, you want one who is going to provide positive customer service.

The Final Decision

After going through the 9 tips, how do you decide what plumber is best for you? In the end, it’s what feels right.

Some tips will be more important than others when it comes to choosing the right professional qualified plumber. Weigh up which means more, and why. Even write out a list. However, no matter what the best bit of information is to just trust your own instincts. Especially if the research backs them up!