The world’s first plumbing systems emerged around 800 years BC. Created by the Romans, aqueducts and pipes supplied water across the land to homes, wells, fountains, and bathhouses. Whilst revolutionary for its time, core principals remain in what we know as modern plumbing of today.
With water being such a vital part of our very existence, it comes as no surprise that plumbing has become a complex specialisation. Anyone who has ever experienced blocked toilet will attest to the importance of functional water and waste systems.
A typical Canberra home’s plumbing consists of an intricate system of pipes and fixtures providing clean water, the safe disposal of wastes, and much more. As plumbing systems involve personal safety, their design, implementation, and maintenance are all subject to regulation.
Whether you have a gurgling sink, blocked toilet, or poor pressure, you will need a qualified and licensed professional. And this is where your trusty plumber comes into play! Plumbers are skilled and specialised trades, experienced in all facets of domestic water and waste systems.
But don’t just hire any plumber – hire a great plumber. A plumber who will work to the highest of standards, doing so safely, effectively, and relatively affordably. And the best plumbers do it properly in the first place; avoiding expensive disasters further down the track.
We have taken the liberty of rounding up the finest plumbers in the Canberra region, along with some helpful tips to get you on your way. Read on below.
What makes a great plumber?
Great plumbers are adept and well-rounded trades, navigating water and waste systems with ease. They are masters in diagnostics, knowing where, what, and how, to resolve issues as efficiently and effectively as possible. Here is what we think separates the best plumbers from the rest:
- Qualified, licensed & insured. When vetting your plumber this triple barrel of credentials should be at the top of your list. Firstly, the best plumbers have completed formal training and have years of experience. At a minimum, your plumber should be equipped with a certificate III in Plumbing and an industry white card. Additionally, your plumber must hold a state government issued plumbing license. Should your plumber offer ancillary services like drainage or gas, additional qualifications and licensing will also be required. Finally, ensure your plumber is covered by appropriate insurances such public liability, workers compensation or contracts cover.
- Industry accreditation. A great way to assess your shortlisted plumber is to check on their industry accreditation. In Canberra, the Master Plumbers Association ACT is the core industry body. This membership indicates that your contractor is one of the best in the business. An important aspect of this is the adherence to ethical guidelines and industry standards.
- Quality workmanship. Even the best products will fall short without careful hands and quality workmanship. Great plumbers believe in using only the best products and parts from reputable suppliers. They also consider their work a craft, taking meticulous care without shortcuts. We have all been there; paid for services rendered only to discover that the initial problem was still lurking. As such, look for plumbers who offer guarantees on both products, and their work.
- Professional & transparent. The best plumbers are consummate professionals, wonderful communicators, and are upfront about services and charges. With wet infrastructure being vital to the safe occupation of any building, seek a plumber that you know will get the job done. So, look for glowing customer reviews and personal recommendations as these are often great indicators. Additionally, look for plumbers who are transparent with their quotes and timelines. Ensure your quote includes the full scope of work, material specifications, along with timeframes and any guarantees.
- Swift service. Plumbing problems are notorious for emerging out of hours. Around the clock access and extended hours of operation help to swiftly address plumbing issues. Regardless of whether your plumbing needs are planned or a result of an emergency, seek a plumber with a fantastic record in punctuality, and prompt execution.
Important essentials to check before engaging a plumber
To ensure quality and professionalism a couple of minutes spent checking the following will help to give you peace of mind; and ensure you avoid a dodgy plumber.
- Confirm the provider runs a registered business through the Australian Business Registration website.
- Ensure the provider holds an appropriate plumbing license by checking the Access Canberra list of licensed plumbers.
- Check that the contractor holds a membership with a core industry body such as Master Plumbers ACT.
- Verify the providers public liability insurance and level of cover.
- Be clear on contracted inclusions, terms, and conditions.
The best plumbers in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Founded in 2010 by Tom Martin, Water Tight Canberra provides plumbing, drainage and gas fitting services around the Canberra region. All work is guaranteed, and plumbers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No job is too big or small and the Water Tight Canberra team has the skills, equipment and ability to get the job down asap so clients can get on with their lives.
As a national 2019 Telstra Business Award winner, Water Tight Canberra has a reputation for quality plumbing services – including repairing and replacing hot water systems – in the ACT and region.
Customers say they appreciate Water Tight Canberra’s punctuality, commitment to customer service and honest advice.
In addition to guaranteeing the quality of technicians’ work, Water Tight Canberra offers a cleanliness guarantee, and an on-time guarantee. If a team member doesn’t leave their work area in the same or better condition as when they found it, Water Tight Canberra will pay for a professional cleaning service. And if a plumber is more than 10 minutes late to a job, Water Tight Canberra will waive the service call fee.
As Maria Hart wrote on Google, “Company states they want to provide a 'WOW' experience for their customers and boy did they deliver! From the online booking system down to payment, this has been the best tradie experience I've ever had. Full transparency around price and services, excellent communication … They even wore boot covers! Very reasonably priced and professional. Thanks again team!”
ACT licensed plumber: 2017441. Member of Master Plumbers ACT.
MSJ Plumbing Group is a family owned and operated company with more than 30 years of fixing and fitting plumbing and gas in Canberra and surrounding region. All work and materials are guaranteed and MSJ Plumbing Group provides hassle-free service 24/7. Same day service is guaranteed for residential and commercial emergencies. Transparent, upfront fixed prices are provided to customers—no hidden costs.
All tradesmen working for MSJ Plumbing Group are fully licensed, qualified and certified.
The breadth of plumbing services provided by MSJ Plumbing Group include blocked drains sewer and stormwater, high pressure water jetting, hot water systems—service and replacements, burst pipes and water leaks, water drainage and piping, as well as bathroom and kitchen renovation plumbing (installation and repair).
MSJ Plumbing Group uses the latest equipment to pinpoint the blockage and recommend the best possible solution. Plumbers clear blockages on the spot to get drains working normally again. MSJ Plumbing Group assists with all kinds of drainage issues—blocked bathroom, kitchen, toilet and laundry drains, stormwater drains and blocked sewer drains.
Vanessa Vanderzwart wrote on Google, “Highly recommend! Was super happy with the fast service and affordability compared to other local businesses. Will be using again in the future!”
ACT Licensed Plumber: 2013104. Member of Master Plumbers ACT.
With an impeccable track record that spans over a decade, Blueline Plumbing & Gas have established a reputation of excellence for their residential plumbing and gas fitting service. Offering installation, maintenance, repairs, and replacement of domestic plumbing, gas, and water systems their expertise is incomparable.
This award-winning team have received industry recognition as finalists in Canberra’s Local Business Awards through to the national Australian Small Business Champion Awards. It comes as no surprise that Blueline Plumbing & Gas are all about delivering to exceptional standards. From their approachable team, through to the quality of work; their glowing customer reviews are testament to this.
Blueline Plumbing & Gas also understand the importance of transparency. They steer clear of short cuts providing clients with real clarity and solutions. They use only the best products, parts, and tools ensuring a level of quality that can be depended on. For added convenience Blueline Plumbing & Gas provide a two-hour service window and 30-minute notification period for clients.
Blueline Plumbing & Gas is fully licenced and accredited. Services are conducted with safety and regulation first, delivering results for clients the first time around. For service with a smile and quality you can trust look no further than Blueline Plumbing & Gas.
Suzanne H shared her wonderful experience with the team on Google, “The plumbers arrived on time, were polite and there was great communication about the problem with the plumbing. I recommend this service.”
Jet Blast Plumbing is a family owned and run business with more than 25 years of experience. Tony is quick to respond to plumbing service calls and always strives to arrive on time (if not before).
No job is too big or too small for Jet Blast Plumbing. The friendly, experienced and qualified team helps customers with blocked drains and toilets, gas fitting, leaking taps and toilets, burst pipes, hot water repairs and installation, and all emergency plumbing services. Tony takes pride in providing personal and prompt customer service and quality workmanship on all jobs.
Another advantage is that Jet Blast Plumbing offers customers a $0 call out fee (some conditions apply) and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Tony ensures Jet Blast Plumbing provides free quotes, and quickly, with no hidden surprises.
Equipped with a high-pressure water jetter and CCTV drain camera, Jet Blast Plumbing diagnoses and rectifies plumbing issues in no time. Tony is also qualified and experienced to carry out drain dig up and relocations, conduct commercial plumbing, work in new homes and granny flats, and handle plumbing needs for renovations.
As satisfied customer Vanessa Clark wrote on Google, “I submitted a query via the webpage, got a call within 5 minutes and within 15 minutes Tony was already at my place unblocking the drain. Also gave me some tips and advice on how to keep the drain clear and was a pleasure to deal with. Will definitely be calling again next time I need a plumber!”
ACT Licensed Plumber: 2018299.
The Plumbing Company is owned and operated by Louis McIntyre, a professional plumber with over eight years’ experience in the industry.
No job is too big or small for The Plumbing Company, which covers all aspects of plumbing and gasfitting. The company offers in-depth knowledge, service, workmanship and excellent customer service, including for residential, commercial and new builds throughout the Canberra and Queanbeyan region.
The Plumbing Company’s services include blocked drains, hot water systems and gasfitting. Services also include cracked pipes, taps, toilets, tanks, pumps and irrigation. The Plumbing Company handles maintenance and provides fast, reliable services to strata management companies and real estate agencies.
Jim Donald wrote on Google, “Excellent company. Arrived when they said they would, found the leak in the shower and sorted it all very quickly. Professional and nice to deal with all-round. Definitely will call them again.”
ACT Licensed Plumber: 2019107.
Flow Plumbing and Gasfitting is an award-winning, family-owned business that handles everything from nagging drips and leaks to new, multi-storey installations. Recognising that trust is essential for letting people into your home, all staff are subject to working with children checks.
Google reviewer Natarscha said: "Great plumber who arrived on time, cleaned up and helped me with a leaking mixer tap. Highly recommend."
If you’re looking for more specialised plumbing services, check out our other articles on the best emergency plumbers, the best blocked drain plumbers, the best commercial plumbers, the best toilet repair specialists, the best hot water systems repairers, the best gas fitters and the best drain relining services in Canberra.
Your experience with plumbers in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback on plumbers in Canberra. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the plumbers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do plumbers charge per hour?
Per hour plumbing charges do vary and are often linked to the nature of work. Generally, you can expect to pay a service fee which ranges from $50-$150, plus an hourly rate of between $100-$175 per hour for labour only. Should you require emergency or out of hours assistance these rates could be higher.
Can I do my own plumbing work?
You’re only allowed to replace a tap washer without a license in the ACT. All other plumbing work requires a licensed plumber. If you choose to DIY and you’re caught, you will likely void your home insurance or end up facing a fine from Access Canberra. Why take the chance? Call a licensed plumber.
Do plumbers need to be licensed?
Absolutely. You’ll need a licensed plumber to legally complete all your plumbing work. In the ACT, all licensed plumbers are required to display their license number on all advertising. You can then check their number on Access Canberra's website: https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/app/services/licence/#/plumber
When should I call an emergency plumber?
Whenever plumbing fails, it can damage your home and contents. It can also cause discomfort, or even be a major health risk to your family and even neighbours. Emergency plumbing issues can range from a toilet not flushing to a burst pipe that’s highly destructive, a failing hot water system or an overflowing sewer. Whatever the cause, you can and should call an emergency licensed plumber immediately to fix any problem.
Do I need a plumber or electrician to service my electric hot water heater?
Your best bet would be to find a fully-licensed plumber who holds a restricted electrical license as well. Your plumber can handle the majority of hot water issues with these two qualifications. Electricians are unable to gain a dual-qualification that allows them to work on the plumbing aspects of electrical appliances.