A plumber is a tradesperson who specializes in installing and maintaining water and sewage pipes and related equipment in buildings and other structures. Plumbers often assist building owners and tenants with various plumbing issues such as broken pipes, leaking pipes, clogged drains and toilets, frozen pipes, and broken heating and air conditioning systems. The services they provide can be very basic (such as taking out a clogged toilet or cleaning out a pipe) or highly complex (such as designing and installing a brand new sewer line or septic tank). Like other tradespeople, plumbers must complete a certain number of hours of formal training, pass a licensing exam, and complete continuing education requirements every year to be able to work on their own and legally do the work they do. This means that you can’t just call any old plumber out to fix whatever problem you’re having. Instead, you should carefully select the right person for the job and make sure they have the experience and skills necessary to complete your project safely and correctly. These pointers will help you identify the best plumber for the job so you can avoid unpleasant or costly mistakes.

Be sure to confirm their certifications and training

To be sure you’re hiring a professional who knows what they’re doing, you need to confirm that the plumber you’re considering has the proper certifications and training. Most areas require plumbers to complete a certain number of hours of formal training and pass a licensing exam before they can work independently. You should also ask if they have any additional training or certifications that might be beneficial for your project. This can help ensure you receive the services you need, including high-quality work, on time and within your budget.

Confirm their liability insurance policy

If your project is large enough to require a contractor’s license, you should also confirm that the plumber has the proper liability insurance policy. This will protect you in the event of an accident or injury on the job, which is why it’s required in most states. Unfortunately, some contractors are uninsured or underinsured, which can leave you potentially liable for any accidents or injuries that occur during your project. Having the right insurance policy in place will ensure that your project can proceed as planned. It will also protect you financially by covering any costs associated with accidents or injuries.

Confirm that they are insured and bonded

Another important thing to confirm is that the plumber you’re considering is insured and bonded. This can protect you in the event that they are injured or their tools get damaged while on your project. It will also cover any damage to your property, including property damage resulting from construction work, damage to landscaping, damage to the plumbing or other systems that they are installing, and damage to your appliances and furnishings. If a plumber is not insured and bonded, you could be left on the hook for the costs of repairing or replacing their damaged tools, appliances, and other equipment. This is something you definitely don’t want to find out after the fact.

Ask about their rates and services

Along with asking about their experience and certifications, it’s a good idea to also ask about their rates and services. You should be able to find this information at their website or by calling them directly. Ask about their hourly rates, what services they provide, what equipment they use, who is eligible for their services, and any other details that will help you determine whether they’re a good fit for your project. This will help you figure out how much the project will cost and what your expectations are for the project. It will also help you identify any potential problems or issues that might arise during the project, which is important for any large or complex project.

Check their online reviews and references

Finally, you should check out the plumber’s online reviews and references. Online reviews can help you determine whether a plumber is worth their fee, and references can help you confirm that they are who they say they are and can provide you with more details about their services. You can search for reviews and references at the same websites where you found the plumber’s information in the first place, or you can contact the plumber directly and ask them for their references. This will help you determine whether the plumber is someone you can trust to do a good job on your project.


There are many things to consider when choosing a plumber. It can help to choose a contractor who specializes in your type of project, has experience in your area, and has the proper knowledge and skills to complete your project successfully. It’s also important to confirm that the plumber has the proper liability insurance policy, is insured and bonded, and has the necessary certifications and training. You should also ask about their rates and services, check out their online reviews and references, and confirm that they are able to complete the job at the agreed-upon time and within the agreed-upon budget.

Frequently Asked Question

  • Keeping the Water On During an Emergency
  • Overusing Drain Cleaners
  • Fixing Plumbing Issues on Your Own
  • Ignoring a Plumbing Issue
  • Using a Handyman Instead of a Licensed Plumber
  • Turning Off Your Heater in the Winter
  • Not Scheduling Plumbing Service
  • Have the Right Tools for the Job
  • Turn off All Water Before You Start
  • Use Natural Methods to Unclog Your Drains
  • Don't Put Trash in Your Garbage Disposal
  • Don't Overtighten Plumbing Connections
  • Don't Hesitate to Call for Help
Maintenance may also include inspection of your garbage disposal lines (and unit), dishwasher, and washing machine hoses and lines. Maintenance sometimes consists of a drain and flush of the water heater. If you've purchased a plumbing maintenance plan, read the fine print and always ask for clarification.
  • Over Tightening Plumbing Connections
  • Using Inappropriate Tape or Wrapping a Thread Tape Backwards
  • Using Drain Line Cleaners as the First Option
  • Handling Plumbing Jobs without the Necessary Spare Parts
  • Failing to Turn Off Water
  • Using Excessive Force on Valves Stuck on Shut Off