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Forget Dumb and Dumber: How to Find a Good Plumber in London

Every once in a while, you might need a plumber for certain odd jobs in the kitchen or bathroom. These are usually mundane jobs like unblocking the sink. In cases like this, you might hire the first plumber you find or even enlist the help of your DIY friend who knows a thing or two about plumbing. However, if you are not careful, this could make the problem worse, leaving you with a serious emergency on your hands.

Dumb Plumbers: Causing More Trouble Than It’s Worth

London knows its fair share of dumb and even dumber plumbers who can cause more trouble than you anticipated. Unfortunately, there are a number of stories out there that demonstrate the cost of not hiring a professional, qualified plumber:

A plumber was called to a downtown bank to investigate a hot water issue. He was escorted to the tank, which was easily over twenty years old, but seemed to be in perfect condition. Upon talking to the bank manager, the plumber discovered that the tank had never once produced hot water in over twenty years. Electricians and plumbers had been called in initially, but they couldn’t seem to figure out the problem. The bank employees soon got used to having no hot water in their kitchenette, but the bank finally agreed to replace the heater that year.

The plumber looked at the tank, saw the switch was in the off position and flicked it on. It’s been working perfectly ever since.”

This may leave you shaking your head: how many dumbs and dumber’s did it take — in the space of 20 years — to figure out that there was nothing wrong with the boiler? Fortunately, in this case, there was no significant damage caused, but, if spending a significant amount of money going through a list of unqualified plumbers and leaving your staff without hot water doesn’t sound like fun, you can avoid such scenarios by following these guidelines when searching for a plumber in London:

 

What to do How to do it Why do it?
Check qualifications Check your plumber’s credentials — look out for a current plumbing licence and insurance. The probability of a botched job is decreased and you are protected from any catastrophe as a result of work not done up to scratch.
Validate your plumber Collect references and call them. A qualified, experienced plumber who is confident in their work will have no problem giving you references. If they have an online presence, search for reviews from past clients. Being qualified is one thing, but having the knowledge and experience to do the job is another. Reviews help you assess if a plumber is a good fit and if they’ll complete the job on time.
Avoid Houdinis Make sure a plumber has been in business for a while. Double check this by looking up their company records and checking if they’re registered at their Chamber of Commerce. In a city as big as London, rogue tradesmen disappear as quickly as they pop up, after tricking unsuspecting customers out of their hard-earned money.
Compare prices Shop around, ask for quotes, ask friends and family for recommendations and use a cost comparison website. Comparing quotes will ensure a plumber is not overcharging you for what may be a simple and quick job. On the other hand, very low quotes can indicate a lack of experience or qualifications. Collecting multiple quotes allows you to gauge the average rate in your area.
Get a fixed quote Ask your plumber exactly what work needs to be done and if the quote is inclusive of any additional costs (such as travel and spare parts, etc.). Rogue plumbers thrive on charging additional costs, which are unpleasant and unexpected. Getting an expectation up front of how much the work will cost you will prevent you from being taken advantage of.
Ensure their Gas Safe registration is up to date Never allow a plumber to work on gas appliances if they are not Gas safe registered. Check the Gas Safe Register and ensure they’re listed. Gas can be very dangerous, so it’s vital to work with someone who knows what they are doing. This will give you peace of mind that you and your family are protected from potential disaster.

Taking these steps will help you find a reputable plumber near you, whether you’re looking for a plumber in Hampstead, Islington or further afield. This will allow you to relax knowing that you won’t get ripped off and that your home won’t be at risk by ridiculous, unprofessional practices. When you find a good plumber, keep the details with you for emergencies and future projects, saving you time and money in the long-term.

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