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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Finding an electrician and a plumber

About 6700 fires a year are reported as having an electrical source, which includes faulty or inadequate wiring. Cables, switches, socket-outlets and other equipment can get worn over time and so it is important to get them checked and replaced by a qualified electrician. Also, get advice on employing  competent and trustworthy professional plumbers.

Finding an electrician - what you need to know

It is important that electrical work is carried out only by those with the necessary knowledge, skill and experience of the type of electrical work to be undertaken.

Some organisations runs registration schemes for competent electricians (these are sometimes called 'competent person' schemes):

These schemes ensure that traders who sign up are fully qualified to do electrical work and provide a complaints procedure. You may also need to use a competent person to comply with building regulations.

The following organisations run competent person schemes:

  • British Standards Institution (BSI)
  • The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT)
  • NICEIC Certification Services


Find an electrician

You can find out more about the organisations that approve electricians and search for a qualified tradesman on the Electrical Safety Council's website.

Finding a plumber

If you are considering employing a plumber to carry out work in your home, it is important to make sure they are competent, reliable and professional.


The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), which is the professional body for the plumbing industry, recommends that when finding a plumber you should:

  • Ask friends/relatives/neighbours who they use
  • Use a Registered Plumber from the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering - members have to hold recognised qualifications in plumbing and/or extensive experience
  • Get at least three quotes and when asking for quotes, find out if there is a call out fee, how many people will be doing the job and if the price per hour includes all the workmen/women or if more is charged per plumber
  • Ask for a written quote - unless there are any unforeseen costs, the final bill should not deviate too far from this initial written quote
  • Clearly explain all of the work you need doing - write it all down if possible
  • Ask how long the job will take

When you have found a plumber and the job is completed, ask for a full breakdown of the bill so you know where your money has gone.

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