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Licensed Plumber in Omaha, NE

How to Hire a Good Plumber in Omaha

Hiring a good plumber in Omaha to fix water leaks may reduce your water bill considerably. Though residents of Omaha currently pay about $32 for every 7,480 gallons supplied, unchecked indoor and outdoor leakages can add up to $100 to this bill. A single water hose that is not shut off is estimated to result in about 300 gallons of water wasted per hour. If you have recently seen this kind of spike on your water bill, it is time to invite a qualified plumber in the city for a routine maintenance. While you may request for a plumber online or ask neighbors for referrals, you will do better asking the plumbers the following questions to determine they are a good hire:

  • Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Omaha?
  • How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Omaha?
  • Do You Comply with the City of Omaha Building Code for Plumbing?
  • Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Omaha Code?
  • What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
  • Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Omaha?
  • Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Omaha?

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in the City of Omaha

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Omaha?

    Any plumber intending to work on a project or take part in repairing or maintaining plumbing installations in Omaha must have a license from the City of Omaha Planning Department. Per Section 49-200 of the City of Omaha Plumbing Code, it is unlawful to carry out any plumbing activities in the city without the proper license. Plumbers found working in violation of this section may face the penalty of a maximum fine of $1,000 or not more than one year of imprisonment as this violation is classified as a misdemeanor. With this in mind, always ensure that you engage a plumber with the appropriate licensing requirements, as this will ensure your compliance with the city requirement.

    The City of Omaha Planning Department issues licenses to master plumbers, plumber apprentices, and journeyman plumbers who have satisfactorily completed any of the following applicable licensing requirements:

    For master plumbers:

    • Have four years of consecutive experience in the installation of plumbing systems while having a journeyman license issued by the city
    • Provide evidence to show qualification as a master plumber in another city of equivalent size with similar qualification requirements
    • Demonstrate of a minimum of 12 years of plumbing installation experience with a minimum of 300 hours worked annually for the 12 years, summing up to a minimum of 21,000 hours

    For journeyman plumbers:

    • Completed a four-year apprenticeship program recognized by the city
    • Completed a course of study with instructor hours and on-the-job experience with matching requirements as a city certified program
    • Completed a seven-year training period with a minimum of 300 hours each of the seven years, to sum up to 7,000 hours.
    • Are already licensed as a journeyman in a city of equivalent size and similar qualification criteria
    • Have sufficient on-the-job training, properly issued plumbing license, and eight consecutive years of plumbing with a minimum of 300 hours worked each of the eight years, to sum up to 14,000 hours.

    For plumber apprentices:

    • Are at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or a general equivalency certificate (GED).

    After satisfactorily completing all the prerequisites, an eligible applicant is approved to sit for the licensing examination.

    On the other hand, plumbing contractors in Omaha are required to be licensed with the City of Omaha Planning Community Development Division. The licensing requirements are as follows:

    • The contractor must be registered in the State of Nebraska
    • The contractor must be registered with the Nebraska Workforce Development
    • The contractor must be registered with System for Award Management
    • The contractor must have general availability insurance of $2,000,000 aggregate and workmen's compensation

    To verify a plumber's license before hiring them, you can visit Omaha Permits to search for current licenses. Alternatively, you can contact the City of Omaha Planning Department by calling (402) 444-5350, or by visiting its physical office at:

    • 1819 Farnam Street
    • Suite 1100
    • Omaha, NE 68183-1100
  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Omaha?

    The cost of hiring a plumber in Omaha depends on factors such as the fees for permits, the complexity of the work, and the time of the day the plumber is expected to show up for the work. It is always a good idea to compare quotes from at least three plumbers near you before settling for a plumber for your work. Requesting these three quotes helps you find a competitive offer and can be a strategy to weed out any outright fraudulent offers designed to deceive you.

    A plumber in the City of Omaha earns an annual average wage of $70,070. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Omaha compared with plumbers in other parts of Nebraska and other major cities in the country:

    Omaha Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $33.69
    Nebraska Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $29.54
    Seattle Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $39.45
    Denver Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $29.30
    Chicago Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $44.20
    Los Angeles Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $29.04
    Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $26.71

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. Do You Comply with the City of Omaha Building Code for Plumbing?

    The Omaha Plumbing Code sets the rules and guidelines that apply to all aspects of plumbing in the city, such as installing, maintaining, and repairing water supply systems. The code also provides guidelines on storm sewers, sewage treatment systems, plumbing permits, water conservation, construction requirements, lawn sprinkler systems, water conditioning appliances, water heaters, water pipe sizing, building drains, and rainwater drainage. Violation of the plumbing code is a misdemeanor, and parties found guilty of this have ten days to correct the violation or be punished with a fine not exceeding $500 or six months imprisonment. Hiring a plumber with knowledge of the city plumbing code is a good step in ensuring that your plumbing work is done correctly and without violation of the code's provisions and requirements. For inquiries concerning the Omaha Plumbing Code, you can contact the City of Omaha Planning Department at (402) 444-5350.

  4. Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Omaha Code?

    Per Section 49-300 of the Omaha Plumbing Code, it is unlawful to start any plumbing work in the city unless a license holder has obtained a permit. However, some plumbing works, which are generally regarded as minor repair work, are allowed without a permit, and these include:

    • Replacement or repair of defective or working parts of a faucet
    • Repair of minor water conditioning appliances
    • Clearance of stoppages
    • Lawn sprinkler system repairs not needing modifications to the original piping

    The City of Omaha Planning Department is responsible for issuing plumbing permits. Plumbing permits requiring plan review can take three to four weeks, while plumbing permits not requiring plan review are issued at the point of application. You can visit the City of Omaha-provided Permit IQ platform to find the permits needed for a project, the cost of permits, and zoning information for an address. To apply for a permit online or submit electronic copies of plans, use the Omaha Permits online portal. Alternatively, you can download a Plumbing Permit Application form, fill it in and submit it along with the project plans to:

    • City of Omaha Planning Department
    • Permits and Inspections Division
    • 1819 Farnam Street
    • Room 1110
    • Omaha, NE 68183
    • Phone: (402) 444-5350

    Note that inspections are typically required at different stages of plumbing work to certify that the project is being undertaken per the relevant requirements of the city's plumbing code. You can schedule an inspection by calling (402) 444-5350, via text to (844) 295-4282, or online through the Omaha Permits portal.

  5. What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?

    The plumbing needs of residents of Omaha range from new plumbing work, plumbing repairs, and maintenance of already installed systems to emergency plumbing solutions. These plumbing needs can be for residential or commercial property and include water heater installation, pipe video camera inspection, faucet repairs and changes, drain cleaning, and bathtub installation. When you need to hire a plumber for a project, you must request their specialization to ensure their skill set is a good fit for your work. For example, commercial plumbers generally focus on plumbing work done on commercial properties such as schools, offices, factories, and shopping malls, while residential plumbers generally work on residential properties.

    Residents of Omaha pay as little $27 and as much as $7,251 for a range of plumbing services listed below:

    Shallow well pump installation
    $632 - $750
    Installation of water softener (32,000 grain)
    $855 - $1,147
    Water main installation or repair
    $27 - $45
    Swamp cooler installation
    $1,934 - $2,071
    Sump pump installation
    $707 - $1,016
    Sewer line installation and repair (per linear foot)
    $51 - $65
    Sewer line cleaning
    $ 144 - $220
    Septic tank pumping or cleaning (1,000 gallon tank)
    $227 - $266
    Septic system installation for three-bedroom house
    $6,103 - $7,251
    Gas line installation
    $26 - $37
    Drain line video inspection
    $215 - $246
    Bathtub installation
    $1,589 - $1,943
    Drain clog or blockage clearing
    $104 - $127
    Replacement or installation of toilet
    $128 - $137
  6. Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Omaha?

    Plumbing issues tend to become worse over time if left ignored, increasing in magnitude until they become a serious problem. As such, it is always a good idea to respond to these types of issues as soon as they are noticed, as they are generally cheaper to fix at this stage. For example, water leaking from burst pipes tends to increase the diameter of the leak over time. A shower head leaking ten drips per minute increases the water consumption by more than 500 gallons per annum, which is about 67% of Omaha's average monthly water bill of $3.27 per 748 gallons of water used. However, while a quick response time is important in dealing with plumbing problems, problems such as overflowing toilets, sewer backup, damaged pipes, flooding, sewer gas smell, and clogged sink require even more urgency. These emergency plumbing problems are best sorted out by a plumber near you with the right set of tools, skills, and experience.

    You can find competent plumbers capable of fixing emergency problems near you through Google Review, the Better Business Bureau website, or other job listing websites featuring plumbers. Note that even in emergencies, you should still check the license of a plumber before hiring.

  7. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Omaha?

    It is estimated that there were 22 deaths due to falls, slips, and trips in 2019 in the United States among maintenance and repair workers, including plumbers. Plumbers having an insurance cover is advisable as it helps safeguard their business, the homeowner, and the property due to the risks involved in plumbing. The Omaha Plumbing Code mandates master plumbers to have the following in insurance and bond cover:

    • At least $1,000,000 in insurance for bodily injury and property damage
    • A bond of $10,000 providing protection for the city against loss or damage through negligence
    • An additional $20,000 surety bond for street excavation

    Before hiring your intended Omaha plumber, you should make sure they carry the required insurance cover, and you should confirm the authenticity of this coverage by contacting the necessary issuing organization.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Omaha

According to a March 2021 announcement by the Nebraska Attorney General, home repair and home improvement complaints ranked third among the top ten consumer complaints from scams in Nebraska. Carefully picking a plumber will help protect your property and prevent loss of funds to fraudulent plumbers. Plumbing repairs, maintenance, new installations, and replacements are services that most people will need in due time, so getting information about the methods used by scammers will help homeowners evade them. The scams typically used by these plumbers to take advantage of homeowners in Omaha include:

  • Providing offers of inexpensive work that never materializes once they receive money
  • Completing plumbing work with poor workmanship leading to the need to redo the work and additional expenditures by the homeowner
  • Collecting a large down payment before starting a plumbing work and making away with the payment
  • Gaining the confidence of unwary homeowners by starting the work to encourage additional payments and then stopping suddenly and cutting all forms of communication with the homeowner

In December 2020, an arrest warrant was issued for a home improvement company owner in Omaha for collecting $31,000 and never performing the work. While these kinds of scams do happen, it is possible to protect yourself with the following tips:

  • Be wary of plumbers who offer services without invitation
  • Consider it a red flag if a plumbing contractor tries to coerce you into making a quick decision
  • Be cautious with plumbers insisting you pay in cash
  • Always ask plumbers for references before hiring them
  • Take out time and conduct online searches on a plumbing contractor's background before hiring them
  • Always use a written contract with details of the work, type of materials, and completion date.
  • Do not sign a contract until you are comfortable with all the terms and conditions
  • Always verify the license of a plumber before hiring them for your project
  • Check the reputation of a plumber via rating and review websites like the Better Business Bureau before signing them on for your project

Plumbing scams can be reported to the Consumer Protection Division of the Nebraska Attorney General's Office via a web form. You can also download a complaint form and send the completed form by mail to:

  • Consumer Protection Division
  • 2115 State Capitol Building
  • Lincoln, NE 68509

The Consumer Protection Division offers a voluntary resolution process to attempt to resolve the complaint. You can also take additional steps against the plumber in question by retaining the services of a private attorney and filing a civil lawsuit at Douglas County Courthouse located:

  • Hall of Justice
  • 1701 Farnam Street
  • 5th Floor
  • Omaha, NE 68183
  • Phone: (402) 444-7004