Choosing a Plumber


While some simple plumbing problems can be fixed by an amateur using the guides on Consumer Adviser, such as dishwasher repair, in many instances it is best to call in an expert. In recent years, there has been considerable press coverage concerning so-called ‘cowboy’ plumbers who overcharge or do a poor job. Although these disreputable plumbers only make up a small percentage of the trade, it has become more especially important that consumers in the UK know how to find the best plumber for the job.

It almost goes without saying, but the best way to find a reputable plumber in your local area is to ask your friends and family for a recommendation. However, it is not always possible to find a plumber this way which means that you will have to research your options.

The best way to begin your search is to accumulate a list of potential plumbers. This can be done by looking up plumbers in the local pages or it can be more easily done online by entering your postcode into a local services search engine.

If possible, read up on independent reviews and testimonials. These can give you an insight into the quality of service provided. However, be sure to take reviews with a pinch of salt because as they are non-obligatory which means that they tend to reflect polarised views.

Always check that the plumber you plan on hiring has the right qualifications. Find out if they are registered with a professional trade body as this means that the plumber has a strict code of practice to adhere to. This is especially important if you need a plumber to deal with a gas pipe problem. To work on gas pipes legally in the UK, individuals must be registered with Gas Safe. In addition, you should always inquire whether a plumber has public liability insurance. Public liability insurance means that you are financially covered should something untoward happen to your property or your neighbours as the result of plumber.

A good plumber will offer a guarantee for all of their work and the materials used. Always be sure to ask whether this guarantee is backed up with insurance, what is covered by it and how long the guarantee is for.

As there are no guidelines which dictate just how much a plumber should charge for their services and prices vary regionally, it is of the utmost importance that you get quotes from a number of plumbers in order to ascertain who offers the best deal. As a rough guide a small job like fixing a leaking tap will cost around £50 and emergency callout fees are in the region of £150. A longer, more complex task such as fitting a kitchen will cost about £1,000. For more information on fitting a kitchen, check the Consumer Adviser fitted kitchens guide.