How to Hire a Good Plumber in Riverside
A typical American family uses more than 300 gallons of water daily. However, if you found your water usage above 12,000 gallons month after month, it is time to investigate your indoor and outdoor plumbing systems for leakages. A single household leak wastes more than 90 gallons per day. It is best to call in a qualified plumber to help find and fix these undetected leaks. A good plumber in Riverside would not only save you money by stopping these unnecessary wastages, the professional will also help you earn water rebates by optimizing waste usage of your plumbing equipment. However, before you sign a contract with a plumber in the city, ask the following questions to be sure the professional is a good hire :
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Riverside?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Riverside?
- Do You Comply with the City of Riverside Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Riverside Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Riverside?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Riverside?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Riverside?
Plumbers in Riverside are regulated by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB), and this agency issues appropriate contractor licenses to eligible parties that wish to offer plumbing services to interested residents of the city. Per the CSLB's requirements, these licenses must be obtained before any plumber in Riverside can bid for or work on jobs that are worth a total value of $500 or more. Failing to meet this requirement is considered a misdemeanor offense, and guilty parties can receive penalties that include administrative and statutory fines of up to $15,000 as well as jail time of up to six months.
Parties that wish to obtain a CSLB-issued contractor license must be no less than 18 years old and must have attained a minimum of four years' work experience in a field that is relevant to the specific classification of plumbing-related license that is being sought. Note that this work experience must be attained at the journeyman level and must have been completed no later than 10 years before the license application is made. Applicants that meet these eligibility criteria will be required to submit acceptable and verifiable proof of their work experience, along with a properly completed Application for Original License Form, a stipulated application fee, and any other required documentation. Once this has been done and the submitted documents have been reviewed and accepted, the applicants must sit for the CSLB's licensing examination. This examination typically consists of a business portion and a trade portion. However, the trade portion of the examination may be waived for applicants that already possess valid plumbing-related licenses issued by the state licensing authorities of Arizona and Nevada. Once the licensing examination has been concluded, successful candidates are issued the requested contractor licenses.
Before hiring any plumber in the City of Riverside, it is advisable to confirm that this individual has been duly licensed by the CSLB. You can do either do this online via the agency's license check portal or by calling (800) 321-2752. This number can also be contacted to make other plumbing license-related inquiries.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Riverside?
Plumber hourly rates in the City of Riverside are primarily influenced by factors like the nature and scope of the job and the cost of parts and materials needed for the job. Other factors that may influence plumber rates in the city include the amount of physical labor that the job will require and the expertise and reputation of the plumber in question. Therefore, it is advisable to get bids and cost estimates from more than one plumber near you when you have a plumbing issue that needs handling. By doing this, you get a proper estimate of the average rate that plumbers in your neighborhood charge for the plumbing service that you require.
A plumber in the City of Riverside earns an annual average wage of $60,110. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Riverside compared with plumbers in other parts of California and other major cities in the country:Riverside Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$28.90California 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 Riverside Building Code for Plumbing?
Chapter 16.12 of the Riverside Code of Ordinances, which is also known and cited as the city's plumbing code, regulates the construction, installation, design, location, quality of materials, operation, equipment, and maintenance of plumbing systems in Riverside. This code adopts and amends the 2019 Edition of the California Plumbing Code, and it is necessary to confirm that your intended plumber is familiar with its provisions, especially how they relate to your plumbing project. This is because the purpose of the city's plumbing code is to safeguard the safety, public health, and general welfare of the residents of Riverside in their interactions with plumbing systems across the city. Violations of the Riverside Plumbing Code are considered unlawful and individuals found guilty of these violations can face criminal and administrative penalties.
Although licensed plumbers in Riverside are generally conversant with the city's plumbing code, it is also a good idea to find out the provisions of the code that may pertain to your project before commencing any work. You can get this information, and make other code-related inquiries, by contacting the Riverside Community and Economic Development Department at (951) 826-5800.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Riverside Code?
The Building and Safety Division of the Riverside Community and Economic Development Department issues permits for plumbing projects in the city to ensure that these projects comply with the minimum standards of the city's plumbing code. These plumbing permits must be obtained before any work that involves the erection, installation, enlargement, alteration, removal, conversion, or replacement of plumbing systems in the City of Riverside can commence. Plumbing permits can typically only be obtained by the owner of the property involved in the plumbing project, an authorized agent of the owner, or a CSLB-licensed plumber that provides proof of licensing and also has a current locally-issued business license. Permits for simple plumbing projects like simple water heater change-outs and residential service meter upgrades are usually issued the same day an application is made.
However, more complex projects may require the submission of project plans and a plan review before the requested permits can be issued. Likewise, periodic inspections of the project are typically required after the permits have been issued to ascertain that the work is being done in line with the applicable provisions of the city's plumbing code.
Permit applications, plan submissions, and inspection scheduling can be done online via the Riverside Public Permit Portal. Note that a user account registration process must be completed before this portal can be properly utilized, and the city provides training tools and tips to assist interested parties with this process.
In-person applications, plan submissions, and plumbing permit and inspection-related inquiries can also be made to the Building and Safety Division's public counter located at:
- City Hall
- 3900 Main Street
- 3rd Floor
- Riverside, CA 92522
- Phone: (951) 826-5800
- Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Whether you require the installation of a plumbing system in a new building or you want to repair, replace, or upgrade an existing one, you should always make sure that your plumber is the right fit for the job. While licensed Riverside plumbers generally provide a variety of services, ranging from residential plumbing repairs to commercial plumbing services, some of these plumbers may decide to specialize in specific areas of plumbing. Therefore, it is advisable to always confirm that your intended plumber is skilled enough and also properly equipped to provide the particular type of plumbing service that you require. The average cost estimates of common plumbing services that Riverside plumbers provide to interested residents of the city are provided below:Bathtub installation$2,153 - $2,633Clearing drain clog or blockage$130 - $173Drain line video inspection$254 - $332Faucets, fixtures, and pipes installation or repair$103 - $262Plumbing for home addition or remodeling$4,908 - $6,345 (for 1500 sf home)Septic system installation$8,274 - $9,830 (for three-bedroom house)Septic tank cleaning or pumping$297 - $400 (for 1,000 - 2000 gallon tank)Sewer line cleaning$188 - $292Sewer line installation and repair$68 - $87 (per linear foot)Sink installation$164 - $250 (labor only)Submersible sump pump installation$957 - $1,376Toilet installation or replacement$172 - $185 (labor only)Water main installation or repair$35 - $59 (per linear foot)Residential plumbing work$82 - $93 (per hour)Commercial plumbing work$110 - $118 (per hour)
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Riverside?
The average American household is estimated to use approximately 300 gallons of water daily, and unattended leaks and water wastage can significantly increase this figure. With single-family dwelling units in the City of Riverside paying a minimum water rate of $24 monthly, the necessity of treating household leaks and other plumbing issues as emergencies becomes clear. In addition to cutting down your water rates, tackling certain plumbing situations like backed-up toilets and burst pipes as soon as they occur saves your property from extensive damage and also protects the health of the residents of your home.
When faced with these types of situations, it is important to ensure that you search for qualified plumbers that are licensed, properly equipped, and close enough to attend to the situation before it worsens. You can find qualified emergency plumbers near you through online resources like the Better Business Bureau and the CSLB's Find My Licensed Contractor webpage. These platforms allow you to conduct searches for professionals by location and may also provide user reviews and testimonials on these professionals. Nonetheless, it is important to note that you should always authenticate the licensing status of any plumber you intend to employ, regardless of how this individual was referred to you.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Riverside?
Working with uninsured plumbers in the City of Riverside exposes you to financial and legal liabilities in the event of unplanned situations such as property damage caused by the plumber or on-the-job injuries to this plumber. According to the National Library of Medicine, on-the-job plumbing injuries are the second-highest contributors to the total cost of fatal and non-fatal construction-related injuries in the United States.
In light of this, even though general liability insurance is not mandatorily required for plumbers in Riverside, it is always in your best interest to only hire insured plumbers when you require plumbing services. Note that the CSLB requires all licensed plumbers in the State of California to meet minimum bond requirements and also maintain a workers' compensation insurance plan if they have employees. You can confirm that your intended plumber is duly bonded and insured by requesting proof of this and contacting the relevant bond and insurance providers to authenticate this proof. You can also contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to make inquiries on its bonding and insurance requirements for plumbers.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Riverside
In 2018, a joint effort by the CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team and the Riverside County DA's Office netted 15 individuals in the area that were allegedly involved in illegal and deceptive home improvement-related activities. These deceptive activities typically involve fraudulent contractors misrepresenting their license status, bidding for jobs that they are unqualified to provide, and requesting payment before starting or completing the job.
When hiring plumbers in Riverside, it is advisable to take certain preventive measures to avoid falling victim to fraudulent contractors. Some of these measures are:
- Confirming the plumber's license status online or by calling (800) 321-2752.
- Requesting and confirming the plumber's contact information.
- Finding out the permit requirements for your project and confirming that the plumber obtains all necessary permits.
- Getting bids from at least three plumbers.
- Requesting references from the plumber and checking out similar work completed by the plumber, preferably in person where possible.
- Confirming the insurance status of the plumber.
- Insisting on a written contract that spells out the quality of materials to be used for the project as well as all project expectations.
- Scheduling and documenting each phase of the project and making payments according to this schedule.
- Never paying more than 10% down or $1,000 as an advance payment. Note that you should always pay the lesser amount.
- Avoiding cash payments.
- Keeping copies of all your project documents, such as receipts, invoices, and contracts.
- Utilizing third-party review websites like Better Business Bureau and Google Review to get additional reviews on the plumber.
You can report alleged fraudulent activities by Riverside plumbers by either filing a complaint with the CSLB or by mailing a completed Special Prosecution Complaint Form to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office at:
- Office of the District Attorney
- County of Riverside
- 3960 Orange Street
- Riverside, CA 92501
You can also take further steps to seek redress against fraudulent Riverside plumbers in matters that involve $10,000 or less by filing a small claims lawsuit with the Riverside County Small Claims Court. This court allows cases to be resolved informally, quickly, and inexpensively, and matters can be heard without an attorney. You can contact the court's small claims advisory program at (951)274-4499 or (760)393-2163 to get assistance on how to file a small claims case. However, if your matter involves more than $10,000, or if you would like to take other types of legal action, you should consider contacting a qualified attorney to get legal advice on the appropriate steps to take. You can find qualified attorneys near you by contacting the Riverside County Bar Associations' Lawyer Referral Service at (951) 682-7520 or (760) 568-5555.