7 Questions to Ask a Plumber Before You Hire One

Jul 8, 2024 2 min read

Plumbing problems can be expensive to solve, and if you have a leaky pipe, a sewer backup or a toilet that’s overflowing, you want to take care of it right away.

But you don’t want to hire a plumber who’s not qualified, who overcharges or who isn’t available in emergencies. Asking a plumber these important questions can help you find the right one for you.

1. Are You Licensed?

In most states, plumbers need to be licensed and generally need specialized education plus hands-on experience. Licensing shows they meet the minimum requirements for working as a plumber. Many plumbing licenses list a phone number you can call to make sure the license is valid and there aren’t any complaints.

2. Are You Insured?

A plumbing mistake can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home. Even if you do your best to hire a reputable plumber who’s qualified, mistakes can happen. Insurance may protect you if your plumber causes injury or property damage depending on what the plumber’s insurance policy says or what your policy says.

3. Do You Offer a Warranty on Your Work?

A warranty means your plumber stands behind the quality of their work. Many warranties cover a year, but they can be shorter or longer depending on the specific project. You might also have longer warranties from the manufacturer for things like faucets, toilets, sinks and tubs.

4. Can You Provide References?

References are the best way to ensure that your plumbing company does work that other customers are happy with. Don’t just read online reviews. Ask your potential plumber for references and contact those people to make sure they were happy with the work, pricing, timeliness and cleanliness. It’s a red flag if a plumber can’t provide references.

5. Can I Have a Detailed Invoice?

It’s hard to know if you’re getting a fair price if you just see a lump sum. A detailed invoice can show you exactly how the total breaks down in labor costs and parts. You can also see if parts prices are marked up and spot any hidden or unexpected fees. 

6. What Are Your Working Hours?

Leaks and emergencies don’t just happen during business hours. You want a plumber who can be there for you, or send someone, at night and on weekends and holidays. Ask how after-hours plumbing emergencies are covered and what you can expect to pay.

7. Do You Have Experience With This Specific Job?

Some plumbing services focus more on repairs and emergencies, while others tackle major renovations and home improvement projects. The plumber you hire to repair a leak may not be the best choice if you want to add a primary bathroom. You want someone who has tackled your project in the past. 

Ask Around for Recommendations

If the first plumber you contact answers all these questions and you feel confident hiring them, great! But don’t be afraid to get quotes from different plumbers. Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations or check with remodeling contractors or real estate agents. 

When it comes to how to hire a plumber, you want to build a long-term relationship with a plumbing professional you trust, so do your research and make sure you find the right match. 

Protect Your Home From Unexpected Costs

Plumbing issues can be expensive, and sometimes, they may be covered by your homeowners insurance. Your home insurance may also protect you against storm damage and other costly repairs. Reach out to a Farm Bureau agent today to discuss a policy that gives you the coverage your home needs. 

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.