Get Quotes from Top Plumbers in San Antonio, TX
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in the City of San Antonio
A sudden spike in your water bill fee should be the first cue to inviting a qualified plumber to check for undetected leaks in your plumbing system. Leakages including dripping faucets, faulty toilets, loose showerheads, and broken underground pipes waste more than 90 gallons in a day. When in search of a good plumber in San Antonio to help solve your water-use mystery, ask the following questions to be sure the professional's competence:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of San Antonio?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of San Antonio?
- Do You Comply with the City of San Antonio Building Code for Plumbing?
- Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of San Antonio Code?
- What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of San Antonio?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of San Antonio?
- How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of San Antonio
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of San Antonio?
Before engaging a plumber within San Antonio, confirm that such individual or business holds the requisite license to operate in the city. Generally, plumbing works can be performed only by master plumbers or by other licensed plumbers under their supervision. Licensing is carried out at the state level. However, a master plumber license requires registration with the San Antonio Development Service Department (DSD). Working without satisfying the requirements above can attract fines of up to $500 per day of violation, including other penalties specified by the city's Building Code.
At the state level, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) is the body responsible for licensing plumbers across San Antonio. A plumber can either hold a tradesman license, journeyman license, master plumber license, or be registered as an apprentice plumber. To obtain a journeyman plumbers license, the individual must have at least 8,000 hours of experience working under the supervision of a master plumber and must pass an exam administered by the Board.
To qualify for a master plumber license, the applicant must have held a journeyman plumber license in Texas or another state for at least four years. This requirement is reduced to one year if the applicant participated in a training program approved by the Office of Apprenticeship of the US Department of Labor. This existing license and experience requirement is in addition to passing the license exam. Meanwhile, a tradesman plumbers license requires an applicant to have at least 4,000 hours of experience working as a registered apprentice under the supervision of a master plumber. Finally, applicants for the apprentice plumber registration must be 16 years of age or more and working under the supervision of a licensed plumber.
Residents can verify state-level licenses and registrations online by using the TSBPE Find a License portal. Similarly, you can look up city-level Masters Plumbers registration on the city's Contractors Connect Portal.
How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of San Antonio?
The cost of hiring a plumber in San Antonio generally depends on several factors, including the labor required, the scope of the work, materials needed, permit costs, and the reputation of the plumber or plumbing company.
Therefore, before choosing a plumber, it's a good idea to collect quotes from at least three plumbers in your area. This allows you to compare prices and choose the most affordable plumber.
A plumber in the City of San Antonio earns an annual average wage of $44,700. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in San Antonio compared with plumbers in other parts of Texas and other major cities in the country:
Do You Comply with the City of San Antonio Building Code for Plumbing?
The San Antonio Plumbing Code specifies minimum standard requirements and procedures for plumbing repairs, installations, and inspection in the city. It includes rules and regulations on how plumbing systems and fixtures are handled. Such plumbing systems and fixtures include water heaters, backflow prevention, water pipe sizing, and drainage systems. The purpose of the Code is to ensure that structures are built with safe and standard plumbing systems to prevent avoidable accidents. For example, the plumbing code addresses ventilation. Every plumbing-related pipe in your home needs to be vented. Without ventilation, toxic gasses can seep into a building, which can negatively affect the health of residents.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your plumber of choice is familiar with the city's Plumbing Code. Apart from keeping you from getting into trouble with your local government and neighbors, meeting the Code's requirements indicates that your plumbing work is done properly and without potential risks to you and other residents. If you encounter any difficulty understanding the technical requirements of the Plumbing Code, you can contact the San Antonio Development Service Department (DSD) at (210) 207-1111 for more clarification.
Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of San Antonio Code?
Most plumbing works in San Antonio require permits before they can be performed. The permits can be obtained either by a master plumber or homeowners performing plumbing work in their residence. However, works that involve stopping leaks, clearing stoppages, and the reinstalling of water closets are exempt from permit application; so far, it does not include the replacement of materials.
The City's Development Services Department is responsible for issuing plumbing permits. The permit can either be commercial or residential, depending on the premises where the plumbing work will be performed. To obtain a permit, you are first to verify your zoning district and what kind of projects are allowed in the district. If you have a question about your zoning designation, contact the Development Services Department by calling (210) 207-1111. After confirming your zone, you can then proceed to complete the Plumbing Permit Application and submit it to the Development Service Department atSan Antonio Development Service Department
1901 South Alamo
San Antonio, Texas 78204
The office opens between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, except for city holidays. You can ascertain whether your plumber has applied for the relevant permits, as well as the status of the application, by using the city's Permit Search online portal.
In addition to the permit application, homeowners applying for permits by themselves will also have to complete and submit the Plumbing Homeowner Affidavit. Likewise, depending on the scope of your project, you may also require submission and review of your building plan to obtain permits. You can contact the Development Service Department to determine whether your project requires a plan review. Most plumbing permits not requiring plan review can be issued on the day of application. An issued building permit will expire after 180 days if no proof of construction or work progress has been shown. However, you can still make a permit extension request.
Also, note that Building inspections are performed at each stage in the plumbing process to ensure that the project is in line with the relevant city codes. You can schedule inspections online by calling (210) 207-1111 or through an inspection scheduler. The call option attracts a $3.00 scheduling fee per inspection.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?
Not all plumbers can do every kind of plumbing work. There are different kinds of plumbing services and some plumbers may only specialize in one aspect, which can be residential, commercial, and repair plumbing, amongst others. On the one hand, residential plumbers majorly focus on repairs, installations, and other plumbing works in residential buildings. Commercial plumbers, on the other hand, perform plumbing works at industrial facilities like factories. In contrast, service and repair plumbers generally maintain plumbing systems in commercial and residential buildings and structures. As such, always ensure that you hire a plumber skilled in the kind of project you're embarking on.
On average, residential plumbing services generally costs between $64 and $73 per hour, while commercial plumbing services costs between $84 and $91. Nonetheless, below are labor cost estimates for some plumbing works in San Antonio.
Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of San Antonio?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household's leaks account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year. Meanwhile, residents of San Antonio pay at least $62.27 per 10,000 gallons of metered water usage. Considering this water rate, it is critical to immediately address any plumbing problem that may cause leakages or water wastage in your home. While there are several plumbing issues that can cause leakages in your home, some require more urgency than others, considering that they waste water at a much faster rate. Examples of such emergencies are burst pipes, failed sump pumps, water shut-off valve failure, and overflowing toilets. When such situations arise, do not rush into repairs and hire just any plumber. Ensure that any plumber you hire is licensed and also skilled enough to fix the issue immediately. You can find qualified plumbers in the city by using the Contractors Connect Portal. However, also confirm that your plumber of interest can reach you within a reasonable time. Review sites like Yelp and Better Business Bureau are particularly helpful with finding plumbers near you.
Finally, though emergency repairs are exempt from permit application, an application must be made within the next business day.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of San Antonio?
According to statistics provided by the Texas Department of Insurance, in 2019, there were 608 fatal occupational injuries in Texas, and the construction industry accounted for 22% of all incidents. However, hiring an insured plumber protects you from expenses that may arise from such accidents that may occur during your project. Also, San Antonio plumbers are statutorily required to have valid insurance covering general liability and claims for property damage or bodily injury. The coverage must not be less than $300,000 for claims arising within a year. You can verify that a plumber's insurance policy is valid by requesting that the plumber provides a certificate of insurance and contacting the plumber's insurance company.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of San Antonio
According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, homeowners in San Antonio spent an average of around $4,000 on home improvement in 2017 alone. Because of how lucrative the home improvement industry is, con artists usually try to scam innocent residents and take away their money. Some of the methods devised by fraudulent plumbers include:
- Pressuring the homeowner to make rushed decisions
- Collecting payment for a job without doing any work
- Charging a high cost for lower quality materials
- Doing sub-standard work that requires repair soon
- Working without a license or with an expired or invalid license
In 2019, the TSBPE cracked down on dozens of home improvement contractors, including plumbers working within the city without the requisite licenses. Also, in 2021, a homeowner filed a police report against another San Antonio plumber for accepting $26,000 without making the relevant home repairs. When planning your plumbing work, you can avoid being the victim of home improvement scams by taking the following tips:
- Be cautious of dealing with plumbers that come to your door to solicit work
- Always verify that your plumber of interest is licensed by utilizing the TSBPE Find a License portal
- Verify your plumber's local registration by looking up the plumber's details on the city's Contractors Connect Portal
- Check for the disciplinary records of your plumber by calling the TSBPE 's at (800) 845-6584, ext. 65249
- Avoid making large down payments. Though there is no statutory limit to upfront payments for plumbers in San Antonio, it is advisable to avoid paying more than 30% of the total cost of your project upfront
- Ensure that you get a written contract for the project and do not sign it until you understand the terms and are satisfied. It is advisable to contact a qualified attorney to help you review your contracts
- Do not make cash payments to your plumber and ensure that you receive a receipt for every payment made
- Never make final payments or sign a certificate of completion until all aspects of the project are completed to your satisfaction, including clean-ups stipulated in your contract.
- Before making a final decision concerning your choice of a plumber, ask for references from the plumber's previous clients. Contacting past clients can give you a good idea of the plumber's standard and mode of operation.
- Check out third-party review platforms like Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google Review. These sites usually provide unbiased reviews of a plumbing service that can help you make an informed decision.
The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) seeks to protect residents across Texas, including the city of San Antonio, from unscrupulous contractors. As such, if you fall prey to a fraudulent plumber in the city, you can file an unfair business complaint with the TSBPE. To do so, complete the TSBPE General Complaint Form and submit it either by email or mail it toTexas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
Att: Enforcement Department
P.O. Box 4200
Austin, TX 78765-4200
The Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General's Office also receives similar complaints. You can file complaints with this Division either online, by calling (800) 621-0508, or by mailing a completed Consumer Complaint Form (also available in Spanish) toOffice of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548