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Do it yourself or hire a professional?

When in doubt, it’s best to call a plumber. Making mistakes can end up costing you more, especially if a professional has to fix a DIY disaster.

If you feel comfortable tackling plumbing jobs yourself, our step-by-step guides will show you how to identify and fix common plumbing problems.


Plumbing projects for the professionals

Hot water not working properly

A professional can tell you what’s wrong and spot other problems you may not be able to see.

Humming sound coming from your system

The pump speed may be too high or your pipes may be too narrow for the system flow.

Burst pipes

Replacing pipework can be a tricky job and lead to more problems if not tackled correctly.

Larger jobs like installing a new bathroom

RThis can be complex and everything must be done correctly and safely. You may need building regulation approval too, which a professional can advise you on.

If there’s a plumbing emergency or your efforts aren’t working, call a plumber as soon as possible.


Find a plumber or heating engineer

Plumbers do lots of different jobs, whereas heating engineers have specialist knowledge and only work with heating systems. Check out our guide to finding a trustworthy tradesperson that’ll get the job done.

Ask friends and family

Tradespeople rely on word of mouth so get recommendations from friends, family or neighbours.

Ask tradespeople you’ve already worked with

If you’ve had a good experience with an electrician or builder, for example, ask them for some advice. They’ll often work with other professionals and be happy to recommend someone.

CIPHE

CIPHE (Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering) is the professional body for the UK plumbing and heating industry and has a directory of registered plumbers that’s searchable by postcode.

TrustMark

This not-for-profit organisation is licensed by the government and supported by consumer protection groups. All firms that carry the TrustMark logo and are featured on the website are required to have their technical skills independently checked through regular inspections. Find a plumber by entering your postcode.

Contact your local authority

Many local authorities run their own ‘trusted trading schemes’ with lists of plumbers who have been strictly vetted by trading standards. Use the postcode search on their website to find local recommendations.

Browse online recommendation sites

These sites work by allowing customers to leave reviews of registered tradespeople, who also post photos of their previous jobs and information about themselves. They can help you decide whether a tradesperson is the right fit for you, as well as letting you post a job that plumbers can respond to.

Check out Which? for authentic reviews

Consumer organisation, Which?, operates Which? Local where only members can post reviews that are verified for authenticity. The average price and job completion info are also included but to access the reviews, you have to pay to join.

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#WickesTips

Once you’ve got some options, get quotes so you can compare prices and find out the following:

  • How long they’ve been in business
  • Do they have insurance to cover your property and your neighbours’?
  • Ask if their work is guaranteed and whether the guarantee is insured. This means if they go out of business, the work is still insured.
  • Check if they’re a member of a professional body

Good to know

  • Any plumber or heating engineer working with gas must be CORGI registered by law
  • Avoid plumbers who demand 100% of the price upfront. Paying a proportion of the fee is reasonable if they have to buy materials
  • It’s not compulsory for electricians to join, but it may be reassuring if they’re a member of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) – a voluntary regulatory body for electricians
  • Ask for a signed, written contract that includes a clear description of the work, the agreed price, start and finish dates and details of any guarantees