Whether you want it or not, there will come a day when you need to call in the expertise of a home plumber. Jokes about plumbers and their cracks aside, this is one contractor you cannot afford to have let you down.

Keep in mind, that home’s plumbing system serves more than just flushing toilets and keeping everyone clean, it protects you against dangerous sewage, mold, and other concerns. I think it’s important to find a plumber you can trust. Here are three things to look for.

1. Availability

Waking up in the middle of the night to a dripping faucet is one thing. Waking up in the middle of the night to a burst pipe is quite different. The most important home plumbing repairs are generally the unexpected ones. You might be able to fix some of those problems yourself, but I totally recommend you to have a reliable plumber who makes themselves available to you for minor issues and also the tough stuff when needed.

The best plumbers understand that your home’s water system doesn’t schedule its breakdown with you, so the best plumbers offer emergency service 24/7. Even if your issue isn’t a huge emergency, the plumber should still come to your house pretty quickly. Sometimes you cannot wait a few days for your shower repair or the sewage problem fixed, and a quality plumber understands this and offers their time to you right away.

2. Transparency

Some plumbing problems are going to be expensive. There’s just no way around that, but the sign of a trustworthy plumber is someone who is transparent about what they do. After they have assessed the plumbing issue or emergency, they should be 100-percent transparent in the proposed work to resolve the problem and its cost. There should be no hidden fees or surprise expenses. They should present a proposal for the work to be performed that is easy to understand and then stick to that pricing.

3. Reliability

Finally, arriving at the appointment on time, upfront and honest pricing, quality workmanship, all of these make for a reliable plumber but how do you know that they will deliver these things from the get-go if you’ve never called upon him before?

Guarantees are one way to ensure you are going to get what you pay for, and if the plumber guarantees the pricing as well, even better. Don’t go by guarantees alone, however. Jot down the contractor’s license number of all plumbers on your list to call for an estimate and check their status with your state board. If the plumber isn’t properly bonded, insured, and licensed, move on to the next one on your list.

You love your home and you do everything in your power to keep it nice and safe. Make certain any plumber you bring in for maintenance or emergency work is available when you need him or her, transparent in his or her pricing, and reliable. The only thing you should have to worry about is the plumbing issue for which you are placing the call. When the plumber arrives, you should feel nothing other than peace of mind.

How do you choose a plumber for your home?