So its time to call a plumber. How do you know that you are hiring the best plumber for the job? And how can you ensure the safety of not only your plumbing system, but more importantly, your family? If you have never hired a plumber before, you may be wondering how to go about it. The only surefire way to ensure the job is done correctly is to hire a licensed plumbing professional. And hiring a licensed plumber doesn’t have to be difficult if you take a little time and do your homework.
Each state in the U.S. has a Contractors Board. This board is in charge of overseeing the licensing of all contractors, including plumbers. The state boards were set up to protect the safety, health and welfare of the public. They are an excellent resource to use when hiring a licensed plumber. Here are some of the requirements for the California State Contractors Board:
- Anyone performing construction work in California that totals $500 dollars or more in labor and materials must be licensed by CSLB.
- Licensed contractors must demonstrate at least four years of experience/education in the trade for which they are licensed, be fingerprinted, have an FBI background check, and be bonded.
- CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) conducts stings and sweeps somewhere in California each week.
- First-time offenders often are issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) for misdemeanor charges of contracting without a license or illegal advertising. The NTA carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.
- Additional convictions raise the fines to $10,000 and a mandatory 90-day jail sentence.
You can find out the license status of any contractor in your state in minutes by simply checking the contracting board online. Hiring a licensed plumber protects you in a number of ways including liability insurance and permits. If your plumber is not licensed, they do not carry workers compensation insurance. If they get hurt while on the job at your property, you can be held liable. Additionally, any contract you make with an unlicensed plumber is null and void and you do not have a guarantee that the job will be completed as agreed.
Here are some other tips when hiring a licensed plumber:
- Get references. Ask your friends, neighbors and even other contractors. Word of mouth is always a great resource.
- Get several estimates. Pricing a plumber might take a little more time but you want to make sure you are getting a fair price.
- Get a written contract. This is a must. This provides you with records showing everything that should happen and when and for how much.
- Don’t pay with cash. Use a credit card or check so you have a better record of payments for the job.
- Call the Better Business Bureau. They can tell you if a contractor has any outstanding complaints on record.
Another important step in hiring a licensed plumber is to only use companies that conduct adequate background checks on their employees. We at North County Plumbing cannot emphasize this enough. We recently found out that one of our very large and well-known local competitors has knowingly hired a dangerous sex offender. We were horrified to learn of this. North County Plumbing puts each and every employee (field level or not) through a rigorous 3-stage background check before we allow them into anyone’s home. We also conduct random drug tests. Additionally, our employees are all individually licensed and insured to operate, as well as umbrella licensed and insured.
North County Plumbing has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges!
If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “Water Conservation: Plumbing Fixtures to Save Water, Energy and Money“
Contact: 1330 N. Melrose Drive, Suite C, Vista, CA 92083 | (760) 735-4900 | (858) 484-4600