How to Hire a Good Plumber in Irvine
Residents of the City of Irvine pay $2.42 per 100 cubic feet of water. This base rate may end up being $14.64 for wasteful use of water thereby adding several hundreds of dollar to your monthly utility bill. Such wasteful use of water begins with undetected leakages, faulty faucets left unfixed, and inefficient landscape irrigation system.
As such, retaining the services of a professional to install, repair, or replace any part of your home's plumbing system is a wise decision. While you can find good plumbers near you by reaching out to trusted friends, neighbors, or by utilizing online directories, you need to do your due diligence to ensure you hire a suitable plumber. As a part of your inquiry, ask the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Irvine?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Irvine?
- Do You Comply with the City of Irvine Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Irvine Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Irvine?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Irvine?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Irvine?
The first question to ask any plumber that you intend to hire in the City of Irvine is whether or not they are licensed for the job. Plumbers in the city are regulated by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and they are required to possess a license issued by this agency before performing any job that is valued at $500 or more. Performing jobs worth this value without a CSLB-issued license is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by statutory and administrative penalties that include fines of up to $15,000 and jail time of up to six months.
Note that plumbers that perform jobs that are not worth up to $500 are not mandated to possess a CSLB-issued license. Nevertheless, it is always in your best interest to hire a licensed plumber for your project, regardless of its total value. This is because these plumbers generally need to meet certain minimum qualifications and requirements before they are issued licenses by the CSLB. These qualifications and requirements include having at least four years of verifiable journeyman-level work experience in plumbing and passing a CSLB-issued licensing examination, which includes business law and trade portions. As such, hiring duly licensed plumbers provides you with a certain measure of assurance that these individuals are qualified to properly and professionally get the job done.
You can confirm that your preferred plumber has a valid CSLB-issued license by utilizing this agency's Check a Contractor License platform. You can also contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to verify the licensing status of plumbers in Irvine or to make other license-related queries.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Irvine?
Per data published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that plumbers in the City of Irvine earn an average hourly wage of $29. However, the specific amount of money that you will have to pay your intended plumbers for their services is influenced by several factors. These include the nature of the plumbing job, its scope, the types of materials that the job would require and the cost of these materials, and the level of expertise of the plumbers involved. Before retaining the services of any plumber in the city, it is advisable to get bids from multiple plumbers near you. Comparing these bids gives you an idea of the average cost of your project, protects you from being overcharged by a dubious plumber, and also helps you select a licensed and qualified plumber that fits your budget.
A plumber in the City of Irvine earns an annual average wage of $60,410. Below is a breakdown of the Average hourly wages for plumbers in Irvine compared with plumbers in other parts of California and other major cities in the country:Irvine Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.04California Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$33.21Oakland Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$51.01Atlanta 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 Irvine Building Code for Plumbing?
Title 5, Division 9 of the Irvine Municipal Code regulates all building and construction-related activities in the city. This includes the installation, alteration, repair, and replacement of plumbing systems, appliances, equipment, fittings, fixtures, and appurtenances, as well as private sewage disposal systems. Hiring a plumber that is conversant with the requirements of this plumbing code is important, as this ensures that your work is done safely, efficiently, and reliably, while also keeping you on the right side of the law. This is because, any plumbing work done in Irvine that violates the provisions or requirements of its plumbing code is statutorily considered unlawful, and violators are subject to city-imposed criminal and civil penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
Requirements of the Irvine Municipal Code for plumbing work generally include obtaining permits before commencing the work and conducting inspections of the finished work. While licensed plumbers are typically familiar with these requirements, it is also advisable to contact the Irvine Community Development Department at (949) 724-6470 to get information on the requirements of the code that applies to your project. You can also direct code-related inquiries to this department via the aforementioned phone number.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Irvine Code?
Per the requirements of the Irvine Municipal Code, permits are typically needed before most plumbing work in the city can commence. However, permit exemptions are made for some types of plumbing work, such as:
- Replacing sinks, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and toilets, as long as this work does not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of fixtures, pipes, or valves
- Stopping leaks in drains, soil, waste, or vent pipes, as long as this work does not require the removal and replacement of any defective concealed traps, drain pipes, soil, waste, or vent pipes with new material
- Clearing stoppages or repairing leaks in fixtures, pipes, or valves, as long as this work does not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of fixtures, pipes, or valves
The Irvine Community Development Department oversees the permitting process for plumbing work, as well as all other construction-related work in the city. Permits are typically issued to licensed contractors or property owners. Contractors are typically required to provide proof of licensing that reflects an appropriate license type for the permit that is being requested, a current copy of their workers' compensation certificate, and a copy of their locally issued business license. Likewise, property owners will be required to complete a Property Owner's Package before they can obtain permits from the city's Community Development Department.
Eligible applicants will be required to submit a completed Application Package, as well as any other necessary plans and documents online via the city's Irvine Ready! platform. The City of Irvine provides interested parties with access to several tutorial videos that can be utilized to get information on navigating this platform. Alternatively, permit applications for minor plumbing projects can be made via the city's Automated Online Permit System. Examples of these types of minor plumbing work include projects that do not involve more than four plumbing fixtures and projects that do not involve more than one sewer connection. Once permit applications and plans have been submitted, and all applicable fees have been paid, these documents are reviewed and processed before the requested permits are issued. Note that once these permits are issued, inspections of the plumbing work are typically conducted at different phases of the project to ensure that the relevant provisions and requirements of the city's plumbing code are being complied with.
You can get additional information on the Irvine permitting process by calling (949) 724-6313. Permit and inspection-related queries can also be directed to the city's Community Development Department at:
- 1 Civic Center Plaza
- Irvine, CA 92606
- Phone: (949) 724-6470
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
When searching for good plumbers near you, it is important to make sure that your plumber of choice specializes in providing the particular type of plumbing service that you require. While some plumbers can provide several types of plumbing services to interested parties in the city, others may decide to focus on a specific area of plumbing. Therefore, it is always in your best interest to get clarification on this before finalizing hiring agreements with any plumber near you.
Plumbing work in the City of Irvine typically involves a wide range of activities. These include water supply work like the installation, repair, replacement, and maintenance of residential and commercial plumbing systems, and sanitary plumbing work like connecting sanitary fixtures and appliances, like toilets and dishwashers, to disposal or below-ground drainage systems. Cost estimates for common plumbing services provided in the City of Irvine are listed below:Residential plumbing work$91 - $103 (per hour)Commercial plumbing work$22 - $131 (per hour)Plumbing for home remodel or addition$2,000 - $6,960 (for 1,500 sf home)Faucets, fixtures, and pipes installation/repair$60 - $100Toilet installation/replacement$191 - $206 (for labor only)Clearing drain clog or blockage$151 - $185Bathtub installation$1,500 - $3,000Drain line video inspection$311 - $366Septic system installation$9,186 - $10,914 (for new conventional system in three-bedroom house)Septic tank cleaning/pumping$340 - $400 (for 1,000 gallon tank)Sewer line cleaning$210 - $335Sewer line installation/repair$75 - $97 (per linear foot)Sump pump installation$1,063 - $1,528 (for submersible pump)Swamp cooler installation$2,911 - $3,117 (for roof-mounted 7,500 cfm unit)Water main line installation/repair$39 - $66 (per linear foot)Well pump installation$950 - $1,128 (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 Irvine?
A single faucet leaking at a rate of one drip per second is estimated to waste over 3,000 gallons of water annually. With residents of Irvine paying water use rates and charges that amount to at least $20 every month, ignoring water leaks can be quite expensive. Unfortunately, while utilizing the services of a professional to regularly maintain your plumbing can help prevent unnecessary plumbing problems and expenses, unexpected plumbing emergencies still occur occasionally. These emergencies include, but are not limited to, burst pipes, broken toiles, clogged sewer lines, and damaged sump pumps. Plumbing emergencies typically result in significant property damage and possible health risks if they are not tackled immediately and professionally. As such, it is important to resist the urge to hire the first available plumber when you have a plumbing emergency without first making sure that this plumber is qualified for the job. To this end, you should consider utilizing reputable resources when searching for emergency plumbers near you. Examples of these types of resources are the Better Business Bureau website, the California Contractors State License Board's contractor search platform, and the Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors Association's find a contractor portal. It is important to note that you should always verify the licensing status of any plumber in the City of Irvine that you intend to hire before finalizing any agreements with this individual.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Irvine?
While plumbers in the City of Irvine are not mandatorily required to carry general liability insurance, it is always a good idea to make sure that your intended plumber is properly insured. Plumbing is a highly hazardous job, and retaining the services of a plumber that is not adequately insured opens you up to potential legal and financial liabilities that may arise from unforeseen work-related events. These include on-the-job accidents, damage to your property during the project, and faulty or shoddy jobs done by the plumber. You can confirm the insurance status of plumbers in the City of Irvine by requesting a copy of the plumber's insurance certificate and contacting the insurance provider to authenticate it.
It should be noted that even though general liability insurance is not mandatory for plumbers in the City of Irvine, all licensed plumbers in the State of California are required to maintain bonds of at least $15,000. Likewise, contractors that have employees are also statutorily required to carry workers' compensation insurance. You can contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to get more information on the minimum bonding and workers' compensation insurance requirements for licensed plumbers in the City of Irvine and the State of California in general.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Irvine
In March 2019, the CSLB announced the arrest of eight fraudulent home improvement contractors in the Orange County area, including a contractor that had been previously been convicted for illegal contracting. Looking out for fraudulent contractors and possible scams is an important step to take when searching for qualified plumbers near you. Some common signs of plumbing or home repair-related scams include an insistence on cash payments, brushing off the need for written contracts, inability to provide proof of licensing or insurance, and high-pressure sales tactics.
You can avoid falling victim to a scam when searching for plumbers near you by taking the following precautionary actions:
- Always be wary of door-to-door plumbers and unsolicited offers of free or cheap plumbing inspection and repair work
- Always verify the license of any plumber that you intend to hire
- Get and compare bids from multiple plumbers before commencing your plumbing project
- Request references from your preferred plumber and contact these references to get first-hand opinions and reviews of the plumber
- Be wary of any plumber that cannot provide you with up to three verifiable references
- Avoid cash payments and large upfront payments. Limit any upfront payment that you have to make to $1,000 or 10% of your project's total value, whichever is less
- Make sure you get a written and well-detailed contract for the project. You can consider getting a qualified attorney near you to review this contract before signing it
- Keep copies of all documents related to your project. These include contracts, receipts, invoices, and correspondence with the plumber
You can report the activities of fraudulent plumbers and other fraudulent home improvement and construction-related contractors in Irvine by filing a complaint with the CSLB. Complaints concerning these types of matters can also be reported to the Consumer Protection Unit of the Orange County District Attorney's Office by calling (714) 834-3482 or by submitting a consumer complaint form via email or regular mail to:
- 300 N. Flower Street
- P.O. Box 808
- Santa Ana, CA 92703
Finally, you can pursue private legal action and claim damages or other forms of personal remedy from fraudulent plumbers in Irvine by filing a lawsuit at the Orange County Small Claims Court. Note that this court only has jurisdiction over civil matters that do not involve more than $10,000. It is advisable to get proper legal advice before pursuing legal action of any kind. You can get referrals to qualified attorneys near you by contacting the Orange County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service, either online or by calling (949) 440-6747 or (877) 257-4762.