A Plumbing Service Contract Might Be The Best Decision You’ll Ever Make as a Homeowner

Justine Harrington
Updated March 23, 2022
A plumber fixing a leaking bathroom faucet
Photo: Portra / E+ / Cavan Images

Highlights

  • A plumbing service contract legally protects both parties.

  • These agreements usually include regular maintenance and inspections, plus priority scheduling.

  • Contact a plumber in your area for an exact cost estimate. 

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When something goes wrong with your home’s plumbing, it can be helpful to have a service contract in place. For one, you won’t have to search for local available plumbers during an emergency because there is already a pro at your beck and call. 

Plumbing service contracts are beneficial for both the homeowner and contractor, but you need to understand the coverage first. Here’s what you should know before entering into a long-term arrangement with your local plumber.

What Are Plumbing Service Contracts?

A woman signing invoice
Photo: Andrey Popov / Adobe Stock

A plumbing service contract is a legal agreement that specifies the type of work that a plumber should perform in the event of a plumbing repair. And given how complex these systems are, plumbing issues are inevitable. 

While each company’s service agreements will differ, they generally include these details for an annual fee:

  • Regular maintenance and inspections

  • Detailed records of your plumbing repairs and costs and the materials used for your system

  • Warranties and other guarantees 

A plumbing service contract can provide protection and peace of mind for both the customer and the service provider.

What Should I Look For In a Contract?

Not all companies hire licensed plumbers, and a service contract is only as good as the plumber. Before contracting with a plumber, make sure you know and trust their work. You should be very clear on exactly what your agreement covers. Here are the components of a service contract you should make a priority.

Inspections

Most importantly, your contract should include an annual evaluation of your entire plumbing system. Make sure it outlines what the plumber will cover during an inspection and how often they’ll perform one. 

Priority 

Does the contract guarantee same-day service? Will you get preferential scheduling in the event of an emergency? A benefit of this type of agreement is that you’ll enjoy priority customer status, so make sure you get it in writing. 

Insurance Clause

There should be a clause that details the type of liability coverage the plumber must provide. This is also a good time for you to ensure that you have sufficient coverage as well. 

Extra Perks 

Some companies may offer different levels of service for higher fees. The additional cost may be worth it, or it might not. Inquire about all available options before signing anything.  

Discounts

Finally, check to see if the contract includes a discount on parts and labor for future work and any other exclusive benefits available to members of the agreement.

Benefits of Plumbing Service Contracts

There are several benefits to entering into a legal agreement with your plumber. Here are four of the most important benefits to know:  

  • You’re guaranteed protection. Both parties are protected legally, so you can rest assured that the job gets done well and your system is getting the attention it needs to last for decades.

  • You’ll get priority customer service. Your contract will likely give you preferential scheduling in emergencies, so you don’t have to scramble around trying to find someone during an emergency. 

  • You’ll likely save money in the long run. If your plumber can head off a potentially expensive problem in the early stages, then the contract may end up paying for itself. Many contracts also offer discounts for certain services.

  • Your equipment will be in better shape. Routine maintenance (a key part of any service contract) is crucial if you want to keep your plumbing parts functioning properly. Your plumber will likely remind you when it’s time for an inspection, thus ensuring that your equipment stays in tip-top shape. 

Is a Plumbing Service Contract Worth the Cost?

Having a sound contract in place before hiring a plumber is generally a good idea, regardless of the project's scope. Just make sure you enter into a long-term contract with a plumber you can trust. Make sure your plumbing pro is:

  1. Licensed

  2. Protected by insurance and bonds

  3. Experienced (both in hours worked and building codes)

Contact a plumber in your area for an exact estimate and to find out what’s covered, so you can determine whether this is right for you. 

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