How to Hire a Good Plumber in Albuquerque
Undetected leaks are common and can easily go unnoticed. Though an average household in Alberquerque pays $232 per month for water, leakages like these will add several hundred dollars to your water bill. Hence, it is wise to act quickly and save yourself some money by hiring a qualified plumber in the city to fix the leaks. Note, a good plumber in the city will be licensed and insured, conversant with Albuqueque plumbing code, answer the following questions satisfactorily:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Albuquerque?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Albuquerque?
- Do You Comply with the City of Albuquerque Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Albuquerque Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Albuquerque?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Albuquerque?
Plumbers in Albuquerque are licensed by the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department. Before you hire a plumber, you should take note of the classification of the plumber's license. The plumber license classifications in the City of Albuquerque are the Journeyman Plumber and Mechanical Plumber license types. If any individual or business is caught offering plumbing services without a license the relevant project can be stopped temporarily, permanently, or indefinitely.
Before anyone can work as a licensed plumbing contractor in Albuquerque, such a person must first complete an apprenticeship program and become a journeyman plumber. To be able to register for an apprenticeship in the city, an applicant must:
- Be 18 years or older,
- have completed high school,
- have no criminal records in New Mexico,
- have a driver's license or some other state ID,
- pass a drug test, and
- have a good driving record.
Applicants who wish to become a journeyman plumber must have acquired at least two years of work experience or 4,000 hours of on-the-job work experience as an apprentice, pass a written and practical examination, and then pay the required licensing fees. To become a fully licensed mechanical plumbing contractor, an applicant must have completed at least four years of the apprenticeship program and 8,000 hours of experience in the trade. Applicants must also write and pass a business and law examination and a trade knowledge examination set by PSI on behalf of the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department. Interested persons can contact the New Mexico Construction Industries Division at the Regulation and Licensing Department with inquiries about plumbing license classifications or any other queries.
Applicants can also reach the Construction Industry Division by email or at (505) 476-4700. You can apply for a license by visiting the online services portal of the Construction Industries Division. Also, the Regulation and Licensing Department maintains an online verification tool residents of Albuquerque can use to check the plumber classification.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Albuquerque?
Plumber hourly charge rates in Albuquerque vary and usually depend on the type of plumbing project, the prices of plumbing materials, the costs of plumbing permits, and inspection application fees. However, before finalizing and employing the service of a plumber, you should compare plumbing rates with at least three plumbers to make sure that you are getting the appropriate prices and not getting ripped off. Checking multiple rates also helps with creating a feasible budget for your plumbing project.
A plumber in Albuquerque earn an annual average wage of $46,470. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Albuquerque compared with plumbers in other parts of New Mexico and other major cities in the country:Albuquerque Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.34New Mexico Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.37New York City Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$35.78Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.71Minneapolis Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$39.45Miami Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.66Boston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$40.46
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Albuquerque Uniform Administrative Code (UAC) regulates all plumbing works across Albuquerque, including the installation, alteration, and repair of plumbing-related systems. The UAC also sets the minimum standard for the quality of materials to be used while performing any plumbing work. The Albuquerque UAC is a technical document, and it is reasonable to hire a plumbing contractor that understands its intricacies. Hiring a plumber who understands the UAC would also ensure that you do not perform any plumbing work in contravention of the code. Violation of the code can result in the cancellation of the permits issued for the project and administrative fines. The state can also impose a re-inspection fee and take legal actions against the contractor and the project owner. If you have inquiries about the Administrative Code requirements, you can reach out to the City of Albuquerque Building Safety Division by email or at (505) 924-3860.
The Albuquerque Building Safety Division is responsible for issuing permits for any plumbing work conducted within the city. The Division is also responsible for building and plumbing inspections within the city. In the City of Albuquerque, and according to Section 109.2.1 of the Albuquerque Uniform Administrative Code, plumbing permits are not required for the following:
- Stopping leaks that occur in drains, soil, waste, and vent pipes as long as it is not defective. If any aspects of the plumbing work need to be removed or replaced with new materials then the project would need a new permit.
- Clearing stoppages or repairing leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures, provided that the plumbing work does not include the rearrangement or remodeling of the valves, lines, and fixtures.
- Any plumbing work that must be performed immediately to safeguard life, health, or property as long as the person doing the work registers for a permit no later than the following business day.
- Plumbing works involving the installation of temporary lines for testing any equipment or apparatus. However, any deviations to be made on the installation can only be performed after obtaining a permit.
- Changing or replacing plumbing fixtures with the same type of configuration.
Sometimes the workload at the Division can influence the time taken to respond to your permit application. You can reach out to the Building Safety Division either by email or at (505) 924-3860 to inquire about plumbing permits and how to apply for a permit or to make inquiries about scheduling an inspection. Otherwise, you could visit the office of the Building Safety Division with your enquires at:
- City of Albuquerque Planning Department
- Plaza del Sol Building
- 600 Second North West
- Albuquerque, NM 87102
The New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department (NMRLD) grants licenses depending on the type of job to be performed by a plumber. For example, journeyman plumbers are licensed under the JP category, and Natural Gas Fitters are licensed under the MM-2 category. Thus, it is crucial to understand the category your plumber belongs to and hire only licensed plumbers to work on your plumbing project. Cross-referencing the license category on the plumber's license and with Section184.108.40.206 of the NMRLD license and scope documentation can help you identify the type of services your intended plumber can engage in. Hiring the right plumber would ensure you get quality services.
Before you hire a plumber, it is also proper to obtain cost estimates from the plumber so you can have an idea of what your plumbing work costs. This is a list of some price estimates for some plumbing works in Albuquerque:Clearing of clogged drainage$119 - $146Cleaning or pumping of septic tanks$262 - $308Cleaning of Sewer lines$167 - $255Installation and repairs of sewer lines$58 - $74Installation of sump pumps$820 - $1,179Installation of swamp Coolers$2,245 - $2,405Installation and repair of water main$30 - $51Installation or replacement of toilet$147 - $158Installation and removal of fuel tanks$1,686 - $2,744Installation of water softeners$994 - $1,334Installation of well pump$994 - $1,334Installation of gas lines$29 - $42Installation of septic tanks$7,087 - $8,420Installation of a bathtub$1,844 - $2,256Installation of shower$4,500 - $5,500Plumbing remodeling$4,204 - $5,435Video Inspection of Drain Lines$249 - $285
An average household in the country wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water each year mainly through leakages. These leaks total about 1 trillion gallons of water wastage across the country. Besides leading to water wastage, water leakages and other faults in your plumbing system can destroy the walls, floors, and structures in your home, thereby reducing the valuation of your property on the real estate market. Thus, clogged drainages, faulty toilets, leaking faucets, showers, burst pipes, should be treated as emergencies. When a plumbing emergency happens, you must take steps to immediately remedy the situation and you can do this by finding a plumber who is near you. Third-party websites like Yelp and Better Business Bureau are particularly useful when trying to locate a plumber that is closest to you. Before your intended plumber arrives, make sure you close up the affected area and temporarily stop the leakage if possible. Also, before finalizing any agreements with your intended plumber, make sure you verify the plumber's license using the online verification tool maintained by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Albuquerque?
The Worker Compensation Act mandates employers with more than three employees to maintain comprehensive insurance plans for all workers. Asides from ensuring your plumber has proper worker compensation insurance, it is also good to hire one with general liability insurance to ensure that you are protected from any financial liabilities that may arise if anyone gets injured during your plumbing project. It is impossible to overstate the need for insurance as a 2019 press release by the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that over 5,000 fatal occupational injuries occurred across the country in 2019. If you have any questions about the insurance requirements for plumbers in the City of Albuquerque, you can contact the Building Safety Division either by email or at (505) 924-3860.
Before you make a hire, you should always conduct due diligence on the plumber. Conducting your background research would ensure that you do not hire a plumber with fraud charges or a bad reputation. For various reasons and in multiple ways, plumbing contractors may try to take advantage of you. For instance, in April of 2017, a contractor audaciously scammed the city of Albuquerque of $420,000 by posing as a contracting company, indicating how rampant scams are becoming across the city. To avoid getting scammed by a plumbing contractor, these are some essential steps that you can take:
- Always ensure you receive written bids from multiple plumbers before agreeing to hire anyone for any work.
- Be cautious of plumbers who go door-to-door searching for work. Also, be on high alert around plumbers who claim to offer far lower prices than estimates you get from other plumbers.
- Be wary of plumbers that pressure you to sign an offer.
- Ensure you get a written contract before the contractor begins any work.
- After agreeing to a contract, do well to avoid plumbers that demand payment before you complete the service or offer you a lending service to make payments.
- Always ask any plumber you wish to hire to provide references from previous clients.
- Ensure you verify the reputation of a plumber with subcontractors or suppliers before making payments.
- Endeavor to make payments using checks or credit cards, so you have proof of payment. Also, when making payments, do not pay more than a third of the total costs as a deposit.
- Ensure that all the necessary plumbing permits are complete before work commences.
The New Mexico Attorney General (AG) receives complaints about unlicensed plumbers or complaints that involve plumbing and home improvement repairs. You can submit complaints to the AG via an electronic complaints submission portal. Also, you can contact the Albuquerque Police Department at (505) 768-2200 or file a police report online. If you are unsatisfied with the manner your complaint was treated by the AG, you can file a small claims case at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. If you have questions about how to file a small claims case at the Metropolitan Court, you contact the court's self-service center by phone at (505) 841-9817. Preferably, you can contact a qualified attorney for advice on your legal options.