Unfortunately, the amount of cowboy plumbing and heating contractors has risen in the last few years and we’ve all had to bear witness to watching videos of them fix the toilet in two minutes and then spend the rest of the hour playing with their phones.
The unsuspecting home owners are handed a whopping bill and assume the job must have been a major one to cause such time, effort and money but sadly they’ve just been robbed; plain and simple.
Here at M&D we have carried out a number of North London projects involving heating and plumbing work and we know what we are doing. As trustworthy professionals, we are saddened by the number of cowboys out there.
Choosing the right company
So, how do you tell the cowboys from the professionals? Well, first and foremost it’s best to ask family and friends if they have recommendations. Usually if a plumber has done a good job somewhere else and is well known, he isn’t going to come to you and charge over the odds for the flick of a switch.
But if no-one you know can recommend anyone then your left to search on your own which means you may have to do some digging. Look for a professional set up and qualified tradesmen.
The right qualifications
Trading standards suggest that you ask if the plumber has insurance that will cover your property and that of your neighbours just in case anything goes horribly wrong.
Most professional plumbing and heating contractors will be covered for millions of pounds worth of damage.
You can also catch out a cowboy by asking if they are a member of any trade association, like the APHC (Association of Plumbers and Heating Contractors). If they say yes, you can easily contact the APHC to find out if they are telling the truth. If they happen to be telling the truth, you can be fairly sure that the plumber will do a good job because of the code of practice they are expected to stick to.
Sometimes heating and plumbing problems can be urgent so there isn’t an awful amount of time to do your research but try to get an estimated quote if you can and if all else fails, do a quick search of the plumbers name on the internet. It’s important to do as much as you can with the time that you have so you don’t end up in worse position than you were to begin with.
Plumbing emergencies are the worst kind – water is very damaging. So in an emergency where your home is being damaged, follow these steps:
- Locate the stop cock and turn off the water to your home. This will stop the water unless it is coming from a tank in your loft.
- Turn on all the taps in your house to drain your water tank as quickly as possible.
- Use towels and buckets to catch as much water as possible until it stops flowing. This will happen when the tank is empty.
- Contact a plumber to come and restore your water and make necessary repairs. This isn’t always an emergency – but you cannot turn your mains water back on until the problem is fixed.
- Call your insurance company to tell them what has happened. They will be able to advise on the next steps.