The time to find out if your plumber is certified (licensed) would be before you hire him. Seems like common sense right? But after 25 years in business, we can tell you that many, many people in the Schererville and Munster areas (and they are not alone) hire folks based on internet ads, yellow pages ads and truck signage without ever questioning for a moment what those ads are telling them.
We went to a lady’s home in Griffith on a no hot water call. Turns out she had just had her bathroom remodeled and shortly thereafter realized she was getting only cold water out of both sides of her bathroom sink faucet. She said it had always taken a long time to get hot water there so she didn’t really think anything of it until her grandson was over about 4 months after the remodel job and she wanted to wash the cotton candy mess off his hands and face. She wanted to use warm water of course so she turned on the hot water and waited. And waited. And waited.
She told us it never got hot and seemed to get colder the longer she ran it. We asked her if any of her water lines had been altered during the remodel job and she said that the general contractor had replaced all of the old water lines since they were galvanized steel from the ‘40’s.
We asked the owner if the contractor was a State Licensed Plumbing Contractor. (State of Indiana Law requires that any plumbing done for hire has to be done by a State Licensed Plumber who is employed by a State Licensed Plumbing Contractor). The owner said she was absolutely sure he was because his truck said he was licensed and so did his yellow pages ad. She even checked with Griffith and they said he was licensed, also.
We explained that a General Contractor’s License is issued by a municipality, not the State, and that a General Contractor’s license does not qualify the employees nor the contractor to work on your plumbing system.
After that explanation she was no longer positive that the contractor was really licensed to do her plumbing work. In the followup conversation with her, we were able to determine that the contractor had performed the plumbing work illegally (did it himself). At this point we felt we had some serious investigation to undertake in order to determine the cause of her problem.
As it turned out it didn’t take us long at all. A quick look inside the cabinet revealed that there was only one pipe (cold water) under the sink. Apparently the “contractor” had ‘forgotten” to run hot water lines to this location.
Rather than removing the cabinet and reopening the wall, running the hot water line, patching the hole and resetting the cabinet, he “solved’ the problem by putting in a tee fitting under the cabinet so he could run cold water to both sides of the faucet. After we explained this to the owner, she recalled him being very interested in the fact that she never waited for hot water because it took too long.
The fact that this owner did not know how to determine if the contractor was qualified to work on her plumbing wound up costing her a lot of money (in later repairs). Brings meaning to the old saying “You just don’t know what you don’t know”. Now you do!
So, how could this owner have avoided this problem?
First, one should always insist that the employee of the firm doing the remodeling show you his or her State of Indiana Journeyman Plumber’s license.
Please believe us when we say that no legitimate Licensed Plumber would ever leave home without his license any more that you would leave home without your driver’s license.
Second, insist that the company doing the work show you their State of Indiana Plumbing Contractor’s License.
These two licenses are critical to insuring that you will not experience a problem with your plumbing repairs or remodeling.
Third ask to see the PLUMBING CONTRACTOR’S registration certificate from the Dyer, St, John, Griffith, Merrillville, Hammond or Schererville Building Department.
Remember, a General Contractor’s registration with your municipality does NOT give him the authority to even install a new faucet, let alone remodel your bathroom plumbing.
Plumbing Tip: Go to the Indiana license verification website if you want to check out a plumber prior to having him work in your home and enter the company corporate name – ours is “AA Yes Plumbing, Inc”.
At Yes! Plumbing, as State of Indiana (and Illinois) Licensed Plumbing Contractors we have been performing complete bathroom remodeling services (legally) for over 25 years. We are fully licensed for ALL aspects of the job so you know whatever your location, you will receive a top notch, 2 year guaranteed, high quality finished project which will suit your budget and perform for years to come.
For more information, read our complete guide on how to hire the best plumbing company.