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That faucet is leaking. You have tried and tried to repair the leak yourself with no result. You need a plumber. What do you do?

1. Use the Internet.

Most plumbing companies advertise on the internet. This is an easy way to look at customer’s ratings and reviews on a plumber in your area. Stay away from the first three links at the top of your results and from the side. These are pay per click campaigns and the cost is ALWAYS handed off to you (Google charges up to 60.00 per click, beware!). You can also find valuable coupons buried on plumber’s websites.

2. Don’t be desperate if you don’t have to be.

Good plumbers have busy schedules. If you have waited 3 months on that leaking faucet, what is one more day? Demanding same day service can cost you extra dollars. Work around the plumber’s schedule and you will find it is better on the wallet.

3. Ask for a free estimate.

This is a dying art in the plumbing industry, but you can still find it. There is no reason at all for a company to charge you up to 70.00 just to be invited to your home. This is a marketing scheme to get into your door. Although the price for the repair seems high, plumbers are betting you won’t give up any more time waiting or that expensive “trip fee”. There are free estimates; you just have to look for them.

4. Look for that “M” number and check licenses.

Chances are you’ve seen that funny number like M36628 on the side of a plumbing truck. This is a very important number for you. This number means there is a master plumber with the company that is responsible to you the customer. Never let an unlicensed plumber into your home! This can mean potential disaster with no recourse for you the consumer. You may ask the plumber at your home to see his or her license, it is mandatory that the plumber have this with him at all times while working. You can also contact the State Board of Plumbing Examiners and check the insurance and validity of the company’s or plumber’s license(s).

5. Once you’ve found a good plumber, keep him.

When you need a plumber, you need a good one. Ask the plumber for their email address and contact information. A good way to keep the plumber is in your email folders. How many contacts are in that folder that you haven’t contacted recently? Trust me, the plumber doesn’t care about you saying hello, he just wants a call when you need him. Tape a business card under the cabinet; and write it on the back of something you aren’t going to throw away. Plumber’s that get a 2 am phone call from a customer they know are a lot more forgiving than someone they don’t.

Feel free to use these five suggestions to help you choose the plumber who is right for you.

How to Choose a Good Plumber