How to Hire a Good Plumber in Santa Ana
Though a sudden spike in your water bill is enough reason to call in the plumber to check for leakages, you should also consider taking advantage of the water rebate available to Santa Ana residents. Your plumber can help you save up to 10 percent on your water bills as well as help you earn upward of $500 on rebates for deploying water-efficient devices. When in search of a plumber in the city, ask the following question to determine the professional is qualified for the job:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Santa Ana?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Santa Ana?
- Do You Comply with the City of Santa Ana Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Santa Ana Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Santa Ana?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Santa Ana?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Santa Ana?
Obtaining a plumbing license from the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is a mandatory requirement for all plumbers in the City of Santa Ana that wish to provide services worth $500 or more. Plumbers that do not meet this requirement can face misdemeanor charges and receive penalties of up to six months in jail, statutory and administrative fines of up to $15,000, or a combination of fines and jail time. Note that even though CSLB-issued licenses are not required for jobs that are worth less than $500, it is always in your best interest to make sure that your intended plumber possesses one, regardless of the cost of your project. This is because these licenses are typically issued only to individuals that meet certain regulatory criteria that deem them fit to provide their services to interested members of the public. These criteria include, but are not limited to:
- Attaining a minimum of four years of journeyman level plumbing-related work experience no more than 10 years before applying for the license, and providing acceptable and verifiable proof of this work experience.
- Passing a CSLB-administered licensing examination. Note that before sitting for this examination, applicants will be required to fill out an Application for Original Contractor License Form, pay a non-refundable application fee, and have their applications reviewed and accepted by the CSLB. Also, applicants from Arizona and Nevada that possess valid plumbing licenses issued by their respective state licensing authorities may waive the trade portion of the CSLB's licensing examination.
You can confirm that your intended Santa Ana plumber has met all these requirements and possesses a valid CSLB-issued license by performing an online license check. You can also direct license-related inquiries to the CSLB at (800) 321-2752.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Santa Ana?
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that plumbers in the Santa Ana area earn a mean hourly wage of approximately $29. However, the specific amount of money that you will have to pay for plumbing services in the city is affected by several factors, some of which include:
- The type of plumbing service that is required.
- The labor intensity of this job.
- The cost of materials, parts, and permits needed for the job.
- The plumber's experience and level of expertise in the area of service that you require.
You can get a fair idea of the average rates for your required plumbing service by getting and comparing cost estimates from several plumbers within your locality before hiring one. Doing this also helps you prevent possible price gouging and other deceptive business practices.
A plumber in the City of Santa Ana earns an annual average wage of $60,4210. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Santa Ana compared with plumbers in other parts of California and other major cities in the country:Santa Ana Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.04California Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$33.21San Jose Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$40.79Atlanta Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.53New York City Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$35.78St. Louis Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$36.53Miami Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.66
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do You Comply with the City of Santa Ana Building Code for Plumbing?
Any plumbing work that is to be performed in the City of Santa Ana must comply with Chapter 8, Article III of the Santa Ana Municipal Code, otherwise referred to as the city's plumbing code. This code adopts the 2019 California Plumbing Code and also provides city-specific amendments and supplements that regulate the installation, alteration, and general use of plumbing systems in Santa Ana. Before hiring any plumber in the city, it is important to confirm that this plumber is familiar, and also works in accordance with the rules and requirements of the city's plumbing code. This is necessary for a number of reasons, which include:
- It ensures that your work is done in a manner that is safe and reliable, not just for you but for other residents of the city.
- It keeps you on the right side of the law. Per Chapter 8, Article I, Section 8 7 of the Santa Ana Municipal Code, violations of the plumbing code can result in city-imposed criminal, civil and administrative penalties. These include misdemeanor charges, which are punishable by fines of up to $1,000, jail time of up to six months, or a combination of both.
Some common requirements of the city's plumbing code include obtaining permits before starting plumbing projects and ensuring that these projects are inspected by the appropriate authorities once they are completed. You can get general plumbing code-related information by contacting the Santa Ana Planning and Building Agency's Code Enforcement Division at (714) 667-2780.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Santa Ana Code?
According to the requirements of the Santa Ana Plumbing Code, a permit must be obtained before the erection, installation, enlargement, alteration, repair, removal, conversion, or replacement of any plumbing system in the city. These permits are issued by the Santa Ana Planning and Building Agency through its Building Safety Division, and they can only be obtained by the following parties:
- The owner of the property where the work is expected to take place
- An authorized agent of the property owner
- A licensed contractor that can provide proof of licensing and also possesses a current city-issued business license
Eligible parties that wish to obtain these permits for their plumbing work will typically be required to complete and submit a plumbing permit worksheet along with plan check documents where applicable. These documents can be submitted at the Planning and Building Agency's Public Counter located at:
- 20 Civic Center Plaza
- Ross Annex
- Santa Ana, CA 92702
The city's Public Counter currently provides services by appointment only, and interested parties can schedule these appointments online. Alternatively, parties that wish to perform simple residential plumbing work that does not require plan checks may obtain the necessary plumbing permits online via the Santa Ana Online Permit System. Examples of these types of plumbing work include water heater replacements, sink, shower, and bathtub-related repairs, and sewer-related repairs. Note that a registration process will have to be completed on this system before the required permits can be requested. Finally, once the permits have been issued, inspections may be required at various stages of the project, and it is the duty of the individual that was issued the permit to schedule these inspections.
You can contact the Building Safety Division of the Santa Ana Planning and Building Agency at (714) 647-5800 to direct inquiries related to the city's requirements for plumbing permits and plumbing work inspections.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
In addition to making sure that your plumber possesses a valid license and that all required permits for your project are obtained, you should also confirm that this plumber is qualified to provide the required service. This way, you can avoid any service delivery conflicts and misunderstandings after the project commences. While licensed plumbers in Santa Ana are typically skilled in various aspects of plumbing, some plumbing issues may require specialized attention. For example, a plumber that mostly works on residential plumbing repairs may not be the best choice if you wish to install a new plumbing system in a commercial building. Therefore, before finalizing any hiring agreements with any plumber near you, you should make sure that this plumber has the right skill set and tools to perform the job. You can request references or pictures of jobs that the plumber has completed to verify this, and also find out how much this plumber's services would cost you. Listed below are cost estimates for some common Santa Ana plumbing services:Bathtub installation$1,500 - $3,000Clearing drain clog or blockage$150 - $185Drain line video inspection$310 - $370Gas line installation$35 - $55 (per linear foot)Faucets, fixtures, and pipes installation or repair$60 - $100Plumbing for home addition or remodeling$2,000 - $7,000 (for 1,500 sf home)Septic system installation$9,180 - $10,920 (for three bedroom house)Septic tank cleaning or pumping$340 - $400 ( for 1,000 gallon tank)Sewer line cleaning$210 - $335Sewer line installation and repair$75 - $100 (per linear foot)Submersible sump pump installation$1,065 - $1,530Toilet installation or replacement$190 - $210 (labor only)Water main installation or repair - $40$70 (per linear foot)Residential plumbing services$90 - $105 (per hour)Commercial plumbing services$120 - $130 (per hour)
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Santa Ana?
A single leaking showerhead dripping at a rate of 10 drips per minute is estimated to waste over 500 gallons of water annually. When juxtaposed with the water use rates for the City of Santa Ana, it can be gleaned that ignoring plumbing issues is a potentially expensive decision to make. In addition to running up your water bill, seemingly minor plumbing issues are usually indicative of much larger, and therefore more expensive, plumbing problems. There is also the danger of these plumbing problems occurring at the least expected times, such as in the middle of the night or after the work hours of your regular plumber. Some common plumbing problems that occur at unexpected times and usually require immediate attention are water heater malfunctions, frozen and burst pipes, clogged drains, and sewer line back-ups.
When faced with a plumbing emergency, it can be a hassle to find a professional and duly qualified plumber that can resolve the problem without trying to take advantage of your situation. However, you can utilize several resources to find licensed, well-equipped, and reliable plumbers near you that provide emergency plumbing services. Some of these resources include:
- The CSLB's online Find My Licensed Contractor platform.
- The PHCC's Find a Contractor online search portal.
- Third-party review websites like Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp.
Note that you should always confirm that the plumbers you contact via these resources possess valid CSLB-issued plumbing licenses before retaining their services.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Santa Ana?
Hiring a plumber that possesses a valid plumbing license and also has an active liability insurance plan protects you from potential liabilities if your project is not done properly or if an on-the-job injury occurs during this project. Plumbing is a highly hazardous occupation, and in 2019 alone, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a total of 37,800 nonfatal work-related injuries amongst plumbers across the country. As such, even though plumbers that ply their trade in Santa Ana are not legally required to carry general liability insurance, you should never hire an uninsured plumber. Always request a copy of your intended plumber's insurance certificate and contact the insurance provider that issued this certificate to confirm its authenticity.
Note that all contractors that operate in the State of California, including plumbers, are required to maintain surety bonds of no less than $15,000. If these contractors have employees, then they are also required to carry workers' compensation insurance. You can contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to get information on its bonding and insurance requirements for plumbers and other types of construction and home improvement contractors.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Santa Ana
When searching for plumbers near you to resolve your plumbing problems, there is always the risk of ending up with a fraudulent and possibly dangerous individual. A 2018 undercover sting operation in Orange County led to the arrest of several contractors bidding for jobs above the legally allowed limit. During the sting, officials of the CSLB and the Orange County District Attorney's Office also discovered that one of these suspects had a violent criminal history.
To this end, you should always take the following precautionary steps when hiring plumbers in the City of Santa Ana to avoid falling victim to a home repair or improvement scam:
- Always verify the current licensing status of any plumber that you intend to hire. You can also request a photo ID and confirm that the plumber's contact information matches what is provided on the verification portal.
- Get a minimum of three bids for the job and request references from each bidder. You should also make sure to check these references.
- Get a written contract for the project.
- Avoid cash payments
- Never pay more than 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less.
- Do not let payments get ahead of the level of work done and make the final payment only after the job has been satisfactorily completed per the details of your contract.
Complaints concerning the deceptive or unfair business actions of plumbers and any other fraudulent individuals or businesses in Santa Ana can be filed with the Consumer Protection Unit of the Orange County District Attorney's Office. You will typically be required to complete a Consumer Complaint Form, which can be submitted either via email or by regular mail to:
- 300 N. Flower Street
- P.O. Box 808
- Santa Ana, CA 92703