Get Quotes from Top Plumbers in Baton Rouge, LA
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in the City of Baton Rouge
Currently, the lowest water rate in the City of Baton Rouge is $24.50 for the first 400 cubic feet of water consumption, with an extra charge of $4.43 for each additional 100 cubic feet. However, you may end up paying even higher fees due to water wastage from seemingly minor plumbing issues such as pipe leaks and defective faucets. To optimize your water usage and avoid high water costs monthly, it is crucial to engage a good plumber to immediately fix any plumbing issues you notice in your home. Although referrals from family and friends can help with finding a good plumber near you, it is equally essential to ensure this plumber is the best pick for your plumbing demands. Therefore, before engaging any plumber's services, you should ideally ask the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Baton Rouge?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Baton Rouge?
- Do You Comply with the City of Baton Rouge Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Baton Rouge Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Baton Rouge?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Baton Rouge?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Baton Rouge
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Baton Rouge?
Plumbers who wish to work in Baton Rouge must obtain a license from the State Plumbing Board of Louisiana (SPBL). They are further required to obtain a contractor's license from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors when the value of the plumbing work is above $10,000. As stipulated in Title 37:2160 of the Lousiana Revised Statutes, contracting without a license in Louisiana attracts a three-month jail term, or a maximum fine of $500 for each day of operating without a license, or both a jail term and fine. Unlicensed persons who cause harm or damages worth more than three hundred dollars while working would be fined between $500 and $5,000 or sentenced to a jail term between six months and five years. Also, contracts entered with unlicensed plumbers in Louisiana are considered unenforceable by regulatory agencies and the courts.
While plumbers in Baton Rouge are categorized either as master plumbers or journeyman plumbers, applicants for a plumbing license must first complete a compulsory apprenticeship program administered by the SPBL. In order to qualify for this apprenticeship program, interested persons must:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Be physically capable
- Possess a high school diploma or GED
- Be employed by a recognized plumbing contracting agency in Louisiana.
However, this apprenticeship program can be waived for individuals who have completed 8,000 hours or five years of training under the supervision of a journeyman or master plumber. Interested persons who have satisfied these requirements and completed the apprenticeship program, or are eligible for the apprenticeship waiver, can begin the application process for a plumbing license. To obtain a journeyman plumbing license, an applicant must pass the required license examination, submit a journeyman plumber application form to the SPBL, and pay the required fees. Similarly, to apply for a master plumbing license, a person must have five years of experience working as a journeyman plumber and then pass a licensing exam administered by the SPBL. Eligible individuals can apply for a master plumber license by submitting a master plumber's application form and paying the appropriate fees.
To verify your plumber's license, you can check the SPBLA online roster. If you have any other inquiries related to plumber licensing, you can contact the SPBLA at (225) 756-3434.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Baton Rouge?
The costs of hiring the services of a plumber in Baton Rouge are often dependent on several factors, including the nature of work, fees for permits, and the prices of materials used. It is ultimately good to compare prices with three or more plumbers before hiring a plumber, as this ensures that you are not overpaying or getting cheated. Cross-checking rates also helps you to plan adequately and contract a plumber that can work with your budget.
Plumber in the City of Baton Rouge earns an annual average wage of $61,100. Below is a breakdown of the Average hourly wages for plumbers in Baton Rouge compared with plumbers in other parts of Louisiana and other major cities in the country:
The Baton Rouge Plumbing Code is a set of guidelines that stipulate plumbing construction specifications in Baton Rouge. The code regulates the installation, restoration, design, modification, replacement, and maintenance of plumbing systems across the city. These plumbing systems include sewer and vent systems, water supply and gas supply distribution pipes, fixtures, fixture traps, appurtenances, and connections across the City of Baton Rouge. The code also contains the standards of plumbing materials to be used during plumbing projects. Therefore, it is recommended that you hire a plumber that is both licensed and conversant with the city's plumbing code to avoid code violations and ensure your plumbing work is done according to city requirements. You can contact the Baton Rouge Plumbing Inspection Division at (225) 389-3230 for further inquiries regarding the plumbing code.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Baton Rouge Code?
The Baton Rouge Inspection Division issues plumbing permits for all plumbing works within the city through its Plumbing Division. However, per Sec. 8:103.1.4 of the city's plumbing code, specific plumbing works do not require a permit. The plumbing works exempt from permit requirements include:
- The repair of small leaks;
- Clearing of pipes and replacement of broken traps, pipes, and fixtures;
- Cleaning of building sewers or drains, when done by rodding; and
- Cleaning of building sewers or drains by any mechanical device provided that the cleaning is performed by removing a screw plug.
To get a plumbing permit, a licensed plumber or homeowner must fill the plumbing application form and submit it to the Inspection Division via fax at (225) 389-3938. Note that the payment of a fee is typically required before these permits can be obtained.
The processing time for plumbing permits typically depends on the nature of the plumbing work, the workload at the Plumbing Division, or the need for an initial physical inspection and subsequent inspections by a plumbing inspector. The city's Inspection Division decides on a case-by-case basis if inspections of plumbing projects are necessary before issuing permits. Interested persons can also contact this Division to make plumbing permit-related inquiries at:Department of Development
Permit and Inspection Division
City of Baton Rouge
300 North, 10th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Phone: (225) 389-3230
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Plumbers in Baton Rouge offer several services, including the installation, repair, and maintenance of plumbing systems, as well as emergency repairs. Therefore, it is vital to ensure the plumber you intend to hire specializes in the plumbing area necessary to undertake your plumbing project. Depending on the services you need, plumbing fees in Baton Rouge vary. However, when trying to get a cost estimate, note that some miscellaneous fees come separately. These fees include permit fees, inspection fees, and material costs. Nonetheless, below are some common cost estimates for plumbing services in Baton Rouge:
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Baton Rouge?
It is estimated that household leaks alone waste almost 1 trillion gallons of water across the country annually. Not only can these leaks and other plumbing issues ramp up your water bill, but they can also cause damage to your home over time or lead to more expensive repairs if left unattended. Therefore, it is ideal that you treat all plumbing issues as emergencies. However, while all plumbing issues require urgent attention, some may need even more priority. Examples of plumbing issues that require top priority include ruptured pipes or drainages, blocked sewers, frozen pipes, and overflowing toilets.
Before the arrival of a plumber in an emergency, it is a good idea to plug leakages or seal off affected areas. When searching for plumbers near you to address your urgent plumbing needs, you can utilize third-party websites like Yelp or Better Business Bureau. You can also ask friends and colleagues. Nevertheless, before engaging the services of any plumber, you should ensure this plumber is licensed. To verify a plumber's license, you can utilize the State Plumbing Board of Louisiana's online verification tool.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Baton Rouge?
Per LA Rev Stat Â§ 37:1380, all master plumbers are required to maintain workers' compensation insurance, general liability insurance, and motor vehicle bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. With over 5,000 recorded fatal work injuries across the country in 2019, hiring a plumber with active insurance ensures that you are not subject to compensatory claims in the event your plumber or the plumber's employee suffers a workplace accident during your plumbing work. You can make inquiries about specific insurance requirements from the Baton Rouge Plumbing Inspection Division at (225) 389-3230. Also, you can confirm if a plumber is duly insured by requesting that the plumber provides proof of insurance.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Baton Rouge
It is good to ensure that the plumber or home repair contractor you hire does not have any scam allegations, charges, or sanctions against them. Doing this would ensure your project is handled by an upright plumber or home contractor and help you avoid unscrupulous individuals who may capitalize on plumbing issues to defraud unsuspecting victims. These scammers typically offer unsolicited bids and request upfront payment without completing the agreed repairs or home improvement project. For example, a Baton Rouge contractor was imprisoned in 2018 for defrauding homeowners of over $100,000 by either never starting or completing the projects for which payments were made. Also, another Baton Rouge contractor was charged for contractor fraud after collecting over $30,000 from a homeowner for home repairs since 2018 without completing the repairs. These are just examples of real-life scenarios that make it essential to take precautionary steps and ensure that any plumber you hire is legitimate. Some helpful steps you can take include the following:
- Always verify the plumber's license. You can do this by using the online contractor search portal maintained by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC). You can also verify a plumbers license by utilizing the LSLBC LA Contractor app available on iOS and Android devices.
- Call the LSLBC by phone at (225) 765-2301 to inquire if there are any disciplinary actions against a plumbing contractor for scamming clients.
- Keep a record of all documents relevant to the project, including contracts and invoices.
- Ensure you ask for documents showing compliance with insurance requirements.
- Make sure you have a written agreement with the plumber. You can engage the services of an attorney in this regard.
- Never pay more than 10%-25% as a deposit to a plumbing contractor.
- After paying deposits, ensure to get a signed document detailing the value of the deposit paid.
- Avoid cash payments. A check or credit card payment is preferable and can not be easily contested.
The Consumer Protection Section (CPS) of the Louisiana Department of Justice receives and addresses reports from residents on plumbing scams and fraudulent plumbing contractors. If you believe you are the victim of a plumbing scam, you can submit a complaint to the CPS through an online complaint form. Alternatively, residents can obtain a printable consumer dispute form and either fax the completed form to the CPS at (225) 326-6499 or mail it to:Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Section
P.O. Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9005
For assistance or more inquiries, residents can contact the CPS at (800) 351-4889.
After reporting a fraudulent plumber, you can also claim compensation against this plumber by filing a small claims case at the Baton Rouge City Court. Note that for small claims cases filed in Baton Rouge, you cannot claim more than $5,000. You can contact the City Court at (225) 389-5279 with any inquiries about filing a small claims case and also request assistance. While the City Court allows self-representation in small claims cases, it is recommended that you consult a lawyer for advice before filing the case.