Bad Plumbing, Fake Plumbers & How to Spot and Avoid?

Plumbing is a mind-boggling ability that requires broad expertise and knowledge. Most experts use those skills and make a special effort to fix complex issues. Still, there are some tradesmen who try their best to trick individuals through various plumbing scams. 

It’s most useful to know the basic disturbing signs and distinguish a tradesman's swift tricks. Read further to find out how to spot and avoid those frauds.

Incomplete Agreements

Don’t consent to a partial arrangement as you give your plumber a chance to vanish. The result may be a job left half done. And that feels bad, especially when you’ve pre-paid some cash.

To avoid that situation, My Plumber Professionals advise you to make sure you get a hard copy of your agreement. Think well before you pay in advance for any plumbing job and consult with other experts. 

Always request a quote for the projects and demand for your invoice for payment.

Cheeky Imposters

Some scammers dress in plumbing garbs and try a door-to-door approach to gain access to your property. They often insist on offering free plumbing, diagnostics, and “expert” advice.

Fake plumbers may attempt to ask for your money for extra costly fixes. On some occasions, they plan a straightforward robbery.

Be wary and request for evidence of license and more information on the company they work for. Good plumbers are easy to spot. Don’t be spooked to deny their offer. And if you feel threatened, call the police!

No Proof of License

A trusty plumber should always give you a proof of license if required. If they seem somewhat hesitant to show you a permit, maybe they don't have one at all.

Do not trust the neighborly plumber, regardless of how important your issue is. He most likely lacks the expertise and can’t produce a valid license. You definitely don’t want to pay twice when the project goes wrong.

The “Bait and Switch” Trick

Top-notch plumbing materials are costly. 

Diagnosed with a kitchen plumbing disaster where you have to dump “old” pipes for new? Plumbing scammers can exploit this and charge over the top costs for the best materials. In reality, they use lower-quality options and still hold to the extra cash. Request a list of materials to dodge this trick. Give the list to an expert and discover how much the items truly cost.

Low-cost materials may not withstand as much as costly alternatives. Inspect for brand reviews and evaluations. You are free to request a detailed invoice and check if the plumber uses the right items for the job.

Silly Baits

Watch out for swift tricks like one time offers and free surveys and inspection of your actual security level.  

Fake plumbers often offer the last low-priced slot and urge you to book it. Do the basics of maintenance yourself.

According to renowned Ashbury Plumbing 24 Hours, bad tradesmen would consider money “under the table”. The presence or lack of tradesman etiquette is a sure sign. 

Remember to ask for a hard copy of your signed agreement, alarm the experts. You should always request a recipe for any plumbing work.

Prices Based on Financial Status

Your plumbing job could get much more expensive when you live in a well off the neighborhood. 

Shady plumbers may raise their rates higher just because of your financial status. Make certain to get quotes from as many tradesmen as possible. It would give you an idea of how much the work may cost.

The typical plumbing fake will charge crazy low but in-person only. At the same time, reputable companies use video consultation and survey software to estimate cost in minutes..

Altering Estimates

Bad plumbers love that trick. 

They won't give you a written estimate. Instead, the scammers calculate expenses on the go. They can even grant you a stunning offer on the phone. And if you take it, the plumber gives you a dull promise of a hard-copy estimate. Sadly, it never comes. Don’t get surprised if the cost gets higher than what you’ve agreed on, so never trust a verbal agreement!

A similar trick is agreement changes out-of-nowhere. The plumber may also charge you for extra work that never happened. Keep track of the process.

Subcontracting and Third-Party Involvement

A plumber may bring several helpers for the project. That’s rarely a sign of fraud, however, you better be careful. The presence of a few temporary workers may also increase your “costs”.

Some scammers use this tactic by subcontracting their duties to friends and family. As a result, they come up with the excuse that they can’t be responsible for the price estimates of third parties.

Ask about the new team members. When you feel something is off, cut the project to avoid enormous expenses!

Phishy Cold Calls

Cold calling is a technique to persuade likely clients to buy either a service or a product. Avoid handing any details to organizations that practice cold calls! Keep your personal data and bank information safe!

Cold calls are often shady, as the culprit hopes to get hold of your private data. Call the police if you feel a victim of such a scam! 

Double check the company. Find their custom service & support from a different number and play dumb for answers. 

Bundle Offers

Think twice before you take up your plumber’s bundle offer. 

Try to recognize the upselling proposals and decide if you truly need that extra job done. Sometimes it’s not worth the extra cost when you could carry small repairs all by yourself. 

And if you feel uncertain of your plumbing skills, the upselling proposition might just be right.

How to Recognize a Bad Plumber

Ask for credentials and expertise, all reliable plumbers feel proud to show proof of license. They won’t have a problem presenting business details.

Be polite but never be afraid to demand information. Don’t forget that you pay for the project and you have the right to know more!

If your questions annoy or worry the plumber, they could be a scammer. Stop the project and find a better solution!

How to Avoid Plumbing Scams

Look for proof — Ask for license and company details. Browse through their website and look for reviews and testimonials. Ask people in the same niche if the plumber doesn't have an online presence.

Get your hard-copies - Ask for signed agreements and contracts. Always request a written quote and a real survey. Invoices and recipes are also an important part of the deal. You can even demand a list of materials for your reference.

Get to know the team - Plumbers sometimes bring apprentices, and that is fair unless they charge hidden fees. Know the total hourly rate of all tradesmen on your property.

Avoid shady offers - Contact the authorities if you feel as a target of fraud or severe scams.

Ask and ask - Get information on everything you need to know - prices, names, materials, tasks, and what you don’t.


Don’t forget that it’s your money that you invest in the project! It’s bad to encounter a fake plumber, but it’s even worse to spend a ridiculous amount for bad plumbing. So, help your community, save others’ trouble, and report any scammers. And when you search well enough, you can always find insured and reliable plumbers to help you out.

Abigail Jones

Hi, I'm Abigail. I like spending time tearing my house apart and putting it together back again. Join me on home improvement tutorials, tips on my blog.

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