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Licensed Plumber in Seattle, WA

How to Hire a Good Plumber in Seattle

A high water bill is the first sign you are using water excessively or suffering from leakage. One dripping faucet, a faulty toilet, or a loose showerhead can waste up to 90 gallons of water per day. If you cannot find signs of indoor water leaks or puddles collected around your meter box, then it is time to call in a plumber. A good plumber in Seattle would not only fix these undetected leakages, saving you several hundred dollars annually but would also help optimize your plumbing fixture for efficient water usage. Before you conclude on contracting a plumber in the city, ask the following questions to determine the competency of the professional:

  • Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Seattle?
  • How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Seattle?
  • Do You Comply with the City of Seattle Building Code for Plumbing?
  • Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Seattle Code?
  • What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
  • Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Seattle?
  • Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Seattle?

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in the City of Seattle

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Seattle?

    Any plumber that intends to perform plumbing work in Seattle City must obtain a license from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Failure to comply with this licensing requirement can result in fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.

    Before applying for a license, candidates are generally required to meet certain requirements. These include being at least 16 years old and completing a plumber trainee certification program. Interested applicants can apply to the trainee certification program in person at any of the L&I field offices or by completing and submitting an Application for Plumber Trainee Certification Form via mail-in to the address listed on the aforementioned form. During this trainee program, successful applicants must serve as plumber trainees for four years or more under the supervision of a certified journey-level plumber and they are also expected to garner practical experience with commercial or industrial plumbing systems during this time. Once the certification program is completed, interested plumbers can proceed to apply for the plumbing contractor license by downloading the application form. The completed form can be submitted by mail to the Department of Labor and Industries Plumber Licensing and Certification using the mailing address below.

    • Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
    • Plumber Certification
    • P.O. Box 44470
    • Olympia, WA 98504-4470

    For more inquiries about licensing and certification, contact the Department of Labor & Industries Plumber Licensing and Certification by email or call (360) 902-5207. You can also confirm that your plumber is licensed by utilizing the Washington Department of Labor and Industries' online verification portal.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Seattle?

    When planning to hire a plumber for your plumbing project, it is beneficial to compare price estimates from various plumbers in your region. This will help in estimating whether a plumber's pricing is outrageous or appropriate, and can go a long way in saving you money. However, note that the cost of a plumber is determined by a variety of factors, including the nature of your plumbing project, the cost of essential materials, and the plumber's experience. For example, master plumbers would likely charge more than journeyman plumbers for the same service, as they generally have a higher level of proficiency.

    A plumber in the City of Seattle earns an annual average wage of $82,060. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in the City of Seattle compared with plumbers in other parts of Washington State and other major cities in the country:

    Seattle City Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $39.45
    Spokane City Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $28.91
    Washington State Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $36.04
    Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $26.71
    Chicago Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $44.20
    Miami Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $22.66
    Washington D.C. Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
    $27.93

    Source: U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics

  3. Do You Comply with the City of Seattle Building Code for Plumbing?

    The 2018 Seattle Plumbing Code is an ordinance designed to provide minimum standard requirements for plumbing works and protect the life, health, property, and public welfare of city residents that interact with plumbing systems within the city. This Code governs the erection, installation, alteration, repair, relocation, additions, replacement, use, and maintenance of plumbing systems. Such plumbing systems include residential plumbing systems, underground fire protection piping, reclaimed water piping, subsurface drainage piping, rainwater piping, and fire sprinklers. One reason why you should hire a licensed plumber for your plumbing work is that licensed plumbers are often familiar with the requirements of the city's plumbing code. Therefore, they are likely to address your plumbing problem according to required standards and protect you from potential code violations and any penalties that may result from these violations. Penalties include a fine of up to $500 per day for each violation from the date the violations occur until the day compliance is achieved. The Seattle Plumbing Code is enforced by the King County Public Health Department, and you can direct plumbing code-related queries to this Department at (206) 263-9566.

  4. Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Seattle Code?

    According to Section 107 of the 2018 Seattle Plumbing Code, a permit is required to install, alter, replace or remove plumbing systems in the city. However, certain plumbing works can be done without a permit. Examples of these plumbing works include:

    • The stopping of leaks in drains or vent pipes provided that such action does not necessitate the removal or replacement of the drain or vent pipes.
    • The clearing of plumbing blockages or the removal and reinstallation of water closets provided that such repairs do not include or necessitate the replacement or rearrangement of pipes, valves, or fixtures.

    Before applying for a permit, it is necessary to make sure that your property is within Seattle. You can confirm this by utilizing the Seattle GIS map. The Seattle Services Portal may also be utilized to find out whether your property has any recent permits or violations.

    Plumbing permits are issued by the King County Public Health Department, and residents can submit permit applications to this Department through its online service portal. To make use of this portal, applicants are required to have a user account. Alternatively, residents can apply for a plumbing permit by downloading a plumbing permit application form and mailing the completed form to the King County Public Health Department at:

    • Downtown Seattle Office
    • Environmental Health Services
    • 401 5th Avenue
    • Suite 1100
    • Seattle, WA 98104
    • Phone: (206) 263-9566

    Note that all plumbing work for which a permit is required is subject to inspection by the King County Public Health Department. These inspections are performed to ensure that the plumbing work is done according to the Seattle Plumbing Code and other relevant regulations. Inspection requests can be made by calling (206) 971-9780 or texting "Schedule" to (844) 413-2653 and following the voice prompts and requesters are typically required to provide their permit number, inspection code, and contact number. To make inquiries on permitting processes and inspections, you can contact the King County Public Health Department at (206) 263-9566.

  5. What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?

    The services rendered by a plumber are mostly determined by the plumber's expertise and specialization. In terms of skill, the longer a plumber has worked in the sector, the more probable the plumber is capable of delivering a wide range of plumbing services. Master plumbers, for example, are typically more proficient than trainee plumbers since they have more plumbing expertise. Similarly, plumbers specialize in certain areas of plumbing, and some plumbing works may require that you hire a plumber who specializes in that area. For example, when planning a huge outlet tank or pipe plumbing repair, it is best to engage a plumber that specializes in commercial plumbing services rather than one that specializes in residential plumbing services. As a result, understanding what type of plumbing work you require will help you find the correct plumber.

    Specialty plumbers in the City of Seattle include residential, commercial, and service and repair plumbers. Residential plumbers typically handle plumbing projects in residential apartments, while commercial plumbers handle plumbing projects in commercial and industrial buildings. However, while residential and commercial plumbers perform various plumbing jobs such as installing, repairing, and maintaining plumbing systems, service and repair plumbers typically only perform plumbing maintenance and repairs. Nevertheless, some common cost estimates for plumbing services in Seattle include:

    Residential Plumbing Contractors
    $79.22 - $89.88 (per hour)
    Commercial Plumbing Contractors
    $106.01 - $114.08 (per hour)
    Toilet Installation or Replacement
    $166.21 - $178.60 (fixed fee)
    Clearing Drain Clog or Blockage
    $127.65 - $182.05 (fixed fee)
    Water Main Installation or Repair
    $37.65 - $66.09 (per linear foot)
    Well Pump Installation
    $823.86 - $978.26 (fixed fee)
    Water Softener Installation
    $1,117.69 - $1,499.53 (fixed fee)
  6. Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Seattle?

    A lot of damage can be done if a plumbing issue is not addressed quickly. Pipe leaks are a common example of this, and it is estimated that these types of plumbing issues result in about 12% of water waste in homes. Detecting and fixing leaks is one of the most impactful actions you can take to prevent water waste from turning into a disaster, as these issues have the potential to cause flooding, property damage, and significant financial loss. Hence, it is essential to fix any leaks in your property as quickly as possible. However, while all plumbing concerns should be addressed as soon as possible, certain problems demand more attention than others. Burst pipes, backed-up or overflowing toilets, and leaking water heaters are common examples.

    When you need emergency plumbing services, it is important to make sure that the plumber you hire is not only qualified and knowledgeable but also close enough to handle the problem straight away. You can locate plumbers in your area by using third-party websites such as the Better Business Bureau or Yelp. However, you should also ascertain that any plumber you hire is properly licensed. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries maintains an online verification portal that you can use to do this.

  7. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Seattle?

    An insurance policy protects not just your plumber, but you as well. In particular, hiring an insured plumber protects you against the costs of property damage or injuries that may occur as a result of your plumbing project. Therefore, you should always ensure that the plumber you consider hiring has a current insurance policy. All plumbers in the City of Seattle must have a $6,000 Washington Continuous Contractor Surety Bond and maintain general liability insurance coverage with limits of up to $200,000 in public liability and $50,000 in property damage. You may verify if a plumber has met these bonding and insurance requirements by asking the plumber to provide proof. To make further inquiries regarding bond and insurance requirements for Seattle plumbers, you can contact the Washington Department of Labor and Industries via email or by calling (360) 902-5207.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Seattle

When hiring home improvement workers for any home improvement project, including plumbing projects, you must do your due diligence to avoid falling prey to contractor scams or being defrauded of your money. Unsurprisingly, there have been cases of fraudsters posing as home improvement workers and defrauding homeowners, particularly elderly residents as well as residents in the city's affluent neighborhoods. These scammers mostly present themselves as uninvited plumbers who offer exceptional discounts on plumbing work, demand upfront payment, and only accept cash. For example, In June 2020, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries ordered a contractor to pay $11,000 in restitution, after scamming several homeowners across three counties, including King County, for home improvement projects that were never finished and sometimes never even started. Therefore, when planning your plumbing project, it is advisable to take preventive measures to protect yourself from home improvement scammers in your area. You can do this by considering the following precautions:

  • Always verify the license of your plumber. You can do this online.
  • Avoid cash payments. Checks, credit cards, and debit cards are all preferable payment options that also have the advantage of providing a paper trail.
  • Always require a written contract for any home improvement projects, and make sure you read and review it thoroughly before signing.
  • Watch out for irrelevant inquiries, as these are often used by scammers to assess your vulnerability.
  • Beware of estimations and quotes that are significantly lower than the estimates provided by other plumbers in your area.
  • Always get a detailed inventory of the products you will be paying for, and compare pricing at your local home improvement store.

If you believe you have been contacted by a fraudulent plumber or have been the victim of a plumbing scam in Seattle, you may submit a complaint with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. You can also report these matters to the Seattle Police Department at:

  • 610 5th Avenue
  • Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
  • Phone: (206) 625-5011