How to Hire a Good Plumber in Reno
It is estimated that a simple toilet leak in the City of Reno can cause over 164,000 gallons of water wastage monthly, adding over $350 in unnecessary water usage charges. Leakages like this from faucets, showerheads, and outdoor pipes are usually the main culprit when you see a sudden spike in your water bill. A qualified plumber in the city will help stop such wastages and other undetected leaks, saving you good money and also conserving water for the city. When in search of a good plumber in Reno, ensure to ask the following questions to determine the professional is a suitable hire:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Reno?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Reno?
- Do You Comply with the City of Reno Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Reno Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Reno?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Reno?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Reno?
Per chapter624.190 of the Nevada Administrative Code, plumbers operating in the City of Reno are classified as Class C-specialty contractors. Accordingly, plumbers who wish to offer their services to city residents must ensure they have been duly licensed by the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB). Offering plumbing services without a license is unlawful and attracts different penalties that range from fines to jail terms.
Plumbing licenses issued by the NSCB are categorized into journeyman plumber licenses and master plumber licenses. To be eligible for a journeyman plumbing license, applicants must register for a four-year apprenticeship program or obtain 8,000 hours of plumbing experience under a licensed master or journeyman plumber's supervision and pass a certification examination administered by the Nevada Board of Plumbing Examiners (NBOPE). Similarly, applicants for a master plumber license must have practiced as a journeyman plumber for at least one year or obtained at least 2,000 hours of journeyman work experience and pass a certification examination also administered by the NBOPE. For these exams, applicants must complete and submit an application for plumber certification, along with a legal photo ID and the required exam fees, to the NBOPE. For more information about the relevant licensing processes and requirements, you can contact the NSCB at (702) 486-1100.
With no active reciprocity program between Nevada and any other state, plumbers with valid plumbing licenses from another state cannot offer their services within Nevada without obtaining a plumbing license from the NSCB. To verify the licensing status of your intended plumber, you can utilize the license search tool or the contractor listing search tool provided by the NSCB.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Reno?
Typically, plumbers operating in Reno charge rates based on their service type and the labor required to execute the relevant projects. Other factors that influence plumbers' charges include materials used, permits necessary for the job, and the plumber's specialization. However, in finding the hourly rate for your plumbing project, It is best to compare prices estimates from multiple plumbers. Doing this also helps with finding a qualified plumber that suits your budget.
A plumber in the City of Reno earns an annual average wage of $68,490. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Reno compared with plumbers in other parts of Nevada and other major cities in the country:Reno Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$32.93Nevada Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$30.26New York City Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$35.78Atlanta Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.53Detroit Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$33.24Miami Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.66St. Louis Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$36.53
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do You Comply with the City of Reno Building Code for Plumbing?
Generally, plumbing projects in the City of Reno must be done according to the requirements of the 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code, which the city entirely adopted. The Code stipulates plumbing standards regarding the use and handling of plumbing materials and fixtures during and after plumbing projects within Reno. The Plumbing Code also ensures adherence to public health and safety requirements across the city and aims to protect the life and property of city residents when using plumbing systems. Compliance with the Plumbing Code is compulsory, as non-compliance will result in violations that may attract penalties as determined by the City of Reno Department of Code Enforcement. Hence, it is necessary to make sure any plumber you intend to engage is well-versed with the Plumbing Code and the Code's provisions applicable to your planned project. You can direct any Code-related queries to the Reno Department of Code Enforcement by contacting Reno Direct at 775-334-INFO.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Reno Code?
Plumbing permits in Reno are generally required for plumbing projects that involve installing, altering, repairing, or replacing plumbing systems. However, certain plumbing projects do not require permits, and they include:
- Stopping drains, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe leaks.
- Clearing stoppages, repairing leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures, and removing and reinstalling water closets.
Note that the above-exempted plumbing works may require permits when removing or replacing the faulty plumbing fixtures with new plumbing material.
The Building & Safety Division of the City of Reno Development Services Department handles plumbing permit applications within Reno City. Permits application can be made by either the project owner or a licensed plumber on behalf of the project owner. The applicable permits application form is dependent on the type of project you are planning. For residential and commercial plumbing projects that require paper plans, applicants will be required to download and complete a Residential Building Permit Application form and a Commercial Building Permit Application form, respectively. On the other hand, applicants can download and complete an EZ Permit Application form for projects that do not require the submission of paper plans. All completed forms should be submitted in person to the city's Development Services Department office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, at:
- Reno City Hall
- 1 East First Street
- P.O. BOX 1900
- Reno, NV 89505
Alternatively, applicants can apply for residential or commercial permits by completing an online application via the Reno Citizen Access Portal. Applicants applying online must register an account on this portal if they are new users. For plumbing projects that require a plan, applicants must upload all relevant and applicable plans on the online platform. You can use the Electronic Permit Submittal Business Rules and Process provided by the Community Development Department to navigate the online platform.
To submit a permit application either in person or online, you must pay the appropriate processing fee. Upon completing the permit applications, uploading all plan documents, and payment of requisite fees, the application will be reviewed. If successful, the Department will issue the permits. It is important to note that the permits and the approved plans, where applicable, must always be available for viewing at the project site until the completion of inspections. The building official will come for inspection after the project owner or licensed plumber duly applies at a time specified on the plumbing permits. You can apply for an inspection online or through the Reno Building Inspections app on your smartphone. This app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Playstore.
You can direct your queries regarding the permits application process to the Building & Safety Division of the City of Reno Development Services Department via email, or you can contact the Department at (775) 3342063
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Apart from verifying the licensing status of your intended plumber in the City of Reno, you must also ensure your intended plumber has the required skill set to handle your plumbing job. This way, you have some assurance of decent service delivery. Plumbers offer an array of services in Reno, like fixing minor leaks and installing plumbing fixtures in residential and commercial buildings. Averagely, these services cost about $100 per hour, inclusive of the plumbing material cost. Below are some common plumbing services in Reno City and their cost estimates:Toilet installation or replacement$145 - $155Clearing drain clog or blockage$115 - $145Bathtub installation$1,800 - $2,225Drain line video inspection$245 - $280Gas line installation$28 - $40Septic system installation$6,900 - $8,300Septic tank cleaning or pumping$250 - $300Sewer line cleaning$165 - $250Sewer line installation and repair$55 - $73Sump pump installation$808 - $1,165Swamp cooler installation$2,215 - $2,370Water main installation or repair$30 - $50Fuel tank installation$2,180 - $2,705
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Reno?
According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household leak accounts for more than 10,000 gallons of water wastage annually. Ignoring a water leak can generally lead to more extensive structural damage within your home walls, like molds and even corrosion, which may become expensive to repair. Usually, the more damaged the plumbing system, the higher the cost of repairs. This is why it is recommended that you contact a duly licensed and well-trained professional plumber as soon as you discover any water leak or other plumbing problems in your home. You can utilize the license search tool or the contractor listing search platform provided by the Nevada State Contractors Board to find licensed plumbers near you. In addition to this, you can rely on review-dedicated websites like Google Review or Better Business Bureau to check for reviews of intended plumbers before hiring them.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Reno?
Even though plumbers are not mandated to have insurance in the City of Reno, it is best to hire plumbers with general liability insurance coverage in order to protect yourself from paying out-of-pocket expenses when there is a work-related accident during your plumbing work. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 37,800 nonfatal injuries were recorded amongst plumbers in 2019, indicating such injuries are common. Nonetheless, NRS616B.612of the Nevada Revised Statutes requires plumbers to maintain an active worker's compensation insurance policy for their employees. You can confirm if your intended plumber is duly insured by requesting that they provide a copy of their insurance policy certificate before hiring them. You can also verify the validity of the plumber's insurance certificate with the relevant insurance provider.
When planning to hire any plumber in the City of Reno, you must ensure that you hire the ones with a good track record and no history of scam allegations or investigations. This is to ensure that a sincere plumber handles your plumbing work and you reduce your exposure to plumbing and home improvement scams. Plumbing and home improvement scams are generally common across Reno City and the State of Nevada, with several instances of plumbers using deceptive methods to defraud homeowners of their money. Some of these methods include door-to-door solicitation, offering very low bids, and claiming they can perform services they are not authorized to perform. For instance, the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) recently took disciplinary actions against Moseley's Plumbing & Heating LLC for violating several provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes by acting beyond the scope of their plumbing license. Accordingly, the NSCB revoked the company's plumbing license and awarded a fine of $4,550.
Hence, before hiring the services of any plumber within the city, you should also perform due diligence and protect yourself from being scammed. In doing this, you can take the following steps:
- Confirm that the Nevada State Contractors Board has duly licensed your intended plumber by utilizing the license search tool provided by the state's Board of Contractors.
- Get different estimates from different plumbers and request work references from each plumber.
- Insist on a work contract that creates a binding agreement between you and your plumber. Also, the work contract should stipulate the payment plans and the timeline of the projects, among other important things.
- Confirm there is no disciplinary or administrative hearing against your intended plumber. You can confirm this via the license search tool provided by the NSCB, which provides information on past disciplinary hearings involving various plumbers and contractors.
- Avoid making full payment until the plumbing job has been done to standard.
If you get scammed by any plumber in Reno City, you can file a complaint with the Nevada State Contractors Board by downloading and completing a licensed contractor complaint form or an unlicensed contractor (criminal) complaint form. You can then send the completed form to:
- Northern Nevada Office
- 5390 Kietzke Lane,
- Suite 102
- Reno, Nevada 89511
Residents can also file a complaint with the State of Nevada Attorney General's Office by completing a complaint form or requesting a printable form via email. The Attorney General's Office cannot guarantee restitution after investigation and findings. If you lose your money to a plumbing scam, you can file a civil lawsuit at the Reno Justice Court. Notably, civil actions that do not exceed the recovery of $10,000 can be filed at the Small Claims Division of this Court. However, it is advisable to seek proper legal advice before filing a civil action in court. You can find active lawyers in the city by utilizing the lawyer referral services of the State Bar Nevada.