I Need a Plumber, Please!

It’s challenging to find competent plumbers in the UK. If you require a plumber immediately, you are in serious trouble.

Numerous articles on choosing plumbers are available. Everyone has heard the advice to obtain quotes, follow up on references, and seek recommendations from friends and family. All good, but it gives the impression that people in need of a plumber have a selection.

This is a serious misinterpretation of the problem that the typical householder faces. Yes, we do desire to locate a superb plumber—that knowledgeable, courteous, punctual, reasonably priced paragon of virtue—but first we must identify a plumber who is willing to work with us plumber.

In an emergency, you’ll either find Mr. or Mrs. “It’ll cost you!” or their more reasonably priced cousin Dave, who says, “Quickest I could get to you is next Wednesday.” These plumbers have priced themselves out of the market and are therefore frequently available. It’s not good if you have a leak on a Sunday.

Having routine work done, like having a boiler serviced or a bathroom installed, is not much better, in fact. Getting a quote can be difficult, but starting the work can be even harder.

Recent reports indicate that the situation should now be improving.

The press has reported on a shortage of plumbers for the past few years. The British Plumbing Employer’s Council predicted in 2003 that the plumbing industry would require 29,000 new hires over the following five years. As a result, there have been reports of City workers quitting their jobs in order to become plumbers and make £70,000 annually.

But in more recent times, there have been reports of Eastern European workers with plumbing experience filling jobs on construction sites and an overabundance of trainees looking for work.

This should make it much simpler for the homeowner to find a reliable plumber who is available. The logic is sound, but readily available plumbers are still a rare breed. Read on for Hot Hints on finding a plumber if your ceiling is dripping or if your new bathroom is set to arrive next Wednesday.

How to Find a Plumber Quickly

Always start by seeking recommendations from loved ones and close acquaintances.

Check out one of the online directories to find plumbers in your area. The better directories give the plumbers a place to describe their experience and specialised knowledge. When you call, don’t forget to mention the directory because some plumbers have deals with it.

Look in the parish magazine in your area. The plumbers who advertise there frequently reside nearby; in an emergency, they may be more accessible, more affordable, and most importantly, more willing to respond quickly.

Try the paper in your area. To increase your chances of finding a plumber who says “yes,” some plumbers will advertise in the classified ads all year long while others will only show up when they are not busy.

Call your neighbourhood letting agent. Most letting agents have a team of tradespeople on staff who are prepared to respond quickly to issues faced by the agent’s tenants. The plumber there might be willing to assist you.

Call your local plumbing supply store; the employees are likely to be able to recommend someone who is both qualified and available to handle your job because they get to know the regulars very well.

Plan ahead and inquire about the plumbers’ qualifications each time a friend has plumbing work done. Keep a record of the plumbers’ contact information. If a leak or blockage does occur, you will then be aware of who to call right away.

Once you’ve identified a potential plumber, do make an effort to investigate them. In reality, plumbers are no more likely than anyone else to be outlaws or cowboys, and the majority are extremely competent and diligent workers. But it’s probably a good idea to err on the side of caution.

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