Our ratings of plumbing outfits will steer you to plumbers who do fantastic work but won't drain your wallet.

Several of the plumbers listed on our Ratings Tables were rated “superior” overall by 90 percent or more of their surveyed customers. But for other companies, we hear too many customer comments that include words like “overcharged,” “unprofessional,” “incompetent,” “rude,” “messy,” “no-show,” and “dishonest.” The companies vary both in service quality and price. When our undercover shoppers collected prices for the same routine jobs, some companies quoted fees that were dramatically higher than others.

Fortunately, you can hire a lower priced plumber who provides top-quality service—there is no relationship between price and quality.

If you need repairs, explain over the phone exactly what’s wrong, and ask the company how it computes its charges. If possible, obtain a price quote over the phone. Confirm this information with the plumber upon arrival.

For installation and remodeling jobs, be sure to get multiple bids—for large projects you may save thousands of dollars by getting just a handful of prices.