Get Quotes from Top Plumbers in Scottsdale, AZ

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in Scottsdale

Scottsdale uses a tiered water rate structure that incentivizes residents using water more efficiently. Therefore, if you see a spike in your water bill and you cannot account for increased water usage, it is time to call in a plumber to help fix undetected leaks. A single household leak wastes more than 90 gallons of water per day. However, before you settle for any plumber in Scottsdale, ask the following questions to be sure you are hiring the best hand:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in Scottsdale?

Only licensed plumbing contractors can legally undertake plumbing projects that cost more than $1,000 in materials and labor or require a permit in Scottsdale. Penalties for failing to obtain a license before undertaking such projects include a minimum $2,000 fine and court-ordered sanctions, depending on the nature and number of projects undertaken.

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ARC) is the agency that oversees the licensing and regulation of plumbing contractors across Arizona, including Scottsdale City. This agency issues plumbing licenses to qualified individuals after these individuals meet specific qualification requirements. Some of these requirements are that the interested individual must be up to 18 years old, have up to four years of practical experience in the plumbing trade, and pass an administered license examination.

Other requirements include filing a bond and having a government-issued ID. Interested individuals who have met these specific requirements can proceed to apply for a license by obtaining the relevant license application form, submitting the completed form, and paying the appropriate licensing fees to the ARC. Licensing-related queries can also be directed to the ARC at (602) 542-1525.

To verify the licensing status of your intended plumber, you can utilize the ARC's contractor search tool or contact the Registrar at (602) 542-1525.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in Scottsdale?

Plumbers in Scottsdale charge different hourly rates for their services and these rates typically depend on the type of plumbing project they are handling, the cost of materials and labor involved, and other miscellaneous considerations such as obtaining permits. As such, even though the average mean hourly wage for plumbers in Scottsdale is slightly above $25, it is recommended that you consider bids from multiple plumbers to find out the average estimate for your plumbing project.

A plumber in Scottsdale earns an annual average wage of $53,810. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Scottsdale compared with plumbers in other parts of Arizona and other major cities in the country:

Scottsdale Plumber Hourly Average Wage
Arizona Plumber Hourly Average Wage
Dallas Plumber Hourly Average Wage
Columbus Plumber Hourly Average Wage
Atlanta Plumber Hourly Average Wage
Miami Plumber Hourly Average Wage
Washington DC Plumber Hourly Average Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Comply with the Scottsdale Building Code for Plumbing?

Besides ensuring that you hire a licensed plumber for your plumbing project in Scottdale, it is also advised that you confirm if this plumber is familiar with the city's Plumbing Code. Scottsdale currently uses an adopted and locally amended version of the 2015 International Plumbing Code (IPC). To this end, all plumbing projects within Scottsdale, including the installation, repair, replacement, maintenance, alteration, and inspection of plumbing fixtures and systems, are governed by this Plumbing Code, and they must follow the relevant processes stated in it. These plumbing projects must also satisfy the minimum safety standards established by the code, and any code violations attract a penalty that will be determined by the Scottsdale Department of Planning and Development Services (DPDS). Such penalties may include stopping your plumbing project and asking you to pay fines.

For more inquiries on the Scottsdale Plumbing Code and assistance with complying with this Code, you can contact the DPDS at (480) 312-2500.

Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by Scottsdale Code?

Before plumbing works can begin within Scottsdale, the relevant homeowner or contractor must obtain a plumbing permit from the city's Department of Planning and Development Services (DPDS). Nonetheless, some specific plumbing works can be done without a permit. Examples of such plumbing works include the repair of an existing landscape irrigation piping and the repair or replacement of plumbing fixtures in the same location.

Residents whose plumbing projects are not exempt from permit requirements can apply for a permit by submitting a completed permit form and paying the relevant fees to the DPDS. Plumbing permit application forms can be obtained by contacting the DPDS at (480) 312-2500 and making a request. Note that you may be required to submit plumbing plans before applying for a permit unless your plumbing project is a small-scope project.

Small-scope projects are generally minor projects, and you can obtain a permit for such projects online. Examples of small-scope plumbing projects include the replacement of gas water heaters or repairs of broken water lines. If your project is not a small-scope project, you must prepare plumbing plans as requested by the DPDS. The Department typically requests plan submissions before you submit your permit application, and it is advisable to make inquiries on whether your project requires a plan submission and how to submit these plans when requesting a permit application form.

Alternatively, you can make all permit-related inquiries and obtain a permit application form in person by visiting the DPDS office located at:

Department of Planning and Development Services
Permit Services
7447 East Indian School Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Phone: (480) 312-2500

Once a permit has been issued for your plumbing project, you must schedule inspections with the DPDS at different stages of the project. The required stages are typically stated by the DPDS when issuing your permit. These inspections are done to assess the safety and appropriateness of your plumbing work and to make sure that it does not violate any relevant city codes. After a final inspection, if your work satisfies code requirements and city directives, the DPDS will issue a Certificate of Occupancy. You can schedule an inspection with the DPDS online or by dialing (480) 312-5796. For more inquiries regarding inspections, you can contact the DPDS Inspections Office at (480) 312-5750.

What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?

Plumbers operating across Scottsdale offer a wide range of plumbing services, from plumbing inspections, maintenance, and repairs to installations, alterations, replacements, and even consultations. The services they offer to clients usually depend on the client's budget, plumbing needs, and city requirements. Therefore, before hiring a plumber, it is advised that you have a clear description of what you want and also have a budget. You can consult with a plumber to help you assess your plumbing systems and make it clear what needs to be done. In order to get a budget for your plumbing work, you should compare estimates from multiple plumbers near you. Ideally, compare estimates from at least three plumbers.

Listed below are cost estimates for some common plumbing services in Scottsdale:

Bathtub installation
$650 - $2,000
Cleaning of septic tanks
$240 - $500
Drain clog or blockage clearance
$110 - $140
Pipes, faucets, and fixtures installation
$140 - $250
Septic system installation
$6,500 - $8,000
Toilet installation/replacement
$135 - $150
Water softener installation
$950 - $3,000
Well pump installation
$650 - $900

Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in Scottsdale?

Any plumbing issue that can cause discomfort, inflate your water bills, or damage your home should be treated as an emergency. Such plumbing issues include leaking pipes or fixtures, overflowing toilets, faulty water heaters, and faulty irrigation systems. Leaving these issues unattended usually leads to more expenses or distress. For example, a faulty irrigation system can waste up to 6,000 gallons of water monthly, and ignoring this type of issue can invariably hike up your water bill.

Therefore, it is essential that you immediately address any emergency plumbing issues in your home. However, it is equally essential to ensure that a licensed and competent plumber addresses these plumbing issues. When trying to find a competent plumber near you, you can explore third-party consumer websites like Better Business Bureau and Yelp. These platforms also have a review section that contains reviews from your intended plumber's previous clients, which you can check out and use to assess this plumber's professionalism.

Besides utilizing these consumer websites, you can also ask neighbors and colleagues for competent plumbers near you. Nevertheless, always remember to verify the license of any plumber you intend to hire, no matter how competent they seem. You can utilize the Arizona Registrar of Contractors' contractor search tool to do this.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in Scottsdale?

Aside from obtaining a plumbing license, plumbers in Scottsdale are also required to maintain active workers' compensation insurance and comply with bond requirements before offering services to city residents. The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) enforces compliance with workers' compensation insurance, while compliance with bond requirements is enforced by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ARC). The bond amount to be filed with the ARC ranges and is determined by a plumber's expected annual gross income.

However, note that plumbers in Scottsdale are not required to maintain general liability insurance. While this is the case, it is critical that you engage plumbers with general liability insurance to avoid personal expenses in the event of a workplace injury. Considering there were 37,800 non-fatal plumbing-related workplace injuries and accidents in the country in 2019, you need to protect yourself from financial liabilities that may result from such injuries during your plumbing work.

You can confirm if your plumber has obtained general liability insurance by requesting a certificate of insurance and then contacting the relevant insurance company for further confirmation. Also, you can confirm if your intended plumber has complied with workers' compensation and bond requirements by contacting the ICA at (602) 542-4661 and the ARC at (602) 542-1525, respectively.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in Scottsdale

Between 2018 and 2019, it is estimated that over 30% of residents' expenses in Scottsdale were on housing-related services, including home repairs and home improvements. This spending also accounted for the highest expenditure component by city residents.

However, while there is high demand for housing and home improvement services across the city, some unscrupulous contractors take advantage of this to defraud innocent homeowners. For example, in May 2018, an unlicensed contractor was sentenced to a 6-year jail term for actions related to a 2016 scam. This contractor claimed to be licensed, fraudulently used the license number of a licensed contracting company, and scammed a Scottsdale homeowner of nearly $15,000 for plumbing and roof repairs that were never done.

Besides fraudulently using someone else's valid license number, other scam techniques employed by these scammers include requesting a high deposit or full upfront payment, avoiding written contracts, and unsolicited bids.

However, you can protect yourself from such scammers by taking the following precautionary steps:

  • Ensure you confirm if a plumber is licensed before hiring this plumber. You can check the ARC's contractor search tool or contact the Registrar at (602) 542-1525 to confirm a plumber's license.
  • Review estimates from at least three plumbers. Doing this helps you properly budget for your project and avoid excessive rates.
  • Insist on a written contract. Make sure the agreement between you and your plumber is in writing. Do not engage a plumber who is reluctant to sign a written contract or who pressures you to hire them. If your plumbing project is large-scale and involves a lot of money, it is best to engage a qualified attorney to handle the contract details.
  • Never make full payment upfront. Also, do not pay a significant part of the agreed payment as a deposit. Only make full payment after the plumber has satisfactorily completed the job. If you have to pay a deposit, pay between 10% - 20% of the agreed total payment and request a detailed outline of how the deposit will be spent.
  • Make payments with a credit card or check. These payment methods help you keep records and are not easily disputed, unlike cash payments.
  • Maintain a detailed record of the project and the project's timeline. This includes keeping related documents such as the signed agreement, project plans, written bids, and payment receipts.

Residents of Scottsdale who have experienced any contractor scam, including plumbing scams, can file a report with the ARC for review and investigation. Aggrieved residents can file this report either by requesting a printed complaint form and submitting the completed form according to the instructions on the form or online by utilizing the ROC customer portal. For further assistance or information regarding filing a consumer complaint, you can contact the ARC at (602) 542-1525.

Aside from filing a consumer complaint, you can also seek personal redress against a fraudulent contractor or scammer by filing a small claims action at the Maricopa County Justice Courts. However, be aware that you cannot claim more than $3,500 in damages in small claims actions. It is generally a good idea to seek legal advice from an attorney before taking legal action.