Get Quotes from Top Plumbers in Fremont, CA
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in the City of Fremont
Retaining the services of a good plumber in the City of Fremont to handle any plumbing issues will not only help you eliminate water wastage but also significantly reduces your water bill. An average single-family residential home in Fremont pays an approximate bi-monthly water consumption charge of $130.15, with a bi-monthly meter service charge of at least $56.61. By ensuring that only qualified plumbers install, maintain or repair plumbing systems in your home and other structures, you can cut down on costs associated with water waste and also be rest assured that a professional job will be done the first time.
When searching for a good plumber near you, it is necessary to ask a series of questions to be certain that the plumber you intend to hire is the right fit for the job. These questions include:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Fremont?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Fremont?
- Do You Comply with the City of Fremont Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Fremont Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Fremont?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Fremont?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Fremont
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Fremont?
The City of Fremont requires any plumber that wishes to offer services to its residents to obtain an appropriate contractor license from the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB). Plumbers that fail to obtain a license from this board and perform jobs worth $500 or more in Fremont can face penalties ranging from $200 - $15,000 in statutory fines and administrative fees, as well as a jail term of up to six months. Note that offenders may also receive a combined penalty of fines and imprisonment, with repeat offenders facing more severe penalties per violation.
Interested parties that wish to obtain a license from the CSLB must be at least 18 years old and provide acceptable evidence showing that they have accumulated at least four years' worth of work experience at the journeyman level. Individuals that meet these criteria will be required to complete an Application for Original License Form and pay a non-refundable application fee. Applicants that fail to properly complete this form are given a grace period of 90 days to effect any required corrections, and failure to do this will result in the application becoming void. If this happens, the applicant will be required to start the application process afresh. Applicants that have had their application forms reviewed and accepted are sent a notice of examination by the CSLB as well as other relevant information necessary for this examination. However, applicants from the States of Arizona and Nevada that meet certain license reciprocity requirements may qualify to have the trade portion of the CSLB's licensing examination waived. Once this licensing examination has been successfully passed, applicants are typically issued a plumbing license by the CSLB. Note that these licensees are generally required to renew their licenses every two years.
You can verify that your intended plumber has a valid license by utilizing the CSLB's online license check portal. You can also contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to make license-related inquiries.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Fremont?
The average hourly rate of plumbers in Fremont is usually determined by factors like the cost of materials and permits needed for the plumbing job, the plumber's reputation and level of expertise, and the amount of labor required for the plumbing job. As such, before deciding on a specific plumber near you, it is advisable to compare quotes and estimates from several plumbers within your vicinity.
A plumber in the City of Fremont earns an annual average wage of $76,420. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Fremont compared with plumbers in other parts of California and other major cities in the country:
Do You Comply with the City of Fremont Building Code for Plumbing?
Plumbing work in Fremont is carried out in accordance with Chapter 15.20 of the Fremont Municipal Code, which is an adapted version of the 2019 California Plumbing Code, with certain city-specific amendments. This code regulates the installation, alteration, repair, and replacement of plumbing systems in the city to ensure the safety of individuals and property that may use or interact with these systems in any way. As such, it is necessary to ensure that any plumber you intend to hire in Fremont is familiar with the city's plumbing code and how this code applies to your intended project. Doing this not only ensures your safety but also prevents you from having to face any of the penalties associated with code violations. Per Chapter 1.15 of the Fremont Municipal Code, individuals found guilty of violating the city's plumbing code can face a wide range of penalties, including, but not limited to, fines of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. You can contact the Fremont Code Enforcement Department at (510) 494-4430 to make inquiries concerning the city's plumbing code and how it may affect your intended project.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Fremont Code?
Plumbing permits are typically required for any new plumbing work in Fremont as well as the alteration, repair, or replacement of existing plumbing systems in the city. However, per the city's plumbing code, certain types of plumbing work can be done without a plumbing permit. These are:
- Stopping leaks in drains, water, waste, soil, or vent pipes. However, in situations where any of these items become defective and require removal and replacement with new material, a permit must be obtained
- Removing and reinstalling water closets, and clearing stoppages or repairing leaks in pipes, fixtures, and valves, as long as these repairs do not require or involve replacing or rearranging any existing pipes, fixtures, and valves
The Fremont Community Development Department issues plumbing permits via its Development Services Center, and these permits can be obtained online via the center's Citizen Access portal. To utilize this platform, you will be required to take the following steps:
- Create a user account on the Citizen Access portal. You can contact the Development Services Center via email or utilize its Citizen Access user guide to get assistance on how to create this account
- Log in to your account, select the apply for a permit option and then select building. You can access the city's permit record types document online to find descriptions of the various types of permits that the Development Services Center offers
- Properly fill out the online form and upload any required plans or documents
- Move on to the payment screen after filling the form and make the applicable payments, after which you will receive an on-screen confirmation of these payments. Note that you will also be sent a receipt of payment via email
Once your permit request has been successfully submitted, you will be issued a record number, which can be viewed under the my records section of your Citizen Access account This request will be reviewed and you will be contacted via email if it is determined that any additional information is required. Once the review process has been completed, you will be issued the requested plumbing permit. Plumbing permit-related queries can be directed to the city's Plans and Permits Division at (510) 494-4460. In-person queries and permit requests can also be made at the physical location of the Fremont Development Services Center at:39550 Liberty Street
Fremont, CA 94538
Phone: (510) 494-4443
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays
Note that even if you decide to request for a plumbing permit in person, you will still be required to create a user account on the city's Citizen Access platform. Also, once your plumbing permit has been issued, you will be required to schedule inspections with the Building Inspection Division of the city's Community Development Department before any of your plumbing work is covered and also once the work is completed. You can contact this division at (510) 494-4400 or via email to get information on the specific types of inspections that may be required for your plumbing project and the procedure for scheduling these inspections.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
When hiring a plumber, after confirming this individual's licensing status, it is also important to make sure that the plumber offers the type of service that you require. While Fremont plumbers generally offer a wide variety of services, their services can be grouped into three categories, namely residential plumbing services, commercial plumbing services, and emergency plumbing services. These services typically cost an average of $100 - $130 per hour, inclusive of the costs of parts and materials. However, regardless of the category of plumbing service that you need and its cost, you should always make sure that your intended plumber is skilled enough and also properly equipped to handle the issue. The cost estimates of some plumbing services commonly offered by plumbers in the City of Fremont are listed below:
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Fremont?
While it is common to delay the resolution of some plumbing problems like dripping faucets and slow-draining sinks, these seemingly minor problems can quickly devolve into more serious and expensive issues. The average single-family residential home in the City of Fremont is estimated to use about 200 gallons of water a day, which amounts to a bi-monthly fee of a little over $130 in water consumption charges alone. When these figures are taken into consideration, the importance of rectifying any plumbing-related issues that you have as soon as possible becomes clear. In addition, some types of plumbing issues, such as burst pipes, clogged toilets, and lack of hot water during the winter, typically require more immediate attention than others, as they may pose serious health hazards and property damage if left ignored.
In situations where you find yourself in need of emergency plumbing services, it is very important to make sure that you retain the services of a duly licensed professional plumber that is close enough to tackle the matter immediately. You can find professional plumbers near you that offer emergency plumbing services via online resources like the California Contractor State Licensing Board's Find My Licensed Contractor platform and the Better Business Bureau website. It is important to note that you should always confirm the licensing status of any plumbers that you contact via these, or any other, resources.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Fremont?
Hiring a plumber that has a valid liability insurance plan protects you from having to bear the financial costs of any unexpected injuries and accidents that may occur during your project. According to research published by the United States National Library of Medicine, plumbing-related injuries are the second-highest contributors to the total cost of fatal and nonfatal injuries in the construction industry. Given this, plumbers in the City of Fremont that have at least one employee are mandatorily required to maintain a valid workers' compensation insurance plan. The California Contractors State License Board also requires licensed plumbers to maintain a surety bond of at least $15,000 for the validity period of their licenses. Finally, even though it is not statutorily required, the CSLB recommends that plumbers in the City of Fremont also maintain a valid commercial general liability insurance plan. Therefore, before hiring any plumbers in the city, it is advisable to request copies of their insurance and bonding certificates and authenticate these documents by contacting the organizations that issued them.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Fremont
In September 2021, it was announced that the Alameda County District Attorney would be filing charges against contractors that operated all over the bay area, including the City of Fremont, for defrauding insurance carriers to the tune of more than $5 million. This is just one example of the scam activities carried out by fraudulent plumbers and other construction and home repair-related contractors in Fremont. Other scam activities carried out by these fraudulent individuals include high-pressure and scare sales tactics, insisting on verbal agreements instead of written contracts, and demanding large advance payments.
To avoid falling victim to a fraudulent plumber in Fremont, you should take the following precautionary actions whenever you need to hire a plumber in the city:
- Have a clear idea of the work that you need done
- Be wary of door-to-door solicitors. Always get estimates from multiple plumbers before settling on one
- Request references from your list of potential plumbers. You can also utilize online resources like Google Review and Better Business Bureau to get additional reviews on these plumbers
- Confirm that the plumber you hire has a valid license. You can do this online or by contacting the CSLB via phone number (800) 321-2752
- Make sure that the plumber is insured and bonded
- Insist on a written and well detailed contract that contains specifics of the intended project. Note that you should never sign any contracts that you do not fully understand
- Pay no more than 10% of the total cost of your project or $1,000 as an advance payment, depending on which figure is less
- Avoid cash payments and store copies of all documents related to the project, such as receipts and contracts, in a safe place
You can report suspected fraudulent activities by plumbers in Fremont to the CSLB by filing a complaint with this agency. Alternatively, you can report these types of matters to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office by calling its Consumer, Environmental, and Worker Protection Division via phone number (510) 383-8600 or by contacting it's Fremont location at:Fremont Hall of Justice
39439 Paseo Padre Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538
Phone: (510) 795-2500
Note that you may be required to complete a Consumer Fraud Form and also provide copies of documents that support your claims when making consumer-related reports to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. Finally, if you are unsatisfied with the way either of these agencies resolves your complaint, you can pursue private legal action against the alleged fraudulent plumber at an appropriate Alameda County Superior Court. You can contact the Alameda County Bar Association via phone number (510) 302-2222 to get referrals to qualified attorneys near you that can help you pursue this private legal action.