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Get Quotes from Top Plumbers in St Paul, MN

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in the City of Saint Paul

Saint Paul residents pay $3.43 per 748 gallons of water used. With the average American family using less than 300 gallons of water per day, your total water bill should be under $60 monthly. If you found yourself paying far in excess of this amount, then it is time to hire a plumber to help fix leakages. An average household leak can waste over 10,000 gallons of water in a year. However, before you settle for a plumber in the city, ask the following questions to determine the competence of the professional:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Plumber in the City of Saint Paul?

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) is responsible for issuing professional licenses to plumbers in the City of Saint Paul who satisfy specific eligibility requirements. Offering services without obtaining licenses from the DLI is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to $10,000 for each violation.

Interested persons who desire to obtain a plumbing license are generally required to meet specific licensing requirements. These requirements vary by license type. For example, to be eligible for a journeyworker license, interested persons must be at least 18 years old, have practical plumbing experience, and pass a licensing exam. The required years of experience depend on how the experience was obtained. For instance, applicants who enroll in an apprenticeship program are required to have obtained at least four years of apprenticeship experience, while applicants with a restricted journeyworker or master plumber license are required to have obtained at least two years of practical plumbing experience.

Also, anyone interested in obtaining a master plumber license must have obtained a journeyworker plumber license for at least one year or have acquired at least 1,750 hours of journeyworker plumbing experience and pass a license examination. However, applicants with a valid Minnesota restricted master plumber license who have five years of plumbing experience may be eligible to sit for the master plumber license examination. To take the relevant license examination, applicants can complete and submit a plumber license examination application form, along with the applicable fee, via mail to:

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
P.O. Box 64217
St. Paul, MN 55164-0217

Once the application is approved, the DLI will send instructions on how the applicants can schedule their exams. Applicants who pass the licensing examination will receive further instructions on paying for the relevant journeyworker or master plumber licenses. Minnesota runs an active plumbing reciprocity program with North Dakota and South Dakota, and this means plumbers carrying licenses from these states can operate in Saint Paul. However, they must submit a completed reciprocity application form to the DLI or fill out this form online and pay the necessary fees. Applicants can direct queries regarding plumbing licensing procedures and requirements to the DLI at (651) 284-5031 or via email.

You can confirm the licensing status of your intended plumber via the license and registration number lookup provided by the DLI.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Plumbers in the City of Saint Paul?

The hourly rate residents of Saint Paul pay for plumbing services usually depends on factors like the type of plumbing work, cost of materials, the labor involved, and the expertise of the plumber handling their project. Nonetheless, It is advisable to get multiple rates from plumbers and compare them so you can find a plumber closest to your budget. Doing this will also help you avoid exorbitant rates and protect you from scams.

A plumber in the City of Saint Paul earns an annual average wage of $82,060. Below is a breakdown of the average hourly wages for plumbers in Saint Paul compared with plumbers in other parts of Minnesota and other major cities in the country:

Saint Paul Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
Minnesota Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
Los Angeles Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
New York City Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
Houston Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
Philadelphia Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
Jacksonville Plumbers Hourly Average Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Comply with the City of Saint Paul Building Code for Plumbing?

The 2020 Minnesota Plumbing Code regulates the installation, alteration, construction, repairs, and replacement of plumbing systems in Saint Paul. The Code further provides for standards that must be complied with when using plumbing materials and equipment or performing plumbing works within the city. Hence, when hiring the services of a plumber in Saint Paul, you need to ensure that this plumber is duly licensed and familiar with the provisions of the Code applicable to your plumbing project. Failure to comply with the Plumbing Code requirements is a misdemeanor punishable with a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation. To get specific information regarding the Code and its requirements for your plumbing project, you can contact the City of St. Paul Department of Safety & Inspection (DSI) through the Office of Property Code Enforcement at (651) 266-8989 or by email.

Will You Get the Plumbing Permits as Required by the City of Saint Paul Code?

In the City of Saint Paul, a plumbing permit is required for the installation, alteration, replacement, repair, relocation, or reinstallation of plumbing systems, and generally any type of plumbing work. The city's Department of Safety and Inspection issues plumbing permits, and only homeowners or licensed plumbers are eligible to apply for these permits. To apply for a permit, applicants can submit a completed plumbing permit application form to:

Department of Safety and Inspection
375 Jackson Street
Suite 220
Saint Paul, MN 55101-1806

This office is open to the public between 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

Homeowners applying for plumbing permits must come with a valid ID and a duly signed Homeowners Plumbing Permit Affidavit, while licensed plumbers must come with their valid plumbing license. Note that commercial projects typically require the submission of two complete plumbing plans and specifications for review alongside the plumbing permit application.

However, specific types of plumbing works are available for online application through the St. Paul Online Services portal. Such plumbing works include gasfitting repairs and sewer disposal additions. Note that only licensed plumbers can apply for a permit online, and they are required to register an account on the portal.

At different stages of your plumbing project, an assigned inspector from the DSI must perform inspections, and there must be a final inspection before the project is concluded. When the project is ready for inspection, you can contact the assigned inspector, who is usually listed on the permit. Plumbing inspectors are available to inspect from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Mondays through Fridays. You can also utilize the city's Plumbing Inspector Area Map to find the inspector near you or contact DSI at (651) 266-9005 for more information.

What Kind of Plumbing Services Do You Offer?

Licensed plumbers operating in the City of Saint Paul provide various services, like repairs, replacement, and maintenance of plumbing systems. Therefore, before hiring your intended plumber, you must ensure this plumber has the expertise, skills, and performs plumbing services that are relevant to your plumbing needs. This is to ensure you do not end up with shoddy plumbing work.

Below are cost estimates for some common plumbing services offered in Saint Paul:

Toilet installation/replacement
$160 - $170
Clearing drain clog or blockage
$130 - $158
Bathtub installation
$1,200 - $2,400
Drain line video inspection
$270 - $300
Septic tank cleaning or pumping
$280 - $330
Sewer line cleaning
$180 - $275
Sump pump installation
$880 - $1,270
Swamp cooler installation
$2,420 - $2,560
Fuel tank installation
$2,385 - $3,000
Fuel tank removal
$1,820 - $2,000
Water softener installation
$1,100 - $1,490
Well pump installation
$790 - $938

Do You Offer Emergency Plumbing Services in the City of Saint Paul?

Generally, any plumbing issues that you notice in your home should be addressed urgently. However, certain plumbing issues are more severe and require even quicker attention. Such issues typically include burst pipes, clogged drains, leaking valves and faucets, or leaking water heaters. Besides helping you avoid water wastage, fixing plumbing problems on time can also help you save approximately 10 percent of your water bill. As such, when you detect plumbing problems in your home, you should find and hire a good plumber near you to address the situation.

When searching for a good plumber near you, you can utilize platforms like Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google Review. However, it is important to note that information on these platforms cannot be authenticated as they are not government websites. Nonetheless, regardless of how you contact a plumber, ensure to verify the license of this plumber before finalizing any agreements. You can verify a plumber's license by utilizing the license and registration number lookup portal provided by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Plumbers in the City of Saint Paul?

In 2019, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 80 fatal work injuries in Minnesota, with 11 of these fatalities involving construction-related workers. When you hire plumbers who have an active insurance policy, it affords you financial protection in the event of such work-related injuries or damages during your plumbing work.

Note that plumbers in St. Paul are required to maintain a surety bond of at least $25,000 and active general liability insurance. The general liability insurance must provide coverage for incurred liability in the amount of:

  • $50,000 for one person per occurrence
  • $100,000 for more than one person per occurrence
  • $10,000 for property damage per occurrence

Plumbers with employees are also required to purchase workers' compensation insurance to enable them to access compensation if there is a work-related injury. Therefore, before hiring a plumber in Saint Paul, you should confirm their insurance status. You can do this by requesting their certificate of insurance issued by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) or a third-party insurer. For more information on plumbers' insurance and bonding requirements, you can contact the DLI at (651) 284-5034.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Plumber in the City of Saint Paul

Occasionally, residents of Saint Paul are approached by unscrupulous plumbers who solicit to carry out some plumbing repair work. These fraudulent individuals typically request large deposits and then abandon the work midway, leaving their victims with unrefunded deposits and substandard work. In 2020, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry issued a consent cease and desist order against Classic City Contractor LLC from performing plumbing work until they obtain the appropriate plumbing license. The Classic City Contractor LLC was also issued a penalty of $2,000. However, there are more of such cases across Saint Paul involving individuals who bid for jobs outside their license scope or who fraudulently use the license of other professionals. As such, when hiring plumbers in Saint Paul, you should be careful and take precautionary steps to avoid plumbing scams. One of such precautionary steps is to confirm that your intended plumber has not been previously disciplined or investigated for a scam or unethical conduct. Other steps to take include:

  • Compare estimates from several plumbers before deciding to hire one
  • Ask for a valid plumbing license. If they present you their licenses, ensure you confirm this license is active by utilizing the license and registration number lookup provided by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
  • Insist on written contracts before any work begins and ensure that you properly understand the contract before signing it.
  • Keep proper records of all receipts and other documents executed between you and the plumber.
  • Confirm if there are no existing enforcement or disciplinary actions against your intended plumbers.

If you end up being scammed, you can file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) by completing a complaint form online or submitting a completed printable complaint form via email or mail to:

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry,
Construction Codes and Licensing Division
443 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155

Although the DLI runs a contractor recovery fund program, restitution cannot always be guaranteed. If you cannot get a refund from an erring plumber, you can take further steps by filing a lawsuit at the Hennepin County District Court. If you decide to file legal action, you should first seek legal advice from a qualified attorney. To find qualified attorneys near you, you can utilize the find a lawyer directory provided by the Minnesota State Bar Association.