Although there are many emergency plumbers who work to a high professional standard and always act honestly, the small percentage of cowboys operating under the title of plumber has had a huge negative impact on the public perception of the trade.
Because rogue tradesman exist, it is important to be able to identify them to ensure you are not ripped off by imposters providing sub-standard (and too often dangerous) work for extortionate prices. These people are not interested in professionally completing the work, their main aim is getting paid as much as possible before moving on to the next victim.
Because emergency situations demand immediate action, and also do not have office hours, it is entirely possible that the panic of getting a plumber on site, as soon as possible, leads to hiring the first one found. However, it is important to realise that sub-standard work, or a quick fix now, has the potential to lead to bigger and more costly problems in the future.
Unless you have already found an emergency plumber that you know and trust, it can seem daunting when trying to choose one. One effective method of finding a good and reliable plumber is by word of mouth. If you know someone who has recently had work done, it would be a good idea to ask them if they can recommend a good tradesman.
There are a number of questions you can ask in order to separate the emergency plumber from the cowboy. To start, you should ask what qualifications and licenses they hold. The plumbing trade is highly regulated with a many qualifications requiring an annual renewal to ensure competence. Genuinely qualified tradesman will have no problems with proving their credentials on turning up for the job.
Ask about insurance. A cowboy is unlikely to have any and this could lead to major problems. If the work done causes structural damage or turns out to be dangerous, the imposters’ lack of insurance could leave you liable for any costs that stem from the work.
Ask about experience in the trade. A competent emergency plumber will have no problems in providing this information, whereas cowboys can often give sketchy information.
If the emergency plumber has the correct qualifications, licenses and insurance you are as safe as you can be. Of course accidents and mistakes are still possible but at least these will be covered by a legitimate company’s insurance. You can also be assured that the work will be carried out within a legal framework of current safety practices.