Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Plumber

When hiring a plumber, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure you’re making the best choice for your plumbing needs.


If you go online, you’re certain to come across a horror story (or two or three) about an incompetent plumber who either didn’t solve a plumbing problem correctly the first time or made it worse. Or – perhaps the plumber fixed the problem but then surprised the unhappy individual who hired them with an unexpectedly large charge. When this happens, it’s generally because the person who hired the plumber didn’t do their homework before bringing them in to fix their plumbing issue. 

In other words, they didn’t ask the necessary questions before hiring the plumber, and as a result, they couldn’t trust him or her. Listed below are the top questions to ask a plumber prior to hiring them to fix your commercial or residential plumbing issues. 

Is the plumbing business properly insured? 

This one is essential. A plumbing company should carry liability insurance with sufficient coverage to cover any potential loss to the property they are working on. 

For example, a high-rise office space on the 15th level may be merely 1000 square feet. Once the water has inundated the floors below, a water loss in this sort of area could easily cost $1,000,000. You may be responsible for the water damage and subsequent repairs if the plumbing company you hired is not appropriately insured for general liability. 

Workman’s Compensation (sometimes known as Worker’s Comp) is the second type of insurance that a business requires. If an employee gets harmed on the job, this insurance will cover them. If an employee is wrongly classified (i.e., paid under the table), they may not be protected in the case of an injury. So, if a worker falls from a ladder in your kitchen and is wounded, they can sue you, the property owner, for compensation. 

Note: You can request a certificate of insurance to show that the plumbing company has the appropriate insurance coverage and that it is current. This information should come from their insurance company. This is a pretty common request that may be made without difficulty.

Does the company do background checks and/or employee screening? 

The plumbing company you employ will have access to your home, including your family and personal belongings. 

Unfortunately, you never know what someone is up to these days, especially if they have unsupervised access to your house. Before allowing someone into your house, be sure they’ve been drug tested and have a background check. You can never be too careful when it comes to someone you don’t personally know entering your home. 

Do the employees of the plumbing company have the necessary experience? 

Everyone has to start somewhere, but if you have a plumbing problem that is unusual or very difficult, you want a company that employs highly experienced plumbers who have dealt with similar problems in the past, not the guy who just installed his first faucet this week. If it is a newer tech, you should expect a lead technician to accompany the newer tech in order to supervise and train while on the job. This is fairly standard in the plumbing industry. 

 How does the plumbing company safeguard your belongings? 

Will they safeguard your flooring with drop cloths and shoe covers? What actions will they take to ensure that your property is not damaged unnecessarily during the repair? Will kids clean up after themselves, or will your toilet or bathroom sink be covered with greasy handprints? 

While this is one of the numerous things to ask when hiring a plumber, it’s OK to request that the plumber standing at your doorway remove his shoes before entering your home. 

Can you get local references from the plumbing company? 

It may feel awkward to ask for references but do so regardless if it makes you feel more comfortable. Before selecting a plumber, you should ask this question. If they cannot provide references, check their reviews on Google and Yelp to see what previous customers have to say about the work they have provided in the past. 

Does the plumbing company have the necessary equipment? 

Nothing is more frustrating than having to hire a second plumber to finish a task because the first one lacked the necessary tools. 

Do they, for example, do video inspections to locate obstructions in drain lines, or do they still rely on snaking drains and hope for the best? Is it possible for them to fix a sewage line that runs through your yard with minimal damage to your landscaping, or do they claim they’ll have to dig up your entire yard?

Is the plumbing company willing to stand behind its work with a warranty and a guarantee? 

If a business is new, it is possible that it does not yet have a track record. What if you have a problem six months from now, but they are no longer in business? This is why you should use a reputable plumbing company that will answer the phone and stands behind their work. Most reputable companies offer some type of warranty and 100% satisfaction guaranteed. This is crucial in order to keep a good reputation in the community. 

How are the customer reviews for the plumbing company? 

As we previously stated, reading online reviews is one of the best ways to get a true idea of the type of work the company really provides. Nowadays, it is uncommon for a company to have little to no reviews, unless they are just starting out.

Do They Provide Pricing Up Front? 

A service or trip charge is charged by many plumbing and other service-based companies. The aim of this fee, which can range from $50 to $150, is to pay the expense of having a professional visit to your home and fully analyze the problem. When this is the case, they should not only inform you that there is a price for someone to come out, but they should also fully explain the charges before any repairs are done. 

Often, there may be various alternatives for you to choose when it comes to repairing anything. Understanding these possibilities is critical since they may all assist you in determining what would work best for your budget and future demands. 

As an additional caution, never pay in advance. They are not a suitable choice if they require money upfront (with the exception of larger projects, where you should only provide a percentage upfront as a gesture of goodwill for both parties). Never pay in advance for work that hasn’t been done.

Are you looking for a dependable plumber? 

If that’s the case, contact CU Trade Services at 217-954-0385. We’re pleased to address these and any other questions you may have. 

We are available around the clock. When you need us, we’ll be there. In the broader Champaign, IL area, the C-U team can handle all of your HVAC, Plumbing, and Electric needs for both residential and commercial facilities.




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Champaign, IL 61822


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Danville, Illinois 61832