How to choose a plumber in Sydney - that won't rip you off

How to choose a plumber in Sydney - that won't rip you off
Plumbing emergencies can be a stressful time and the last thing you want to be doing is wasting time looking for a reliable plumbing company.

With so many options out there, how do you go about choosing the right one?

If you know what to look for, the task will be much quicker and easier. Here are seven things to consider so that you don't get ripped off.

1. Licensed and qualified

The potential dangers associated with certain plumbing jobs, such as blocked drains or gas leaks, means you should never risk using an amateur. The most important thing to look for when choosing a plumber is to make sure they are fully licensed and that their certificates are up-to-date. Their certifications will determine the work they are able to carry out. You can perform a simple online check here, by typing in the name of the plumber. Alternatively, you can ask the Sydney plumber to send you their documentation and license number.

2. A current insurance certificate

All legitimate Sydney plumbers will be fully insured. If an accident or problem arises, the insurance acts as a safeguard and covers any damage that occurs as a result. For your own protection, check that any plumber or tradesman you engage to do work on your property have the necessary insurances in place and that the certificates are current. Most plumbers should have a current, electronic copy of their certificate and will be happy to email it to you upon request.  

3. Online reviews

Looking online at other customer experiences is a great way to gauge the reliability of a plumbing company. Do they have more positive or bad reviews? Are there consistent complaints (ie they always arrive late or are over-priced). While it’s impossible to please everyone all of the time, so long as the majority of reviews are favourable it’s likely that they are a trustworthy company.

4. Size of the company

Reliable plumbing companies come in all sizes, from large corporations with hundreds of employees to family-run businesses with less than five staff members.

While the size of a company doesn’t alone determine whether it’s honest and reliable, there are a few things to consider when choosing the right Sydney plumber for your needs. 

Large franchises occasionally lack the personalised service that smaller businesses offer. Their focus on the bottom line and increased profits means that the quantity of work often trumps the quality of the service delivered.

On the other hand, word-of-mouth and client referrals are integral to the ongoing success of small businesses. Small business owners endeavour to build lasting relationship with customers by delivering honest advice and fair prices. An added bonus of using a smaller company is that the owner of the business will often do the job themselves. With their reputation and livelihood on the line, you can rest assured you will receive the highest quality service.

5. Specialist or jack-of-all-trades?

Plumbing is a broad trade and it requires many different skill-sets depending on the job at hand. Before hiring someone, take a moment to consider whether its a simple task or a complex task. If you have a leaking tap, for example, any plumber could do the work required. Alternatively, if you have a blocked drain or plumbing emergency, it's beneficial to hire someone who specialises in that field. A blocked drain expert will have the experience and the tools to fix the problem effectively.

6. Do they offer upfront pricing?

Many Sydney plumbing companies advertise low prices or “no call out fees” in order to lure in customers. However, if you look closely at the fine print you will see that conditions apply. It’s important to be aware of these conditions so that you’re not surprised by hidden fees and charges when they send through the final invoice. Search for a plumber who offers upfront, fixed pricing. This way, the total price is confirmed in writing before any work commences.

7. 24-hour emergency plumbing

When choosing a Sydney plumber, their availability matters. No one plans for a plumbing emergency. If your toilet starts overflowing with raw sewage, you need the assurance of a Sydney plumber who is on call 24/7 to help as soon as the plumbing emergency arises. Knowing their response time can be a deciding factor on which Sydney plumbing company you choose.

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