A plumber sitting on a floor looking at a clipboard next to an open cabinet sink exposing pipes and tools beneath.

Basic Questions Your Plumber Needs To Know

Plumbing problems can be a real pain. Whether it’s a dripping faucet or a clogged drain, these issues can disrupt your daily routine and cause a lot of frustration. But before you call a plumber to help you with your plumbing problem, there are a few basic questions you should be able to answer.

Of course, an emergency broken pipe or water heater may not allow for the ability to have such questions prepared. This is understandable and happens all the time.
Plumbing is often an urgent task and a stressful one for home and business owners.

However, knowing a few key questions and the answers to these questions can help your plumber diagnose the problem just a bit more quickly and accurately, which can save you both time and money.

What is the problem?

These questions are often a checklist when taking a call from a customer but sometimes time is of the essence and accurately describing the problem is very helpful.

This is often the first question your plumber is likely to ask – “what is the problem?”

This might seem like an obvious question, but it’s important to be as specific as possible. For example, if you have a leak, tell your plumber where the leak is. A description of the color of the water and the flow of water helps a quick mental diagnostic clarify what may be happening for you outside the obvious.

If you have a clog, tell your plumber which drain is clogged and what you have tried to do to clear it. Mentioning that there has been an ongoing problem and like the symptoms, we may have from our bodies, it’s really helpful to be specific to the symptoms of the plumbing issue that have been and are currently occurring.

When did the problem start?

The next question your plumber will likely ask is also an obvious one but timeframes are greatly helpful in examining the urgency of a project and the scope of what is needed to fix the issue.

Knowing when the problem started can help your plumber determine how severe the problem is and what might be causing it.

For example, if your drain has been slow for a long time, it could be a sign of a more serious clog or blockage. Perhaps you see evidence of a consistent leak but only recently noticed. Any of these seemingly small but important pieces of information can help you and your plumber get to the root of the issue quicker.

Has this problem occurred before?

If this problem has occurred before, your plumber will want to know what was done to fix it and how long the fix lasted. Perhaps it is just an ongoing issue that comes and goes and until now it did not seem to need attention.

Either way, this information can help your plumber determine if the problem is related to the previous issue or if it is a completely new problem.

Is there anything else going on in your home that might be related to the problem?

Sometimes plumbing problems can be related to other issues in your home, such as high water pressure or old pipes. If you are experiencing any other issues, such as low water pressure or strange noises coming from your pipes, be sure to tell your plumber.

This information can help your plumber determine if there are underlying issues that need to be addressed.

What type of plumbing system do you have?

Another thing that is not always thought of at first is knowing what type of plumbing system you have. This often has a lot to do with the age of the home, so older copper pipes or modern plastic pipes we often see beneath our sinks are important facts to mention to your plumber.

If possible, consider the location of your main water shutoff valve. This information can help your plumber determine the best course of action for fixing your plumbing problem.

In addition to these basic questions, there are a few other things you can do to prepare for a visit from your plumber.

These include:

Clearing the area around the problem: If you have a clogged drain, for example, clear the area around the drain so your plumber can access it easily.

Gathering information: Before your plumber arrives, gather any paperwork or documentation related to your plumbing system. This can include warranties, service records, and diagrams of your plumbing system.

Asking questions: Don’t be afraid to ask your plumber questions about the problem and the repairs they plan to make. A good plumber will be happy to answer your questions and explain things in a way that you can understand.


Yes, plumbing problems can be a real headache, but with a little preparation, you can help make the process of getting them fixed much easier and perhaps a little quicker. By knowing the answers to these basic questions and taking a few other steps to prepare for your plumber’s visit, you can save time, money, and stress.

Hopefully, these questions and guides to better simplify those urgent plumbing needs can help. If you are needing further help, or have a question about services you cannot find an answer to – please reach out to Plumbing Doctor®, we would love to help you see why we are different!