Why Do Plumbers Need To Be Licensed?

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Subject: plumbers.

it was very good ready.but as long as the person whom is doing the job whether he is a handyman plumber or license plumber has liability insurance and experience in the job you want done then you're fine.. liability insurance at least 1 million dollars. i am 58 yrs old and have worked with handyman plumbers and licensed plumbers over the years as i own a apt building with 23 apts.and a 10 room motel in florida.i have seen both sides of good comanys and dirt bagers ! and sorry to inform you of a scale from 1 to 100 35% of (license) plumbers that worked for me did a horrible job! from repair to billing they messed something up. and their attitudes was the worst! on the other hand the handyman plumbers got right to work hardly had attitudes and the work was fine and this is based on 75% out of 100!but no one works on my properties without at least 1 million dollars of liability insurance ! learn from this and you will be ok. remember to me the handyman plumber has more to lose then the license plumber.the license plumber can get any plumbing job he wants.that license they have gives them the right to charge what they want.there are so much bad plumbers here in miami florida that i have reported and yet there still doing plumbing job. now don't get me wrong i have met some real good ones too but more bad than good. but handyman plumbers need to do good because if there jobs are not good they stand the chance of never working in that field again!so to me they try to please the customer more.i don't know about your states but thats what is happening in my state.just seem that the whole plumbing thing needs to get reformed!what ever happened to trying to keep the customer happy?or pride in the work one does in his trade? . and believe me it's not getting the cheapest price for me. its workmanship and attitude is what i am looking for. it looks like all of that went right out the window with the new service men of today.(AGAIN NOT ALL)

Sylvan Tieger


Before allowing someone to work in your home or office you should make sure the person actually doing the work is the person licensed (Master) as many states allow for a LMP, for example, to hire someone who has no formal training and sending these people out to do the actual work and only God knows what skills they may or may not have.

This is especially true for franchises who have one licensed master covering an entire chain in the area. Many decent inspectors condemn this as a cover up (pimping the license) and will issue violations. The license is for the consumers protection not the licensee.

Sylvan Tieger


Many locations have no idea how to test a plumber before they issue a license.

NYC requirements for a masters license are the hardest in the nation to pass.. Shame the USA does not have decent codes and require proper testing theroy and practical

Eric O.


I read your “Toilet Issue” with great interest. I’m in the process of completing the renovation of my home. I’ve had very mixed experiences in hiring contractors. I’ve had an unlicensed contractor who has done impeccable work that had a full inspection. On the other hand, I had to fire a licensed contractor after three days because I knew full well the work he had done wouldn’t pass muster with the inspector. The best insurance I’ve found to keep me and the contractors honest is to ensure that all the proper inspections are performed by my locality. I also love the fact that I can get recommendations from Angie’s List, saving me from many of these frustrations.

tory plumber


Your plumbing lines
should operate smoothly without problems. If you are having any of these common problems then you need a great plumber as soon as possible.

Sylvan Tieger


Shame how the "New " NYC plumbing code is placing safety on the back burners

Thomas Olszewski


Being a licensed master plumber and gas fitter and currently employed as a Plumbing, Gas and Mechanical inspector in Virginia. ALL consumers should ask for the contractors license and check with the local licensing authority for complaints Virginia's authority is DPOR.

Dave G


I have one constructive criticism to make of this otherwise good advisory. You listed six states not requiring state-licensing of plumbers. One thing you did not explain or list: A number of states, (New Hampshire is one example)allow homeowners to do work within the confines of their. But other state's laws or building department REQUIRE that ALL plumbing, gasfitting and sewage work be done by a licensed professional. Massachusetts is one such state. Even installing a new toilet, or repairing a leaking pipe MUST be done by a licensed contractor.



I am a Master Plumber in Texas and the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners has a web site where you can go and check on any plumber licensed by the state. It also tells you if they are insured. I'm sure most states work the same way.

Robert Urie


What is best way to validate a plumber's licensing before he/she begins their work in my house? Are they required to carry a certificate in their possession?



A great place to find licensed contractors is your local Home Builders Association website. These guys are Board Approved before they can become members.



Would like to clarify my story. NC does require GL for it's Licensed Contractors, but do not require Contractors send them proof of coverage. Mr. Dills had quarters where he was covered, unfortunately not when my job was done.

will black


Wow, what a story!.... The good guys need to be encouraged. And, the bad guys must be sidelined! Thanks very much for letting me see this case.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.