When Do You Need to Call a Plumber?

When Do You Need to Call a Plumber?

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Published by TOP4 Team

A plumber is specialized in installing, repairing and maintaining fixtures and systems for the proper functioning of water, natural gas and waste systems. Their job include:

  • Analysing drawings and specifications to determine layout of water supply, waste and vending systems

  • Managing pipes

  • Fixing clogged drains or problems inducing foul smells

  • Installing and regulating venting and heating systems

  • Buying fixtures and fittings

  • Cleaning the mess that was made during the tasks

Do It Yourself?

You can try to fix minor problems by yourself. If you are planning on doing basic plumbing repairs like replacing tap washers, cistern washers, unblocking drains or sinks, fixing a leaky downpipe, cleaning gutters etc, make sure you know what and how to do it correctly. Otherwise, your problem will getting bigger and the fixing cost become more expensive.

How to Choose the Right Plumber

When you have decided to hire a plumber, you have to choose one that you trust for the job. You have to make sure that he will be able to solve the problem permanently and not give you a temporary solution. Here are some tips and advice on how to properly assess a plumber before hiring him to avoid common pitfalls.

1. Check Qualifications
Check if the contractor has undertaken all the necessary training and carries a current Plumber’s Licence, which is regulated by the following state authorities. Visit their website to check if the plumber you may hire is registered.

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Planning and Land Authority


 New South Wales

The Office of Fair Trading


 Northern Territory

Plumbers and Drainers Licensing Board



Plumbing Industry Council


 South Australia

Office of Consumer and Business Affairs



Workplace Standards Tasmania



Plumbing Industry Commission


 Western Australia

Plumbers Licensing Board


Also find out if they have worked with local homebuilders or well-known local companies and ask how long they have been in business for. It is also a good idea to choose a plumber with a 24 hour emergency phone number and service. Experience is very valuable because it means that he’s accustomed to doing this job and will be prepared to handle any problems that may arise.

2. Check Insurances
Make sure that the contractor has insurances. He must have a Public Liability Insurance to protect your personal property and your family. He must also have an Accident and Sickness Insurance to protect you from being liable if a painter injures himself while in your home. Insist on getting a copy of their certificates of insurance.

Professional plumbers working in the best interest of customers will be more than happy to provide the requested information.

3. Check References
Ask for a list of references that you can call on your own. If possible, visit completed jobs so that you can see the quality of the work for yourself. Make sure that the job was completed within the time and budget, that the customer was satisfied with the result, that there was no disruption to the household, that the contractor and employees treated them professionally and with respect.

As the contractor will only give you good references, you can also ask to previous clients if they know of any other work the contractor has performed.

4. Arrange a Meeting
Ensure that the plumber is professional. Meet face-to-face and discuss your project’s requirements. Does he look clean, neat and tidy? Does he have communication skills? Is he punctual? You need to be able to trust him and make sure he won’t damage the items in your house. Before providing an estimate of the cost, it is always a good idea to have the electricians inspect the site.

5. Get Quotes

If it’s a big job, get at least 3 quotes of your project with estimations including the price, estimated job duration, progress payments, materials to be used and terms and conditions. Make sure the contractors are quoting on the same specifications - areas to be painted, number of coats and so forth.

Don’t choose your contractor only on price! Plumbing is a skilled trade and requires considerable expertise and experience. Someone who warrants his or her services is preferable over someone who doesn't, no matter the cost.

6. Execute a Written Contract

This contract should clearly specify the scope of the work to be performed, time schedules and payment procedures. Discuss any guarantee or warranty programs the contractor may offer.You need a promise that the lumber will come back and fix his work if problems occur.

Pricing and How to Cut Costs

The average plumber will charge between $60 and $100 per hour. Ask for a flat, fixed price so that you know exactly what is included and how much he will charge you for the job. If know their business, they will be able to estimate the amount of time that each problem should take to fix. By doing this, you make sure that you don’t get any hidden surprise.

The price depends on whether the plumber is an independent or works in a team of plumbers. Small businesses composed with one man are sometimes more affordable because of low overhead but larger companies have more resources to respond to your needs and invest more in equipment and training.

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