El Paso Water authority advises the residents of the city to often check for leakages in their plumbing system by learning to read their water meter. Undetected leakages in both indoor and outdoor plumbing equipment are the commonest culprits for the spike on your utility bill. In cities like El Paso, an average household's leakage waste up to 10,000 gallons of water every year. Hiring a good plumber in the city will help fix this wastage quickly and may save you several hundreds of dollar. When conducting your due diligence in selecting a competent plumber in the city, ask the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of El Paso?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of El Paso?
- Do You Comply with the City of El Paso Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of El Paso Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of El Paso?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of El Paso?
Persons who wish to operate as a plumber in El Paso must have a master plumber license issued by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE), after which they must register with the city, per section 18.02.104.6 and section 18.02.104.2 of the El Paso City Code, respectively. It is illegal for a person to carry out plumbing work in El Paso without the appropriate license, and violators may be liable to a maximum fine of $2,000
Any person who wants to acquire a master plumber license must pass an examination organized by the TSBPE. Such persons can take the examination if they:
- are a citizen of the United States or an alien or non-immigrant qualified for licensure by the State of Texas;
- have acquired a high school or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED);
- are present holders of a Journeyman Plumber's License in Texas or another state and must have held such license for a minimum of four years; or
- are current holders of a Master Plumber's License in another state and must have held at one-time a Journeyman Plumber's License for a minimum of four years.
Residents who intend to hire a plumber in El Paso are advised to confirm that this plumber has the appropriate license. You can do this by utilizing the TSBPE license search tool.
The cost of carrying out plumbing work in your home is influenced by a few factors, such as the kind of work the plumber is to do, the cost of materials needed to properly do the work, and the cost of getting the required permit. However, it is advisable to compare estimates from different plumbers, so you can find one closest to your financial plans.
A plumber in the City of El Paso earns an annual average wage of $37,830. The table below compares the average hourly wage for plumbers in El Paso to other major cities in the United States:El Paso Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$18.19Texas State Plumbers Hourly Average Wage$24.44Los 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
Currently, the 2015 edition of the International Plumbing Code (IPC) which has been adopted by the City as the Plumbing Code of the City of El Paso is the legislation regulating plumbing activities within the City of El Paso. This Code regulates the erection, installation, repair, replacement, alterations, as well as maintenance of plumbing systems in El Paso. It also establishes minimum safety standards for plumbing works in El Paso to guarantee the safety of city residents. Accordingly, it is crucial to hire a plumber familiar with this Plumbing Code, as Code violations attract fines and a possible jail term. For further assistance and inquiries regarding the Plumbing Code and other citywide rules or ordinances applicable to your plumbing project, you can contact the Planning and Inspections Department at (915) 212-0104.
Before any plumbing work can commence in El Paso, the relevant homeowner must ensure that the requisite permits have been obtained. However, certain plumbing projects do not require a permit, and they include:
- Plumbing projects that involve the clearing of drainages, pipes, valves, or any other part of the plumbing system, provided there is no removal or replacement of any pipes, valves or any other part of the plumbing system.
- Fixing leaks in pipes, valves, soil, drains or other fixtures, as long as it does not result in the removal or replacement of any concealed component that has become defective.
The Planning and Inspections Department is the agency responsible for issuing plumbing permits in the City of El Paso. Usually, before a permit is issued in El Paso, the Building Official will first inspect the building or structure where the plumbing work is to commence. Once the inspection has been done, the applicant will then have to pay the required permit fees. Also, you can request for an inspection at any stage of your plumbing project by contacting the Planning and Inspection Department at (915) 212-0104.
Alternatively, applicants can apply for a plumbing permit online through the El Paso online permitting portal. For further assistance contact the Planning and Inspections Department at (915) 212-0104.
Plumbers in the City of El Paso offer a wide range of plumbing services, including drainage and repair, faucet and toilet installation and repair, water heater installation and repair, and shower and tub installation and repair. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure the plumber you want to hire can carry out your particular plumbing project, due to the varying nature of plumbing services.
The cost of a plumbing project may be influenced by the difficulty of the job to be done, as well as the cost of the materials needed to complete the job. The average cost of plumbing services in the City of El Paso is typically between $378 and $427. You should note that these amounts do not include the costs of obtaining a permit and arranging an inspection. Below are the price ranges for certain plumbing services:Drain cleaning$92 - $419Faucet repair$125 - $132Faucet installation$86 - $624Toilet repair$82 - $834Bathroom remodelling$3,032 - $14,749Septic System Installation$5,500 -$7,200Septic Tank Cleaning$230 -$300Sewer Line cleaning$150 -$220Sewe line installation and repair$55 -$70
10% of homes in the United States lose over 90 gallons of water a day to leaks, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Knowing this, you must fix any leaks or plumbing defects in your home with immediate effect so you can avoid unnecessary water expenses. While you should fix all plumbing issues quickly, some issues require more urgent attention than others. For example, plumbing issues, such as burst pipes, clogged toilets, leaky faucets, and faulty water heaters need to be resolved as soon as possible because they can potentially lead to more serious and expensive problems. Ensure to ascertain whether the plumber has the skill and experience to resolve any plumbing issue in your home with the required urgency. In finding plumbers near you, you can utilize websites such as Better Business Bureau and Yelp.
Generally, plumbers in El Paso are not required to have any insurance, except Responsible Master Plumbers who are required by the TSBPE to have at least $300,000 in commercial liability insurance coverage. However, it is advised that you hire plumbers who have active insurance, as this gives you protection from personal financial costs if property damage or an accident occurs during your plumbing work. In 2019, there were 608 fatal occupational injuries across Texas, a 25% increase from the previous year. Therefore, such accidents and property damages are on the increase. You should always ask the plumber you wish to hire if they are insured and confirm such insurance policy from the issuing organization.
Many dubious plumbers do try to take advantage of unsuspecting residents in need of plumbing services across the city. For example, in October 2021, an El Paso contractor defrauded homeowners out of over $2,000, after agreeing to fix a leaky roof but never performing his part of the agreement. However, besides receiving money and absconding, other common tactics used by unscrupulous plumbers to dupe homeowners include:
- Purchasing low-cost, inferior supplies at the same price as high-cost, high-quality materials. In the long run, you end up spending more money on rectifying the poor work done than you did on the original issue.
- Unsolicited bids
- Coming to your home without any invitation to offer plumbing services as a discount.
- Insisting on cash payment.
You can, however, avoid becoming a victim of these tactics by doing the following:
- Make sure to confirm the plumber's licensing status by utilizing the TSBPE license search portal.
- Ensure to obtain a well-written contract that clearly outlines the details of the plumbing project you want to be completed, as well as the pricing of any materials required. Also, avoid filling out or signing blank contracts because clauses you are unaware of may be added later on.
- Ask the plumber to give you references from previous clients
- Never pay the full price for the project upfront
You can file a general complaint with the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners if you suspect a shady plumber is attempting to defraud you of your money or if you believe you have been a victim of a plumbing scam in El Paso. Such complaint can be made by mailing a completed general complaint form to:
- Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
- P.O. Box 4200
- Austin, TX 78765-4200
You may also contact the TSBPE for further enquiries at (512) 936-5249.
Also, you can report unlicensed activity or breaches committed by licensed plumbers to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation by filing an online complaint form . Actions will be taken to resolve your complaint. These actions usually entail performing an investigation or addressing the matter through mediation. If you are not satisifed with the result of your complaint, you can sue the relevant plumber by filing a small claims suit at the Justice of the Peace Precinct 4. You may only file a small claims suit when requesting damages worth $10,000 or less. It is recommended you solicit the services of an attorney for legal advice and assessment of your case before going ahead with it.