Get Quotes from Top Plumbers in Long Beach, CA
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in the City of Long Beach
If you found a sudden spike in your water bill in the City of Long Beach, it is time to investigate undetected leakages in your plumbing system. Small leakages from improperly installed pipes, faulty faucets, broken toilets, and dripping showers end up wasting up to 90 gallons of water per day. While a lot of these wastages will escape the detection of untrained eyes, a qualified plumber will help find a quick fix and save you money that may run into several hundred dollars at the end of the year. Before you settled for any plumber in the city, ask the following questions to ensure you are hiring the right plumber:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Long Beach?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Long Beach?
- Do You Comply with the City of Long Beach Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Long Beach Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Long Beach?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Long Beach?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Long Beach
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Long Beach?
The first step to take in determining whether or not your intended plumber is qualified for the job is by confirming this individual's licensing status. Any plumber that wishes to work on a job valued at $500 or more in the City of Long Beach is required to obtain a plumbing license from the State of California's contractor licensing board. Flouting this requirement can result in misdemeanor charges and first-offense penalties that include jail time of up to six months, fines of up to $15,000, or a combination of both. Subsequent offenders face additional penalties of a mandatory 90-day jail sentence and a fine of $5,000 or 20% of the total value of the plumbing work done. Similarly, plumbers that use another individual's license or mislead consumers into believing that they possess a valid plumbing license can face felony charges.
The state's licensing board only issues plumbing licenses to individuals that meet certain specifications, which include:
- Applicants must be no less than 18 years old
- Applicants must have no less than four years of journeyman-level plumbing work experience. Note that verifiable proof of this work experience will be required
- Applicants must complete and submit an Application for Original Contractor License Form, along with any required application fees
- Applicants must sit for and pass a licensing examination that includes a business portion and a trade portion. However, the trade portion of this examination may be waived for eligible applicants from Arizona and Nevada that already possess a valid plumbing license issued by their respective state's licensing authorities
You can confirm that your intended plumber possesses a valid license either by utilizing the California Contractors State Licensing Board's online license check portal or by contacting this board at (800) 321-2752. You can also make inquiries on the procedure for obtaining a plumbing license via this number.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Long Beach?
Plumbing rates in Long Beach are primarily dependent on several factors, some of which include:
- The type of plumbing service that you require
- The intensity of the labor required to provide this service
- The cost of parts and materials that the plumbing work will require
- The cost of any permits needed for the job
- The level of expertise of the plumber that you hire
A good way to make sure that you do not overpay for plumbing services in the City of Long Beach is by requesting estimates from several plumbers near you before settling on one. This helps you compare and contrast their rates and decide which plumber is best suited to your financial situation. Note that cost should not be the deciding factor when you wish to hire a plumber, and you should also make sure that your preferred plumber is licensed and qualified to get the job done right the first time.
A plumber in the City of Long Beach earns an annual average wage of $60,410. Below is a breakdown of the Average hourly wages for plumbers in Long Beach compared with plumbers in other parts of California and other major cities in the country:
Do You Comply with the City of Long Beach Building Code for Plumbing?
The Long Beach Plumbing Code, which is an adopted and amended version of the 2019 Edition of the California Plumbing Code, stipulates the minimum standards and requirements for the use of plumbing systems in the city. The plumbing code regulates and controls the construction, design, installation, location, operation, maintenance, and quality of materials of these plumbing systems, which include plumbing fixtures, and fixture fittings, water supply and distribution systems, water heaters, sanitary and storm drainages, and gray water systems.
The Long Beach Plumbing Code is designed to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the residents of the city, and it is important to make sure that your intended plumber is conversant with the various stipulations of this code and its application regarding your plumbing project. For example, per the requirements of the plumbing code, a plumbing permit is required for the construction, installation, or alteration of any plumbing systems, appliances, or devices in Long Beach. Violating this requirement, or any other provision of the code, is considered illegal, and violators may be subject to city-imposed fines and penalties. You can contact the Long Beach Development Services Department's Code Enforcement Bureau at (562) 570-2633 to make inquiries on the city's plumbing code and code violation penalties.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Long Beach Code?
Per the Long Beach Plumbing Code, a permit is required before any plumbing work can be done in the city. However, this permit requirement is waived for plumbing work that is limited to any of the following:
- Stopping leaks or repairing defects in plumbing, as long as no new materials are used
- Repairing a water heater, as long as this repair does not involve the water heater's vents and the water heater is not disconnected
- Replacing exposed traps serving fixtures, as long as approved traps are used and these traps are properly installed
- Replacing defective or unapproved ball-cocks in water tanks, as long as anti-siphon ball-cocks are used and properly installed
- Replacing defective or unapproved faucets serving sinks, bathtubs, and lavatories, as long as approved types of faucets are used and these faucets are properly installed
- Replacing an electric water heater, as long as rough plumbing is not altered
Plumbing permits are typically issued to either licensed plumbers or homeowners of one or two-family dwellings, accessory buildings, and facilities that:
- Reside or intend to reside in the dwelling and can provide proof of residence
- Intend to perform the mechanical work by themselves
- Are willing to sign a statement saying that they will not employ individuals that are subject to California workers' compensation laws
The Building and Safety Bureau of the Long Beach Development Services Department handles the issuance of permits in the city through the following permit processes:
- Express permits: This process is utilized for minor plumbing projects that do not require plan reviews
- Over-the-counter plan review permits: This process is utilized for minor plumbing projects that require in-person plan reviews
- Submitted plan review permits: This permitting process is used for plumbing projects that do not qualify for the aforementioned processes. These types of projects typically require a detailed and comprehensive plan review before the requested plumbing permits can be issued
Permit applications can be made by contacting the city's Development Permit Center at:411 W. Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: (562) 570-7648
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays
However, applications for express permits can also be made online via the city's online permitting portal. Note that a user profile will have to be created before this portal can be utilized. Finally, it is important to note that once your plumbing permit has been issued, you are prohibited from closing or concealing any parts of your plumbing job until it has been inspected and approved by the city's Building and Safety Bureau. This inspection is typically conducted by a building official from this bureau or an authorized plumbing inspector, and you are expected to keep the area where your plumbing work was done uncovered, open, and easily accessible for the inspection. You can contact the Long Beach Building and Safety Bureau at (562) 570-7648 to direct queries related to its permitting and inspection process.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Plumbing issues come in different shapes and forms, and it is important to make sure that the plumber you hire to tackle these problems has the proper tools and expertise to do so. Long Beach plumbers offer an extensive list of plumbing services, which include plumbing installations, preventive maintenance, drain cleaning services, water leak detection, sewer and water line repairs, and sump pump installations and repairs. Nonetheless, whether you want to fix a small leak or a full-blown burst pipe, you should always make sure that your intended plumber is specialized in handling your specific plumbing issue. Once you get confirmation on this, you should also find out how much you will be expected to pay for this plumber's services. Listed below are cost estimates of common plumbing services offered by Long Beach plumbers:
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Long Beach?
One out of ten homes in the United States is believed to have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water every day. With residents of Long Beach paying up to $65 monthly in water bills, situations involving water leaks and wastage should be handled as soon as possible. With that being said, some plumbing problems require immediate attention before they devolve into more disastrous situations that may have severe financial and health implications. Examples of these emergencies include burst pipes, severely clogged drains and toilets, and messy sewer backups. While it is common to want to hire the first available plumber in these types of situations, it is equally important to make sure that this plumber is reliable, licensed, experienced, and properly equipped to expertly handle the situation. You can find plumbers near you that match these criteria by taking advantage of available online plumber directories. Some reputable online directories that provide contact details of emergency plumbers in Long Beach include:
- The California Contractors State License Board's Find My Licensed Contractor platform
- The Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors Association's Find a Contractor portal
- The Better Business Bureau website
Note that it is always in your best interest to confirm the licensing status of any emergency plumber that you hire in the City of Long Beach, regardless of who or how this plumber was referred to you.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Long Beach?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than 450 fatal occupational injuries occurred in California in 2019, with over 100 of these fatalities recorded amongst construction, installation, maintenance, and repair-related occupations. These figures serve to drive home the importance of hiring insured plumbers. By making sure that your plumber is not only licensed but also properly insured, you absolve yourself of any financial and legal liabilities if this plumber happens to get injured whilst working on your project.
While general liability insurance is not mandated for plumbers in Long Beach, the state's licensing authority strongly recommends that they maintain a commercial general liability insurance policy. However, these plumbers are required to meet stipulated surety bond requirements and also have a valid workers' compensation insurance policy if they have employees. You can contact the California Contractors State Licensing Board at (800) 321-2752 to get information on the mandatory insurance and bonding requirements for Long Beach plumbers. It is also advisable to request proof of insurance and bonding from plumbers in the city that you wish to employ and authenticate this proof with the appropriate issuing organization.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Long Beach
Before hiring a plumber near you, it is necessary to take steps to ensure that you do not fall victim to a plumbing scam. Plumbing scams refer to situations where unscrupulous individuals intentionally try to deceptively obtain money from residents of Long Beach under the guise of providing plumbing or other home repair-related services. This may be by claiming to be licensed and qualified contractors, offering low rates for their services and absconding after receiving payment, or purposely doing a poor job to get a callback. In February 2020, a CSLB-led sting operation netted 11 suspected unlicensed contractors operating in Los Angeles County, with two of these individuals advertising for, and providing plumbing services in Long Beach without a valid plumbing license.
Steps that you can take to avoid falling victim to plumbing scams in the City of Long Beach include:
- Always hire state-licensed plumbers. You can confirm a plumber's licensing status online or by calling the California Contractors State License Board at (800) 321-2752
- Get at least three estimates from different plumbers near you and get no less than three references from each of these plumbers. It is also a good idea to review the past work of these plumbers where possible
- Make sure that all expectations for the plumbing job are put in writing via a contract and only sign this contract if you completely understand its terms
- Confirm the insurance and bonding status of your intended plumber
- Avoid cash payments
- Avoid paying more than 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less, as advance payments
- Make sure that subsequent payments are made in accordance with the level of completion of the job
- Keep all documentation relating to your project. These include correspondence with the plumber, invoices, and payment receipts
- Never make the final payment for the project until you are satisfied with the job done by the plumber
You can report plumbing scams that occur in Long Beach to the LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, either online or by calling (800) 593-8222. These matters can also be reported to the Long Beach Branch Office of the LA County District Attorney's Office located at:275 Magnolia Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: (562) 247-2000
Finally, complaints related to the unscrupulous or fraudulent activities of plumbers in the City of Long Beach can be reported to the California Contractors State License Board by filing a construction complaint.