Every homeowner will need to call in a plumber at some point. Whether it’s installing a new faucet or handling an emergency, a plumber is an invaluable home professional. Especially when dealing with sudden plumbing problems, it’s important to get professional help in a hurry to ensure that the damage to the home is controlled as best as possible. An experienced plumber will know how to respond to stop or control a leak, clear a drain line, and even help deal with a faulty water heater. After the initial assessment and response, they can formulate a plan to repair the problem and make sure that the issue is resolved conclusively.
However, it can be difficult to find the best plumbing service in the area, especially if you have never had to contact a professional plumber before. Take a look at the list of the best plumbing services below, then keep reading for more information on what sets a top-tier plumbing company apart from competitors and how to find a reliable plumber.
- BEST OVERALL: Mr. Rooter
- RUNNER-UP: Roto-Rooter
- BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE: Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
- BEST AGGREGATOR: HomeAdvisor
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Plumbing Services
Plumbing systems are complicated. It’s easy to get confused by technical jargon or a hurried explanation of the situation, so in order to ensure customer confidence in the abilities, experience, and customer service potential of a company, it’s a good idea to consider several key factors: service area, scheduling and services the company offers, what licensing and insurance the plumbers have, and the exact breakdown of pricing and payment.
While a quick internet search of “best plumbing company near me” or “best rated plumber near me” is a great way to find an entire list of qualified companies to handle a plumbing emergency, if the home is outside of the service area, then the company will be unable to send a plumber to resolve the problem. Before contacting a company or going any further into the assessment, check the service area to determine exactly how much range the company has and whether they typically work in your area.
Some companies may be able to send a plumber to an address outside of the service area for an additional fee. However, this would need to be discussed and agreed to beforehand so that the customer can be certain of the cost. In this case, it may be better to opt for a plumbing company that is a little closer to home. Also, keep in mind that the farther away a company is, the slower the response time to emergencies will be.
Scheduling and Services Offered
After verifying that a plumbing company actually works in the area, the next step in assessing its potential is whether the company has the availability to deal with the problem. Check the company’s website to determine the working hours, and consider contacting the company for more information on time-block appointments that are booked over several hours or exact-time appointments that require the plumber to arrive at a specified time.
Also, it’s recommended to check the plumbing services that the company offers. Common services include repairing leaking faucets or pipes, clearing clogged drains or toilets, resolving low water-pressure problems, fixing running toilets, and assessing issues with the water heater. If the problem falls outside of this general list, then it’s important to verify that the company has a plumber that is licensed and capable of performing the required work.
Licensing and Insurance
One of the first questions to ask before hiring a plumber is whether they are licensed, certified, and insured by the state. This should include any workers who will be on-site performing repairs or preparing plumbing parts for installation. Ensuring that the workers are both licensed and insured doesn’t just give peace of mind; contractors insurance prevents a homeowner from being held liable for any accidents or injuries that may befall a plumber when on the job.
Keep in mind that some states do not require a plumber to have official licensing or insurance. Unfortunately, in this case, the best option for finding a skilled, reliable company is to rely on word-of-mouth reports and online reviews that break down the company’s performance, including customer service, pricing, scheduling, services, and more.
Pricing and Payment
When it comes to understanding the price of plumbing work, it’s important to ask any questions up front so that there aren’t any surprises on the bill. Before signing a contract or agreement, find out if the price of the work is going to be a flat rate or if it’s based on an hourly rate, and also consider whether the initial diagnostic assessment is included in the final price or if it will be billed separately.
The work is being completed at the behest of the customer, so it’s only reasonable to ask for a clear breakdown of the costs in the estimate and to verify whether there will be any additional costs or if the entire price of the repair has been accounted for in the total. If the cost is reasonable then find out if the work needs to be paid in cash, credit, or debit. The company may also have an online method of payment, such as an email money transfer.
Guarantee or Warranty
Assessing the experience and services of a plumbing company is necessary for finding a reliable plumber to complete repairs or upgrades. However, even the best plumbers can sometimes make mistakes or end up with faulty parts, resulting in leaks, floods, or water damage. To ensure that the home is protected in case something goes wrong during or following the repair, check the company website for information about guarantees or warranties on its work.
If the site doesn’t have any information, consider calling the company directly for a clear understanding of its policies and guarantees. Keep in mind that specific parts, like a valve or faucet, may have individual product warranties, but a clear sign of a reliable plumbing company is that it has a separate warranty on the work performed by the plumber so that if a soldered joint begins to leak in the middle of the night and the basement is partially flooded in the morning, the customer isn’t stuck paying for additional repairs as well as the cost to clean up and fix the water damage.
There are few things more important than clear communication when dealing with an emergency situation, like flooding, which is why superior customer support is essential for top-tier plumbing companies. Instead of 3-hour wait times, calls should be answered promptly by a knowledgeable individual who can listen to the issue and either provide immediate help or connect the caller to someone who can solve the problem. Keep in mind that if this second company representative pushes the caller off to a third person, then the support process has likely fallen short, and most customers will begin thinking about hanging up.
Emergency response times are also very important. When a pipe bursts and water is gushing into the home, the last thing anyone wants is to wait on hold. Reliable companies will be able to respond quickly and send an experienced plumber anytime, 24/7.
Our Top Picks
This list of the best plumbing services was selected for top-tier customer service, quality work, reasonable pricing, flexible scheduling, and reliable plumbing know-how.
Why It Made the Cut: The reliability of Mr. Rooter’s plumbing skill, a solid warranty, and the flat-rate pricing guarantee make this company a clear leader in the plumbing repair industry.
Established in 1970 as an Oklahoma City–based business, Mr. Rooter now provides expert plumbing services to 46 states, all of Canada, and a small area around Washington, D.C. With over 200 locations, Mr. Rooter is well equipped to respond to plumbing emergencies in a timely fashion, and it can be reached directly by phone or through online scheduling services. Just keep in mind that the company doesn’t operate in every state, so it’s important to check the location tab on the Mr. Rooter website to find the nearest location.
Mr. Rooter provides a 90-day labor warranty, up-front estimates, clear cost breakdowns, and flat-rate pricing, so customers don’t need to worry about hidden fees when the work is done. Additionally, the company doesn’t charge extra for weekends, holidays, or after-hours work and even has a customer Advantage Plan that allows for reduced price rates and priority scheduling.
- Service area: 46 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada
- Scheduling: Online or phone
- Availability: Standard and emergency
- Guarantee: 90-day labor warranty
- Customer support: Phone
- Up-front, flat-rate pricing
- 90-day labor guarantee
- No upcharge for weekend, holiday, or after-hours service
- Advantage Plan allows for priority scheduling and preferential pricing
- Not available in 4 states
Why It Made the Cut: Roto-Rooter is known for top-tier plumbing service and the almost continent-wide service area that makes up all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada.
Roto-Rooter has been in business for a long time since the company’s founding in 1935. During this time it has expanded, offering professional plumbing services in all 50 states; Canada; and Washington, D.C. The long experience in the industry hasn’t slowed Roto-Rooter’s progression into new online scheduling systems, and it even offers prospective customers educational information about their plumbing systems that can be found on the Roto-Rooter website. Just keep in mind that the website can be difficult to navigate; it may take some time to become familiar with the site, but it’s well worth it in the end.
By educating customers, Roto-Rooter establishes trust and reliability instead of confusing customers with a rapid explanation that’s full of technical language. If an emergency arises, Roto-Rooter guarantees that technicians will arrive within 2 hours. After the work is done, it is guaranteed to the customer’s satisfaction, which promises peace of mind.
- Service area: 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada
- Scheduling: Online or phone
- Availability: Standard and emergency
- Guarantee: Satisfaction guarantee
- Customer support: Phone
- Convenient, easy-to-use online scheduling system
- Web-based educational information available for homeowners
- Emergency technicians arrive within 2 hours
- Website can be somewhat user-unfriendly
Why It Made the Cut: Putting customers first every step of the way, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing doesn’t charge additional fees for after-hours service and even pays the customer if the plumber is late at a rate of $5 per minute.
Despite the prodigious name, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing was founded in 2000, which is relatively recent when compared with other top plumbing companies that have been around for over 50 years. While this difference hasn’t hurt the customer service and professionalism offered by Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, it does have the effect of limiting the service area range to just 25 states. In addition, some locations may not provide the same service list as another location, such as irrigation or sprinkler system maintenance and installation, so make sure to check the exact services offered by the nearest location before booking.
More than the service area, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is recognized for outstanding customer service and pricing. The company doesn’t charge an additional fee for weekend, holiday, or after-hours appointments, and it guarantees that the customer will receive monetary compensation if the plumber arrives late. The rate of this compensation is $5 per minute, up to a maximum of $300. It should also be noted that customer complaints cannot be swept under the rug with offhand excuses because all complaints are evaluated and addressed by a neutral third party that helps to ensure that Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is kept accountable if any problems arise.
- Service area: 25 states
- Scheduling: Online or phone
- Availability: Standard and emergency
- Guarantee: Satisfaction guarantee, on-time guarantee
- Customer support: Phone, live chat
- On-time guarantee pays customer $5 for every minute a technician is late
- No upcharge for weekend, holiday, or after-hours service
- A third party evaluates and makes decisions on any customer complaints
- Only available in 25 states
- Some services may not be available at all locations
Why It Made the Cut: Save time searching for plumbing companies by heading to HomeAdvisor for a searchable database of qualified local professionals.
Searching for an experienced, reliable plumbing company online can be difficult, but HomeAdvisor works to streamline the process by compiling a list of licensed and qualified plumbers and plumbing companies. The website is completely free, allowing prospective customers to search a database of professionals, providing information on pricing, scheduling, services, and how to get in contact with the companies.
Before the service can be hired, customers need to input their name, phone number, and email to browse for local plumbing professionals. HomeAdvisor is an aggregator, so it’s a repository of information rather than a service in and of itself. Because HomeAdvisor doesn’t provide the plumbing service directly, warranties, availability, scheduling, and service area cannot be guaranteed. Prospective customers will need to find out this information from the specific company they decide to hire.
- Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
- Scheduling: Online
- Availability: Varies by provider
- Guarantee: Varies by provider
- Customer Support: Phone, email, live chat
- Potential clients can filter by project and choose from local professionals
- Website is streamlined and user-friendly
- Name, phone number, and email are required to browse local services
Get up-front, flat-rate pricing regardless of whether the work is being done on a weekday, weekend, or after hours with Mr. Rooter, or take advantage of the guaranteed 2-hour emergency response time window offered by Roto-Rooter.
How We Chose the Best Plumbing Services
Experience in the plumbing industry provided a foundation for understanding the extent of professionalism and the expertise of the service offered by each company that was considered. In addition, extensive research into each company helped to form the basis for the selection of the best plumbing services. Key factors that were considered during this selection process included customer service, pricing, scheduling, and plumbing experience.
Additionally, the available service area of a company, as well as any guarantees or warranties that were listed by the company, were factored into the final selection. Well-known companies were given preference over relatively new plumbing companies because a positive reputation speaks to high customer satisfaction and reliability, while a company with a relatively limited or unknown reputation is essentially a gamble.
Before You Hire One of the Best Plumbing Services
If an emergency happens at home and you need help in a hurry, then don’t hesitate to call a local plumbing company to at least get the situation under control. However, if you have the time then it’s important to evaluate the plumbing problem and determine whether the repair is something you have the experience and skill to handle, like clearing a clogged toilet with a plunger or cleaning out the aerator on a faucet.
If you need a plumber, then the next step is to look up the costs of the repair online and compare the prices and quality of local plumbing companies. Verify that the company can complete the work required for the repair, and check to ensure that the plumber is licensed and insured, if this is necessary in your state. Once you are satisfied with the company, get a written agreement and breakdown of the fees, including any guarantees the company makes on the work.
Cost of Hiring One of the Best Plumbing Services
It’s difficult to determine the exact cost of hiring a plumber because every company handles pricing in its own way. Some companies offer flat-rate fees, while others rely on hourly rates to pay the plumber according to the time spent on the job. Smaller jobs will take less time and will require fewer parts, so the overall cost is typically lower, but any significant upgrades or repairs can quickly get expensive, especially if problems occur, resulting in more time added to the hourly rate.
Avoid any surprises by getting a written contract or agreement and a clear breakdown of the pricing. On average, the cost of hiring a plumber for a common plumbing job is about $175 to $450, or $45 to $200 per hour. The average cost for flat-rate work is about $300, depending on the company, parts, and work required.
The Advantages of Using One of the Best Plumbing Services
There are many reasons it’s a good idea to hire a top plumbing company instead of trying to tackle plumbing emergencies from a DIY perspective. One of the best reasons is that you will get expert service from a licensed plumber to help assess the problem, give you options to deal with the situation, and complete the work when you are ready to go ahead with it.
Another great reason for using one of the best plumbing services in your area is that the trained professionals who come to your home will take all appropriate safety precautions to keep you and your home safe. This isn’t just a part of great customer service; it’s mandatory to follow appropriate safety protocols to prevent injuries in the workplace.
Professional plumbing companies also have the added advantage of stocking tools and a surplus of commonly used parts. This means repairs can be done in one visit, whereas a homeowner attempting to make repairs might search endlessly through the local home improvement store for the right parts.
- An expert assessment and clear guidance helps to resolve problems quickly.
- Appropriate safety precautions will be taken by trained individuals.
- Professional plumbing companies have access to the necessary parts and tools for the repair.
For more information on your plumbing system, common plumbing problems, and the services offered by these top-tier plumbing companies, you can find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions below.
Q. What are the most common plumbing problems?
The most common plumbing problems the average home experiences include leaking faucets or pipes, clogged drains or toilets, low water pressure, running toilets, and issues with the water heater. Regardless of the problem, the best plumbing Cincinnati, New York, or any other U.S. city has to offer is just a phone call or an internet search away. So don’t hesitate to get professional help when one of these issues happens in your home.
Q. Does heavy rain affect how plumbing works?
When heavy rain hits, you may need to search for “plumbing companies near me” or “plumbers near me” in order to deal with the potential plumbing emergencies that can occur. For instance, heavy rain can soak deep into the ground, putting additional pressure on the buried water lines. The water can also loosen the soil around the pipes, resulting in the pipes shifting and possibly rupturing. Heavy rain can also overwork the sump pump if you have one installed.
Q. What skills should a plumber have?
Even the best plumber cannot rely solely on physical skills to get the job done every time, so it’s important that plumbers have a mix of mental and physical abilities including a basic high school understanding of math, problem-solving or troubleshooting skills, attention to detail, manual dexterity, physical strength, and customer service skills.
More specific mechanical skills that are required for the position include the knowledge and skill to install faucets, solder plumbing joints, fix leaks, clear clogged drain lines, drain hot water tanks, replace valves, and more.
Q. Why does my drain get clogged?
Most bathroom drain clogs result when dirt, skin flakes, and especially hair binds to soap scum on the walls of drain pipes. Over time, this gunk accumulates and reduces water flow.
Q. Is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners?
Chemical drain cleaners are a popular way for DIYers to handle small clogs without needing to find a qualified professional to deal with the situation. However, chemical drain cleaners can do lasting damage to your plumbing system, so it’s best to learn how to use a drain snake or find a reliable plumber in the area to resolve the problem.
Q. How do I recognize a high-quality plumbing service?
There are a few easy ways to recognize the best plumbing companies. Our choices are a good bet, but there may be even more options in your area. The technician or plumber will answer your calls promptly and typically arrives on time or provides updates if they are running late. You can expect high-quality companies to have a clear, reliable communication process and use plumbers that are both experienced and licensed to perform the work. In addition, the plumber should come prepared with everything they need to complete the job and then clean up afterward, instead of leaving a mess behind.
These are signs of a company that puts the needs of the customer first. Even if you end up paying a bit more, the reliability and peace of mind are well worth the expense for high-quality service. A great way to identify quality companies is to do a quick search for “top plumbers near me.” This will give you a list of local companies, which is often accompanied by a review of the best plumbing services in the area.
Q. Are plumbing services covered by renters insurance?
A misconception of many renters is that when damage occurs in their unit the responsibility for the repairs falls on the property manager or that any work is covered by renters insurance. However, unless specifically stated, renters insurance does not typically cover the cost of hiring professional plumbers.
Similarly, the responsibility for repairing the damage depends on the tenant contract and state laws. Check the terms of your contract and speak to your property manager to determine when you would be responsible for any plumbing problems.
Q. Does home insurance cover plumbing services?
When an emergency occurs at home, it’s a good idea to know whether you can rely on home insurance to help cover the cost of the damage and if insurance will cover the repairs. Unfortunately, in many cases, home insurance doesn’t cover the actual repair. To know whether your home insurance covers the cost of hiring a professional plumber, check your insurance policy and speak to your insurance provider.