Whether you own or rent your home, at some point, you’re going to have a plumbing issue. One recent study found that just over 1 in 10 adults needed a plumber in the past year and that more than 1 million adults needed a plumber more than 10 times between 2022 and 2023. Whether it is a running toilet or a burst pipe, how you react in an emergency is important to fixing the problem.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends the following tips to help with your plumbing project or deal with an emergency plumbing disaster:
Plan. Know your plumbing system before disaster strikes. Locate the main water valve as well as all isolation valves on the individual lines. Purchase plumber’s tape and keep it alongside a plunger and some wrenches.
React. As soon as you realize there is a problem, shut off the main water valve or the isolation valve to stop the water flow. If you turn off the main water valve, remember also to turn off the water heater or set it on pilot to prevent hot water from building up inside.
Get several estimates. There are many variables in pricing for different plumbing companies. Check if the estimate is a flat rate, including materials, or if materials will be charged separately. Make sure it is clear what the estimate includes. Contact several plumbers to obtain detailed written estimates for your project. Compare the estimates to understand the scope of work, costs, and any potential variations. Be cautious of unusually low or high estimates and ask for clarification if you need further understanding.
Research and read reviews. Before deciding, research potential plumbers online on BBB.org and read customer reviews. BBB profiles often include customer feedback, ratings, and any reported complaints. This information can provide valuable insights into the company’s track record and customer experiences.
Ask before you buy. You may want to buy fixtures or products for your plumber to install. Check with the plumber first to ensure they are willing to do this, as some companies do not provide this service. If you buy the products, look for items with the Uniform Plumbing Code stamp or approval from The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). If the product fails, you may be responsible for removing or fixing it, not your plumber.
Verify licensing and insurance. check that the company is licensed and properly insured. A licensed plumber has met certain requirements and possesses the necessary skills to perform quality work. Insurance coverage protects you and the plumber in case of accidents or damages during the project.
Consider choosing a plumber who belong to a professional organization. Look for plumbing companies that are members of organizations like the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials or the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association.
Dealing with plumbing issues is never any fun, but it’s important to be prepared when a situation arises. Go to bbb.org to find a plumber you can trust. Always look for The Sign of a Better Business when you need to hire a plumber. BBB Accredited plumbers are more likely to adhere to industry best practices, uphold a strong code of conduct, complete projects in a timely manner, and maintain open communication throughout the process.
For more information on hiring a plumber, head to the Plumbing HQ
Check out BBB’s plumbing industry report. BBB Accredited plumbers adhere to BBB’s Accreditation Standards and BBB checks to ensure proper licensure. In addition, by going to BBB.org to find a plumber near you, you can check reviews and read how the business resolved any complaints. Remember to look for the BBB Seal- It’s the Sign of a Better BusinessSM.
For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer or to share your experience with a business, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call BBB at (903) 581-5704 or report it via BBB Scam Tracker.
About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. BBB Serving Central East Texas was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.