It’s World Plumbing Day on 11th March 2016; a day which is designed to highlight the importance of safe plumbing.

World Plumbing Day was created by the World Plumbing Council, whose mission is “to unite the world plumbing industry to safeguard and protect the environment and the health of nations, for the benefit of all.”

One of the biggest plumbing safety issues in the UK is the growing number of ‘cowboy’ plumbers. These are non-registered and often untrained people posing as professional plumbers and carrying out dangerous plumbing work, compromising the safety of the household.

It’s vital that UK householders make sure that they are protecting themselves against these illegal cowboys carrying out bodge jobs and putting consumers in danger!

Here’s 5 things you should always do when hiring a plumber:

Shop around for quotes

If you don’t shop around for more than one quote, not only could you be paying over the odds, but you could be employing a cowboy without realising it.

Getting a like-for-like quote or two to compare your original quote to will not only help you to get the best value, but it will also highlight any significant differences (a sign of a potential cowboy plumber). If one quote is significantly cheaper, it’s likely that it’s too good to be true!

You should find that reputable plumbing businesses will charge relatively the same rate. This is based on the typical wage of the installer(s) needed and time taken to carry out the job plus the price of any parts. Usually the only thing that will change the price of the job is the brand of parts or appliance being chosen (for example, Ravenheat boilers are significantly cheaper to install than a Worcester Bosch or Valliant).

Do your research

Don’t just pick a plumbing company, call them up and hire them straight away. As well as looking around for different quotes, you should also poke around for reviews and other information about the company.

Doing a quick Google search will usually bring reviews (good and bad) up online. If there are a significant amount of recent negative reviews, this is naturally a bad sign! However, no reviews at all can also be a bad sign, as many companies can pay certain sites to remove reviews if they don’t like them. It could also be a sign that the company is still very new, which isn’t promising.

Check they are GasSafe Registered

The Gas Safe register is put in place to protect consumers from cowboy plumbers! Check to make sure the company you are choosing are on there and double check when they visit you to give a quote that they have the right documentation and identification to back this up.

Get a trusted recommendation

If you can, try to get a recommendation from either a friend/family member who has used a company before, or from a reputable independent service. If you need to, you can contact Ravenheat to find a reputable plumbing company in your area.

Put the kettle on!

And don’t forget the most important part of hiring any plumber or tradesman… Always pop the kettle on when he comes round! Our recent Twitter poll revealed that the majority of plumbers drink more than 5 brews a day, so don’t leave him gasping!