Due to the high potential for power outages in Tulsa, it is necessary to ensure that your home's water system is always in good condition, as a faulty water system can disrupt water distribution and reduce your availability of water. In this regard, it is recommended that you contact a competent and experienced plumber when there are leaky, busted, or frozen pipes in your home. In addition, fixing your plumbing leaks can reduce your water bill by 10 percent and consequently save you hundreds of dollars annually. While you can find competent plumbers near you by asking family and friends for referrals, it is crucial to ask the individual you intend to hire the following questions to confirm if they are qualified to work in your city:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Tulsa?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Tulsa?
- Do You Comply with the City of Tulsa Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Tulsa Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Tulsa?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Tulsa?
In Tulsa, plumbers are mandatorily required to obtain a plumber license or registration from the Oklahoma Construction Industry Board to be eligible to provide their services. The plumbing registration and license types regulated and issued by the Construction Industry Board include the apprentice plumber registration, the journeyman plumber license, and the plumbing contractor license, and each of these licenses has different licensing requirements. For instance, to register as a plumbing apprentice, applicants must be no less than 16 years of age and have started learning the plumbing trade under the direct supervision of a licensed plumbing contractor. Similarly, to obtain a Journeyman plumbing license, interested persons must be at least 18 years old and have completed plumbing training as an apprentice under a licensed plumbing contractor.
Additionally, applicants must have three years of experience in the plumbing trade while working for a licensed plumbing contractor, and they are required to pass the journeyman exam approved by the Oklahoma Construction Industry Board. Note that a journeyman plumber can not do your plumbing work unless the individual is employed by or working under the supervision of a licensed plumbing contractor. For more information concerning the requirements for obtaining a plumbing license or registration, interested persons can go through the Oklahoma plumbing license law or contact the Construction Industry Board at (405) 521-6550.
Before hiring a plumber near you, it is crucial to confirm that the individual is licensed to work in your city. You can confirm your plumber's license status by utilizing the Oklahoma Construction Industry's licensee search tool. In addition to state-issued licenses, plumbing contractors are also required to register with the City of Tulsa Development Services Department. The Department handles contractor registration via its Permit Center. You can confirm if your plumber is registered with the Department by calling (918) 596-9456. Note that you can not apply for a construction work permit without registering with the Department.
The hourly cost of hiring a plumber in Tulsa to handle your plumbing job is often influenced by the nature of the job, the cost of materials, and the plumber's experience. Accordingly, you should always ask the individual you intend to hire for a work estimate clarifying the amount of work to be done and the list of materials needed to complete the job. You can ask up to three plumbers for work estimates to ascertain which plumber is economically best for you.
A plumber in the City of Tulsa earns an annual average wage of $55,010. Listed below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in the City of Tulsa compared with plumbers in other parts of Oklahoma and other major cities in the country:Tulsa Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.45Oklahoma Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$25.86Los Angeles Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$29.04Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.71Chicago Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$44.20Miami Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.66Washington D.C. Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$27.93
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
All plumbing works done and plumbing services offered across the City of Tulsa must comply with the provisions of the Plumbing Code of the City of Tulsa. The city's Plumbing Code regulates the construction, alteration, addition, repair, and modification of plumbing and water supply systems in Tulsa.
Furthermore, the Code specifies the minimum plumbing standards for all plumbing works in Tulsa, with the exception of plumbing works in one and two-family dwellings and townhouses of not more than three stories whose structures comply with the Tusla revised ordinances. Before hiring a plumber to do your plumbing work, it is crucial to confirm if they are familiar with the city's Plumbing Code. This is particularly important as section 108.4 of the Code clearly states that violating any provision of the Plumbing Code is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,200 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both. All queries related to the Plumbing Code can be directed to the city's Permit Center by calling (918) 596-9456.
Any contractor who intends to install, repair, change, or erect a plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the city's Plumbing Code, must first obtain the necessary permits for the job from the city's Permit Center. Note that all construction work permit applications in Tulsa can only be made by a licensed plumber or contractor. Accordingly, you should ensure that your plumber obtains the required permit before starting your plumbing work. This protects you from penalties and administrative fines that may result from code violations.
In Tulsa, anyone who performs work on a plumbing system without obtaining the necessary permit will be mandated to pay a $208 penalty fee or three times the cost of the initial permit fee. However, homeowners can perform plumbing work without obtaining a permit first when there is a plumbing emergency. Nonetheless, permit applications for such emergency plumbing work shall be submitted on the next working day. Applicants can apply for plumbing permits in Tulsa online or by mailing a completed plumbing permit form to:
- Development Services Department
- Permit Center
- 175 East, 2nd Street
- 4th Floor
- Tulsa, OK 74103
To obtain a plumbing permit, your licensed contractor will be required to submit the necessary plans and specifications for the project, details of the type of plumbing work you intend to carry out, and permit fees, alongside the permit application. Construction work permits applications are reviewed by a Permit Specialist. Once the review is complete, your project plans will be compiled, stamped, and counted before a permit is issued to your licensed plumber or contractor. However, to reduce the time spent on plan reviews, the City of Tulsa created the Third Party Plans Review and Inspection Program to allow contractors to choose a third-party provider that has been approved by the City of Tulsa to review their plans and conduct inspections.
All queries concerning plumbing permits can be directed to the Permit Center by calling (918) 596-9456. Once a permit has been issued for a plumbing project, and the work has started, your contractor can schedule an inspection with the city's Inspection Services Unit. The Inspection Services Unit inspects all plumbing works for which a permit is issued to ensure compliance with relevant city codes. Inspections can be scheduled online or by calling (918) 596-9656.
Professional plumbers in the City of Tulsa offer various plumbing services ranging from fixing minor leaks to the replacement and installation of all kinds of plumbing systems. However, it is always good to hire a plumber specializing in providing the particular plumbing service you need. You can confirm if a plumber is qualified to handle a particular type of plumbing problem by asking for a list of past clients with similar plumbing needs. More so, you should ensure that the plumber provides the contact details of these clients to enable you to call and confirm if they were satisfied with the plumber's services. You can also ask about the plumber's years of practice to assess their level of experience in the plumbing area.
Listed below are some of the cost estimates for plumbing services in the City of Tulsa:Septic system installation$6,100 - $7,500Clearing clogged drain$103 - $130Bathtub installation$1,500 - $2,000Toilet installation$127 - $140Sump pump installation$707 - $1,300Septic tank cleaning$226 - $280Water softener installation$9Well pump installation$702 - $900Sewer line cleaning$144 - $220Sewer line installation and repair$50 - $70Drain line video inspection$282 - $447Water main installation or repair$26 - $50
Professional plumbers in Tulsa perform emergency plumbing services as requested. Such emergency services include stopping plumbing leaks, replacing fixtures, and clearing clogged toilets. While all plumbing issues should be fixed on time, a plumbing emergency typically requires immediate attention.
Other plumbing emergencies include running toilets, leaky water heaters, backed-up sewer systems, and clogged garbage disposal. Once you discover a plumbing issue, it is always important to ensure that the problem is handled by a licensed and qualified plumber. This is particularly essential considering that plumbing issues not only affect the water distribution in your home but may also result in high water charges. For example, it is estimated that a leaking faucet can result in over 3000 gallons of water wastage annually, increasing your water bill significantly. Contacting an incompetent plumber can worsen the situation.
You can find experienced plumbers near you by exploring third-party websites like Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google Review. These platforms assist you in searching for a plumber near you, as well as helping you to access the plumber's expertise and experience based on other customers' reviews. Regardless of how you find your plumber, it is always good to confirm if they are licensed by utilizing the Oklahoma Construction Industry's licensee search tool.
All contractors must maintain general liability insurance and vehicle insurance before operating in the City of Tulsa, while contractors with employees are required to further maintain workers' compensation with the Oklahoma Workers Compensation Commission. Before hiring a plumbing contractor near you, you should ensure that the individual you intend to hire is insured. You can verify whether your plumber is insured by requesting certificates of insurance and confirming from the insurance company that issued the certificates. Likewise, you can verify if the contractor has workers' compensation insurance by contacting the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission at (405) 522-8680.
Generally, when you hire insured plumbers, you are largely protected from claims that may result from work accidents during your plumbing work. Residents of Tulsa must understand that there are several cases of construction work-related accidents in Oklahoma. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 of such cases across Oklahoma resulted in fatalities in 2019.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average cost of completing a single home improvement project in Tulsa and other cities in Oklahoma is over $6,000. While there are many competent contractors in the city, you should always take your time to evaluate the individual you intend to hire for your project. This will help reduce your chances of falling victim to scammers and unscrupulous individuals that are looking for homeowners to defraud. For example, in January 2020, a ten-count felony indictment was filed against a contracting company after fraudulently collecting more than $300,000 from ten clients without starting or completing the agreed projects. While such scams are becoming frequent across Tulsa, you can avoid being a victim by ensuring you take some precautionary steps.
Listed below are some of these steps you can take:
- Get recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, or other home improvement professionals that you trust
- Get detailed work estimates from different plumbers
- Confirm the licensing status of your intended plumber by utilizing the Oklahoma Construction Industry's licensee search tool
- Ask the plumber you intend to hire for a list of references that you can contact to access the plumber's level of expertise and professionalism
- Do not hire a contractor until you can confirm their insurance status. You can confirm if your plumber is insured by asking for an insurance certificate and calling the insurance company that issued the insurance certificate
- Do not rush into an agreement. Always get a written contract for the project and ensure you understand the terms of the agreement before signing it
If you suspect a plumbing scam, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Unit of the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General by calling (405) 521-2029 or by emailing a completed consumer complaint form.
The Consumer Protection Unit of the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General typically resolves complaints over the telephone or through a written mediation process. Regardless of the method used, the Unit is committed to ensuring that consumers get their money back. However, there is no guarantee that you will recover all you lost to the business. If you seek full compensation for monetary damages, you can file a small claims case against the relevant plumber at the Tulsa County Courthouse. Note that you can not claim more than $10,000 in small claim cases. Lastly, before you take legal action, it is always vital that you first seek legal advice from a qualified attorney.