How to Hire a Good Plumber in Denver
A faulty faucet leaking at a rate of ten drops per minute in the City of Denver can waste about 300 gallons in a year. With residents of the city paying a minimum water rate of $2.39 per 1000 gallons, these leakages can significantly add to your monthly water bill. Minor plumbing leaks can also be an indicator of a more significant and potentially expensive unidentified plumbing problem. As such, it is important to respond to plumbing problems on time and to also ensure that the issue is fixed by a competent professional plumber near you. While referrals from family members, workplace colleagues, and neighbors can help to narrow down your search, asking the right questions is also essential in finding the most suitable plumber for the job. Some of these questions include:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Denver?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Denver?
- Do You Comply with the City of Denver Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Denver Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Denver?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Denver?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Denver?
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies' State Plumbing Board handles the licensing of all plumbing professionals in Denver and it mandates that they obtain a license before practicing in the city. In addition, Section 125.1 of the Denver Building and Fire Code disallows plumbers from doing work in the city unless they have a valid license. Per this code, the penalty for a plumber found working without a license is a minimum of three months to a maximum of twelve months in jail or a fine of $250 to $1,000 for first-time offenders. Subsequent violations will result in steeper penalties of anywhere between one year to eighteen months in jail or a fine of $1,000 to $100,000.
The State Plumbing Board of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies offers licenses to residential plumbers, journeyman plumbers, and master plumbers. Residential plumber license and journeyman plumber license applicants must have at least two years and four years of practical experience respectively and must score at least 70% in a licensing examination. Similarly, master plumber license applicants must provide evidence of at least five years of full-time practical experience, have an overall score of at least 75% in the required licensing examination, and also meet applicable work experience requirements.
You can verify a plumber's license before hiring them in Denver by searching for their license details through the license look-up portal provided by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies for this purpose. It is important to note that engaging the services of a plumber without a license is a violation of Title 12, Article 155 of the Colorado Plumbing Code, and homeowners found liable for this will be fined as follows:Engaging a residential plumber without a license$150 for the first time and up to $2,000 per day by the third offense.Engaging a journeyman plumber without a license$225 for a first offense and up to $2,000 per day by the third offenseEngaging a master plumber without a license$300 for the first offense and up to $2,000 per day by the third offense
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Denver?
Homeowners hiring plumbers for various plumbing services such as installations and repairs in Denver will receive a quote for the proposed work dependent on:
- The level of experience of the plumber
- The type of service being rendered
- Cost to transport any necessary equipment to the site of the project
- The time of the day or day of the week that you require the service
- The quality and cost of materials used for the job
Comparing quotes from at least three plumbers near you will give you an idea of the competitive market rate for the specific type of plumbing service that you require and help you choose the best price.
A plumber in the City of Denver earns an annual average wage of $60,950. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Denver compared with plumbers in other parts of Colorado and other major cities in the country:Denver Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.30Colorado State Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$27.14Seattle Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$39.45Austin Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$25.23Chicago Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$44.20Los Angeles Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.04Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.71
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The City of Denver adopts the Colorado Plumbing Code, which lays down the minimum standards for controlling the installation, inspection, alteration, and repair of all plumbing appliances, systems, fixtures, and fittings in the city. This Colorado Plumbing Code is applied when working on systems such as residential fire sprinkler systems, sanitary drainage, storm drainage, vents, special piping, fixtures, fittings and faucets, water heaters, and water supply and distribution. When choosing your plumber, picking one knowledgeable about the plumbing codes ensures that your work is done professionally and in compliance with the city's regulatory demands. For information on the Colorado Plumbing Code's requirements for your project, you can contact the Denver Community Planning and Development Department at (720) 865-2790.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Denver Code?
The Denver Building and Fire Code requires that homeowners obtain a permit before carrying out all plumbing-related work within the city's jurisdiction. Nonetheless, Section 130.3.3 of the Denver Building and Fire Code provides exemptions for the following types of plumbing work in the city:
- Replacement and repair of all plumbing fixtures and faucets
- General repairs on one and two-family homes whereby the repair does not alter existing systems. This includes the replacement of bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, garbage disposals, and water closets
- Replacement of garbage disposals, sinks, water closets with similar units
Plumbing work requiring permits must typically undergo an initial plan review before these permits can be issued. However, certain types of plumbing-related works are permitted without a plan review and issued a quick permit. Plumbing-related work allowed under the city's quick plumbing permit scheme includes installing a water drinking fountain, backflow preventers, floor drain, dishwasher, water softener, water heaters, showers, tubs, sinks, and urinals.
The Denver Community Planning and Development Department issues plumbing permits in the city via its E-permits portal, and it provides online tutorials and FAQ resources to guide interested parties with the use of this E-permit portal. For additional help with e-permits or inquiries about the process, you can contact the department via email or by calling (720) 865-2720. In addition, you can also schedule an appointment for in-person visitations to the office, which is located at:
- Community Planning and Development
- Webb Municipal Building
- 201 West Colfax Avenue
- Second Floor
- Denver, CO 80202
Note that permit applications for plumbing are subjected to plan review which can take from two days to six weeks. Also, plumbing work requiring permits may be subject to inspection through the period of the work or project, and you can schedule an inspection with the E-permits portal. For inquiries on plumbing inspections, you can call (720) 865-2560. Building inspection staff are also available for inquiries between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday at:
- Webb Municipal Building
- 201 West Colfax Avenue
- Third floor
- Denver, CO 80202
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
When there is a need to resolve recurring home plumbing problems such as dripping faucets, leaking toilets, and clogged drains, hiring a plumber with the required experience can determine how quickly these problems are resolved. Plumbers in Denver offer an array of services that include fixing, installing, and maintaining plumbing systems on residential, commercial, and industrial property. The cost estimates of common plumbing installation and repair services in the City of Denver are provided below:Commercial plumbing contractor per hour$93 - $105Residential plumbing contractor per hour$70 - $82Plumbing for home addition or remodeling (copper repiping)$1,300 - $1,570Plumbing for home addition or remodeling (PVC repiping)$898 - $1,163Faucets installation and repair$98 - $313Toilet replacement or installation$173 - $313Drain clog or blockage clearing$120 - $147Drain line video inspection$249 - $285Bathtub installation$1,842 - $2,252Septic system installation for 3 bedroom house$7,074 - $8,404Gas line installation$30 - $42Septic tank pumping or cleaning$263 - $309Sewer line cleaning$167 - $255Sewer line installation and repair$150 - $300Sump pump installation$819 - $1,178
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Denver?
Common plumbing problems like burst pipes, clogged toilets, sewer system backups, leaking faucets, leaking toilets, and lack of running hot water typically require a quick call to a plumber near you for an emergency fix. It is estimated that severe water leaks result in approximately 4,000 gallons of water wastage monthly and with the residents of Denver paying a minimum water rate of $2.39 per 1000 gallons, the importance of attending to these matters as quickly as possible. When responding to these types of problems, having access to a competent plumber with the right qualifications, skills, experience, and ability to respond quickly to your call promptly is vital. You can utilize reputable resources like Google Review and the Better Business Bureau to search for qualified emergency plumbers near you. Note that you should always verify the license of a plumber before hiring them, regardless of how you come in contact with this plumber.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Denver?
It is mandatory for plumbing contractors in Denver to maintain a commercial general liability insurance policy with a limit of $1 million for each claim. This general liability insurance covers claims for potential property damage, bodily injury, and personal injury. Considering the potential risks and hazards involved in plumbing, the importance of hiring a properly insured plumber cannot be understated. According to the data published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46 work-related fatalities involving plumbers were recorded between 2011 to 2018. Therefore, you should always make sure that you confirm the insurance status of your intended plumber before finalizing any agreements with this individual. You can do this by requesting proof of the plumber's insurance coverage and verifying it with the relevant issuing organization.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Denver
In September 2020, it was reported that an increased rate of home improvement scams had been reported to the 18th Judicial District's Attorney Office in Denver by residents of the city. When searching for good plumbers near you, it is important to look out for potential scammers and fraudsters that prey on unsuspecting homeowners. These scammers use several methods to defraud these homeowners, and these include doing subpar work despite charging premium prices, and receiving upfront payment and then absconding without doing the work. You can protect yourself from falling prey to these plumbing-related scams in Denver by considering the following tips:
- Be wary of a plumbers with out of state tags on their vehicles
- Do not allow uninvited plumbers into your home to carry out inspections
- Resist high-pressure tactics from plumbers
- Always obtain competitive bids from at least three different plumbers before committing to a project
- Always confirm the licensing status of any plumber that you intend to hire for your project
- Look for reviews on the plumber online through websites like the Better Business Bureau website before selecting them for your work
- Request for a well detailed and signed contract that includes information like the date of work commencement, the quality and type of materials to be used , and expected date of completion
- Only commit to making installmental payments through the period of the work with the final payment made at the completion
- Schedule the required inspection by the Denver Community Planning and Development Department on your plumbing work before making the final payment to the plumbing contractor
To report a plumbing scam in the city, you can call the Denver District Attorney's fraud hotline at (720) 913-9179. Alternatively, you can file a complaint online with the Consumer Protection Unit of the Colorado Attorney General's Office. Note that you can also take private legal action against an erring plumber to secure financial restitution not exceeding $7,500 by filing a small claims lawsuit at the Denver County District Court located at:
- Denver City and County Building
- 1437 Bannock Street
- Room 256
- Denver, CO 80202
- Phone: (720) 865-8440