What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without A License?

The shower head may not be working properly in one of your toilets. The tap washer that seems to be blocking the drainage of the kitchen sink want to fix it yourself? But you are concerned with what plumbing work you can do without a license? The truth is this entirely depends on the work and the state you are currently residing in.

44 States call for plumbing licenses of different kinds to complete complicated plumbing tasks like laying lines or repairing leaking pipes. The rest of the 6 states (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming) officiate private plumbing through different government organizations.

Let’s talk about plumbing without a license a bit more.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without A License

As we have mentioned earlier, if the plumbing work in question can be done without prior experience and also doesn’t concern public health and safety hazards, you can do plumbing without license

We do not appreciate the plumbing operation of our house until something is broken. Jobs like replacing showerheads, unblocking the drainage caused downstream from a tap, making clear ways for ground level drains, etc may not require professional expertise. And these types of jobs usually do not entail the risk of health hazards or public safety.

Hence, completing those jobs may not require someone having plumbing license. But the truth is there is more to plumbing than to simply changing a showerhead or cleaning the ground level drains from debris. State officials of 44 states in the United States have made it a must-have requirement to have licenses to carry out plumbing jobs.

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You can be wrong to think that the rest of the 6 states do not observe private plumbing in official capacities. Plumbing for these states is officiated by various other organizations.

Let’s talk about New York first.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without A License In New York City

If you own a house in New York City, the law prohibits you from doing any sort of plumbing works outside your own house. The idea behind such restrictions is to keep people away health and safety issues that may be caused by attempting inexperienced plumbing fixes.

And even if you conduct simple maintenance or replacement work like installing a new faucet, the New York City Housing authorities expect you to have sufficient experience. Simple fixes are seen as ornamental or decorative works and do not concern public safety.

Let’s see a few other places where a plumbing license is necessary to carry out plumbing tasks.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without A License In Texas

If you are Texan and thinking about what plumbing you can do without a license, then you should remember the following:

  • If there won’t be any mapping of a piece of land.
  • If your house is located outside the jurisdiction of a municipality.
  • If the county you are living in now has 50,000 people.

And this is according to Sec. 1301.051 of Texas’ Occupations Code. Further, Sec. 1301.052. TOC.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without A License In Florida

Below are a few examples of plumbing work that won’t require having a license in Florida:

  • Patching cracks or holes in concrete.
  • Caulking.
  • Painting.
  • Cleaning the tiles and repairing them.
  • Cleaning the exterior and the interior.
  • Maintenance works done in yards.
  • Clearing the blockage in the sinks using pressure pumps.
  • Cleaning the gutters.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without A License In Oregon

The authorities in Oregon exempt you from having a license if you plan to do the followings:

  • Repairing or replacing a toilet, sink, or faucet that is hidden in the wall
  • Replacing or repairing showerheads, gutters for rainwaters, or countertops
  • Resurfacing the shower walls
  • Plastering or regrouting the tiles
  • Water tub installation that a hose would fill up
  • Installing a water filter

If we observe the above scenarios closely, it is obvious that the tasks that don’t require a license to perform do not pose threats to public health and safety.

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So, whenever you are in a dilemma about plumbing work without a license, think carefully about the job in question. Apply common sense, and if you are sure that they won’t harm you or anyone else in your surroundings, including the family members – you may proceed with extreme care.

But in case of having even a single iota of doubts, we would strongly recommend that you look for a licensed professional for your plumbing jobs. 

Penalty For Plumbing Without A License

In light of our above discussion, we believe we should also let you know about the penalties for plumbing without a license

Different states deal with the issue differently. But the basics of the implementation of penalties are mostly similar in most cases.

  • The penalties start with probation – from a minimum of one year up to five years for any individual who performs plumbing jobs without license. The individual would not be able to carry out any more jobs within the probation period and is required to obtain appropriate certifications within the time frame.
  • A fine starting from $500 up to $5000

Benefits Of A Licensed Plumber

The benefits of hiring a plumbing professional are many.

Experience

You may think that an experienced plumber doesn’t need a license. But the truth is, without proper training and exposure to practical works, you can’t have a plumbing license. In some states, thousands of hours of training as an apprentice is required to achieve a license. So, when you hire a licensed professional, you can be sure of him to have the experience necessary for the job.

Following The Building Codes To Complete the Job

Building codes ensure safety and longevity of the house we live in. A licensed professional knows how to complete a task without breaching the codes that keep the house safe and protected.

Protection By Insurance And Bonds

The job can end up causing unfortunate and unwanted damages to the property or bodily harm to anyone. A licensed plumber can provide financial protection from these events.

Cost-Effective

It is tempting to have someone do a little plumbing since it may cost nothing or save a few bucks if done by unlicensed plumbers.

But, in the long run, you may have to double down and spend a fortune to cover the mistakes. A licensed pro would finish the job with proper inspection and apply preventive measures if necessary. So, it’s always better to spend a few quid more now than to spend a handful later.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it illegal to do plumbing without a license?

Except for Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming and for the rest of 44 states in America, it is illegal to do plumbing without a license.

What can I do without a contractor’s license in Florida?

In Florida, without a contractor’s license, I can carry out caulking, painting, yard maintenance, cleaning the exterior and the the interior or plumbing jobs that don’t entail risks for public health and safety,

Does a handyman need a license?

The licensing laws for handymen are different in different states. Usually, a handyman doesn’t require a plumbing license if he performs under a master plumber.

Can you do plumbing work without a license?

I can do plumbing work without a license, like changing a faucet, cleaning the outside drains or when the jobs don’t endanger public health and safety.

Final Words

When we are confused about what plumbing work can be done without a license, regardless of the state mentioning clearly, it is always wise to think if the job is risky or not.

But it is always better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes we just ignore what commonsense warrants, and either for laziness or to save only a few dollars, we try to DIY or engage unlicensed handymen for completing a plumbing fix.

Though we should remember that hiring licensed professionals actually is economical in the long run, they also add value to our properties.

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