It often seems that plumbers are an essential plumber
evil. They sort out your faulty plumbing. Additionally they fix and service things like your central
heating boiler which - similar to essentials - always appears to make a mistake at the worst possible time. But if your regular plumber is obviously promising to show up "tomorrow" or simply never
returns your calls because he's too busy, how will you select a new plumber and ensure they're more reliable?
1. Word of mouth
Asking friends and neighbours who they use when they have a plumbing problem can be quite a good way to discover a reliable plumber. Your friends will know firsthand whether their call was answered
and returned, perhaps the plumber resulted in somewhere near to the agreed time and perhaps the charge was reasonable.
Ideally you must choose somebody who has been used for quite a while in a row. That may increase your chance to getting good service that's worth the cash you spend for it.
2. Check they're registered
In the UK, the Gas Safe site has details of all plumbers who have passed their certification requirements. This at least means that your chosen plumber has been tested by an organisation that's a
reputation to protect.
If there's any doubt - or if that is initially you're using this kind of plumber - don't take their reassurance that they're registered, spend one minute or two online doing your own due
3. Check just how long they've been trading
The longer the plumber has been trading, the better.
Ideally from the exact same address.
If you've got some old copies of Yellow Pages or the Phone Book acting as makeshift doorstops, you can flick through those.
Or even - and assuming the plumber has an internet site - you can easily learn how long their domain name has been registered. Just enter it in one of many online "WhoIs" tools, enter the domain name
and you can find when their domain was first registered. This will provide you with a good idea of the minimum amount of time they have been trading. Always assuming they've got round to registering
a domain name - not at all times confirmed with this trade.
4. Check their reviews
There isn't a Tripadvisor equivalent for plumbers but there are sometimes reviews of plumbers on other sites and even yet in the Google results.
As with any review, the odds of someone taking time for you to post a confident review is slimmer than the usual bugged customer posting an adverse review.
There will more often than not be the casual negative review. Just beware if you learn too most of them!
And beware if you discover way too many reviews that are positive without any negative ones interspersed.
You'll instinctively know what looks natural - go with that first reaction rather than making the reality fit your overwhelming desire to use the first plumber who actually answers their phone or
calls you back.
5. If time permits, get another quote
OK, this isn't always possible in the real world. Particularly for a profession that is notorious if you are poor to respond.
But especially for larger jobs such as for instance replacing an entire central heating system, it's worth getting multiple quote for the work.
And if it's a larger job, check what type of guarantee you get. At least, you will need the manufacturer's guarantee, so check you will get the completed card when you let your plumber leave. Don't
go in terms of laying a stinger in your drive but do ensure they've legibly completed the card including their (checked!) Gas Safe number if appropriate.