How to Hire a Good Plumber in Newark
If you are exceeding 12,000 gallons of water per month in Newark during the wintery months, you are probably dealing with a serious leak issue. Leakages like this can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water per year adding an extra 10 percent on your monthly water bill. To save yourself some money and save the city some water, consider hiring a qualified plumber in the city to quickly fix these wastage and other undetected leakages. While you may get referrals from friends and neighbors for good plumbers near you, it is also essential to ask the following questions to ascertain that a plumber is the best fit for you:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Newark?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Newark?
- Do You Comply with the City of Newark Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Newark Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Newark?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Newark?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Newark?
According to Section 13:32-1.4 of the New Jersey Administrative Code, all plumbing work in the city must be done or directly supervised by a duly licensed master plumber. Homeowners are generally advised to ensure they hire licensed or registered plumbing contractors, as hiring an unlicensed plumbing contractor increases the possibility of being scammed and can lead to denial of insurance claims if injury or property damage occurs during their plumbing work.
Plumbing contractors in Newark are classified into master plumbers, journeymen plumbers, and apprentice plumbers. The State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers (SBEMP) is the Board responsible for regulating plumbers in Newark and this Board also issues master plumbing licenses. To become a licensed master plumber, interested persons must be up to 21 years old and have completed a four-year approved apprenticeship program. As part of the apprenticeship program, interested persons must acquire experience as a journeyman plumber for one year. However, this apprenticeship program is not required for individuals who have a bachelor's degree in plumbing, mechanical, or engineering fields from an accredited college. Nonetheless, they must acquire at least one year of practical experience as a journeyman plumber. Interested persons who have satisfied these requirements can apply for a master plumbing license by submitting an application form online, passing a proficiency exam, and filing a $3,000.00 bond. Note that plumbing licenses are required for only master plumbers, as journeymen and apprentice plumbers are required to simply register with the SBEMP instead. 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.
Interested persons can make inquiries regarding plumbing license applications and registration by contacting the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) at (888) 656-6225 for callers within New Jersey or (973) 424-8150 for callers outside the state.
To confirm a plumber's license, you can utilize the DCA's license search portal or contact the SBEMP at (973) 504-6420.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Newark?
The average cost of hiring a Newark plumber depends on the services that are to be rendered. For example, the average cost of unclogging a drain ranges between $100 and $500, while hiring a plumber for general maintenance can cost between $100 and $750. However, it is generally a good idea to get estimates from at least three plumbers near you before settling on one. This helps you compare prices and decide on a plumber that fits your budget.
A plumber in the City of Newark earns an annual average wage of $74,420. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Newark compared with plumbers in other parts of New Jersey and other major cities in the country:Newark Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$35.78New Jersey Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$36.46New York City Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$35.78Chicago Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$44.20Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.71Dallas Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$24.37Boston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$40.46
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do You Comply with the City of Newark Building Code for Plumbing?
When searching for a plumber to attend to your plumbing problems, you should ensure that the plumber you hire is familiar with the applicable Plumbing Code in the city. The City of Newark currently adopts the 2018 National Standard Plumbing Code to regulate the design, installation, and inspection of plumbing and sanitary systems in the city. This code aims to protect Newarkers from plumbing-related hazards, and it covers several plumbing systems, including vents, fixtures, sanitary drainage, special piping, water storage systems, water supply and distribution, as well as faucets and fittings. Inquiries regarding the plumbing code and its applicability to your plumbing work can be directed to the Division of Codes and Standards of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) at (609) 292-7899.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Newark Code?
According to Section 5:23-2.14 of the New Jersey State Uniform Construction Code (UCC), which was adopted by the City of Newark, a permit is required for any alteration, repair, or renovation of buildings and all related work involved in these activities, including plumbing works.
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) issues plumbing permits through its Division of Codes and Standards, and homeowners or their hired plumbers can apply for these permits. To apply for a plumbing permit, an applicant must pay the required fees and submit a completed plumbing permit application form to the division at:
- City Hall
- 920 Broad Street
- Newark, NJ 07102
- Phone: (973) 733-5632
Note that depending on your plumbing work, your plumber may be required to submit plumbing plans and specifications together with the permit application. Plumbing permits are typically processed within 20 business days, and your plumbing work can only begin after a permit has been issued. After your plumbing work begins, you are required to schedule an inspection of the work that is being done. This inspection is usually carried out to ensure that the work performed is in accordance with the UCC. After a final inspection, you can apply for a Certificate of Occupancy, which proves that your plumbing work has satisfied the requirements of the UCC and other city requirements. Inquiries regarding permitting and inspection can be directed to the DCA Division of Codes and Standards at (609) 292-7899.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Plumbers in Newark offer a wide range of services, including toilet repair and installation, drain clearing, water heater installation, and many other plumbing-related services. Note that only master plumbers are licensed to independently perform plumbing works, and even though journeymen and apprentice plumbers may have the skill to address your plumbing problems, they must be supervised by a master plumber. Therefore, master plumbers are typically more skilled to offer wider services than journeymen and apprentice plumbers. However, they may have higher charges compared to journeymen and apprentice plumbers. Nonetheless, when planning for your plumbing project, it is advised that you hire a plumber that can best handle your project and is affordable.
Besides a plumber's skill and experience, other factors like cost of materials and the complexity of the work also determine how much you may spend on your plumbing work. Below are some common cost estimates for plumbing services in the city of Newark:Bathtub Installation$2,400 - $3,000Clearing Drain Clog or Blockage$160 - $220Drain Line Video Inspection$350 - $400Faucets, Fixtures and Pipes Installation$115 - $250Fuel Tank Installation/Removal$2,000 - $5,000Gas Line Installation$40 - $60Septic System Installation$10,000 - $12,000Septic Tank Cleaning or Pumping$300 - $500Sewer Line Cleaning$200 - $380Sewer Line Installation and Repair$80 - $110
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Newark?
It is estimated that household leaks waste nearly 900 billion gallons of water nationwide every year. Ignoring water leakage is not advisable, considering that a single-family residence in the city of Newark pays above $55 for water and sewer charges monthly. Hence, ignoring a leaky faucet in your home can lead to more water use and higher water bills. To avoid increasing water bills, it is crucial to treat any plumbing issue in your home as an emergency and immediately have it fixed. To find plumbers near you that can urgently perform these plumbing fixes, you can check third-party websites like Yelp and Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, ensure any plumber you hire is duly licensed. You can confirm a plumber's license by utilizing the DCA license search portal or by contacting the SBEMP at (973) 504-6420.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Newark?
Section 13:45A-17.12 of the New Jersey Administrative Rules of the Division of Consumer Affairs states that it is mandatory for all plumbers to have and maintain commercial general liability insurance before registering for a master plumbers license. This commercial general liability insurance policy must have a minimum coverage of $500,000 per occurrence, and proof of coverage must be filed with the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. It is ideal to hire plumbers with general liability insurance, as this not only ensures that your plumber is law-abiding but also insulates you against financial liability that may result from professional accidents during your plumbing work. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 74 fatal work injuries occurred in New Jersey in 2019, with about 19 of these fatalities occurring amongst construction-related professionals. To confirm if your plumber is duly insured, you can request that they provide proof of coverage and contact the relevant insurance company to verify it.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Newark
Yearly, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (NJDCA) receives thousands of complaints from consumers who were scammed by contractors across New Jersey. Some of the popular scam techniques from these complaints include shoddy workmanship and failure to start or complete an agreed project after receiving a payment deposit. For example, the NJDCA filed an action against a contractor who failed to perform contracted-for improvements after receiving over $230,000 from four homeowners. There are several examples of such cases, and common methods employed by these dubious contractors include:
- Unsolicited repair services: These scammers are usually unsolicited. They initiate first contact and claim they can help fix plumbing problems for what sounds like a great price.
- Requesting high upfront payment: They either partly perform the job or never show up after receiving the payment.
- Elder/Disaster Scam: Some of these scammers search for vulnerable people to prey on. This usually includes elder residents or people who have suffered property damage due to a disaster. They claim they can quickly help you fix your plumbing problems and either charge exorbitant rates or high upfront payment to get started.
However, it is not enough for you to be aware of the methods used by these scammers. You also need to know how to protect yourself. In doing this, it is recommended that you take the following steps:
- Verify the license of your plumber. License verification can be done online.
- 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. Also, do not sign any contract unless you clearly understand and agree with all of the terms and conditions.
- Consider paying by credit card or check because this payment method provides a clear record that can help you in the event of disputed payments.
- Keep copies of all contracts, receipts, estimates, and other documents in case it is necessary to file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Affairs.
- Explore review-dedicated websites such as Better Business Bureau to check a plumber's reviews and assess their professionalism.
- Do not make full payment upfront. Ideally, any initial payment should not be more than 30% of the total estimate.
Consumers who have experienced a plumbing scam can file a report with the NJDCA's Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) via an online portal. Ensure you do not submit sensitive personal information on this portal, as submitted information might be subject to public disclosure. Alternatively, consumers can choose to obtain a complaint form, which is available in English or Spanish, and mail the completed form to:
- New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
- Division of Consumer Affairs
- P.O. Box 45025
- Newark, NJ 07101
Complaints received by the NJDCA are investigated to facilitate mediation between consumers and businesses. The NJDCA does not provide legal representations to individuals, nor do they offer monetary compensations. Consumers who want compensation are advised to seek the services of a private attorney and possibly file a small claims lawsuit at the Special Civil Part of the New Jersey Superior Court. Consumers should note that they cannot claim more than $3,000 in a small claims lawsuit.