How to Hire a Good Plumber in Fort Wayne
Plumbing issues can be very tricky because even seemingly small problems can have huge repercussions and cost huge amounts of money to repair. It is estimated that household leaks waste over 1 trillion gallons of water nationwide. Likewise, failing to attend to water leaks in Fort Wayne can waste up to 25,000 gallons a month, resulting in an additional $130 on your utility bill. Finding a qualified plumber in the city will help save you this liability. However, before you settle for any professional plumber in Fort Wayne, ask the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Fort Wayne?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Fort Wayne?
- Do You Comply with the City of Fort Wayne Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Fort Wayne Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Fort Wayne?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Fort Wayne?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Fort Wayne?
Plumbers in Fort Wayne are regulated by the Indiana Plumbing Commission, which is one of the various boards under the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA). These plumbers must possess a valid license from the commission before providing any service to members of the public. However, per Indiana Code Â§ 25-28.5-1-1, licensing exceptions are made for the following types of plumbing services:
- The first connection or reconnection of plumbing in a mobile home that has not been placed on a permanent foundation and is located in a mobile home park that has been licensed by the Indiana State Department of Health
- The replacement of a water heater with one that has the same specifications and output.
- The replacement of not more than 20% of pipping in an area with a material that has the same specifications and same capacity as the piping being replaced
- The replacement of valves, appliances traps, and other fixtures in a plumbing system
The State of Indiana issues licenses to apprentice plumbers, journeyman plumbers, and plumbing contractors. The specific requirements for obtaining these licenses vary depending on the type of license being applied for, but they generally involve the applicants being at least 18 years old, completing an appropriate application form, and paying a stipulated fee. The applications forms must include the signature of an approved school sponsor as well as the name and license number of a supervising or sponsor journeyman plumber or plumbing contractor, where applicable. Note that apprentice plumber applicants are also required to provide a Bureau of Apprenticeship training agreement from the Indiana Department of Labor. Plumbing apprentices are also required to spend at least four years after obtaining an apprentice license before qualifying to be a journeyman plumber.
You can verify the license of any plumber you intend to hire in Fort Wayne by visiting the Search & Verify portal provided by the IPLA for this purpose. Also, all state-licensed plumbers that wish to work in Fort Wayne must register their licenses with the Allen County Building Department. Similarly, plumbers in the city that want to engage in any plumbing activity that is not covered by the Indiana State Plumbing Code must obtain a locally-issued license from the Allen County Building Department before doing so. Some of the activities which will require registration include:
- Compressed air systems
- Gas piping systems
- Above/ground tanks for fuel
- Underground tanks for fuel
- Lawn sprinkler system
- Low-pressure hot water and steam heating boilers, high-pressure steam boiler, and other heating equipment including solar
- Fire Sprinkler system
- Refrigerant systems that are capable of maintaining a constant temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the structure
- Temperature controls
- Storm drainage
- Hydraulic systems
Hiring a plumber without a license could result in you bearing the cost for any unplanned damages or accidents that occur during the execution of your repairs or home improvements and so it is vital that you only secure the services of licensed plumbers. You can verify the local level registration and license of plumbers in Fort Wayne by calling the Allen County Building Department at (260) 449-7598.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Fort Wayne?
After deciding on a preferred plumber in the City of Fort Wayne, it is important that you crosscheck the prices that have been quoted against other price estimates for the same job that you want to do. Generally, the cost of your repair will vary, depending on the type of work to be done, the cost of materials, and the amount of time that is to be spent on a particular project.
A plumber in the City of Fort Wayne earns an annual average wage of $57,810. Below is a breakdown of the Average hourly wages for plumbers in fort Wayne compared with plumbers in other parts of Indiana and other major cities in the country:Fort Wayne Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$27.79Indiana Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$28.94Colorado Springs Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$24.78Miami Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.66Chicago Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$44.20Minneapolis Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$39.45Boston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$40.46
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Allen County Building Department's Rules and Regulations provides guidelines on the installation, alteration, repair, addition, construction, and maintenance of the public water and plumbing systems as well as private plumbing installations in Fort Wayne. These regulations were put in place to ensure the safety of the city's residents, preserve the sanctity of the city's water system and also ensure that the individuals that work on these systems are duly qualified. Hiring a licensed plumber is necessary because it provides you with a measure of confidence that the plumber will be conversant with the city's building regulations and will not fall foul of them, thereby preventing unwarranted penalties and fines. However, you should always confirm from the plumber you hire that they are aware of the city's Rules and Regulations and adhere to them. You can contact the Allen County Building Department at (260) 449-7131 for queries regarding its rules and regulations as they relate to your intended plumbing project.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Fort Wayne Code?
In compliance with the Allen County Building Rules and Regulations, permits must be obtained from the Allen County Building Department before carrying out any plumbing work in Fort Wayne. These permits are to be obtained by a person who has been duly licensed and registered by Allen County, except in situations where the work is to be carried out by an individual owner of a single or two-family dwelling residence. Note that permits exemptions are generally made if the work is to be carried out on agricultural outbuildings.
You can obtain a permit online using the Allen County/City of Fort Wayne Citizen Access Portal. Parties that wish to use this portal will be required to create an account and log in before being able to make permit applications, request payments, or schedule inspections. Inspections are normally required after every plumbing repair or installation to confirm that the repairs conform with the City's building rules and regulations. If you are unable to complete the form online, you can download a pdf application form, complete the relevant sections and send the completed form to the Allen County Building Department at:
- 200 East Berry Street
- Suite 180
- Fort Wayne, IN 46802-1811
If you have any inquiries regarding the permit application process you can call the Department at (260)449-7131.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
When hiring a plumber near you, it is important to not know what particular services you require but to also make sure that the plumber you hire is competent enough to provide this service. Fort Wayne plumbers have a variety of specialties and areas of expertise. To this end, some plumbers handle only residential issues, some focus on commercial projects, while some plumbers specialize in simple pipeline installations or general repairs and replacements.
The average cost for plumbing services in Fort Wayne falls between $106 - $770. Here are some estimates for plumbing services in Fort Wayne:Cost of Toilet Installation or Replacement$136- $147Cost of Unclogging Drain$110 - $135Cost of Bathtub Installation$1,700 - $2,076Cost of Sump Pump Installation$755- $1,085Cost of Repairing Faucets, Sinks, or Bathtubs$45- $150Cost of Drain Line Repair$310 - $705Cost of Septic System Installation$6,163 - $7,350Cost of Septic Tank Cleaning/Pumping$277 - $267Cost of Sewer Line Cleaning$154- $231
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Fort Wayne?
Most plumbing issues often require immediate attention and are thus classified as emergencies. In some cases, these plumbing emergencies might not be apparent at first glance. For example, a simple pipe leak could lead to a burst pipe if not attended to properly and immediately, and this, in turn, could result in flooding. Similarly, having a severely clogged toilet could also be a problem particularly in situations where you are unable to deal with it on your own. When faced with these situations, you should make sure that the plumber you get is one that can promptly and effectively handle your emergency. Being able to handle your emergency promptly also means that the plumber should be able to find your location quickly. This is important, especially considering the fact that the average water rate in Fort Wayne is $2.17 per 2500 cubic feet, and therefore having unchecked water leakage in your home for just a couple of hours can significantly affect your monthly utility bill. Hiring licensed plumbers is a good way to assure yourself of the competence of your emergency plumber. You can find licensed and qualified emergency plumbers near you by using services like the Better Business Bureau.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Fort Wayne?
Although the City of Fort Wayne does not make it mandatory for plumbers to possess insurance, it is important that you hire only plumbers that have adequate liability insurance coverage. Hiring a plumber that does not have insurance could result in you being responsible for any unforeseen accidents or injuries, and you could be forced to pay medical bills for injuries sustained during the plumbing work. Furthermore, if a plumber without insurance causes damage to your house while on the job, you may find yourself and totally responsible for the costs of repair. Generally, plumbers should have general liability insurance cover and property coverage. Plumbers that have employees are also expected to have worker's compensation insurance coverage. Before hiring any plumber, you should make sure that the intended professional has the right insurance cover. You can do this by requesting a copy of the plumber's insurance certificate and verifying it by contacting the insurance provider.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Fort Wayne
Plumbing emergencies are a constant feature of our daily lives and they could cost us a fair bit of money to attend to. Due to the high demand for plumbers and the huge amounts of money which plumbers stand to make from solving these problems, there has been a propensity for certain individuals to run plumbing scams. These scams usually involve taking money from unsuspecting persons without carrying out the work that was paid for, or in some instances, carrying out the job with subpar or cheaper materials than that which was budgeted or billed for. In 2019, a Fort Wayne City contractor was charged to court for home improvement fraud after failing to carry out work that had already been paid for. Oftentimes, these contractors show up on your doorstep uninvited and seemingly identify problems you have while offering immediate solutions to these problems. It is important that you remain wary of these sorts of people and take certain precautions before hiring any plumber in the city. These precautions include:
- Always ask for references when you want to hire a plumber. You can get references from friends, neighbors, or even by contacting professional services like the Better Business Bureau.
- When presented with a bid by a potential plumber, make sure you compare prices by obtaining at least two more bids from other plumbers based on the same specifications for work.
- When you decide on a plumber, ask for references and check out those references before proceeding with the project.
- Ask for proof of insurance cover and verify that the contractor is duly licensed in the state and by the city by checking the IPLA's Search & Verify portal and calling the Allen County Building Department at (260) 449-7598.
- Insist on having a written contract between yourself and the plumber. Make sure that this contract contains the specific details of your agreement with the plumber and do not sign agreements you do not understand.
- Avoid making upfront payments for plumbing jobs particularly when using the services of a plumber for the first time. Where possible, insist on milestone payments for the project.
If you think you might have been contacted by a fraudulent plumber or if you have fallen victim to a plumbing scam, you can contact the Indiana Attorney General's Office and file a complaint through its Consumer Protection Division. You can file this complaint online or by downloading a printable complaint form and sending the completed form to:
- Office of the Indiana Attorney General
- Consumer Protection Division
- Government Center South
- 302 W. Washington Street
- 5th Floor
- Indianapolis, IN 46204