55 questions a plumber might ask before doing work

21 October 2021

When you call a plumber, they’ll ask questions to get an idea of the work you need done and give you an approximate cost. They also need to know what equipment to bring. Whether you planned the work ahead or it’s an emergency, it’s important you take a few minutes to try to answer these questions to the best of your knowledge. We hope this post will help you get ready the next time you need a plumber. The questions are categorized by job type.


  • Are you replacing a dishwasher or installing a dishwasher for the first time?
  • Is there a hot water service connection?
  • Is there a wastewater connection?
  • Is there a suitable electrical connection?

Kitchen or bathroom sink

  • What type of sink is it (in counter or above counter)?
  • Are you replacing an existing sink or is this a new sink?


  • Is there a water shutoff valve?
  • Is the faucet for a bathroom sink, bathtub, shower or kitchen sink (single-hole, 4″ centre, 8″ centre, wall, or combined shower and bath)?
  • Will you be supplying the faucet or does the plumber need to?


  • What type of toilet is it: bowl and tank or flush valve?
  • Is the bowl style regular or elongated?
  • Is the toilet to be supplied by the client or the plumber?
  • Does the toilet have a regular 15″ bowl height or 17″ for disabled users?

Water service line

  • What is the diameter of the water line?
  • Where is the shutoff valve located?
  • Do you have a water meter?
  • What kind of piping is it (copper, PEX, plastic)?

Water heater

  • How old is the existing water heater and what make is it?
  • What is the problem? Is there no hot water? Does it take a long time to get hot water? Is the water heater no longer heating?
  • What is its energy source (electricity, natural gas, propane, oil)?
  • What is the capacity, 30, 40 or 60 gallons?
  • Is the water heater easy to get at?

Replacing a water heater

  • What is the energy source (electricity, natural gas, propane, oil)?
  • What is the desired capacity, 30, 40 or 60 gallons?
  • Is the water heater easy to get at?
  • Are there stairs?
  • Does the old hot water tank need to be stored?

Drains or pipes

  • What is the diameter of the piping?
  • What is the piping made of (ABS, PVC, copper, cast iron or galvanized steel)?
  • Which appliance or appliances is the piping intended to supply?
  • What is the length of the piping to be relocated?

Blocked drain

  • Where is the drain located?
  • Is a sewer backing up (in the basement or elsewhere)?
  • Is there a primary cleanout?
  • Is there a reflux valve?

Blocked sink or bathtub

  • What type of fixture is blocked (sink, bathtub, shower)?
  • Is only one fixture (sink, toilet, bath, shower) blocked, or are all the fixtures in the house, condo or business premises affected?

Water leak

  • Where is the water leak located?
  • Have you closed the main shutoff valve?
  • What type of piping is it (copper or plastic)?
  • Is the leak in a water pipe or a drain?

Pipe installation

  • What type of building is the piping to be installed in (residential or commercial)?
  • What type of fixture is the piping for?
  • Is it to supply water or drain it?

Leaking faucet

  • What is the make (and model) of the leaking faucet?
  • Where is the faucet (kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bathtub, shower)?
  • Is it the faucet, handle, spout or base that’s leaking?
  • Is the faucet leaking hot or cold water?

Clogged toilet

  • How long has the toilet seemed clogged?
  • Have you already tried to unclog it yourself with a plunger or a chemical product like Drano?
  • Did something fall into the toilet bowl?
  • Is there a water supply shutoff valve for the toilet?

Water service line valve

  • Is the leak before or after the main shutoff valve?
  • Is the main municipal valve visible on the property?
  • Has the city been informed and will it shut off the water?