When you have a plumbing emergency on your hands, the last thing that you need is to fall victim to a plumbing scam.

While plumbing is an essential part of our modern lives, the vast majority of people don’t know a lot about plumbing components or the cost of hiring a plumber. There are many honest plumbers in Belleville, including the plumbers at Culler Plumbing Services, who are ready to provide you with the honest plumbing services you need, but plumbing scams are also a lot more common than they should be. However, there are many things you can do to protect yourself from plumbing scams.

#1. Get multiple estimates.

Before you hire a plumber, ask for a detailed estimate, but don’t stop at just getting one. Get estimates from multiple plumbers. Be wary of a plumber that offers you a bid that is much lower than the others. One common plumbing scam is to offer an estimate that is much too low to account for the labor needed, and then charging for the labor after the job has been completed.

#2. Don’t accept an estimate over the phone.

While most plumbers deal with clogs, drain cleaning and dripping faucets on a daily basis, every plumbing issue is unique. Not all clogs or dripping faucets are made equal, and in order for a plumber to get you an accurate estimate on the work that needs to be completed, they need to actually see it. If a plumber tries to give you an estimate for the work over the phone, it’s a red flag.

#3. Ask for references.

While online marketing makes it easy to find plumbers, it doesn’t always make it easy to weed out the good plumbers from the bad ones. Every plumber’s website will talk about the work they perform and the customer service they provide, and the only way to know for sure what kind of service you’re getting is to talk to someone who has actually worked with the plumber in the past. When you are considering hiring a plumber, make it a point to ask for references.

#4. Watch out for high down payments.

Most plumbers will require a down payment before a job is started — typically around 10 percent of the total estimate. However, a common scheme is for a contractor to ask for a large down payment and then they cut and run. If a plumber asks for a down payment that is much larger than the standard 10 percent, do more research before you decide to hire them.

#5. Look for the make and model of appliances on your estimate.

Another common plumbing scam is to charge a client for expensive, name-brand parts for their appliances, while actually using cheaper parts. When you look at your price quote, it should list the make and model of any appliances that need to be worked on. Don’t be afraid to look up prices on your own, and if the prices you are quoted seem too high, don’t hire that plumber. Unfortunately, plumbing scams do happen, but with Culler Plumbing Services on your side, you’ll get the honest, quality plumbing services you deserve.