How to Hire a Good Plumber in Indianapolis
Indianapolis residents pay $11.75 per thousand gallons of water used and it is estimated that each person in a typical household uses about two thousand gallons of water per month. While this rate makes for a lower utility bill than the national average of $70.93 for a typical American household of 2.6 persons, wastage may add several dollars to your water bill at the end of the month. These wastages are usual from undetected leakages, delayed repair of broken faucets, and inefficient landscape irrigation systems. It will be a wise decision to hire a qualified plumber in the city to help fix such wastage early on. However, before contracting a plumber in Indianapolis ensure the professional can answer the following questions satisfactorily:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Indianapolis?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Indianapolis?
- Do You Comply with the City of Indianapolis Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Indianapolis Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Indianapolis?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Indianapolis?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Indianapolis?
Under the Indiana Code Â§ 25-28.5-1-1, plumbers are required to establish competency and qualifications before engaging in plumbing work and it is unlawful for any plumber to carry out plumbing work without obtaining a license. However, when you hire an unlicensed contractor, you could be responsible for any injuries or personal damage and you might also find yourself liable for costly repairs if the person hired fails to do a good job. This is because you might be unable to enforce the terms of the contract. For a plumber to be qualified to carry out contracts in Indianapolis, that individual must obtain a license from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA) and must register that license with the City of Indianapolis through its Department of Business and Neighborhood Services.
Plumbing licenses in Indianapolis are typically issued to persons who are at least 18 years of age and the IPLA issues licenses to apprentice plumbers, journeyman plumbers, plumbing contractors, plumbing corporations, and plumbing apprentice schools. For a plumbing apprentice license, in addition to the age requirement, plumbers will need to complete an application, pay an application fee of $10 and also provide the approved signature of a school sponsor and the license number and name of a supervising journeyman plumber or plumbing contractor. Journeyman plumbers will need to complete an application, pay a fee of $30 and also provide the signature and an active or current plumbing license number of a sponsor. For plumbing contractors, the application fee is $50 and there must be the signature of a sponsor from an apprenticeship school alongside this sponsor's current or active plumbing license number. Plumbing license applications can be made online through the MyLicense.IN.gov portal maintained by the Indiana Licensing Enterprise for this purpose.
You can utilize the Search & Verify portal maintained by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency to verify if a plumber you intend to hire is duly licensed by the state. To find out if the plumber is registered within the city, you can call the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services at (317)327-8700.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Indianapolis?
The cost of hiring a plumber in Indianapolis will often vary depending on the type of work you want the plumber to do for you. Other factors that influence the cost of service are the cost of materials, type of materials, and even, in some instances, the cost of obtaining the required permits for your project.
A plumber in the City of Indianapolis earns an annual average wage of $54,000. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Indianapolis compared with plumbers in other parts of Indiana and other major cities in the country:Indianapolis Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$25.96Indiana Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$28.94Columbus Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.67Los Angeles Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.04Detroit Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$33.24Minneapolis Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$39.45Boston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$40.46
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
When you hire a plumber, it is important to make sure that this plumber is familiar with the city's building code and can obtain the necessary permits where necessary and avoid any penalties. The Indianapolis Building Code governs the installation, repair, maintenance, and other necessary plumbing activities on plumbing systems in the city. This code stipulates the kind of materials to be used for your plumbing work, the appropriate regulatory authorities, and the necessary permits, permit fees and inspection requirements. A good way to make sure that work done on your property complies with the city's building code is to hire licensed plumbers. This is because licensed plumbers are expected to show understanding and mastery of the city's building code as part of their licensing requirements, and these individuals generally ensure that they work in compliance with this code. For inquiries regarding the city's building code, you can contact the Indianapolis Planning Department at (317) 894-6202.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Indianapolis Code?
In the City of Indianapolis, a plumbing permit is usually required for any kind of plumbing work to be undertaken within the city. There are however some exemptions, and these include the following types of plumbing work:
- A replacement of piping in an area with a material that has the same capacity and specifications provided that the replacement is of not more than 20% of the piping.
- The first connection or reconnection of plumbing in a mobile home located in a mobile home park licensed by the Indiana State Department of Health, and has not been placed on a permanent foundation.
- Replacement of valves, appliances traps, and other fixtures in a plumbing system
- Replacement of a water heater with one that has the same output and specifications.
If you want to carry out a plumbing activity that is not listed above, a permit must be obtained from the Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services. You can obtain a permit by completing a Plumbing Permit Application, which can be submitted via fax to at (317) 327-5174 or sent by mail to:
- Department of Business and Neighborhood Services
- 1200 Madison Ave
- Suite 100
- Indianapolis, IN 46225
If you have any queries concerning the process of obtaining a permit or any general questions on permits you can visit the Department in person on weekdays between 8 00 a.m. and 5 00 p.m. or call the Department at (317) 327-8700. Note that before you can obtain a plumbing permit, you will need to also obtain a building permit from the Indianapolis Department of Building and Neighborhood Services and provide the building permit number on the plumbing permit form. After you complete the project, you will need to request an inspection from the Department of Building and Neighborhood Services, and you will be required to provide your building permit number when doing this.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
There are a variety of services that plumbers in Indianapolis offer, ranging from unclogging drains and toilets to fixing faulty piping, installing new piping in old and new buildings, and even sewer line installations. You should make sure that any plumber you hire is adequately qualified to handle the challenge you have. Certain plumbing challenges might prove too much for an apprentice plumber, while other repairs might be better attended to by the less qualified apprentice plumber. For example, an apprentice plumber can easily attend to clogged drains and fix minor leaks. However, more serious projects like the installation of a new plumbing system or plumbing remodeling are better handled by more experienced plumbers.
Some common estimates for plumbing services in Indianapolis include:Unclog drain$125 - $300Repair water heater$200 - $800Fix leaky faucet$150 - $350Plumbing for Remodel or Home Addition$3,500 - $4,700Repair of toilet$150 - $300Replace/install toilet$200 - $500Home remodel plumbing$3,000 - $6,000
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Indianapolis?
There are many reasons why you might need the services of a plumber. Oftentimes, these problems require immediate action. For example, you might have a flooded basement or leaky faucets, which could be a health and safety hazard and also cost you loads of money if you don't attend to them quickly. On average, residents of Indianapolis pay $109 per month for water and you might find yourself faced with a bill that is more than double or triple that as a result of a leaky faucet.
When you are trying to find a plumber to attend to your plumbing emergency, it is important that you clarify that such a plumber can handle the specific emergency that you have. Asides from the capacity of the plumber to handle your issue, you should also try to hire plumbers that know the terrain and can get to you in the shortest possible time. You can find licensed and qualified plumbers in Indianapolis by checking the List of Licensed Plumbers provided by the Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services or through third-party sites like the Better Business Bureau.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Indianapolis?
Under the Indianapolis Building Standards and Procedures, contractors in Indianapolis, including plumbers, are required to have the necessary general liability insurance coverage of no less than $10,000, workman's compensation coverage or waiver, and an active surety bond before accepting a job and executing it. You can call the Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services at (317) 327-8700 for more information on insurance requirements. Hiring a plumber that has the right insurance cover is necessary so that you do not end up paying for any accidents or unforeseen workplace mishaps that might occur while your project is being executed. Insurance helps protect you as the homeowner and the professional you hire. In 2019, there were 146 workplace fatalities in the State of Indiana and 20 of these fatalities were construction-related. Hiring an uninsured plumber could also make you liable for any medical bills or other necessary health arrangements following a work-related injury.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Indianapolis
Home repair and improvement projects are undertaken by a great number of people in Indianapolis and across the United States. Taking into consideration the lucrative nature of the home improvement sector and the high costs associated with it, scammers have begun to devise ways to fleece people of their money with well-crafted plumbing scams. Some of these scams include collecting money without completing a job, doing a sub-par job to make sure the customer gives them a call-back, and using inferior materials while charging a premium price. In 2020, the Indiana Plumbing Commission was forced to take action against an Indianapolis plumber following complaints that jobs were often left uncompleted after payment was made.
Here are some steps to take to protect yourself from plumbing scams in Indianapolis:
- Be wary of unsolicited calls and doorstep visitors offering plumbing services, particularly those that show up uninvited and offer outrageous discounts or require immediate commitments.
- Make sure that any plumber you want to hire is duly licensed by the State of Indiana.
- Request for estimates and always compare the prices and the services offered with at least two other plumbers. The State of Indiana requires that home improvement contracts above $150 be in writing so insist that bids should be in writing where applicable.
- Insist on a written contract that outlines the relationship between yourself and the plumber and do not sign any document that you do not understand.
- Do not make substantial or full payments for any projects before completion and insist on milestone payments where possible.
- Always ask for referrals or get plumbers from reputable sources
If you have been the victim of a plumbing scam in Indianapolis, you can contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office to file a complaint against the plumber. You can call the Division at (317) 232-6330 to request a complaint form or you can complete an online complaint form. Alternatively, you can download a printable complaint form, which you can complete and send by mail to
- Office of the Indiana Attorney General
- Consumer Protection Division
- Government Center South,
- 5th Floor
- 302 W. Washington Street
- Indianapolis, IN 46204
You may also choose to file a complaint against the plumber at the Indiana Plumbing Commission. Complaints that are filed with the Commission will be sent to the Attorney General to be reviewed to determine if they have merit. If the Attorney General determines that there is a case to answer, the commission will sit to determine the punishment to be meted out to the plumbing contractor.