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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in the City of Chandler
A single-family residence in Chandler currently spends $1.60 per 1,000 gallons for the first 10,000 gallons of water used in a month. With household leaks and a faulty irrigation system potentially wasting over 8,000 gallons of water monthly, it is essential to ensure your home's plumbing system is in excellent working condition to avoid surprisingly high water bills, water wastage, and possible water damages to your home's structure. Although neighbors and colleagues can help find a good plumber near you to perform needed plumbing maintenance and repairs, asking the following questions will help you assess the competence of any plumber that you eventually decide to hire:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Chandler?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Chandler?
- Do You Comply with the City of Chandler Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Chandler Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Chandler?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Chandler?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Chandler
Before hiring a plumber, it is essential to find out if this plumber is licensed to perform your type of plumbing job. In the City of Chandler, plumbing jobs that cost at least $1,000 in labor and materials or require a permit must be performed by a contractor with a specialty plumbing license. Contractors who fail to meet this licensing requirement will be fined at least $2,000 and may be subject to other administrative fines.
Specialty plumbing license applications are processed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ARC), and the Registrar issues licenses to qualified individuals that satisfy specific requirements. Such requirements include being 18 years old or more and having a minimum of four years of practical plumbing experience. Interested persons who have satisfied these specific requirements can apply for a plumbing license by submitting a filled-out license application form and paying the applicable fees to the ARC. Applicants should note that they will be required to sit for a license examination before their license application can be fully processed, as proof of passing this license examination will be required. The ARC typically processes license applications within 60 calendar days and notifies applicants when their application has been successful, denied, or is incomplete. For more information on licensing requirements and processes, interested persons can contact the ARC at (602) 542-1525 or explore the ARC's application packet guide webpage.
Residents who want to confirm licensing status of their intended plumbers can do so by utilizing the ARC's contractor search portal or contacting the Registrar at (602) 542-1525.
The hourly rate for hiring a plumber in the City of Chandler differs and mainly depends on the plumbing service you need. Other factors that influence this rate include the required labor, the cost of materials, and the permits needed for your plumbing project. However, before engaging a plumber, it is ideal that you compare estimates from at least two other plumbers. This way, you have a clear price range for your plumbing project, and you can properly budget for it.
A plumber in the City of Chandler earns an annual average wage of $53,810. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Chandler compared with plumbers in other parts of Arizona and other major cities in the country:
All plumbing works within Chandler City are regulated by the 2018 International Plumbing Code, which the city adopted in 2019. This Code stipulates safety requirements and establishes minimum safety standards for the inspection, maintenance, installation, alteration, replacement, and repair of plumbing fixtures, fittings, and systems. These fixtures, fittings, and systems include faucets, water heaters, sanitary drainage systems, water distribution and supply systems, special waste systems, vents, special piping and storage systems, and irrigation systems. Violating any provisions of the Code attracts a maximum fine of $2,500, a maximum imprisonment term of six months, or both a fine and imprisonment term. Also, note that if you violate multiple provisions of the Code, each violation is considered a separate offense. Therefore, you must ensure that any plumber you engage for your plumbing jobs is well informed about the Plumbing Code, as this ensures your plumbing work meets minimum safety standards and prevents you from penalties that may result from code violations.
The Chandler Department of Development Services is responsible for enforcing the city's Plumbing Code, and code-related queries can be directed to this Department at (480) 782-3000.
In Chandler City, obtaining a building permit is a prerequisite for any home improvement project, including plumbing works. Only specific plumbing works are exempt from these permitting requirements. These works include the replacement of residential water heaters and water softeners, where this replacement does not increase the load imposed upon the building's structural frame. Permit applications can be made either by a homeowner or their plumbing contractor. Note that only licensed plumbing contractors are eligible to apply for a permit.
The Chandler Department of Development Services (DDS) processes permit applications and issues these permits where appropriate. Applications for building permits can be made online through the DDS online services portal or by mail. In order to utilize the online portal, applicants will be required to register a user account on the portal or log in to their already registered account. Applicants who wish to apply for a permit by mail must obtain a building permit application form and mail the completed form to:Development Services Department
P.O. Box 4008, MS 406
Chandler, AZ 85244-4008
Applicants should note that permit applications will not be processed until after the payment of all applicable fees. For online permit applications, these fees can also be paid online. However, applicants who are applying for a permit by mail should contact the DDS at (480) 782-3000 for inquiries on the applicable permit fees and how to make payment.
Depending on the type of plumbing work, the DDS may require applicants to submit plumbing plans. The method and process for the submission, where applicable, will also be stipulated by the DDS. After a permit has been issued, applicants should also note that they must schedule one or more inspections with the DDS before completing the project. These inspections are necessary to ensure that the plumbing work satisfies citywide requirements and safety standards. You can schedule an inspection online through the DDS online services portal or through an Interactive Voice Response system by dialing (480) 782-3100.
For more information on obtaining a permit, permit-related processes, and inspection-related inquiries, residents can explore the homeowner's building permit manual provided by the DDS. Additionally, residents can contact the DDS at 480-782-3000 or schedule an appointment and make in-person consultations at:Development Services Department
215 East Buffalo Street
Chandler, AZ 85225
Plumbing contractors in Chandler handle several plumbing jobs, ranging from the installation, repair, and replacement of plumbing systems to plumbing inspections. However, the specific services a plumber offers typically depends on this plumber's specialization. For example, some plumbers specialize in performing plumbing jobs in residential buildings, and some prefer to work on commercial buildings. Additionally, a plumber's area of specialization may determine the cost they charge for their services. For instance, plumbers who specialize in handling commercial plumbing jobs usually charge more than their colleagues who handle residential plumbing jobs. Therefore, when budgeting for your plumbing project, you should note that the nature of the project and the specialization of your intended plumber are major cost-determining factors. Below are the estimates for some of some common plumbing services in Chandler:
There are several situations that require an emergency plumbing service. They typically include clogged or overflowing toilets, frozen or burst pipes, and even supposedly lesser plumbing issues like pipe or faucet leaks. It is estimated that faucet and showerhead leaks alone can waste more than 3,500 gallons of water yearly in the average American home. If left unattended, such water wastage, coupled with wastage from other plumbing problems, will ultimately escalate your water bills. Therefore, it is crucial that you treat all noticeable plumbing problems as an emergency and attend to them as quickly as possible. However, you should note that some plumbing problems generally need more urgent action than others. For example, fixing a leaking pipe requires more urgent action than fixing a faulty showerhead, as a leaking pipe indicates a potentially more dangerous situation.
While you should treat your plumbing problems as quickly as possible, it is also important that you do not blindly rush into doing this. Ensure you hire only plumbers with the right expertise that are also duly licensed. You can find skilled plumbers near you by utilizing online review platforms like Google Review and Better Business Bureau. These platforms let you search for plumbers by location and also provide reviews from a plumber's previous customers, which can help you gauge the plumber's expertise. You can also ask friends, neighbors, and family members for good plumbers around. In order to further confirm a plumber's expertise, it is recommended that you ask the plumber to provide references from recent clients. However, regardless of how you come in contact with a plumber, it is necessary to ensure that this plumber is duly licensed. You can verify a plumber's license by utilizing the contractor search portal maintained by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
Hiring plumbers who maintain insurance coverage is always advised, as you are less exposed to financial responsibilities associated with injuries or accidents during your plumbing work. Unfortunately, such accidents are not uncommon, as there were over 37,000 non-fatal injuries among contractors performing plumbing-related jobs across the country in 2019. Although plumbers in Chandler are not required to obtain general liability insurance, plumbers with at least one employee must maintain workers' compensation insurance. Besides this insurance requirement, all plumbers are also required to file a bond with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ARC). The required bond amount varies and generally depends on the plumber's expected gross income for the filing year. You can confirm if your intended plumber has obtained workers' compensation insurance by contacting the Industrial Commission of Arizona at (602) 542-4661, and you can also confirm if this plumber has met bond requirements by contacting the ARC at (602) 542-1525. To confirm if a plumber has active general liability insurance, you can request proof from the plumber and further contact the issuing insurance company to authenticate it.
Before hiring a contractor to handle your plumbing or home improvement projects, it is advised that you take careful steps to ensure this plumber is legitimate and will complete the agreed project. This is particularly crucial in order to avoid fraudulent individuals who pretend to be licensed contractors just to defraud unsuspecting residents of Chandler. These fraudulent individuals typically utilize various scam techniques, such as using expired licenses, using someone else's license number, requesting full payment upfront and absconding, offering unsolicited bids, and refusing to sign a written contract. For example, in December 2019, an unlicensed Chandler contractor was arrested by the Gilbert Police after failing to appear for sentencing hearings. These sentencing hearings were to determine the contractor's penalty after pleading guilty to using someone else's contractor license to scam several residents across Maricopa County. Unfortunately, more of such cases occur across Chandler City and other cities in Arizona, and some victims never get compensated.
To protect yourself from such scam techniques, you can take the following steps:
- Be wary of unsolicited bids and avoid door-to-door contractors
- Compare estimates from multiple plumbers before engaging one. This way, you are aware of the average cost for your project and can determine if you are being charged an exorbitant fee
- Verify the license of your intended plumber. You can do this by utilizing the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ARC) contractor search portal or contacting the Registrar at (602) 542-1525
- Make sure the agreement between you and your plumber is in writing. However, also ensure that you understand all the terms of the written agreement before signing it. It is a good idea to engage an attorney to assist with drafting and reviewing this agreement, especially if you are spending a lot of money on the project
- Do not make total payment for the project until the plumber satisfactorily completes it. If the plumber requests a deposit, ensure this deposit is a fraction of the total payment. Ideally, this should not exceed 30% of the total payment
- Conduct background checks. You can check the ARC's online list of unlicensed contractors to figure out if your intended plumber has been recently investigated for operating without a license. Additionally, you can contact the ARC at (602) 542-1525 to make more detailed inquiries about this plumber's recent contracting history, including whether they have been the subject of any disciplinary action
- Keep and maintain relevant records related to the project. Such records include written correspondences, signed agreements, and payment receipts
If you suspect you have been contacted by an unlicensed plumber or you are the victim of a plumbing scam, you can report the situation by filing a consumer complaint with the ARC. You can file this complaint online through the ROC customer portal or you can request a printed complaint form and follow the directions on the form to file the complaint. If you have any inquiries or need assistance with filing a consumer complaint, you can contact the ARC at (602) 542-1525.
However, note that you may not be personally compensated when you file a consumer complaint. Nonetheless, you can pursue your compensation by instituting a small claims case against the fraudulent plumber at the Maricopa County Justice Courts. Note that in small claims cases instituted at this court, the maximum amount you can request as compensation is $3,500. Although attorney representation is not required for small claims cases, it is advised that you first consult an attorney to assess your case and for legal advice.