If your home has leaky radiators, dripping faucets, or a problematic boiler, a plumber will be needed. Where would be the greatest place to begin as nobody wants to let a cowboy into their house?
Every sector has its share of bad actors, and the plumbing profession is no exception. We’ve all heard horror stories of traders who didn’t show up, abandoned unfinished tasks, created a major mess, or just didn’t resolve the issue. How then can you be certain to hire the best plumber possible for the job?
After reading our professional advice, use our trader search to identify a plumber in your region who has been recommended by Which? Trusted Trader.
Engineer in heating or plumbing?
The first thing to consider is whether you need a heating engineer or a plumber.
Plumbers handle water issues in and around the house. They are typically the ones to call if you have any drips or leaks because they can work with dry and wet pipes.
Although there are recognized training programs, like NVQs and City & Guilds, that can attest to your plumber’s proficiency; there are no rules dictating the educational requirements for plumbers. Additionally, there is no plumbers’ registry in the UK. If your property has drips or leaks, a plumber might be excellent because they might charge less than someone with heating skills. Plumbers can be very knowledgeable.
A heating engineer is required if you require assistance with anything relating to your boiler or central heating. Heating experts concentrate on a building’s internal heating systems. They aren’t always experts in plumbing and water systems. They deal with installing and maintaining chimney flues, servicing and repairing gas fires, and servicing and repairing boilers. All heating engineers will have completed appropriate training and be registered with υδραυλικοσ γλυφαδα. This is a list of licensed gas engineers who can work legally and safely on boilers and other gas appliances. The standard of proficiency that they must meet is governed by regulations.
There is confusion because many plumbers are also professionals in dealing with water and plumbing systems and have taken the appropriate training and actions to be able to work on boilers and central heating systems. Like heating engineers, these versatile plumbers must be Gas Safe registered and qualified to work on gas appliances. The distinction is that they have experience working with boilers and other water-based systems because of their background in plumbing and other water-based systems.
Use a plumber on the Gas Safe Register if your plumbing project contains gas. Anytime you engage someone to work with gas, you should first determine what kind of gas-related work they are qualified to do. Our guide to the Gas Safe Register has more information.
Locating the ideal plumber
You can use our website to identify a plumber or heating engineer in your region who has been recommended by us based on our Which? Trusted Trader Code of Conduct, which guarantees that they will treat you fairly. The Code of Conduct addresses accepted best practices in areas including contracts, complaint handling, and complaint procedures.
Check out consumer reviews as well. All trader customer evaluations are reviewed on our website to assure their validity. It’s simple to discover how clients rate a certain plumber or heating engineer. Additionally, you may search up information about the company online, such as how long it has been in operation and who the owners are.
Trade organisations for plumbers
Despite the fact that the majority of us aren’t experts in plumbing, we can all see someone who oozes confidence in any repairs or job they’re performing. A plumber’s membership in a trade group is a positive sign, yet some trustworthy plumbers may decide not to do so.
In general, trade groups promote high standards for technical competence and customer service, therefore membership in one is a sign of professionalism. Both the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) and the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) are well-known in the field.
In addition to technical proficiency, excellent customer service is also crucial. Knowing a technically proficient plumber you can never reach is useless. Clear communication is a key component of providing excellent customer service. Finding a trader that is dependable and competent in their approach is crucial.
Obtaining a competitive price from your plumber
The days of plumbers showing up and writing a fee on the back of an envelope are quickly disappearing. Customers should expect their trader to provide them with a written estimate and contract in the medium of their choice, whether that be via an app, an email, or in a letter.
A competent dealer will
• Clearly state that you understand the needs of the consumer
• Describe the products and services they’ll offer to satisfy those wants.
• List the expenses, together with how and when they anticipate being reimbursed
• convey the terms and conditions of the contract in a professional manner.
Consumers should be on the lookout for traders who are difficult to reach, according to Dan Morris from Your Plumber. How much more challenging will it be to get in touch with them once they’ve started working, should something go wrong? A warning sign should also be raised by poor timekeeping. If their timekeeping and communication are bad, Dan adds, “I think it demonstrates a lack of organization and discipline and maybe a lack of regard for the consumer.”
How to choose a plumber.
Calling a plumber in an emergency requires you to describe the issue in as much detail as possible. The cost of a call-out should be disclosed by the plumber, but additional charges are based on the scope of the issue and any necessary parts. There may also be parking and transport fees.
It is worthwhile to take a bit more time looking for the ideal candidate if the position is not urgent. Call at least three plumbing businesses to compare like with like and ask for comparative prices.
Ones to consider asking are:
• How long has the business been operating?
• Can you provide references or examples of related work?
• Does the work have a guarantee? Is the guarantee supported by insurance?
• What types of insurance does the company carry? Does my property fall under it?
• Are there any supplementary expenses, such as those for parking, travel, or garbage disposal?
The plumber may be able to offer you a quote over the phone depending on the scope of the work, or they may want to visit your home. Any quote provided over the phone will be based on presumptions (such as that your pipes are in good condition), so only use it as a general guideline.
Inviting them to your home can determine whether potential plumbers are reliable. Do they, for instance, arrive on time and clearly explain your options? Are you certain about the tasks that would be performed and their associated costs?