Whether you’re considering doing a major bathroom redesign or simply repairing a pesky leaking pipe, it is important to do your research on the person or plumbing company who will be providing you with their services. You should always insure they are licensed, and well versed in local building codes, to protect yourself from legal action and expensive repairs.
All plumbers should have their own insurance. They should have both liability and workers compensation insurance. Liability insurance protects you from any damage that may be caused by your plumber. Most home insurance policies do not cover damage caused by in-home employees. Workers compensation insurance will protect you in the unfortunate situation where an employee is injured on your property. Some insurance policies will cover the claim, but only after you as the owner cover the deductible, which can also lead to your insurance rates being raised. Never confuse a bond for insurance. A bond is an agreement that your contractor will complete the job as agreed upon. Should the contractor not complete the job as promised, stole items from your property, or performed an inadequate job that lead to more damage, a bond will cover the cost of that. Always ask your contractor for proof of both insurance and bonding.
Before you begin looking for a plumber, contact your local licensing department, and ask them what licenses are required for the job you’re hoping to undertake. Once you have found a plumber, you can return to the licensing department and if possible, ask for a copy of the license. If your plumber is unlicensed, they will not have the ability file the applicable permits, and if their work does not meet the local building codes, you will be responsible for the cost of any repairs required to make the work meet code. Additionally, having work done on your property by an unlicensed contractor, gives your insurance supplier grounds to void your policy, and any claims resulting from the work done. Should a licensed plumber not complete work to code, they face disciplinary action from either the city or the authorizing body. There is no body to regulate unlicensed plumbers, which leaves you with no other means outside of lawsuits to recover your money, though lawsuits are usually long and drawn out.
Most people think the worst-case scenarios with hiring unlicensed plumbers is that they are left with an incomplete, or poorly completed job. The reality is far worse. A poorly installed water heater can explode, not only causing damage to your property, but also possibly injury or death. Some unlicensed plumbers may try to save themselves costs and do electrical work themselves. A poorly completed electrical job can cause drywall and structural frames to catch on fire or cause electrocution. Poor plumbing jobs can lead to sewer gas leaks, oxygen leaks, and traditional gas leaks which are all dangerous to your health. Water leaks, if not detected early, can provide mold an ideal place to grow. Mold is dangerous to your health, and if left untreated, becomes a costly problem. Removing mold and fixing mold affected areas is expensive, and in extreme cases, could require you to move off premises until the job is complete. Another issue that you could face should a plumber not be qualified or licensed, is that they could accidentally connect your supply lines to the sewer lines, combine sanitary and storm drains, or build drain lines at the wrong slope.
Don’t risk having unlicensed plumbers cost you unnecessary money, should you have any plumbing queries or requests, feel free to contact Art Plumbing, AC & Electric.
For Immediate Emergency Assistance Call 1-800-475-1504