Hiring a Plumber? Things you should know before you hire one…

Got plumbing problems but worried to tackle them yourself? Then check out what’s needed in a professional local plumber before you start ringing around.

A cool radiator or faulty boiler might not sound like an emergency repair job, but before long these small problems can develop into larger ones; and things like burst pipes or complete boiler breakdowns can keep you and your family from staying warm at night and during colder winter months.

The best thing to do in these instances is to get in touch with a trained, professional plumber and see if they can be called out at the first opportunity to come and take a look at your particular plumbing issue. Don’t bother trying to fix things yourself unless you have previous experience with water works – otherwise you are only going to make things worse. So how do you pick out the right plumber for you? Well, your best bet is to make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for first. Here are just some of the things to think about before signing any kind of contract:

Hiring a Plumber: Plumbing Experience

Depending on their levels of experience, most qualified plumbers will be able to do at least some, if not all, of the following…

  • Conduct basic tests on radiators, boilers and pipe-work for blockages and leaks, and repair when appropriate.
  • Unblock exterior drainage and down-pipes.
  • Bleed radiators that are running cold.
  • Make sure your boiler is running at maximum capacity and recommend ways to improve its energy efficiency.
  • Cut, fit and measure new piping.
  • Work alongside project managers and architects to fit new pipe-work in room refurbishments and overhauls.
  • Install new sinks, tap faucets and bathtubs and shower units.
  • Install new toilets and cisterns and repair old toilets and waste pipes and outlets.

Hiring a Plumber: Plumbing Qualifications

Most fully trained and qualified plumbers will have one or more of the following plumbing qualifications needed to work on domestic properties:

  • City and Guilds Level 2/3 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Heating
  • City and Guilds Level 2/3 NVQ Diploma in Heating (usually limited to boiler services only).
  • EAL NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Domestic Heating

If you are still unsure about your preferred choice of plumbing contractor (perhaps if they have qualified through an alternative apprenticeship or training scheme or other plumber course), you should get in touch with accredited plumbing associations such as the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors or the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering. These governing bodies make sure individuals in the trade have the relevant plumbing insurance to keep you covered (in case of shoddy workmanship) and check all qualified professionals are kept up to date with any changes in the law and other health and safety procedures.