How to Hire a Good Plumber in Lincoln
An average Lincoln family of four uses up to 400 gallons of water per day. With the residential water rate in the city charged at about $2 for every 748 gallons, you are not expected to pay more than $35 for water supplied in a month. If you found yourself paying way more dollars than this average, it is time to call in a qualified plumber in the City of Lincoln. The plumber will help fix undetected leakages from faucets, showers, toilets, and your landscape irrigation pipes. Therefore, you will be saving money and helping the city conserve water. When in search of a good plumber in the City of Lincoln, ask the following questions to ensure you are hiring the best hand:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Lincoln?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Lincoln?
- Do You Comply with the City of Lincoln Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Lincoln Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Lincoln?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Lincoln?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Lincoln?
According to the Nebraska Contractor Registration Act, plumbers who intend to work in the City of Lincoln do not need to be licensed to perform their duties. However, they are required to register with the Nebraska Department of Labor. Hence, performing plumbing work without having registered can result in a $500 fine or imprisonment in the county jail for six months or both the fine and imprisonment.
There are various plumber classifications in Lincoln, and they include master plumber contractors, master plumbers, journeyman plumbers, and plumber's apprentices. To register as a plumber, applicants must submit an application, meet registration requirements, pass a proficiency exam, adhere to bond and insurance requirements, and comply with other stipulated conditions. Registration requirements generally defer by plumber type. For example, master plumber applicants must have four years of experience working as a registered journeyman, while journeyman plumber applicants must have completed four years of classroom training that includes on-the-job experience hours or a four-year apprenticeship approved by the city. Interested persons can make inquiries regarding plumbing registration by contacting the city of Lincoln Director of the Building and Safety Department at (402)441-7521 or via email.
To confirm a plumber's registration, you can utilize the Nebraska Department of Labor contractor search portal.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Lincoln?
Plumbers in Lincoln charge about $29 per hour. This charge may vary depending on the service you need, the materials used for the work, the plumber's work style, and the project's estimated completion time. Hence, It is advisable to always get multiple estimates from different plumbers near you before settling with one. This will help you go for a good plumber that will provide the best value for the job at an affordable hourly rate.
A plumber in the City of Lincoln earns an annual average wage of $55,690. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Lincoln compared with plumbers in other parts of Nebraska and other major cities in the country:Lincoln Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.77Nebraska Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.54Jacksonville Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.43Chicago Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$44.20Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.71Dallas Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$24.37Columbus Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$28.16
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do You Comply with the City of Lincoln Building Code for Plumbing?
The Plumbing Code applicable in the city is the Lincoln Plumbing Code, which is based on the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code, with local amendments. Accordingly, all plumbing work across Lincoln City must comply with the provisions of this Code and the applicable local amendment. Therefore, when intending to hire a plumber, ensure that this plumber is familiar with the provisions of this Code and the local amendments, as any plumbing work done in violation of the Plumbing Code is seen as a nuisance, and it attracts severe punishments, including fines and jail terms.
This Lincoln Plumbing Code governs and regulates the design, quality of material, installation, alteration, and repair of all plumbing and drainage systems within the City of Lincoln. This regulation aims to protect the lives of individuals and their properties within the city when using any plumbing system. Inquiries regarding the plumbing code can be directed to the City of Lincoln's Building and Safety Department at (402) 441-7521 or via email.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Lincoln Code?
Section 24.12.065 of the Lincoln Plumbing Code states that no person shall install, alter, or repair any plumbing or drainage work without first obtaining a permit from the Director of the Building and Safety Department in the City of Lincoln. However, minor repair works like repairing damaged or leaking drain pipes, opening up and cleaning drain pipes, or replacing faucets, faucet washers, float valves, or sump pumps are exempted from permitting requirements. Nonetheless, note that permits would be needed if such maintenance requires replacing or relocating parts of the plumbing system.
Plumbing permits are issued by the City of Lincoln's Building and Safety Department. These permits can be obtained online and are only issued to properly registered master plumber contractors and homeowners living in a single-family dwelling. Interested persons may be required to submit two sets of plans and specifications or details alongside their permit application. Also, such plans and specifications or details must be prepared, designed, and sealed by a licensed engineer or architect of the State of Nebraska.
After obtaining a permit, It is the duty of the permit holder to notify the Director of the Building and Safety Department orally or in writing that the plumbing work is ready for inspection. Such notification should be given not less than twenty-four hours before the plumbing or drainage work is ready for inspection. The permit holder must also ensure that there is reasonable access and means for accomplishing the proper inspection. Inspections are in stages. In some cases, a preliminary inspection must be carried out before the permit holder can begin the plumbing work. After this preliminary inspection, there may be subsequent inspections and then a final inspection when the plumbing work is completed. You can schedule an inspection by calling the 24-hour inspection line at (402) 441-5999. Inquiries regarding permitting and inspection can also be directed to the City of Lincoln's Building and Safety Department at (402)441-7521 or via email.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Plumbers in the city of Lincoln offer various plumbing services such as water leak detection and repair, clearing clogged drains or toilets, water heater service, and kitchen and bathroom remodeling. The cost of these services varies depending on the type of work that you need to do. Therefore, always confirm that the plumber you intend to hire is skilled enough to handle the job at hand. For example, while a journeyman plumber may be able to unclog blocked drains and fix leaky faucets, it is best to hire master plumbers for tasks like piping system installations and repairs.
Below are some cost estimates for some common plumbing services in the city include:Bathtub installation$1,600 - $1,900Clearing drain clog or blockage$100 - $130Drain line video inspection$215 - $250Fuel tank installation/removal$1,900 - $2,400Fuel tank removal$1,400 - $1,650Gas line installation$25 - $35Septic system installation$6,000 - $7,500Septic tank cleaning or pumping$220 - $270Sewer line cleaning$145 - $225Sewer line installation and repair$50 - $65Sump pump installation$715 - $1,000Swamp cooler installation$1,900 - $2,100Water main installation or repair$25 - $45Water softener installation$850 - $1,200Well pump installation$630 - $750Toilet installation or replacement$130 - $140
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Lincoln?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, ten percent of homes have leaks that waste more than 90 gallons of water daily. All leaks should be treated as emergencies as they can be warning signs of more serious plumbing problems and potentially cause property damage. Also, these leaks alone can spike up your annual water bills by nearly $200. Therefore, once noticed, it is essential to engage the services of a good plumber near you to address plumbing leaks and malfunctions in your home You can check third-party websites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau for good plumbers near you. However, ensure any plumber you hire is duly registered. To confirm a plumber's registration, you can check the search contractor portal maintained by the Nebraska Department of Labor.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Lincoln?
According to section 24.12.130 of the Lincoln Plumbing Code, before any master plumber contractor can be issued a permit in the city, such master plumber contractor must maintain a commercial or comprehensive general liability policy. This commercial or comprehensive general liability insurance policy must have a minimum coverage amount of $500,000 per occurrence.
Plumbing works typically involve numerous hazards such as slipping or falling from high heights, working in closed spaces that are not intended for safe oxygen levels and exposure to bacteria and foreign objects. Unsurprisingly, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 53 fatal work injuries occurred in Nebraska in 2019, with about 12 of these fatalities occurring amongst construction-related professionals. Considering the possibility of workplace accidents, injuries, or sicknesses during your plumbing work, it is vital to work with an insured plumber to ensure you are protected from financial liabilities associated with such accidents, injuries, or sicknesses.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Lincoln
In 2020, home improvement scams were rated the third most reported scam across Nebraska. This means that most consumers in the state, including the city of Lincoln, are victims of some form of home improvement scam. These scammers use various methods to perpetuate their acts, such as asking for payment upfront and later absconding without finishing the paid work, performing shoddy workmanship, upselling, unsolicited bids, and fixing inexistent issues. For example, A fraudulent contractor posing as a lightning rod expert scammed homeowners in Lancaster County and surrounding counties out of thousands of dollars by performing fake repairs, while billing high fees for these repairs.
To protect yourself and your family from any fraudulent practices, you can consider the following tips:
- Verify the registration of any plumber you intend to hire.
- Get at least three written estimates and ensure each plumber bids on exactly the same work.
- Ask plumbers for references, and you can call previous clients.
- Always confirm if the plumber you intend to hire is duly insured.
- Be wary of plumbers who appear at your door uninvited.
- Ensure your agreement with the plumber is written and signed. It should include all the necessary information and specifics of what you want the plumber to do. Keep a copy of the contract in a safe place.
- Negotiate a reasonable down payment, and don't pay in full until the work is done to your satisfaction.
- Be wary of plumbers who ask you to pay them in cash. Rather pay by check or credit card and keep all receipts.
- Know that you have the right to cancel a contract within three days of signing it.
If you believe you are the victim of a plumbing scam, you can report this scam to the Consumer Protection Division of the Nebraska Attorney General's Office through an online form. Alternatively, you can download a complaint form, which is available in English or Spanish, and mail it to:
- Consumer Affairs Response Team
- Nebraska Attorney General's Office
- 2115 State Capitol
- Lincoln, NE 68509
The Consumer Protection Division investigates consumer complaints and facilitates mediation between consumers and businesses. Be aware that the Attorney General does not provide legal representation. Scammed victims who are not satisfied with the mediation process can seek the services of a private attorney for legal advice and file a civil lawsuit. If the amount involved does not exceed $3,900, you can file this suit at the Lancaster County Small Claims Court Division.