A Reputable Plumber Will Possess These 7 Qualities

Updated January 5, 2022
A plumber giving a repair estimate to a senior couple
Photo: bluecinema / E+ / Getty Images


  • A good plumber shows respect for your time and your home

  • A good plumber comes prepared with the equipment needed to complete the job

  • A good plumber provides detailed estimates and clear, transparent answers to your questions

  • A good plumber corrects any problems that may arise or refer you to another pro who can address problems they cannot

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It pays to have a good plumber on your roster, literally and figuratively. While it's easy to recognize the work of a professional once you see the end result, how do you judge the merits of a plumber when they first start on a job? Reputable plumbing professionals possess more than just piping skills and repair work, they also prioritize respectful service. Here are seven signs of a true pro.

1. They Respect for Your Time

A good plumber will always respect you and your time. Rather than a ballpark estimate, for example, true professionals often provide a more precise estimated time of arrival. If the plumber you've hired calls when they’re running late or arriving early—even by just a few minutes—it's a sure sign they respect your time and their work.

If it’s a non-emergency, a good plumber will try to accommodate your family’s schedule as much as possible.

2. They Respect for Your Home

A plumber may spend six or eight hours a day working in your home, but you're the one who has to live there. A professional will respect your home by taking off their shoes when entering or putting plastic booties over their work boots before walking over your carpet. They will also protect your property around the area they’re working in.

In addition, a true pro also always tidies up their work area at the end of each day, even if the homeowner won't be using the space. This kind of care for a customer's home bodes well for the quality of the work.

3. They Arrive Fully Prepared

A good plumber will never delay the job because they’ve failed to plan ahead. A true professional leverages their experience to identify the necessary equipment and acquire it before the job begins. 

Complications in any plumbing job may require additional equipment, but a good plumber prepares for those contingencies. They don’t make excuses and can always acquire what they need quickly. If they can't, then a good plumber will be upfront and propose a strategy for compensating for the delay and the inconvenience.

4. They’re Proud To Show Credentials

A plumber that’s licensed, bonded, and insured should be happy to show you their credentials and provide a list of references who can attest to the quality of the plumber’s work and service. Ensure that all documentation is current and valid, and when calling references, don't just ask about the end product but also the plumber's attitude, demeanor, and timeliness.

5. They Provide All Necessary Paperwork

Even before work begins, you can tell if a professional plumber from the rest by the kind of paperwork they provide. The plumber should give you all the documentation you need to decide whether to hire them and what you should expect from the project.  At a minimum, a good plumber will provide the following paperwork:

  • A clear estimate: Detailed estimate, itemized to include the cost for materials, labor, permitting fees, taxes, and any other charges. 

  • A contract and scope of work agreement: Document detailing in-depth work done, the plumber’s responsibilities, and any issues or considerations for which they do not assume responsibility.

  • A work schedule: Breakdown for project completion 

  • Bonding and insurance documentation: Official documentation regarding insurance and bond polices

6. They Answer All Questions, Even the Tough Ones

Whether it's a full bathroom remodel or a simple leak fix, chances are you'll have questions about the project. A professional plumber should be willing to provide answers—using layman's terms. If you find that the plumber is deliberately unclear or using jargon, it may signal that your plumber isn’t confident in their abilities. 

Here are a few qualifying questions you can ask your plumber before hiring them:

  • Are you licensed and insured?

  • What is your experience in the industry?

  • Is your fee a flat rate, or is it hourly?

  • Is every possible cost covered in the estimate?

  • Why are you choosing this particular method of repair?

  • Who will do the work? Are they all licensed and qualified plumbers?

  • Do I have any other repair options?

  • What happens if any breaks or damages occur?

  • Is cleanup included in the quote?

  • Do your services come with a guarantee?

7. They’re Willing To Correct Any Problems

A plumber solving problems in the bathroom
Photo: AleksandarNakic / E+ / Getty Images

Even the best plumbers make mistakes and shouldn't have a problem correcting one if it occurs. If you notice an issue with your plumber's work, they should be willing to fix it or explain why what appears to be an error may actually be part of the plan. A true pro will always be courteous, even if you're unclear about the process.

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