How to Hire a Good Plumber in Bakersfield
One in every Ten homes in the City of Bakersfield lose around 90 gallons of water daily to undetected leaks. Such leaks include dripping faucets, faulty toilet, loose sprinkler head, and broken underground pipes and can add several hundred dollars to your annual utility bill if you delay in fixing them.
When looking to hire a plumber to resolve these types of matters, it is important to make sure that this plumber is licensed, insured, experienced, and properly equipped for the task at hand. You can find good plumbers near you seeking out the plumber who can provide get satisfactory answers to the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Bakersfield?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Bakersfield?
- Do You Comply with the City of Bakersfield Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Bakersfield Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Bakersfield?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Bakersfield?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Bakersfield?
Plumbers in Bakersfield are regulated at the state level by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB). Any plumber that wishes to perform plumbing work in the city worth a total value of $500 or more, including the cost of labor and materials for the job, must obtain an appropriate license from this agency. Individuals that wish to obtain a license from the CSLB must be no younger than 18 years old, and they must complete the following steps:
- Submit acceptable and verifiable documentation signifying that they have attained a minimum of four years of experience in plumbing work. Note that this work experience must be attained at the journeyman level.
- Complete and submit an Application for Original Contractor License Form, along with an application fee and any other required documents.
- Pass a CSLB-administered licensing examination. It should be noted that the CSLB runs a reciprocity program that allows eligible applicants from the States of Nevada and Arizona to waive the trade section of its licensing examination.
Plumbers that fail to obtain a license from the CSLB and perform work worth $500 or more in Bakersfield are subject to misdemeanor charges, which are punishable by statutory penalties of up to six months in jail, fines of up to $5,000, or both. These individuals can also receive administrative charges of anywhere between $200 and $15,000, with repeat offenders receiving even stiffer penalties. Likewise, plumbers that intentionally mislead residents of the city into believing that they possess a valid CSLB-issued license or illegally use a license issued to another individual can face felony charges, which are punishable by incarceration in state prison.
You can contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to get more information on the penalties for unlicensed plumbing in Bakersfield, confirm the validity of your intended plumber's license, or direct any other plumbing license-related queries. You can also confirm the validity of your intended plumber's license online via the CSLB's Check a Contractor License platform.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Bakersfield?
Plumbers typically charge for their services after considering several factors. These include the nature and scope of the task that they are expected to perform, the cost of parts, materials, and permits that may be required for the job, and the amount of physical labor required to complete the job. The plumber's level of experience and expertise may also influence their rates. Nonetheless, you should always consider getting quotes from several plumbers near you and comparing these quotes to ensure that you are charged a fair and reasonable rate for your plumbing project.
Plumber in the City of Bakersfield earns an annual average wage of $56,960. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Bakersfield compared with plumbers in other parts of California and other major cities in the country:Bakersfield Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$27.38California Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$33.21Los Angeles Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.04Atlanta Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.53New York City Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$35.78Detroit Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$33.24Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.71
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do You Comply with the City of Bakersfield Building Code for Plumbing?
Plumbing work in the City of Bakersfield is regulated by a set of standards and requirements collectively referred to as the city's plumbing code. This plumbing code, which is an adopted and modified version of the 2019 Edition of the California Plumbing Code, applies to the installation of new plumbing systems as well as the alteration of existing plumbing systems in Bakersfield. The provisions of the code are implemented and strictly enforced by relevant authorities to promote the public safety and welfare of the residents of Bakersfield in relation to their use and interaction with plumbing systems.
Violations of any provision of the city's plumbing code are punishable as administrative citations, infractions, or misdemeanors, and violators are subject to fines of up to $1,000, jail time of up to six months, or a combination of both. As such, it is always in your best interest to hire a plumber that is not only conversant with the city's plumbing code but also complies with its provisions. While licensed plumbers in Bakersfield typically fit these criteria, you should always get confirmation on this from your intended plumber. It is also a good idea to contact the Building Division of the Bakersfield Development Services Department at (661) 326-3720 to get information on the specific provisions of the city's plumbing code that apply to your plumbing project.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Bakersfield Code?
The Building Division of the Bakersfield Development Services Department is authorized to administer and enforce the provisions of the city's plumbing code. These provisions include the issuance of permits for the installation of new residential and commercial plumbing systems in Bakersfield as well as the alteration, replacement, and removal of existing residential and commercial plumbing systems. However, per the requirements of the 2019 Edition of the California Plumbing Code, which the City of Bakersfield adopts and implements, permit exemptions are made for some types of plumbing-related work. These include:
- Plumbing work related to the stopping of leaks in drains, vent, soil, or waste pipes, provided that no concealed traps, drain, vent, soil, or waste pipes in this work will require removal and replacement with new material.
- Plumbing work related to the stopping or repairing of leaks in valves, fixtures, and pipes, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided that these repairs do require or involve replacing or rearranging any valves, fixtures, or pipes.
- Plumbing work related to minor changes, alterations, or repairs as determined by the city's Building Division, provided that this work does not affect structural features, sanitation, safety, egress, or accessibility to the property.
Interested parties that wish to obtain a plumbing permit from the Building Division of the Bakersfield Development Services Department are typically required to complete an Application for Building Permit and pay a stipulated permit fee. Depending on the nature of the plumbing project, the submission of drawings, plans, and calculations, and any other specified documents may also be required. The application form, permit fee, and other required documents can be submitted at:
- City of Bakersfield Development Services
- Building Division
- 1715 Chester Avenue
- Bakersfield, CA 93301
- Phone: (661) 326-3720
- Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays
Permit applications may also be made online via the city's Click2Gov portal. Note that a user account may have to be created before this portal can be properly utilized. Also, once the requested permits have been issued, the Building Division typically conducts inspections of the project at various stages as well as when it is completed to ensure that it complies with the applicable provisions of the city's plumbing code. Queries related to the Bakersfield plumbing permit and inspection processes can be directed to the city's Building Division via the contact information provided above. These queries can also be made via email.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Licensed plumbers in Bakersfield generally provide a full range of plumbing services to interested residential and commercial customers and other interested parties in the city. These services include sewer and drain maintenance services, general plumbing repairs, water heater maintenance, kitchen and bath remodeling, leak detection, video inspections, and new plumbing system installations. However, before hiring a plumber near you, it is necessary to make sure that this plumber specializes in providing the specific type of service that you need.
Provided below are cost estimates for common plumbing services available in the City of Bakersfield:Residential plumbing services$70 - $80 per hour (excluding cost of parts and materials)Commercial plumbing services$95 - $105 per hour (excluding cost of parts and materialsPlumbing for remodel or home addition$4,200 - $5,500 (for re-piping of 1,500 sf home with pex)Clearing drain clogs or blockages$120 - $150Drain line video inspection$250 - $290Toilet installation or replacement$150 - $160 (for labor only)Bathtub installation$1,800 - $2,400Septic system installation$7,100 - $8,500 (for new conventional system in three-bedroom house)Septic tank cleaning or pumping$260 - $310 (for 1,000 gallon tank)Sewer line cleaning$165 - $260Sewer line installation and repair$60 - $75 per linear footSump pump installation$825 - $1,190 (for submersible pump)Swamp cooler installation$2,260 - $2,430 (for roof-mounted 7,500 cfm unit)Water main installation or repair$31 - $51 per linear footWell pump installation$730 - $880 (for mid-grade shallow well jet pump up to 25 feet deep)
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Bakersfield?
Single-family residents in Bakersfield pay over $19 every month as water use quantity rates and service charges every month. As such, any plumbing issues that lead to water leaks can become quite expensive if left unattended. On the other hand, fixing simple household water leaks is estimated to save American homeowners approximately 10% on their water bills. However, while all household plumbing issues should always be speedily resolved, some of these issues usually require more urgent attention than others. Examples of these types of plumbing matters include burst pipes, clogged toilets, and no running water. Unfortunately, some of these problems occur at odd hours during which it may be difficult to consult a regular plumber. When faced with these types of emergency plumbing situations, it is common to look for the services of 24-hour plumbers near you.
However, before hiring these types of plumbers, it is in your best interest to ensure that they are licensed, skilled, reliable, and close enough to start work on the emergency plumbing situation right away. You can find plumbers in Bakersfield that fit these criteria through online resources made available by third-party review websites like the Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp. You can also utilize the CSLB's online Find My Licensed Contractor portal to find qualified 24-hour plumbers near you. Note that you should always verify the licensing status of these plumbers before finalizing any hiring agreements with them.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Bakersfield?
Plumbers in Bakersfield are not mandatorily required to carry commercial general liability insurance. Nevertheless, you should always only hire plumbers that can provide verifiable proof of this insurance, as this financially insulates you from any liabilities related to on-the-job injuries. Plumbing is a highly hazardous occupation, and plumbers typically face several chemical, physical, and biological hazards whilst on the job. These include slips, trips, and falls, exposure to parasites and potentially toxic chemicals, and cuts and lacerations from work tools. In 2019 alone, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 21,490 nonfatal work-related injuries amongst plumbers and other general maintenance and repair workers. Considering this, it is important to ensure that any plumber you hire is not only duly insured, but that the plumber's insurance plan provides coverage for any injuries that may occur during your plumbing project.
Note that plumbers must maintain a contractor's bond of $15,000 during the validity period of their licenses. Also, plumbers in the city that have at least one employee are statutorily required to carry workers' compensation insurance. It is advisable to request proof of this bonding and insurance from your intended plumber and authenticate it with the relevant issuing organization.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Bakersfield
In December 2019, a collaborative operation between the Kern County District Attorney's Office and the California Contractors State License Board in Bakersfield resulted in the arrest of 16 alleged unlicensed contractors. It was also discovered that one of these individuals was a registered sex offender. Con artists in Bakersfield typically utilize different methods and techniques to defraud unsuspecting homeowners that are looking to retain the services of plumbers in the city. A popular technique used by these con artists is showing up unsolicited, offering discounted plumbing inspections and repairs, receiving upfront payment for the work, and then absconding without doing any work. According to the CSLB, more than $49 million was recovered for consumers in Bakersfield, and the State of California as a whole, between 2018 and 2019. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive restitution if you fall victim to a plumbing scam in Bakersfield. As such, it is in your best interest to proactively prevent these scams from occurring in the first place. You can do this via the following steps:
- Verify the licensing status of any plumber that you intend to hire
- Get multiple bids for your project
- Request and check customer references from your preferred plumber. You can also utilize resources like Better Business Bureau to get online reviews on this plumber
- Obtain a written contract for the project
- Avoid cash payments
- Do not pay an upfront payment that exceeds $1,000 or 10% of your project's total value, whichever is less
- File a complaint with the CSLB concerning any deceptive or fraudulent activities by your plumber
In addition to contacting the CSLB about fraudulent plumbing-related activities, you can also file a complaint with the Kern County District Attorney's Office by mailing a completed, signed, and dated Consumer Complaint Form to:
- Kern County District Attorney
- Consumer Fraud Unit
- Justice Building
- 1215 Truxtun Avenue
- Bakersfield, CA 93301
Finally, you can take personal action against fraudulent plumbers and seek restitution to the tune of $10,000 by filing a lawsuit at the Kern County Superior Court's Small Claims Division located at:
- 1415 Truxtun Avenue
- Bakersfield, CA 93301
- Phone: (661) 868-7204
Note that it is advisable to consult with a qualified private attorney before taking legal actions of any kind.