12 February A woman talking to a plumber as they review a clipboard together

7 Important Questions to Ask a Plumber

Posted by PlumbWize

If plumbing problems have you feeling helpless, you’re probably reaching for your phone to call a professional. However, with about 10,865 plumbing businesses across Canada, it can be hard to know which of them to trust. 

To help narrow your choices, we’re sharing the top questions to ask a plumber to ensure you’re getting the best plumbing services around! From the price of their work to whether or not they are insured, this is what you need to know. 

1. How Much Will This Plumbing Repair Cost?

One of the most important questions to ask when hiring a plumbing expert is how much will the job cost. After the initial inspection is over, the plumber should be able to make an accurate estimation of the costs, including labour and material expenses. 

Ensure that the plumber has given you a breakdown of their consultation fees and any other follow-up costs—such as emergency rates or different costs for jobs performed outside of typical weekday business hours—to avoid any surprises.  

2. What Are Your Payment Options?

When you ask about payment options, you can expect that they will charge you for their work in one of two ways: 

  • On an hourly basis
  • A flat rate depending on the plumbing problems you are facing

Additionally, some may ask for a downpayment before commencing their work while others will not ask for payment until the job is done. To avoid confusion, ask your plumber how they would like to settle payments ahead of time! 

Someone using a wrench to tighten the pipes underneath a sink

Image source: Canva

3. Do You Have a Specific Area of Expertise?

When it comes to hiring a plumber, you also need to find out whether or not they have a specialty. Like most professions, plumbers often have a specific area of expertise, whether it be pipes, drain replacements, or excavation. 

While you can always hire a general plumber for basic work on standard plumbing systems, consider hiring someone with the right specialty if your plumbing issues require a special set of skills or if you have a special plumbing system. 

4. Are You a Licensed Plumber?

A “licensed plumber” refers to someone who has completed all the necessary job requirements, which, in this case, refers to a registered apprenticeship as well as passing the provisional certificate of qualification (C of Q) exam. 

You should never hire a non-licensed plumber, as there is no guarantee they will be able to perform the work as it needs to be done. Furthermore, they may also lack proper insurance, leaving you vulnerable to potential damages and liabilities. Thus hiring a licensed plumber is your safest bet. 

5. Do You Have Insurance?

Speaking of insurance, another question to be included in your plumbing questions is whether or not they have it! Even a licensed plumbing expert isn’t immune to mistakes or accidents, so you need to ensure they’ve got their bases covered—which keeps you covered, too. 

Do so by asking the plumber if they are bonded and/or insured. A yes shows that the plumber is legitimate and capable of protecting themselves against unforeseen events. Be sure to ask for proof of insurance as well, though! 

6. Do You Offer Warranties?

Some plumbers offer warranties for their service, meaning they’ll come back and redo the work at no cost if the issue reappears within a specific period (i.e. 30 days). These warranties often also include the cost of replacement parts. 

So, before hiring them, ask a plumber a question about their available warranties. They should be able to provide a reason why warranties can or cannot be offered.

a plumber, holding a wrench, smiling and flashing a thumbs up

Image source: Canva

7. Do You Have References?

A highly skilled and experienced plumber should be able to provide a list of references from previous jobs when asked. Consider contacting those references and asking them about the type of work the plumber had to finish. 

Make sure to ask them what they thought of the completed work. Was it done well and on time? Did issues crop out shortly after it was completed? Following up with references helps you gauge the plumber’s skills, credibility, and experience.  

Hire the Right Plumber From PlumbWize

Whether you’re trying to fix a tankless water heater or having issues with frozen pipes, hiring the right person for the job is important—and hopefully, these seven questions to ask a plumber will help you narrow your choices.

The team at PlumbWize is always a wise choice. We’ve been providing expert residential and commercial plumbing services for over six decades and counting. Our licensed and insured professionals offer same-day service that won’t be beaten. They’re also always ready to answer any plumbing questions you might have.

Need to ask a plumber a question? Give us a call today for an answer!

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