Plumbers install and repair the pipes in your home or commercial property, as well as fixtures and appliances. If you have a leaky faucet or are planning on remodeling your bathroom, hiring a plumber can be helpful. 

When you need to hire a plumber, choosing one can be an intimidating process.

It’s important to know what qualifications they should have before choosing one for your project.

When scouting around for a plumbing company, there are some basic things to consider: whether their license is active with the state; if they’ve had any disciplinary actions taken against them by the plumbing licensing board; how long they’ve been licensed in general (master craftsmen do not always do plumbing work); where did they learn their trade? What kinds of insurance do they carry? And finally – but most importantly- ask yourself: am I comfortable letting this person into my house alone?

Plumber Qualifications

When plumbing issues come up, it’s important to take action before running into more problems that raise your costs. Of course, in the Winter, temperatures can cause water lines to freeze, which damages your walls or ceilings. Is your sewer line backed-up? This will usually render your toilet useless, and even worse, they could potentially damage the floor of your home–or its foundation! 

Again, these are just a few examples of why you should always have a plumber on hand that is qualified and skilled.

When selecting a professional, a plumber’s fee for servicing your home is only one part of the equation. But before you start requesting estimates, consider what makes a reputable plumber who will have these qualifications and skills to be qualified for work at your home.

Training Needed to do the Job

It is not necessary to have a college degree to work as a plumber. However, many people learn the trade by first becoming an apprentice under the guidance of a journeyman or master plower. There is coursework involved during this apprenticeship, and it usually lasts between three and five years.

The Licensure Process

In the US, plumbers are one of the most regulated professions. Most states require plumbers to be licensed, and there is a specific licensing requirement for each state which varies by a government agency that issues it. For a license to be issued, plumbing professionals must also have experience, receive ongoing training, and stay up to date on current trends in the industry. This ensures that when you hire this professional for any maintenance or repairs in your home, they will carry the necessary insurance and bonding to protect you against any mishaps or damages incurred during their work with pipes from leaks, among other things!

Plumbing Insurance

All plumbing businesses should have enough liability coverage for any accidents that may happen in someone else’s home or business. A Plumber’s general liability insurance protects your home’s financial loss should the plumber accidentally damage your property or injure themselves while on your premises. Before hiring a plumber, ask to see their proof of insurance.

Home insurance policies cover sudden, unexpected water damage from a broken pipe or another malfunctioning of pipes. However, most exclude damages that have been gradual and regional flooding; they’ll also be excluded with some home insurance policies if a slow leak causes the damage.

Are they An Expert VS an Apprentice?

A journeyperson is a person who has completed a plumber’s apprenticeship and passed the licensure exam required by their state. They also carry a card of an occupational license to prove this. A non-journeyperson has yet to complete their training, such as an apprentice or plumber without state licensing.

What is a Master Plumber?

In order to be a Master Plumber, one must have five years of work experience as a Journeyman, provide advanced training and education in plumbing skills and pass the exam. This certification ensures that the plumber masters federal regulations building codes. Though this is more time-consuming and expensive than most certifications available today – it’s worth it for intricate plumbing jobs that require expert care.

Hiring the Right Plumber

To choose a plumber, you need to research national and local companies, read reviews, and ask for family or friends’ recommendations. You can also research their license in the form of state certification or something equivalent like that. Once you’ve narrowed down your choice after doing all this work-you can start with a phone interview where topics like rates will be discussed, as well as qualifications and experience in plumbing jobs.

Ask the Right Questions

  • What licenses do you have?
  • Can you provide references? 
  • Do you charge an hourly or flat rate?
  • How do payments work? Do you charge upfront or after the job is done?
  • Can I have a quote for this job in writing?

How to Choose the Best Plumber

There are many different plumbers out there to choose from, so you need to find one that is reliable and the best suited for your particular job. Here are some tips on how: 

  1. Ask people in your neighborhood for reviews on plumbers they’ve worked with. 
  2. Get a referral – ask friends who have had plumbing needs or call your local franchise to find an experienced professional.
  3. Check certifications – Professional Plumbing Association (PPA), International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), and National Institute of Building Inspection Accreditation Council (NIBIA).
  4. Do your research on the company or individual by checking reviews through a site like Better Business Bureau.
  5. Make sure you check out their competitors. In addition, if possible, call other plumbers to get a free estimate.
  6. Always ask plenty of questions. When you do, you’ll be able to better understand the job and how much it will cost before making a decision.
  7. Get your plumbing estimate in writing. A professional plumber will allow you to review the terms of a contract before agreeing.

Common Plumber Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Do you give free estimates? Many professionals offer free estimates to potential customers when they come to assess the problem – before starting work.
  • What do you charge per hour? Plumbers charge differently depending on the region, profession, and whether they are a journeyperson or master plumber. Most plumbing services come with an hourly rate, but only a few will provide one because of all the variables in this type of work. A basic repair for faucets or toilets can cost about $130-$150 per hour (without new parts). More intense repairs like installing pipes, toilets, showers, etc., can cost upwards of $500 without any material costs added.
  • Do I have to pay you upfront? A plumber will usually not require payment upfront, and they typically charge a percentage when the job is finished. They also use an “as-you-go” system, where a small amount of money can be paid at different points in the process or all together once it’s completed.