How to Hire a Good Plumber in Corpus Christi
Household leaks and other plumbing problems are some of the causes of degraded home interiors, respiratory problems, and high water bills. Iit is estimated that plumbing leaks alone can waste over 90 gallons of water a day. With residents in Corpus Christi paying $12.92 per gallons, unfixed leakages may cost you several hundred dollars monthly. When in search of a qualified plumber in the city, ensure to ask the following questions to determine your hire is suitable for the job:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Corpus Christi?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Corpus Christi?
- Do You Comply with the City of Corpus Christi Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Corpus Christi Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Corpus Christi?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Corpus Christi?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Corpus Christi?
According to the Texas Plumbers License Law, plumbers are not permitted to work in the city of Corpus Christi unless they hold the proper license or are supervised and controlled by a licensed plumber. Therefore, according to section 1301.507 of the Texas Plumbers License Law, operating without a license is unlawful and punishable with a maximum fine of $1,000 for each day of violation.
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) is responsible for licensing and registering plumbers in Corpus Christi. The Board issues different license types, including master plumber, journeyman plumber, and tradesman plumber-limited licenses, and also registers apprentice plumbers. Accordingly, the requirements for obtaining these licenses differ. For example, to become a licensed master plumber, interested persons must have been a licensed journeyman plumber for at least four years in Texas or hold a journeyman or master license in another state for at least four years. On the other hand, a person must have been registered as an apprentice plumber or licensed Tradesman Plumber-Limited before they can be licensed as a Journeyman plumber. Additionally, they must have undergone 8,000 hours of plumbing working experience and have completed a 48-hour training course approved by TSBPE. Journeyman plumbers and master plumbers are eligible to handle any plumbing work while under the supervision of a Responsible Master Plumber. To be eligible for a tradesman plumber-limited license, interested persons must be a registered apprentice plumber that has completed 4,000 hours of work in the plumbing trade with a 24-hour training course approved by TSBPE. Lastly, to become a registered apprentice plumber, interested persons must be at least 16 years old and must work under the supervision of a licensed plumber.
To obtain these licenses, interested persons must take and pass the necessary examinations and pay the required fees. Applicants who have satisfied these requirements can apply for a plumbing license by submitting an online application. Interested applicants can inquire about plumbing license applications from the TSBPE by calling (512) 936-5200. You can also confirm if a plumber is duly licensed via the TSBPE Online Licensing System.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Corpus Christi?
The cost of hiring a plumber in Corpus Christi depends on the type of plumbing work, the plumber's pricing structures, and miscellaneous considerations. Hence, getting bids from more than one plumber is advisable because this will help you determine the average charge rate for your project and the plumber within your financial means.
A plumber in the City of Corpus Christi earns an annual average wage of $50,190. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Corpus Christi compared with plumbers in other parts of Texas and other major cities in the country:Corpus Christi Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$24.13Texas Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$24.44Washington D.C. Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$27.93Boston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$40.46Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$26.71Detroit Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$33.24Miami Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$22.66
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do You Comply with the City of Corpus Christi Building Code for Plumbing?
Homeowners must do their due diligence to ensure the plumbers they hire are conversant with the Plumbing Code of the city. This is necessary to ensure their safety and compliance with the plumbing laws. The Plumbing Code adopted by the city is the 2015 edition of the International Plumbing Code, with some local amendments. The Code regulates the design and installation of plumbing systems in all types of buildings, aside from detached one and two-family dwellings and townhouses that are not more than three stories buildings. The 2015 International Residential Code regulates buildings exempted under the Plumbing Code. Generally, the Plumbing Code aims to protect public health, safety, and welfare, and its provisions apply to several plumbing systems, including fixtures, faucets and fixture fittings, water supply and distribution, sanitary drainage, vents, traps, and special piping and storage system. Anyone who violates this Code is guilty of a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000.
Inquiries regarding the Plumbing Code can be directed to the Department of Code Enforcement at (361) 826-3046.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Corpus Christi Code?
Section 106 of the 2015 edition of the International Plumbing Code states that any homeowner or plumber who desires to do any plumbing work in the city of Corpus Christi must obtain the necessary permit for the work. Violating this Code can lead to severe penalties, which include fines or imprisonment or both.
The City of Corpus Christi's Development Services Department is responsible for issuing plumbing permits in the city. To apply for a plumbing permit, applicants must complete a plumbing permit application form and email it to the Department. Interested persons may be required to submit construction documents, engineering calculations, and diagrams alongside their permit application. After submitting the application and the necessary documents, the Code Official reviews it to ensure it conforms to the Plumbing Code and the required fees have been paid before issuing a permit. Every permit issued by the Code Official expires if work does not commence within 180 days from the date it was issued or if the work is suspended or abandoned at any time after the work is commenced for 180 days. The Code Official is authorized to conduct inspections to ascertain that the construction work is done in compliance with the Plumbing Code of the City of Corpus Christi. The holder of the permit is responsible for scheduling such inspections. Below are some of the inspections the code official is authorized to make:
- Underground inspection: this is done after trenches or ditches are excavated and bedded, piping installed, and before any backfill is put in place.
- Rough-In Inspection: this is done after all the piping under the floor is installed and before the concealment of the work. A pressure test is required on all piping before the inspection is approved.
- Top Out inspection: this is done after the roof, framing, fire blocking, fire stopping, draft stopping, and bracing are in place, and all sanitary, storm, and water distribution piping are roughed in and before the installation of wall or ceiling membranes. A pressure test is required on all piping before the inspection is approved.
- Final inspection: this is done after the building is complete, all plumbing fixtures are in place and properly connected, and the structure is ready for occupancy.
After each inspection, the Code Official will either approve the work or notify the permit holder of any violations that must be corrected. Inquiries regarding permitting and inspection can be directed online to the City of Corpus Christi's Development Services Department or call (361) 826-3240.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Plumbers in Corpus Christi offer various plumbing services like drain and sewer cleaning, gas, water, sewer line repair and replacement, fixing leaks, and repairing or replacing faulty piping and fixtures. Plumbers permitted to work in the city are master plumbers, journeyman plumbers, tradesman plumber-limited, and apprentice plumbers. While master plumbers and journeyman plumbers install, change, repair, service or renovate plumbing systems, tradesman Plumber-Limited plumbers can only construct, install, repair, service or renovate plumbing systems for one and two-family dwellings. On the other hand, apprentice plumbers can only assist in installing plumbing facilities while under the supervision of a licensed plumber. Hence, before hiring any plumber, it is vital to confirm that this individual is skilled enough or specializes in the type of plumbing work that you need done. Some common cost estimates for plumbing services in the City of Corpus Christi include:Bathtub Installation$1,600 - $2,000Clearing Drain Clog or Blockage$105 - $130Drain Line Video Inspection$220 - $250Fuel Tank Installation/Removal$1,900 - $2,400Gas Line Installation$26 - $37Septic System Installation$6,300 - $7,500Septic Tank Cleaning or Pumping$220 - $250Sewer Line Cleaning$150 - $225Sewer Line Installation and Repair$50 - $66Sump Pump Installation$727 - $1,000Toilet Installation or Replacement$130 - $140
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Corpus Christi?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, household leaks can waste about 900 billion gallons of water annually in the United States. These leaks come majorly from worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking showerheads, and it typically requires emergency attention. With residents of Corpus Christi currently paying at least $19.39 per first 2,000 gallons of 1" metered water consumption as water charges, ignoring household leaks can lead to water wastage and an increase in water bills. Therefore, it is advisable to get a skilled plumber to fix any leak you find in your home immediately. You can check third-party websites like Yelp and Better Business Bureau to find plumbers near you to fix these leaks. Also, ensure any plumber you hire is duly licensed by verifying the plumber's license via the TSBPE Online Licensing System.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Corpus Christi?
Plumbers in Corpus Christi are generally not required to maintain insurance coverage, except responsible master plumbers, who are required to carry commercial general liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. Nonetheless, homeowners are advised to prioritize hiring insured plumbers to ensure that they're covered from personal expenses in case of work-related accidents during their plumbing work. In 2019 alone, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates about 123 fatal injuries amongst contractors, including plumbers, across Texas. Therefore, such work-related accidents are not unlikely, as homeowners may be inclined to think.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Corpus Christi
Home repair scams are deemed one of the most popular scams in Texas, including the City of Corpus Christi. Essentially, quite a number of residents have experienced one form of home improvement scam or the other. These scammers carry out various fraudulent activities such as price gouging, upselling, asking for huge amounts upfront but later disappearing with the money or doing slapdash work. A typical example occurred in April 2019, when a homeowner in Corpus Christi paid a huge amount upfront to a contractor, who later absconded with the money. Home improvement scams can be very devastating. Hence, homeowners are advised to protect themselves from fraudulent activity by taking note of the following:
- Verify that your hired plumber is actively licensed.
- Get plumber recommendations from people you know and trust.
- Don't pay a large or full down payment to any plumber until the work is complete and you have inspected it yourself and found it satisfactory.
- Be cautious when a plumber appears at your door uninvited.
- Get estimates from at least three plumbers so you can decide which offer best suits what you want.
- Ensure the estimates are in writing and include specific details on what plumbing work you want to be done.
- Always ask for a written contract that states explicitly the plumbing problem, when the work will commence, and when it will be completed, as well as other important things related to the project.
- Only sign a contract when you have carefully read and understood all the terms.
- Ensure you keep copies of everything you sign and other documents related to the project
If you feel you're the subject of a plumbing scam, you can file an online complaint with the Texas Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division or print a complaint form in English or Spanish and mail it to:
- Office of the Attorney General
- Consumer Protection Division
- P.O. Box 12548
- Austin, TX 78711-2548
The complaints received by the Consumer Protection Division are reviewed to mediate between consumers and businesses. However, note that the Consumer Protection Division cannot represent you in any legal proceeding nor offer monetary compensations. For legal representation and monetary compensation, consumers can seek the services of a private lawyer and possibly file a small claims lawsuit at Nueces County Justice Of The Peace 1-2. Consumers should note that they cannot claim more than $10,000 in a small claims lawsuit.