Let’s say you find a leak in your home, or you decide to install a new plumbing fixture and are looking for a low-cost plumber to do the job. You search online and find a long list of plumbers in Torrance ready and willing to do the job, but how do know which ones you can trust?

While most of the plumbers on your list will claim they handle your repair or installation, not all of them can guarantee their quality and are fully insured if something goes wrong in your home.

In this article, we explain five important questions to get the answers to before letting a plumber work on your home, so you won’t get stuck paying ridiculous labor costs for less-than-acceptable work.

1. What are your certifications? Are you licensed in California?

Asking for a plumber’s certifications is the first step in determining his or her level of experience and quality of work. In California, plumbers are not required to be licensed for all jobs, but for work totaling more than $500, the plumbing contractor must be licensed.

If you have significant plumbing work to be done and your plumber cannot or will not show proof of certifications or a license, find someone else for the job, or you could be stuck with a hefty bill for shoddy work.

2. Are you insured and bonded if an incident occurs?

On top of a license and certifications, your plumber should be insured and bonded and be able to show proof of both. Liability insurance will protect you for problems in which the plumber is at fault, including property damage, bodily harm, and more. A surety bond covers additional expenses and losses including money paid to fix the plumber’s inadequate work, compensation for goods stolen by the contractor (yes, this happens) and other related damages.

If your plumber isn’t bonded and insured, you can be on the hook for expensive repairs and more. Always ask for proof of insurance and bonds.

3. Is this the total price? Are you charging a flat or hourly rate?

Not all plumbers are honest and upfront with their pricing. The number you are quoted may only include parts and not labor costs. They may also imply they are charging a flat rate for labor when they really charge by the hour.

Although you may think you understand what they are charging and why, it is always best to double-check before they begin any work or you may end up overpaying or getting into a legal dispute with the plumber.

4. Can I have some references from past clients?

Ask your plumber for references. Even if he or she has just a few years of experience, your plumber should have plenty of examples of work and references for you to call. A tell-tale sign of a mediocre plumber is a lack of references.

Plumbers should be proud of the work they do. If getting references and examples of previous work is difficult, look for a more trustworthy plumber.

5. Is this repair/installation under warranty?

Finally, what happens if your plumber finishes an installation and the equipment breaks down a week later? Is the work under warranty? Can you get a full or partial refund or a discounted repair? If you work with an established plumbing company, this shouldn’t be an issue.

The next time you’re in need of a trusted plumber for a toilet, drain, or faucet repair in Torrance, remember to ask these critical questions before letting the plumber begin working. If your current plumber is not insured, certified, and is unwilling to give references from past clients or employers, do not hesitate to give Good Guy Plumbing a call at 310-928-2638 for low-cost and reliable plumbing repairs and installations.