How to Hire a Good Plumber in Fresno
When faced with plumbing issues like leaky toilets and faucets, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, and even new installations in the City of Fresno, it is important to hire the right professional to handle these matters. Faulty installations and leakages can waste more than 90 gallons of water per day adding several hundred dollars to your annual water bill. By hiring a duly qualified plumber to look into your residential and commercial plumbing needs, you can be guaranteed an efficient plumbing system without leakages. This will save you money and help the city conserve water.
However, before hiring any plumber in Fresno, you should look out for certain qualities, which include, but are not limited to, professionalism, licensing, insurance, experience, and cost. To this end, you should ask your intended plumber the following set of questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Fresno?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Fresno?
- Do You Comply with the City of Fresno Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Fresno Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Fresno?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Fresno?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Fresno?
Licensing is an important factor to consider when hiring a plumber near you. Plumbers in the City of Fresno are regulated by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB), and any plumber that wishes to perform work worth $500 or more in the city must obtain an appropriate contractor license from this board. Working on projects worth this value without obtaining a license from the CSLB can result in statutory and administrative fines and penalties, which include up to six months jail time and fines of up to $15,000.
The CSLB issues several plumbing-related licenses, including the C-36 Plumbing Contractor and the C-4 Boiler, Hot Water Heating and Steam Fitting Contractor licenses. Applicants that wish to obtain a contractor license must meet the following requirements:
- Must be up to 18 years old
- Must have at least four years of journeyman-level work experience and provide verifiable documentation to prove this experience
- Must properly fill out and submit an Application for Original License Form, along with a non-refundable application fee. Applicants that do not provide correct or adequate information in this form are typically given a grace period of 90 days to provide the proper information. Note that this grace period starts after the applicant has been contacted by the CSLB, and failure to respond during the provided timeframe will result in the application being voided. In situations where this happens, the affected applicant will be required to submit a new application form and pay a new application fee
- Must sit for and pass the CSLB's licensing examination. It should be noted that applicants that possess a valid plumbing-related license issued by the State of Arizona or Nevada may qualify for an exemption from the trade section of this licensing examination. Queries related to this CSLB's license reciprocity requirements can be directed to (800) 321-2752
Applicants that successfully complete the above-listed steps will be issued the requested plumbing-related license by the CSLB. Once licensed, these plumbers will be required to complete continuing education courses and carry adequate bonding and insurance plans to maintain these licenses. Plumbers are also required to renew their licenses with the CSLB every two years.
It is always in your best interest to verify the licensing status of any plumber near you that you wish to hire before doing so. You can do this online via the CSLB's Check a Contractor License portal or by calling the CSLB via phone number (800) 321-2752. License-related queries can also be directed to this number.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Fresno?
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that plumbers in Fresno earn a mean hourly wage of $26.77. However, the specific amount that you will be charged by plumbers in the city depends on several factors, such as the type of job, the complexity of the job, and the length of time it takes to complete the job. It is advisable to request and compare bids and quotes from at least three plumbers near you, as this can help you select a plumber with prices that fall within your project's budget.
A plumber in Fresno City earns an annual average wage of $56,230. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Fresno compared with plumbers in other parts of California and other major cities in the country:Fresno Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.77California 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$35.78Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.71Miami Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.66
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do You Comply with the City of Fresno Building Code for Plumbing?
The use, modification, maintenance, and repair of plumbing systems in the City of Fresno is regulated by Sections 11-107 and 11-107A of the Fresno Municipal Code. These sections are adopted and amended from the 2019 California Plumbing Code, and they are implemented to reduce the hazards associated with plumbing systems and protect the life and property of residents of Fresno during the use of these systems. To this end, these sections of the Fresno Municipal Code, also referred to as the city's plumbing code, specify the materials and applicable standards required for the construction, installation, and modification of these plumbing systems in the city. Under Section 1-304 of the Fresno Municipal Code, violations of the plumbing code can result in misdemeanor or infraction charges. Individuals found guilty of infractions in Fresno face a punishment of up to $100 in fines for the first violation, $200 for second violations, and $500 for each subsequent violation. Likewise, individuals found guilty of misdemeanors face a punishment of a fine of not more than $1,000, a jail term of not more than one year, or a combination of both.
Therefore, when you need to retain the services of a plumber in Fresno, it is important to make sure that this plumber is suitably knowledgeable in the requirements of the Fresno Plumbing Code and how they pertain to your specific plumbing project. You can also contact the city's Building and Safety Services Division or its Neighborhood Revitalization Team at (559) 621-8084 or (559) 621-8400 respectively to get further information on the Fresno Plumbing Code.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Fresno Code?
A permit is required for the installation, erection, alteration, conversion, repair, removal, or replacement of plumbing systems in the City of Fresno. The Building and Safety Services Division of the city's Planning and Development Department is responsible for processing permit requests and reviewing necessary plans for residential and commercial plumbing projects in Fresno, and issuing the required permits.
Interested parties that wish to obtain a plumbing permit in the City of Fresno will be required to complete and submit a Building Permit Application Form to the city's Building Permit Center. Depending on the scope of the project, the submission of plumbing plans and other required documents may also be required. Once these documents have been properly submitted and reviewed, the requested plumbing permits for the project will be issued. At this point, the payment of all applicable fees will be required. The permit review process for simple projects is relatively quick, and sometimes permits are approved and issued almost immediately.
On the other hand, complex project plan reviews take longer, and in some cases, the project owners or developers may be required to meet with the city's Development Review Committee before the required permits can be issued. It is important to note that permits issued in Fresno have expiration dates. Therefore, once you obtain a plumbing permit, you must commence the permitted work no later than 180 days after the permit was issued. Inquiries related to the permit-issuing process in the City of Fresno can be directed to the city's Building and Safety Services Division at (559) 621-8084 or (559) 621-8082. Inquiries can also be made in person at the Fresno Planning and Development Department at:
- 2600 Fresno Street
- Room 3065
- Fresno, CA 93721
- Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays
Note that you may be required to schedule an appointment before this in-person visitation, and this can be done online or by calling (559) 621-8082. Also, your project may require construction inspections at several stages after your requested permit has been issued and your plumbing work commences. You can contact the city's Inspection Services Division at (559) 621-8116 to get information on the inspection requirements for your specific plumbing project.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Making sure that a plumber has the proper skills and equipment necessary to perform the required job is an important quality to consider when looking for plumbers near you. While some plumbers in Fresno offer several types of plumbing-related services, such as leakage repairs, clogged drainage clearing, and plumbing system installations, others focus on specific aspects of plumbing and specialize in these areas. As such, it is important to always verify that your intended plumber can provide the specific type of plumbing service that you need to be done. It is also a good idea to find out the cost of these services before finalizing any hiring arrangements with the plumber. Listed below are cost estimates of common plumbing services that plumbers in the City of Fresno offer:Residential plumbing work$80 - $90 per hour, including the cost of parts and materials usedCommercial plumbing work$100 - $120 per hour, including the cost of parts and materials usedRepiping work for home remodel or addition$1,800 - $4,500 for 1,500 sf homeFaucets, fixtures, and pipes installation/repair$350 - $2,000Toilet installation/replacement$165 - $185 for labor onlyClearing drain clog or blockage$130 - $170Bathtub installation$2,000 - $2,500 for acrylic tubDrain line video inspection$280 - $330Septic system installation$8,100 - $9,600 for new convention system in three-bedroom houseSeptic tank cleaning/pumping$300 - $350 for 1,000 gallon tankSewer line cleaning$190 - $290Sewer line installation/repair$65 - $85 per linear footSump pump installation$930 - $1,350 for submersible pumpSwamp cooler installation$2,550 - $2,750 for roof-mounted 7,500 cfm unitWater main line installation/repair$35 - $60 per linear footWell pump installation$800 - $1,000 for mid-grade shallow well jet pump with a depth of up to 25 feet
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Fresno?
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average American home loses approximately 10,000 gallons of water annually to household leaks. Pipe leaks, and other plumbing-related matters, such as clogged toilets, faucet and water heater malfunctions, and busted pipes should always be treated with urgency before they snowball into more serious, and ultimately more expensive and potentially dangerous, issues. Sometimes these matters occur at untimely or inconvenient hours, during which getting the services of a qualified plumber may seem difficult. However, regardless of when these emergency plumbing matters occur or the gravity of the situation, it is necessary to remain calm when looking out for plumbers to resolve them. By remaining calm, you increase your probability of hiring the most competent plumber near you that is equipped to handle the situation, as opposed to the first, and potentially unqualified, plumber that you come across.
To ensure that you get the best available service when dealing with emergency plumbing situations, you should consider utilizing online resources that provide interested parties with contact information of qualified plumbers within a specified locality. Examples of these online resources include Google Review, the Better Business Bureau, and the CSLB's Find My Licensed Contractor platform. Note that it is your responsibility to authenticate the licenses of any plumbers that you contact via these platforms.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Fresno?
It is estimated that construction-related fatal and nonfatal injuries account for approximately 15% of the total costs associated with work-related injuries in the private industry, with plumbing injuries being the second-highest contributors to these construction-related injuries. Working with an uninsured plumber opens you up to both financial and legal liabilities if a work-related accident or injury occurs during your plumbing project. As such, it is important to confirm that any plumber you intend to hire in the City of Fresno is not only licensed but is also properly insured.
Per state law, licensed plumbers in the City of Fresno that have employees are mandatorily required to carry workers' compensations insurance. The CSLB also requires these plumbers to post surety bonds of no less than $15,000, and also strongly recommends that they carry commercial general liability insurance. You can confirm that your intended plumber has complied with these requirements by requesting proof of their insurance and bonding and authenticating the provided proof with the relevant insurance or bond provider. You can also contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to make inquiries on its insurance and bonding requirements for plumbers in Fresno.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Fresno
It is important to protect yourself against unscrupulous contractors and con artists when looking for good plumbers near you. You should be wary of any plumber that displays any of the following characteristics:
- The plumber does not have a local work office or telephone number
- The plumber cannot or is unwilling to provide references
- The plumber insists on full payment upfront, usually in cash
- The plumber cannot provide proof of licensing, insurance, or bonding
- The plumber provides a bid or quote that is far below the bids or quotes you have received from other plumbers
In August 2021, a joint operation by the California Contractors State License Board and the California Economic Development Department in Fresno resulted in the citation of about nine individuals for unlicensed contracting activities, including plumbing. As a home or property owner in Fresno, you can protect yourself against unscrupulous contractors and con artists by taking the following steps before hiring any plumbers in the city:
- Always request proof of licensing from intended plumbers and authenticate the provided license
- Never hire the first plumber that comes along and resist pressure from any unsolicited plumber to make on-the-spot decisions
- Get at least three bids or quotes from different plumbers, request and check at least three references from these plumbers, and insist on a written contract for the plumber you select
- Make sure that any upfront payments you make never exceed 10% of your plumbing project's total cost or $1,000, whichever is less
- Avoid cash payments and don't let any payments that you make get ahead of the work
You can file complaints against unscrupulous plumbers in the City of Fresno, either with the CSLB or by mailing a completed Consumer Protection Fraud Form to the Consumer and Environmental Protection Division of the Fresno County District Attorney's Office at:
- Financial Crimes
- P.O. Box 389
- Fresno, CA93708
This complaint form can also be submitted via email, and consumer-related inquiries can be directed to the Fresno County DA's Office by calling (559) 600-3141 or in person at:
- 2100 Tulare Street
- Fresno, CA 93721