A Licensed Plumber Saves Homeowners Money in the Long Run

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There are some home improvement projects where you can get away with cutting a few corners. However, when addressing plumbing issues, it is important not to wander off the beaten path to avoid costly errors and save yourself money over time.

One of the biggest reasons a professional plumber would need to maintain their license is to be able to perform quality work for homeowners. We use our bathrooms, sinks, and water heaters daily and should expect a reputable company to have the proper training and certifications to be able to perform work on our plumbing accurately.

In this article, we’ll peel back the ways that hiring a licensed plumber can save homeowners money in the long run and talk about how to verify their licensing. There are times when you can get away with having someone perform a small handyman job, but when it comes to plumbing, the benefits of hiring a licensed professional far outweigh the risks of going with someone who is not a licensed plumber.

The dangers of using an unlicensed plumber

If any area of your plumbing requires repair or replacement, a botched job could end up costing you a lot more when all is said and done. If you have your house repiped by an unlicensed plumber only to have a pipe burst a week later, you could have a new indoor pool on your hands.

To understand how a licensed plumber can save you money over using someone who isn’t licensed, it’s worth knowing the risks involved by hiring someone who isn’t qualified.

Additional expenses

While it’s nice to save a buck when you can, sometimes it can turn around and bite you. It’s not a pleasant feeling when your valiant attempt at saving money ends up backfiring. If an unlicensed plumber screws something up, it’s you who has to—in some cases—literally clean up the mess.

When an unlicensed plumber makes a big mistake, breaks something, or doesn’t complete the project, you may not have any legal backing to cover the work costs or replace the faulty parts. On the other hand, when working with a licensed plumber, you can get in touch with the licensing board and get the ball rolling on a complaint to recover your losses.

Lack of liability

Insurance is not everyone’s favorite topic to discuss, but when it comes to liability insurance for your contractors, it’s important to be aware of the basics. It is common across most states to require plumbing companies to have liability insurance to cover workers and your property.

You have probably heard of liability insurance for driving. The same basic principles apply, but it covers the plumber during the job in this case. Liability insurance and a surety bond would pay for any injuries and damages incurred during work performed on your property.

Without a licensed plumber contracted to perform the work on your home, you could face an ugly situation with unwelcome legal fees or even upfront repair costs to cover the damage an unlicensed plumber has caused during the job. It would be nice if our homeowner’s insurance could take care of us in these instances, but they will downright refuse to pay out when it comes to covering any damage that occurred at the hands of unlicensed contractors.

Sloppy work

If everyone could service their own plumbing, they would. But the truth is, many plumbing jobs require intensive training and are not always a walk in the park. Simple chores like snaking your drain could be completed without a plumber, but even that job requires certain tools and know-how.

Continual education is a big thing in the plumbing industry. Professional plumbers maintain their licensed status by completing training on a regular basis to stay up-to-date with various rules, regulations, and updates to plumbing systems that change over time. What was standard a few years ago may not be the same today.

For example, at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, our technicians complete ongoing certification to keep up with ever-evolving technology advancements, state regulations, and plumbing system upgrades.

While some unlicensed plumbers may do their due diligence and treat your property with the same professionalism you’d expect from someone licensed, nothing really stands in the way of them tearing up your yard without proper certification to back up their work. If an unlicensed plumber tackles a system that they haven’t been properly trained on, that could cost you a lot of money in the long run.

Permitting and code conduct

Have you ever tried to buy or sell a home that has an unpermitted addition? If you haven’t, count yourself lucky. It’s always a mess trying to obtain a permit after the fact. The same goes for unpermitted plumbing work.

Big jobs like moving existing plumbing require a permit. Proper safety precautions could be missed if an unlicensed plumber executes such a job. They also could miss specific regulations set by the state. A licensed plumber would not have any issues obtaining the required permits to perform major jobs, ensuring the work is completed under the correct codes and permitting laws.

If an unlicensed plumber did a job for you but didn’t pull the necessary permits, you are vulnerable to fines and code violations during your next inspection, such as:

  • Hazardous materials being used
  • Improper piping insulation that conflicts with a code
  • Wrong fittings for piping jobs
Legal Woes

When proper permitting and code violations happen, they can lead to legal problems. Unlicensed plumbers may mean well, but if they work in a state requiring a license, it’s considered illegal and could cause legal fees down the road. The last thing you need when you are already facing a plumbing issue is to have to deal with lawyers and court dates that would have never been an issue had a licensed plumber performed the work.

The bottom line is that it’s pretty risky to hire an unlicensed plumber to perform any major plumbing jobs around your house. Sticking with a licensed professional is in your best interest to avoid any sticky legal situations.

Health threats

You’ve probably received a boil notice from your local water company at some point in your life. This happens when a water line has been contaminated by a broken water line somewhere within your city lines. Sometimes, this is due to a plumber who made a grave mistake while installing a new line or repairing a plumbing system.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 7.2 million Americans contract some sort of waterborne illness every year. If an unlicensed plumber takes on a job they’re not qualified for, it won’t just cost you extra money but could affect your health.

Licensed plumbers know how to cross their Ts and dot their Is when it comes to performing jobs that could affect your water piping system. They know the correct areas and vulnerable spots and make sure not to tread where they shouldn’t to minimize the risk of putting something in the incorrect place. Unfortunately, unlicensed plumbers aren’t as reliable or trained to handle these critical parts of a job.

Scam alert

Unfortunately, we live in a time when scammers are better at their jobs than we’d like to admit. Licensed plumbers are professionals who are far less likely to commit any kind of fraudulent activity than those who are not licensed.

Licensed professionals care about maintaining their license and wouldn’t want to act in a way that would jeopardize their status. Common scams like trying to upsell a product you don’t need would more likely come from an unlicensed plumber. Background checks usually aren’t required for unlicensed plumbers either, which opens your home up to suspicious individuals who may not have your best interest at heart.

These threats from hiring a plumber lacking the proper license are reason enough to do a little research before calling just anyone to perform your plumbing repairs. There is a lot of risk involved when you hire someone unlicensed, and something that should have been an easy fix can quickly turn into a nightmare.

How to verify your plumber’s license

  1. Simply request to see their license
  2. Verify with your state’s licensing board
  3. Cross-check with trade associations
  4. Phone a friend
  5. Review their ratings

The Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Difference

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is a family-owned business in its 10th year of operation, dedicated to providing our customers with straightforward pricing, on-time service, and highly skilled technicians.

We only hire qualified and professional technicians who can be trusted and work hard to deliver industry-leading plumbing solutions targeted to your specific needs and budget. We guarantee on-time and courteous service to ensure your complete satisfaction. We also guarantee that if a repair fails within a year, we will repair it with no additional cost.

Do you currently have any plumbing concerns? If so, feel free to contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing here or call us at 816-574-8931 today if you have any questions about our plumbing services and how we can best serve you.