A lot of individuals get ripped off when they need plumbing services because they know little about hiring the right plumber. Luckily, there are a few steps that you can take to avoid unscrupulous plumbers. These steps involve common sense and foresight and do not require any special knowledge of plumbing.

Step 1: Know The Plumber’s Specialty
Every plumber can be able to fix a leaking pipe or faucet, but there are very few who specialize in troubleshooting central plumbing systems, unclogging hard to reach drains and installing water systems from scratch. More often than not, plumbers who can do these kinds of tasks specialize in them, and if you fail to hire a specialist, chances are you will get sub-par service. So, if you want a hot water system installed, look for a plumber who specializes in that. Do not simply settle for a plumber who says they can do it.

Step 2: Get Several Estimates
Always get a number of estimates if the issue is not an emergency before hiring a plumber who claims to be a professional. Getting several bids will show you how much the project will cost and which plumber provides realistic and honest estimates. It might not be possible to get estimates on all tasks because of emergency situations like a clogged drain, leaking pipes, and broken fixtures. On the contrary, you should be able to get estimates for projects like replacing an old fixture or redoing a bathroom.

Step 3: Avoid Unrealistic Promises
Most homeowners get ripped off because they fall for offers that are simply unrealistic. Unscrupulous plumbers will intentionally bid too low knowing that they will get the job. You should never accept a bid for any sort of work that is significantly lower than other estimates. There’s a good chance that the person or company quoting that amount is simply lying in order to get the job.

Step 4: Demand to See Licenses and Bonds
In most places, an individual offering plumbing services is required to have a license in order to do business. As such, you should always ask to see the potential plumber’s license and examine it properly. A professional will always be willing to show potential clients their license. They should also be insured and bonded and ask to see their coverage before they embark on the task.

Step 5: Ask for References
Hiring an individual who comes to your home and offers to fix your pipes or a friendly lad in the local bar who claims they can do the job for less is a sure fire way to get ripped off. In the worst case scenario, you could be letting a criminal on your property. As such, it is always advisable to ask for references before making the final decision. Contact the past clients and inquire about their experience with the plumber. If the task you have for them is quite significant, you can ask to visit the client’s premises and assess the quality of service they received.

All this will certainly help you make an informed decision.