Having someone do the plumbing repair work that doesn't have the qualifications and experience necessary to do the job right is something you'd rather avoid.

When your home plumbing system is working without any issues, life is good. At least we can agree that it’s a whole lot better than when your plumbing system is not working! Of course when you’re faced with a plumbing emergency you need to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.  For example, if you happen to live in Phoenix Arizona, you know it gets hot in the summer.  If your Phoenix water heater gets too hot and explodes most likely you’re going to want a plumber to come to your house pronto.  At the same time, having someone do the plumbing repair work that doesn’t have the qualifications and experience necessary to do the job right is something you’d rather avoid.

While there are many qualifications that may be desirable for a plumbing professional to have, three critical qualifications rank above the rest.

1)Certification or State License

2)Better Business Bureau Record


Certification or State License

Different states have different licensing requirements for plumbers. Plumbers in Phoenix Arizona, for example, are required to be licensed by the state. In order to obtain that license they need to obtain at least four years of work experience in a particular plumbing classification. There are residential, commercial, and other classifications.

Better Business Bureau Record

The better business bureau goes through a thorough investigational process in order to verify any complaints against a particular plumbing company. If you find that a company you are considering has any unresolved complaints against them you should definitely consider it as a big red flag.


It is never worth the risk to have an uninsured plumber do work for you. If there happens to be an accident in the course of their work then you may be out of luck if your plumber is uninsured. Of course they would be liable, but it’s one thing to be liable and quite another to be in a position to meet your financial liabilities. You’ll sleep much better at night knowing that your plumber is insured and will be able to handle any unforeseen problems arising from an accident for which they are liable.

Other questions to consider

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they clean up after themselves or leave a mess for you to deal with?
  • Do they guarantee their work with a service guarantee?
  • Will they obtain all necessary permits for your plumbing project?
  • How do their prices compare with other plumbing companies? If they’re the cheapest by far it may be a sign that they are under-experienced.

All of these questions need to be answered beforehand if at all possible. When you’re in the middle of a plumbing emergency you’re more desperate and not really in the position to say, “I’m going to need at least two other quotes from some competing plumbing companies before I can make a decision.” At 1am when you’re needing a plumber as soon as humanly possible you are most likely going to go with the first one you come across. If you’ll do some preparation now and decide ahead of time which emergency plumbing company you are going to feel most comfortable with then you’ll be very glad that you did when you’re in the middle of an emergency.

Other steps to take when qualifying your emergency plumber include:

  • Call another homeowner who you trust to make good recommendations. Most likely they have used a plumber in the past and can give you a good recommendation.
  • Check online on your favorite service review site such as Angie’s List or eLocal Plumbers and see what kind of reviews they have gotten. It may be worth getting a membership with Angie’s list because there is less potential for a competitor to leave negative or positive feedback (for a competitor or for themselves) posing as a customer. Because of that potential for abuse the reviews can often be considered more reliable.
  • Call the plumber and ask for their license number. You can then research them more thoroughly online.