How to Hire a Plumber? The Top Tips


Plumbing is one of the most essential things that your house will need every now and then! Be it getting new accessories like a tankless water heater, fixing the water heater leak that has nearly flooded your washroom or the routine maintenance checks that the pipes need, Plumbers do all of these things and more.

It is a known fact that the DIY generation is up and about, however that does not undermine the specific skill set required for certain jobs. This is where professionals like plumbers and electricians come into the scene. They are there to take care of things that you would not otherwise know how to handle, and even if you did, top of the line work would be slightly difficult to deliver!

It is not the most difficult job in the world to find a plumber but it sure as hell can go down the wrong way if you do not know the basics.

States have varying requirements for training, which technicians in every field need to undergo. Plumbers are not different; they have to meet the same standards. All states have the same basic requirements such as arithmetic as well as the technician’s capability to find problems and solve them accordingly.

This profession like many others have different levels of competence and skill. It is also divided according to the skill set; plumbing has different areas of specialization. Plumbers are often directly identified according to their level of training.

Plumbing Training Levels

Here are the basic divisions or standards that states have for plumbers:

a) Apprentice Plumbers – All apprentice plumbers have to be in an apprenticeship program managed by one of the plumber’s union or in a program under a licensed Plumber of the state. Both scenarios require these individuals to go through a lot of rigorous training and practice before being let unsupervised on the field. Both Community College classes as well as in-house workshops are common practices.

  • Legal age Proof (18 and above)
  • Graduation and/or GED proof
  • Social Security documents
  • Working/Legal Driving License
  • Aptitude Tests
  • Clear Practical Exercises
  • Drug Test Results
  • Interview Session.
  • Working/Legal Driving License

b) Journeyman Plumbers – With somewhere around 5-6 years of apprenticeship training, the Journeyman Plumbers are on the field alongside Master Plumbers, assisting in the process. Installing new accessories, repairing the leaks and fixing the piping, checking on the regular maintenance; all of this is done underneath constant supervision of the Master Plumbers.

Recommended Journeyman Plumbers are often asked to fill in for the Master Plumbers at hours when the latter is not present.

c) Master Plumber – Once the regulated numbers of experience is completed, the Journeyman Plumber has to sit for the State subscribed Examination. After this is out of the way and the individual in question has marks that meet the criteria, the state can and will decide the fate by awarding him/her the certification of a qualified Master Plumber.

S/he is now eligible for working with the Contract Board.

Plumbers with the highest mode of qualifications are great for all complicated jobs.

Apart from having these divisions based on qualifications, here are two basic ones based on the type of job you want done and how to deal with them

Regular Plumber

Plumbing requires an immense amount of technical knowledge. Knowledge about accessories and parts, required measures for codes and experience to deal with the materials in order to distinguish the good from the bad is absolutely essential.

Situations that require professional help such as degrading floorboards because of a leak you could not find, or a leaky faucet you have been trying to fix for hours but it has ended up flooding half of your house, need a professional hand. This is where the regular or everyday plumber comes in.

It is highly recommended that a good relationship be struck with the person, as you would like a reliable and trustworthy individual to deal with problems whenever they come up.

Make sure you become a loyal and regular customer before attempting to call on him at times of dire need. The best way to do this would be to provide him with prior non-emergency routines on a slightly prolonged basis.

Price – One can put an estimated for some one who works wonders with drain cleaning services at around a price of $70 per hour to work on the drain lines and an hourly rate of $125 for fixing problems in the sewer lines. Calls/Requests over the weekend and at night will add slightly to the sum total of the fees.

For repairing leaks, installing traps and other basic plumbing services, such as this, will require you to pay somewhere around $45 to $65 per hour along with parts, marked by the plumber according to his fixed wholesale price.

Calls at night and over the weekend, will have you spend around $100 for the visit and $75 for every hour after that.

Remodelling Plumber

Projects that do not have you sounding the alarm at 12 in the night most probably require a remodelling or remedial work on your plumbing.

Professionals who are familiar with the system and structural design of residences and homes is aware of the relevant code in the area and can carry on impeccable work in an environment are who you must hire if the work entails remodelling. This entails fixing as well as re-enforcing the already carpeted wooden floor, making easily accessible holes on the wall which can easily be figured if and when there is a problem.

Contractors will help you get in touch with such professionals; S/he is privy to the plumber’s work even before it has been smoothed over. This means that they have a greater chance at spotting the finesse in places such as the solder joints, studs, and materials used to cover the floors. Remodelling plumbers with good qualifications will not let simple errors compromise their work – an unsoldered joint or a PVC line that leaks are not things they appreciate.

Price – Hourly prices range from $45 to $65. Remodelling plumbers will provide transport as well for this price. This however is not inclusive of the parts and accessories you would need.

Plumbers also charge according to every fixture.

Bids have to be placed; most of them are placed on the estimate for drainage and supply lines and pipes.

Installation of the fixtures cost around $200. Parts for plumbing and fixtures needed for your washroom, such as sinks and toilet merchandise come around a $1,000.


Make sure you verify the license on the individual and see if he fits the bill!

An unlicensed plumber does not guarantee the safety standards and requirements necessary for the state. When you do decide to hire an unlicensed plumber, the following might go wrong –

i. Problems with Law and order – Certain states have rules and laws against hiring a technician who does not have a verified license by the state. You can be charged with acts of aiding or participating in activities that might be deemed as unlawful by the state.

ii. Health Hazard – Rules and Regulations involved with any mechanical/technical activity such as plumbing is tightly wounded because of the high potential for physical damage, ailment, property damage and even losing lives.

iii. Unprofessional Behaviour – Unlicensed plumbers, by the virtue of not reporting to an authoritative council body, are may likely to be working in a lax way, not show up on time or even fudge up the works.

One of the primary things to check off the list while hiring a contractor is to make sure that they are bonded and insured. Good plumbing contractors usually have both insurance and bonds to make sure that neither they nor their clients fall into a lot of trouble! Here is a very brief overview of the two

i. Commercial liability insurance – If and when, problems in the plumbers work causes property damage as well as or bodily, this claim kicks into action. The commercial liability insurance, however, does not cover everything else. This does not make it a defunct or an incomplete insurance at all. It covers most of the basic requirements a human being needs at the time of danger!

ii. Surety bonds – This covers all that is induced by the misdemeanour of contractor/plumber. The contractor/plumber is then held liable for damages done by them. Things such as stolen items, time loss, poor quality of materials used are to be compensated by the bonds.

One of the most important things about hiring a plumber is to finish a proper round of fieldwork. It’s always good to talk to neighbours and friends before you hire someone to fix one of the most important things that help you sustain. Discuss names and see if someone is being referred to more than the other, and if so why!

Always keep the distinctions placed for the different kind of plumbers in mind. Talk about the one you specifically want which can only be decided based on the sort of job you want done.

Make sure you visit the state’s licensing portal to check whether or not the person you will hire has a proper working registration as well as go over complaints from previous assignments to see if they have been resolved properly.

Here is a list of other things that must be kept in mind before sealing the deal. Go over each of them as carefully as you can:

  • Having a talk about how much the entire process might or will cost is extremely important. Draw up an estimate with your plumber/contractor covering all that you need done, the call charges, materials that need to be procured as well as emergency costs. Getting a written quote from the plumber is always a good idea.
  • Make sure you have a neatly charted out plan for the remodelling/fixing that will take place at your home. If it is strictly remodelling, you should have a fair idea of what you want it to be at the end of the day. Keeping a clear vision will make sure that you put in a 100 percent in the job as well!
  • Ask your contractor or the maintenance crew about who will do the job.
    It is quite possible that your work might be done by someone other than the person on the phone handing you estimates. If this is the case, then make sure you ask for the details and qualifications of the concerned. Whether or not they have proper training and experience is an important thing to keep in mind like mentioned above.
    Do not step back from demanding this, it is well within your rights to know who will do your work and if s/he is competent enough or not!
  • Services often put additional charges for cleaning-up; this is not included in the bill that is meant for the charges of the work. You can always choose to do the clean up the mess always by yourself. We would recommend you to pay the additional charges or get a different cleanup service, considering that plumbing is not exactly a dust free activity. On the contrary, it will leave a lot of mess behind as well as the old equipments. Get rid of all of that at once, but make sure that the company cuts you a fair deal!
  • Make sure that the site where work is to be done is cleared of all precious and expensive materials. Keep in mind that you are paying the plumber hourly and that the longer you make him wait while he is there, your pocket will keep getting significantly lighter!
    Be there, when the work is being done. You know what you want, and thus you can ask questions about the process to check whether or not everything is going fine. This is also necessary so that the plumber can refer back to you whenever he hits a snag.

These simple tips will just help you to get the plumber you need, who can get the job done, at an affordable cost!

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