Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Residential Plumber Before Hiring Them


These 10 questions can help you find the right plumber for the job.

Finding a residential plumber is easy, but finding the right plumber is another story. Many a bad experience has come from homeowners hiring plumbers lacking the experience, equipment or expertise to handle a plumbing repair.

Fortunately, asking the right questions can help you find the right residential plumber for the job. In fact, here are 10 good questions to ask before hiring one:


1. Are You Licensed and Certified?

Every state has its own licensing requirements for plumbers. You want to be certain that any plumber you hire is able to meet those requirements. These often include vocational training, several years of experience as an apprentice and successful completion of your state’s comprehensive licensing exam. 

Any residential plumber you choose should have their licenses and credentials up-to-date. Not only does it give you greater peace of mind about their abilities, but it also ensures that every plumbing job is performed legally. 

2. Are You Insured?

Accidents happen, but any accident that occurs on your property could end up costing you unless your plumber has some form of liability insurance. By choosing a properly insured plumber, you won’t have to shoulder any unexpected costs in the event that someone is seriously injured on your property.

3. What Kind of Experience Do You Offer?

The more experience your plumber has, the better. Plumbing is a craft that only gets better with time and true experts often spend years honing their skills.

Some plumbers boast decades of experience, but that claim could be split across a team of five plumbers, so be wary of such claims and always read the fine print behind them.

4. What Are Your Specialties?

Some plumbers specialize in installing fixtures, while others focus on drain clearing or trenchless sewer repair. You may be able to find a plumber that specializes in the specific type of plumbing problem you’re dealing with.

5. How Do You Handle Quotes and Pricing?

Most plumbers offer in-home estimates, as doing so is usually more accurate than offering a generalized quote over the phone. Ask whether the quote includes labor and material. If not, find out how much those will cost you.

Don’t forget to get a breakdown of your plumber’s fees and surcharges. Find out if your plumber charges an hourly rate or a flat fee. 

6. Do You Offer 24/7 Emergency Services?

When you have a late-night or holiday plumbing emergency, having 24-hour service can come in handy. Be sure to ask if your plumber offers these services and if there are any extra fees or surcharges involved.

7. Do You Charge Travel Time?

Keep in mind that some plumbers may charge travel time, especially if you’re located well away from their usual service area.

8. Do You Guarantee Your Work?

Most reputable plumbers will stand by their work with some form of warranty or guarantee. If they do, make sure to get that in writing.

9. Can You Provide References?

References can include reviews and recommendations from previous clients. Don’t forget to check with the Better Business Bureau for testimonials, also.

10. Do You Have Any Advice for Avoiding Future Plumbing Issues?

Your plumber should be eager to offer advice for preventing problems in the future, even if that means having a little less work to do.

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