How to Hire a Plumber That Won’t Rip You Off

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Finding a quality plumber in a pinch can be difficult.

No one wants to pay a plumber their hard-earned money, to find the plumber is a con artist, or never finish the job. Everyone wants satisfied service and to avoid having to pay for work more than once.

Luckily, we are here to save your money and help you hire a plumber who won’t rip you off.

Experienced and inexpensive local plumbers are not hard to find if you know how to find them. Here is a complete guide to getting honest and affordable plumbing services at the best price.

How To Save Money on Plumbing Repairs

Consider Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

Before you hire Joe, the plumber, consider tackling smaller projects yourself. Minor leak repairs and simple tasks like changing out faucets or unclog the drain may seem intimidating, but there are much more comfortable than you may think.

Even fixing a frozen pipe is relatively easy, thanks to the new lines of solderless fittings. With these new fittings replacing a leaky section of pipe is extremely easy with just a few tools and without the need to solder.

We recently replaced our toiled in our master bath, and it took less than an hour and a half. It probably wouldn’t have even taken that long, but I had to run back the hardware store twice because I grabbed the wrong size Sharkbites.

The Solderless SharkBite’s worked so well I keep several different sizes on hand and few sections of pipe just in case of a plumbing emergency. I also keep some copper pipe, PEX pipe, putty, tape, and few valves on hand only in case.

Tip: Just make sure you check the shut-off valve and make sure the water is off before you start cutting into any pipes.

Bonus tip: Show everyone in your family where all the shut-offs in the house are located and how to such them off. Knowing how to shut off the main water supply can prevent turning a small plumbing repair into a full basement remodel.

Don’t Let Small Problems Become Big Problems

Regular maintenance and preventative measures can reduce the need to hire on-call plumbers. If you are on a septic system, avoid flushing items that are not septic system safe, and make sure you only use a septic system safe cleaning chemicals around the house.

To avoid costly septic system replacements, make sure to ensure that you routinely have your septic system pumped. You can also use an additive such as Rid-X to maintain optimum septic system health.

If you have a septic system, you may also well water. If you have hard water, a water softener may prevent costly repairs. Hard water ruins water heaters over time, on-demand water heaters tend to be particularly sensitive to hard water.

We lost an expensive Rheem tankless water heater due to scale build-up.

Hard water can cause scale build-up in fixtures such as showerheads and faucets, as well as in valves. Water scale can prematurely age shower stalls and bath tubes, necessitating premature bathroom remodels.

Additionally, hard water can ruin appliances like dishwaters,  washing machines, and even coffee pots.

Know When Not to DIY

You can save a lot of money, DIY’ing smaller plumbing tasks around the house. However, so jobs are worth leaving for the pro. If you are having issues with your sept tank or gas water heater, it’s best to call in a plumbing service if you do not have the experience.

Note: if you smell gas or suspect you have a gas leak call a professional

How to Find The Best Plumber

Better Business Bureau

Before hiring a plumber, make sure you check the better business bureau to see if they are any complaints. You can also check out websites like Yelp or Angie’s List; some smaller plumbers may not have listings so I would necessarily count that against them.

However, if they are not listed, you will want to check with the state to ensure they are licensed and ask for references. You could also call the local plumbing supply store and ask who they recommend. Lowe’s has a network of contractors that operates under the Lowe’s banner; you will pay a little more for their service. However, going with Lowe’s, you have some peace of mind you not just dealing with some random handyman or  ‘chuck with a pick-up truck.”

Word of Mouth:

Word of mouth is a natural way of advertising. If any plumbing company has done an excellent job and has taken a moderate amount of payment, then that company will get a recommendation. Try getting references about those companies from your neighbors, friends, or colleagues.

Say No to Weekends:

Plumbers generally take a lot more payment if they come to work at the weekends or during the holidays. Try avoiding the weekends. Get the work done on the weekdays to avoid paying the extra charges.

Checking on the State Contractors Website:

You have to check if the plumbers have a license for their work. They might tell you that they do have a license, but it can be a lie. That is why you need to go to the state contractor’s website and check if the name of the plumber is there, then they are a licensed company.

Choosing the Right Plumber:

You can divide the plumbers into two types. One is for emergency services like dripping and clogging; they can be called the family plumbers, and the other one is for the non-emergency services like remodeling projects.

You know what you need the plumbers for; you have to choose accordingly.

  • Generally, the family plumbers charge on an hourly basis. However, the drain or the sewage line cleaning can be done in an hour, and it would not cost you more than 125$; that too, if you are hiring a professional and specialized plumber, it can even cost you much less.

A tip: do not encourage them in chatting/talking as they are charging you per hour but do ask them about the parts or easy repair option in case the problem arises again.

As mentioned earlier, try to avoid calling them on the weekends or even in the nighttime.

  • To get a remodeling plumber, you can contact a general contractor. A contractor can visit your place, know about all the works that need to do, and then they will hire a plumber. They will not hire just any plumber, because the contractors have to maintain their goodwill. You will be given an estimate, and if you are okay with it, then only they will start the work.

Remodeling plumbers also charge an hourly basis, but it will depend on how many workers are working at your place.

Worry About the Estimated Cost:

You have to get a minimum of three estimates from different plumbers. If possible, try to know which company’s parts or tools they are using for the work so that you can run into the nearest hardware store and know the actual price of the elements and can understand if the plumbers are ripping you off or not. You can also ask them if you can buy the parts or tools they will need by yourself so that you can cut the expense.

Another important thing: To get the agreement from you, the companies will not mention how many plumbers are going to work while giving you an estimate, but you have to know the numbers beforehand; otherwise, they will engage a lot more plumbers to get your money.

Know About the Payment Method:

Don’t forget to know how the plumbers take payment. If they want the full amount in advance, do not wait to bid them goodbye. Only pay for the services when it’s completed.

Tip: Whenever possible, always pay for contractors, repairers, and plumbers with a credit card or PayPal to ensure you have some recourse if the work turns out to be faulty.

Don’t Believe the Radio/TV Advertisements:

The numbers who are advertising on television or radio charges more than other plumbers. Try not to get them into your work as they will take the money from you to pay for the expensive TV or radio advertisements. Don’t get cheated by the discount offers; when you will look at the other estimates, you will get to see no difference even a discount is being applied.

Read the Contracts Carefully before Agreeing:

While working with the contractors or the plumbers, read the agreement carefully. See if the conditions are matching with your needs or not.

You should be allowed to not pay for the service if you are not satisfied, f the plumbers will take responsibility if anything gets broken or damaged because of them.

Ask them if you will be provided with the ‘after cleaning services,’ as you do not wish to clean the entire house after the plumbers leave the place.

Following these simple guidelines are not hard. You need to play smart, and you can find a plumber who will not rip you off. Be extra cautious about the expensive things in your house, because your safety will be in your hands. Do not let them see the costly items in your home, as they will guess about your wealth and will try to get more and more money from you.

If you are satisfied with the plumbers’ work, save their contact number, or keep their business card, so if you require to get done any plumbing services in the future, you can call them.

About the Author

Jason Mandy is an owner and content writer of the personal finance blog of He believes his previous five years as a sales manager selling health products to the medical industry were an ideal foundation for his work as a financial advisor.

Attention to detail, good listening skills, and great empathy are symbols of his appreciation by his clients. He is effectively supported by a team of administration, group benefits, and investment products specialists whose teamwork and professionalism help him build long-term relationships with his growing client base and provide excellent customer service.