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Licensed Plumber in Jersey City, NJ

How to Hire a Good Plumber in Jersey City

The average monthly water charge in Jersey City is $4.58 per hundred cubic feet of water. At this rate most household in the city pays less than $100 per month for water supplied. However, this amount is likely to increase by several dollars with unaddressed plumbing problems such as pipes, faucets, and toilet leaks. Note, a single toilet leakage may cause a wastage of over 200 gallons of water daily. Nonetheless, such wastage and cost increase can be avoided when you hire a competent plumber to help fix any plumbing defects in your home. Although you can get information on good plumbers near you by asking friends or neighbors for referrals, finding answers to the following questions will help you hire the best plumber around:

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

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in Jersey City

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in Jersey City?

    Per section 13:32-1.4 of the New Jersey Administrative Code, any plumbing project within Jersey can only be handled or must be supervised by a licensed master plumber. Operating without a license could lead to civil penalties, including a maximum fine of $20,000 for each violation.

    The New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers (SBEMP) regulates plumbers in Jersey and issues plumbing licenses to eligible individuals. Master plumbers are the only set of plumbers that can apply for licensure in the city. Journeyman plumbers and Apprentice plumbers, on the other hand, are required to register with the Board before performing plumbing services. To become a registered journeyman plumber, interested persons must have completed a four-year state-certified apprenticeship or obtained a bachelor's degree in plumbing, mechanical or sanitary engineering fields from an accredited college. On the other hand, a person must have trained under a journeyman or master plumber before they can register as an apprentice plumber.

    However, anyone interested in obtaining a master plumber license must satisfy certain requirements, such as being at least 21 years of age, completing a four-year approved apprenticeship program, and acquiring at least one year of experience as a journeyman plumber. Alternatively, applicants must have a baccalaureate in plumbing, mechanical or sanitary engineering from an accredited college and have one year of experience as a journeyman plumber. In addition, applicants must pass a licensing exam and file a $3,000.00 bond as spelled out in Section 45:14C-26 of the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers Law.

    Application for a plumbing license can be made online via the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) MyLicense Online Licensing portal. To make inquiries regarding this application, interested persons can contact the DCA at (888) 656-6225 if within New Jersey or (973) 424-8150 if calling from outside the state. Also, Jersey City residents can confirm a plumber's license by checking the DCA license search portal or by contacting the SBEMP at (973) 504-6420.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in Jersey City?

    Plumbers in Jersey City typically charge about $35.78 per hour on average. However, this rate varies depending on job complexity and the number of hours the plumbing job will take. Nonetheless, getting estimates from several plumbers near you will help you find the best rates so you can settle for the one you're comfortable with. Estimates should describe the work to be done, an itemized list of products and services, and their prices. Ensure that everything you're expecting is listed in the estimate and when you select a contractor, make sure the estimate is included as part of your contract.

    A plumber in Jersey City earns an annual average wage of $74,420. Below is a breakdown of the mean hourly wages for plumbers in Jersey compared with plumbers in other parts of New Jersey and other major cities in the country:

    Jersey City Plumbers Hourly Mean Wage
    $35.78
    New Jersey Plumbers Hourly Mean Wage
    $36.46
    Philadelphia Plumbers Hourly Mean Wage
    $33.19
    Chicago Plumbers Hourly Mean Wage
    $44.20
    Houston Plumbers Hourly Mean Wage
    $26.71
    Dallas Plumbers Hourly Mean Wage
    $24.37
    Boston Plumbers Hourly Mean Wage
    $40.46

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

    Asides from going for a licensed plumber, it is also good to ensure that the professional you want to hire for your plumbing project is conversant with the Plumbing Code applicable in Jersey City. This will help to ensure that your plumbing project is compliant with city requirements and up to city standards. The applicable Plumbing Code in Jersey City is the 2018 National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC), and this Code regulates the designs, installation, and inspection of plumbing and sanitary systems across the city. It covers plumbing systems like hangers and supports, private potable water supply systems, vents, fixtures, faucets and fittings, sanitary drainage, special piping, water storage systems, and water supply and distribution. You can contact the Jersey City Office of the Construction Code Official at (201) 547-5055 or via email for more information regarding the plumbing code.

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

    According to the section 5:23-2.1 of the New Jersey Administrative Code, a construction permit is mandatory before any construction, enlargement, repair, renovation, alteration, reconstruction, or demolition work can be done on any building or structure in Jersey City. However, there are some exceptions to this permit requirement. For instance, construction permits are not required for ordinary plumbing maintenance like replacing hose bib valves, ball cocks, domestic clothes washers and domestic dishwashers, repair of leaks involving the replacement of piping, clearance of stoppages, and replacement of traps.

    The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) issues plumbing permits through the Division of Codes and Standards. Homeowners or contractors are responsible for obtaining plumbing permits and for paying the required fees. Interested applicants can apply for plumbing permits by submitting a complete plumbing application form to the Office of the Construction Code Official in person at:

    • City Hall Annex
    • 1 Jackson Square
    • Jersey City, NJ 07305
    • Phone: (201) 547-5055

    After submitting a complete application, the Jersey enforcing agency must examine the permit application within 20 business days. Sometimes, the plumber may be required to submit plumbing plans and specifications with the permit application, as these plans and specifications must be approved before the commencement of work. Before issuing a permit, the construction official can carry out a preliminary inspection to examine the building. After the permit is issued, plumbing work can begin immediately. An original copy of the construction permit should be kept on the site of operations until the completion of the plumbing work. Every permittee in Jersey City should note that they must schedule inspections with the construction official at different stages of the project. Inquiries regarding permitting and inspection scheduling can be directed to the Jersey City Office of the Construction Code Official at (201) 547-5055 or via email.

  5. What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?

    Before asking anyone to work on your plumbing system, ensure you verify that the plumber you want to hire is the best fit for the job. Plumbers in Jersey City are required to have different types of licenses based on their level of experience. Hence, homeowners must ensure their intended plumber is adequately equipped and has the skill level required for their plumbing needs. For instance, an apprentice plumber might not be able to perform certain plumbing services that a master plumber will be proficient in. Hence, homeowners must do their due diligence to hire the right plumber and know the cost of certain plumbing services in the city so they can budget adequately. Listed below are some common cost estimates for plumbing services in Jersey City:

    Bathtub Installation
    $2,400 - $3,000
    Clearing Drain Clog or Blockage
    $165 - $200
    Drain Line Video Inspection
    $300 - $405
    Faucets, Fixtures and Pipes Installation
    $110 - $220
    Gas Line Installation
    $42 - $60
    Septic System Installation
    $10,000 - $12,000
    Septic Tank Cleaning or Pumping
    $370 - $440
    Sewer Line Installation and Repair
    $80 - $105
    Toilet Installation or Replacement
    $365 - $490
    Water Softener Installation
    $1,300 - $1,900
  6. Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in Jersey City?

    Household leaks can waste about 900 billion gallons of water yearly in the United States, equivalent to the household water use of nearly 11 million homes annually. According to Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, residents of Jersey City currently pay over $10 per hundred cubic feet as water and sewer charges. These water and sewer bills are likely to increase if there are plumbing defects or emergency plumbing situations causing water wastage in the home. Jersey City residents face a variety of plumbing emergencies, which include frozen pipes, bathroom clogs, leaky faucets, and sewer line leakage. When you need emergency plumbing services, you can use Yelp and Better Business Bureau to search for qualified plumbers near you to deal with the relevant situation. However, ensure that any plumber you hire is licensed. You can verify your intended plumber's license by utilizing the DCA license search portal or by contacting the SBEMP at (973) 504-6420.

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

    It is obligatory for registered plumbers in Jersey City to maintain commercial general liability insurance in accordance with Section 13:45A-17.12 of the New Jersey Administrative Rules of the Division of Consumer Affairs. The commercial general liability insurance policy is expected to have a minimum coverage of $500,000 per occurrence.

    According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) carried out by the New Jersey Department of Health, the construction industry accounted for 28% of workplace fatalities, which was the highest proportion. Given the amount of risk involved in providing plumbing services, homeowners must consider hiring the services of insured plumbers so they won't be liable to pay the cost of any damage or accidents associated with their project.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in Jersey City

Thousands of complaints against contractors are filed by consumers to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (NJDCA) yearly. These complaints range from missed deadlines and shoddy workmanship to a contractor's failure to begin or finish a project after being paid. Several other scam methods exploited by plumbers in Jersey include price gouging, unsolicited repair services, and upselling. For instance, in April 2020, a phony home contractor scammed a 65-year-old senior in Hudson County out of $210,000 by escalating what started as a leak repair into a series of unnecessary jobs over three months. The Bayonne police reported that the suspect had a history of arrests for similar scams in other cities. So before you commit yourself to any plumber, it is expedient to protect yourself by considering the following tips:

  • Obtaining at least three written estimates.
  • Verifying the license of your intended plumber
  • Contact the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 242-5846 or (973) 504-6200 to determine if the plumber you are considering is registered or has been the subject of complaints or legal action.
  • Obtain a written contract that clearly states what you are paying for, as well as all terms and conditions. Be careful of contractors who say there is no need for a written contract.
  • Do not pay for the entire job upfront. You can pay one-third in advance, another one-third halfway through the job, and the balance upon completion.
  • Be wary of a contractor that insists that you pay cash. Consider paying by credit card because this payment method provides a clear record that can help you if there is a payment dispute.

If you believe you have been a victim of a plumbing scam, report the matter to the Hudson County Office of Consumer Protection (HCOCP). Such complaints can be filed by printing a complaint form and submitting it to:

  • Hudson County Office of Consumer Protection
  • Administration Building Annex
  • 567 Pavonia Avenue
  • Jersey City, NJ 07306

The HCOCP conducts investigations based on the complaints of local consumers to facilitate mediation between them and businesses. The HCOCP does not provide legal representations to individuals, nor do they offer monetary compensations. It is recommended that aggrieved consumers seek legal advice from private attorneys in the city by using the Hudson County Bar Association's lawyer referral service. Also, if you are seeking compensation, you can file small claims lawsuits at the Special Civil Part of the New Jersey Superior Court, Law Division for matters involving not more than $3,000.