Plumbers go through a lot to obtain and maintain a plumbing license. Plumbing requires a good attention to detail as well as a lot of flexibility that could interfere with personal obligations. Clients will often call plumbers with no advance notice and are expected to drop everything to fix problems like leaks and flooding that could cause serious harm to people and homes. Plumbers are expected to be flexible, dependable, professional, and have expertise in all things that pertain to plumbing systems. Plumbers provide an essential service that keeps society safe and functioning.
In Connecticut, there are many different types of plumbing licenses. There is the J-1 Limited Contractor, which is for limited domestic water pumping and conditions. The Limited Well Pumps and Piping Journeyperson can perform limited domestic work on pumps and be employed by a contractor. There is an Unlimited Plumbing Contractor, who may do all plumbing and piping work that is outlined in C.G.S. §20-330. An Unlimited Journeyperson can do all plumbing and piping under employment of a contractor. There is also Limited sewer, storm and water journeypersons and contractors, that requires further apprenticeship and training. Lastly, there are Limited gasoline tank, piping, and pump contractors and journeypersons.
The distinctions between different types of plumbing licenses are important because doing work that one is not technically qualified to do can result in license suspension or revocation. Some types of licenses require more training and qualifications, so it is crucial to complete the proper requirements and obtain the proper license before doing work under the license.
Like other licensed professionals, plumbers work closely with clients and their homes and there is always the potential that mistakes could be made and clients will be left unhappy. The Department of Consumer Protection regulates plumbers in Connecticut, which means they receive and investigate complaints. Many complaints have to do with a client being unhappy with installations, repairs, or inspections, and often, these allegations have nothing to do with a plumber having bad intentions. Many of these complaints allege that the plumber did something wrong but did so unknowingly.
Once a complaint has been submitted to the Department of Consumer Protection, an investigation will take place. These investigations could dig into a plumber’s business, other employees, clients, records, and financials. If the Department of Consumer Protection moves forward with the allegations after the investigation, the plumber has the right to request a hearing in front of an administrative judge.
At the hearing, there will be an examination of the evidence on the record. If the result of the administrative hearing is unfavorable, the plumber can appeal the final determination. A favorable outcome would be a dismissal of the complaint and the complaint would be closed. Unfavorable results could include license suspension, revocation, or other restrictions.
Protecting Your License
If a complaint has been made against you relating to your work as a professional, licensed plumber, you have the right to consult an attorney. An attorney can help represent you in the administrative hearing and proceedings, provide confidential advice on what your best options are, defend your character and fitness, assist in the licensing process, and protect your license and reputation throughout the entire process.