Be picky when choosing your plumber


In Consumer Advice, Plumbers

With continued increases in repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) work being reported, it is clear that good plumbers are already in high demand. So, should you wait for the tradesperson you want, or take a chance on another?

Tim Sainty, Membership Director at the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) commented, “The overwhelming majority of tradespeople represent decent, hardworking businesses who will do a good job, but it pays to be choosy when having work carried out in your home and to know who it is that will be working for you. This is particularly the case on substantial projects where you will hire the services of an individual and they will then sub-contract specialist aspects out to others.”

“We know from members’ feedback that they regularly have to carry out work rectifying previously substandard installation or repair jobs. Some of this caused by uninformed DIY or by using an unqualified, or inexperienced tradesperson. In some cases, this has caused serious health hazards, and in all cases it leads to money, time and hassle for the consumer.”

“As a professional body and an educational charity, we raise awareness of the health and safety issues associated with poorly installed and maintained plumbing and heating systems. Using a professional member of the plumbing and heating engineering industry always pays dividends in the long run, even if you may have to wait for their services.”

So how do you find that professional installer in the first place? The CIPHE gives the following top tips:

  • Contact at least three plumbers to get quotes for the work to be carried out.
  • Ask friends and neighbours if they can recommend someone to you.
  • Find out what qualifications they have – for example, if they fit gas appliances then they must be Gas Safe registered.
  • Make sure they are a member of the CIPHE. CIPHE members are qualified, experienced and are bound by a Code of Professional Standards. You can rest assured that you are in the hands of somebody who is committed to high standards and best practice.
  • Prices can vary considerably. Don’t make your decision solely based on the cost as if you are only out for the cheapest price you may regret it, (many people have). A good tradesperson needs to allow enough time to do the job properly, they won’t want to be rushed and they will want to use good quality materials, which comply with the relevant Regulations and Standards.

The CIPHE has a list of professional plumbers and heating installers available on the website – just enter your postcode in their Find a Plumber tool. Alternatively, ring 01708 472791 or email from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm for a list of members in your area.