How to Hire a Good Plumber in Cincinnati
Hiring a good plumber to plug water leaks in Cincinnati and tackle other plumbing-related issues can go a long way in saving residents of the city money in water bills and stem off possible water-related property damage. The Greater Cincinnati Water Works estimates that a single running toilet may consume up to 12 gallons a minute while a dripping faucet may consume 15 gallons a day. Ignoring water leakages and plumbing issues in Cincinnati ultimately increases the annual water consumption of the city's residents and is also estimated to increase their annual water bills by several thousands.
When in search of a qualified plumber in Cincinnati ensure to ask the following questions to determine the professional you are considering is a good hire:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Cincinnati?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Cincinnati?
- Do You Comply with the City of Cincinnati Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Cincinnati Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Cincinnati?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Cincinnati?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Cincinnati?
Plumbers require a license from the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) before they can take on work in Cincinnati. Restricting your plumber hiring choices to only plumbers with a valid license ensures that they will do your work within the city's regulatory requirements and to the best quality. The Cincinnati Plumbing Code Section 1105-13 disallows interested parties from working as a journeyman plumber or plumbing contractor unless issued a recognized license. Plumbers found in violation of this code can be fined up to $1,000 or be imprisoned for six months.
The Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) grants two different types of licenses to journeyman plumbers and plumbing contractors in Cincinnati. To receive the journeyman license, interested parties must have written and passed the required exam. To write this exam, interested parties must fulfill the following requirements:
- They must be registered as an apprentice plumber and must have completed an apprenticeship program approved by the Ohio apprenticeship training program for at least four years
- They must have a certificate from another state jurisdiction where the qualification requirements for journeyman plumber is similar to that of the City of Cincinnati
- They must be certified by the United States Department of Labor as a plumber trainee under its Journeyman Employment Training program and must have completed a plumber apprenticeship program that conforms to the standards of Ohio State
- They must pass the Cincinnati Board of Examiners of Plumbers' exam with a passing grade of 70% or better and pay the stipulated license fee.
Similarly, the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board also issues licenses for plumbing contractors in the City of Cincinnati that meet the following requirements:
- Are citizens of the United States or parties with a legal right to residency
- Have reached the age of 18 years
- Have experience in plumbing of not less than five years or three years experience in plumbing if already registered in the state as an engineer
- Pass the trade exam for plumbers
- Have a minimum of the sum of $500,000 in contractor liability coverage
- Pay the required license fee
To verify a plumber's license you are considering for your work in Cincinnati, you can use the eLicense Ohio Professional Licensure System portal provided by the OCILB.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Cincinnati?
Plumbers providing services in Cincinnati will generally set the bill for their services depending on the nature of work per client, the cost of materials, and the complexity of the project. Requesting multiple estimates from at least three plumbers near you for comparison when you have a plumbing project is a good strategy that can help you get the most affordable price.
A plumber in the City of Cincinnati earns an annual average wage of $54,300. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Cincinnati compared with plumbers in other parts of Ohio and other major cities in the country:Cincinnati Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.11Ohio State Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$28.32Seattle Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$39.45Denver Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.30Chicago Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$44.20Los Angeles Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.04Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.71
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The City of Cincinnati has adopted the Ohio Plumbing Code of 2017 with added local amendments. This code is a set of requirements regulating the design, construction, installation, inspection, alteration, and maintenance of plumbing systems in Cincinnati. The code provides general water supply and distribution regulations, sanitary drainage, indirect and special waste, storm drainage, special piping and storage systems, and nonpotable water systems. Hiring a plumber with proper knowledge of the code is the right step to take in ensuring your job is done correctly. Doing this also helps you avoid violations and the civil penalties that come with them. The Cincinnati Department of Buildings and Inspections handles matters related to the city's plumbing code requirements as well as the enforcement of this code. You can contact the Department of Buildings and Inspections' Customer Service Section via phone number (513) 352-3271 for general information on the city's plumbing code.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Cincinnati Code?
As adopted by the City of Cincinnati, the Ohio Plumbing Code outlines the requirements for plumbing work in the city. These include obtaining a plumbing permit before work related to plumbing can be done and conducting safety and health inspections for new plumbing installations. Nevertheless, there are plumbing permit exemptions for work such as the following:
- Fixing leaks without needing to replace vent piping or drainage
- Clearing of stoppages without having to cut pipes, fittings, and powered equipment
- Replacing or repairing existing faucets, fixtures, and valves with the same type of materials
- Unblocking of stoppages in pipes and freeing up of frozen pipes
- Other types of replacements where changes are not made to fixtures and pipes beyond the originally agreed specifications
Plumbing permits in Cincinnati are issued by the Department of Building and Inspections. The plumbing permit can be requested from the Permit Center by a registered plumbing contractor in charge of your work, or you can do this yourself. A complete permit application should be submitted with two sets of plans detailing the proposed work along with a schematic diagram of the vent and waste system if this is part of the proposed work.
You can walk in and obtain your permit between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, from the Permit Center located at:
- 805 Central Avenue
- Suite 500
- Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Phone: (513) 352-3267
Appointments should be made ahead for commercial permits and consultation. It is also possible to apply for a plumbing permit online using the Cincinnati Permitting Portal. Inspections are part of the plumbing installation process and are required during the lifecycle of your project. You can call the Plumbing Inspection Group of the Department of Building and Inspections by phone at (513) 352-3280 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Monday through Friday to schedule inspections. A minimum 24-hour notice is typically required for inspections, however, same-day inspections are possible for calls made by 9:00 a.m.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
The plumbing needs of the residents of Cincinnati typically range between new installations, maintenance, repairs, and emergency plumbing. Plumbers in the city typically provide a variety of services such as leak detection and repair, drain cleaning services, installations and replacements of fixtures and faucets, toilet installation or replacement, and sewer line cleaning. Therefore, when in need of plumbing services, it is important to pick a plumber with the specific skill set required for your project.
Some common costs estimates for plumbing services in Cincinnati are listed below:Residential plumbing contractor (rate per hour)$64 - $73Commercial plumbing contractors (rate per hour)$85 - $92Plumbing for remodeling or home addition$3,786 - $4,894Toilet installation or replacement$133 - $143Drain clog clearance or blockade removal (sink/tub/shower)$109 - $133Bathtub installation (porcelain tub)$400 - $500Bathtub installation (acrylic tub)$1,345 - $1,673Drain line video inspection$225 - $257Gas line installation (per linear foot)$26.30 - $37.86Septic system installation (fixed fee for 3bedroom house) - $6,382 - $7,582Septic tank cleaning or pumping$237 -$278Sewer line cleaning$151 - $230Sewer line installation and repair$53 - $68
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Cincinnati?
Most common plumbing problems generally need immediate attention. These plumbing emergencies include running toilets, clogged drains and toilets, leaking dishwashers, leaky faucets and pipes, sump pump failure leading to a wet basement, low water pressure, and water heater issues. A leaky faucet dripping at the rate of a drip per second can increase water consumption by more than 3,000 gallons in a year. With residents of Cincinnati having a water usage charge of about $3 per 748 gallons, preventing leaks can significantly reduce the annual water bill of the average residential household.
When plumbing emergencies require a plumber, you must hire a competent plumber capable of accessing your address as quickly as possible and fixing the problem. Otherwise, the problem can become worse and even more expensive to fix. Always verify a plumber's license before hiring them, even in an emergency. You can utilize third-party websites to find the listings of top competent plumbers capable of emergency services near you. For example, the Better Business Bureau also offers a search feature that you can use to find plumbers located online in Cincinnati.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Cincinnati?
A plumbing contractor providing services to the residents of Cincinnati is required to have contractor liability insurance of at least $100,000 for injuries to a single party and $300,000 for a single occurrence. Plumbing involves risks to the plumber, the property owner, and the property. Injuries to plumbers in the process of work include sprains, cuts, fractures, burns, and foreign bodies in the eyes. According to data published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, plumbers are prone to fatal occupational injuries, and there were three such injuries in Ohio in 2018. Therefore, plumbing contractors who carry liability insurance give you an added measure of confidence when you hire them. This is because their insurance protects you from the liability of potential injuries or damages while these plumbing contractors are working on your property. Before you hire a plumber's service, you should confirm that they have the required insurance cover. You can do this by requesting their insurance documents and verifying these documents with the issuing organizations.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Cincinnati
Plumbers in Cincinnati providing services can earn an average of $24.11 per hour and earn an average of $54,300 annually. With fair income like this and an additional potential of the cost of building materials, it is not surprising that home improvement scams are some of the most popular types of scams targeted at homeowners. In October 2020, it was reported that plumbers working in Cincinnati warned residents about an observed increase in the number of homeowners getting scammed while trying to fix plumbing issues in their homes. These scammers were taking advantage of people rushing to fix various plumbing problems ahead of the winter and the arrival of the holidays by claiming to be certified plumbers, even though they weren't licensed. Some of the scams used by these scammers include:
- Taking large down payments from unwary homeowners and leaving without making the required repairs
- Leaving homeowners with a shoddy job that needs to be redone entirely
- Starting a significant project, stopping it suddenly, and never completing it
You can protect yourself from scams like these with the following tips:
- Hire only plumbers with a verified license from the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB)
- Avoid making payments in cash. Cash payments leave a limited paper trail if things go sour with the plumber.
- Avoid making large down payments before the commencement of your work. Most plumbers will be willing to accept a multi-stage payment plan completed at the end of the project.
- Always check the reputation of a plumber using the search features on the Better Business Bureau website before signing them for your work.
- Insist on speaking with previous clients of a plumber so you can verify their professionalism and quality of work.
- Always seek multiple quotes from plumbers before picking one for your work.
- Go beyond making verbal agreements with your plumber. Make sure that all agreements are recorded in writing before starting your work.
- Be suspicious of material and work rates from a plumber that is significantly lower than the other quotes you have. Scammers usually use these lower rates to lure unsuspecting homeowners, then request upfront payment and flee with the money.
- Be aware that you can still cancel a contract within three business days per the Ohio Home Solicitation Sales Act if you find a reason to be suspicious of a plumber after starting your work.
- Reject all forms of unsolicited inspections of your plumbing systems.
You can report a plumbing scam or attempted scams that you may have experienced to the Consumer Protection Section of the Office of the Ohio Attorney General via phone number (513) 852-3497. Alternatively, you can submit your complaint online or download a consumer complaint form, print it, complete it, and mail it to:
- Consumer Protection Section
- Office of the Ohio Attorney General
- 441 Vine Street
- Cincinnati, OH 45202
If you seek monetary restitution from the plumber not exceeding $6,000, you can hire an attorney and file a suit with the Small Claims Division of the Hamilton County Municipal Court at:
- Hamilton County Courthouse
- 1000 Main Street
- Room 115
- Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Phone:(513) 946-5656