DIY Tips From the Warner Service Blog

How An Unlicensed Plumbing Professional Could Leave You Bankrupt

Posted by Warner Service on Jul 4, 2017 9:00:00 AM



You’ve finally had enough with the constant dripping and cold morning showers. It's time to find a plumber to fix these headaches for you.

After doing some research, you realize that you have two options: A licensed company or your friend, Plumber Bob. When the licensed company gives you a higher estimate than Bob, he must be the best option, right? Wrong!

Many homeowners look for best value when looking for a repair (and rightfully so), but many don't fully understand the risk involved with hiring an unlicensed plumber. While the lower cost makes them an attractive option, there's a reason they offer that price. Unlicensed plumbers don't typically pay for liability insurance or workers compensation.

Why does this matter?

Lack of licensing and insurance means you're the general contractor, which can lead to decreased property value and injury and third-party liabilities. In this temporary role, you'
re now accountable for worker’s compensation, theft, third-party damages, contract liability, and legal responsibility.

Worker's Compensation

The risk of injury is high in this industry, from falling off ladders to cuts and burns. When hiring an unlicensed plumber, you're responsible if anything happens to them. If they get injured and are unable to work, you'll pay for an expensive medical bill until their recovery from injury.


There's a reason your contractor doesn't carry a license. Many times, criminals who struggle to find work with a legitimate company choose trade work to make a living.

This leads an unsuspecting homeowner hiring them, which means you could be welcoming a criminal into your home -- a danger for your family and property. Also, homeowner insurance might not cover theft, if you knowingly hired an unlicensed professional.  

Third-Party Damages

If the contractor isn’t a criminal or hurt, you have nothing else to worry about, right?

Say they're leaving and accidentally back into your neighbor’s car. Since your contractor isn't insured, the hiring body is responsible for covering the cost of the car repair. This means a $150 repair job just became a $1,500 car bill.

Contract Liability

It's time to remodel your kitchen! The project's going great, and your unlicensed plumber is finishing up demo ahead of schedule. Suddenly, they don't show up for a day. A day turns into couple days, then a week and so on.

Hiring an unlicensed professional makes you accountable for the contract, including the schedule. If your unlicensed professional decides that they don’t feel like working anymore, they're allowed to stop showing up, leaving your dream kitchen a half-demolished nightmare.

Legal Responsibility

If you decide to go with an unlicensed plumber, keep in mind that you're responsible the project now and in the future. Because homes have building codes to abide by, if state inspector finds a plumbing problem, they'll ask you to go back and bring it up to code. This could lower the value of your home or unexpectedly take money out of your pocket.  

Another Option

After reading, you may be second guessing that home renovation that you've been planning for years. Luckily, another option is available to avoid these headaches.

Many trusted, licensed companies are available to make your home's plumbing service or repair go as smoothly as possible. When looking for the right company, check for experience and specific licensing. Both should be easily identifiable on their website.

When it comes to these jobs, experience is key to success. As you review licensing, use an online search to verify whether a license is valid or not. Once you find a plumber that's a good option, ask a few questions:

  • Do you have liability insurance?
  • Do you have work guarantees?
  • Can I see all the required permits?

Before you decide to take that low price from Bob, ask yourself if you can afford the risk. If not, using a licensed professional is worth the little extra because it saves you long-term expenses and headaches.

When looking for plumbing maintenance in Frederick, Maryland, Warner Services hits the nail on the head time and time again. Warner Service has been the most trusted plumbing company in this area for 80 years. Click below to schedule service:

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Topics: Maintenance, Plumbing, Licensing