Reliable, qualified plumbers will have to work to change customer perceptions according to a survey carried out on behalf of plumbing services company, In-Home 24.

Findings suggest the nation's opinion of those who work in the plumbing industry is poor at best, yet their services are more required than ever.

Over 70% of those surveyed said that plumbers were ‘too expensive’ but admitted they had ‘no idea’ how to fix basic problems, such as a leaky tap, themselves.

Just one in eight agreed that plumbers were highly qualified.

When trying to install a washing machine, most men said they would call a plumber, but perhaps surprisingly, the majority of women claimed they would try to install it with the help of friends.

One in six women said that in their experience plumbers were polite, compared to no men whatsoever.

Call centre manager for In-Home 24 Jayne Ball said: “This research shows the profession still has a long way to go in order to overcome the old stereotypes. Indeed, recent news regarding plumbers who have failed to be transparent with their pricing only underlines the profession’s image crisis.”

But she also added that plumbers today are a far cry from the negative images you often hear about.

“As people have noted, plumbing is an essential service in the home – but it’s up to plumbers in general to provide a transparent, friendly service if we’re going to break down these stereotypes," she said.

“At In-Home 24, all of our engineers are fully qualified, regularly trained and we don’t employ contractors – this means that our customers benefit from someone who really knows their stuff, and will provide a world-class service, whether they have a leaky tap, faulty wiring, or need their boiler maintained.”