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How to Start a Successful Plumbing Business

If you’ve reached a place in your career where you feel ready to become your own boss and open your own business, this is the first part of a two part series that will help you get started! Part two will cover tips for building a dedicated customer base by providing an excellent customer experience.  

Plumbing might be your passion (good for you!), but unfortunately you can’t pay your bills with passion alone. That’s why we developed the Pricing Plumbing for Profit course. For only $99 (or bundled with continuing education course packages in many states), you get a step-by-step tutorial that explains how to to accurately account for your costs, then apply those costs to an estimate. The course also includes a downloadable workbook, so you can customize all calculations to your liking!

Here's a preview from the first lesson:

If you have any questions about our courses or your continuing education requirements, give us a call to talk to a licensing expert: 1-800-727-7104

Pricing Plumbing for Profit - 2 Hours

Utah Plumber Continuing Education Course Preview

When you take a continuing education course with Plumbers Training Institute, it’s like having a personal tutor with you wherever you go! Instead of trying to navigate every part of the IPC codes yourself - let us help you work through every section! 

Below you’ll find a preview from a section of the Fixtures, Faucets, and Fixture Fittings video course, as well as a snippet from the written course text. As you’ll see, there are times when being able to “pause and rewind” an instructor can prove extremely valuable for fully understanding course material!

To view the entire course, as well as all the other courses available in the Utah 12 Hour Business Growth CE Package, click here

Course Preview: IPC Chapter 4 – Fixtures, Faucets, and Fixture Fittings

403.1 Minimum Number of Fixtures 

Plumbing fixtures shall be provided in the minimum number as shown in Table 403.1, based on the actual use of the building or space. Uses not shown in Table 403.1 shall be considered individually by the code official. The number of occupants shall be determined by the International Building Code.

Table 403.1

Being familiar with this table and knowing how to reference it quickly and correctly is critically important. We are going to cover two code sections that directly relate to the use of Table 403.1. Then we are going to familiarize ourselves with the table by working through example problems. 

Make sure your book is out and you are following along.

Table 403.1.1 Fixture Calculations

To determine the total occupant load of each sex (male/female), we need to take the total occupant load and divide it in half. Unless you have specific statistical data that has been approved by the code official, you cannot assume any other ratio than 50% men 50% women. If you get a fraction during the occupant load calculation, round up the nearest whole number.

Table 403.1.2

Where two or more toilet rooms are provided for each sex, the required number of lavatories shall be distributed proportionately to the required number of water closets. 

Table 403.2

Where plumbing fixtures are required, separate facilities shall be provided for each sex. Exceptions:

  • Dwelling units and sleeping units
  • Occupant load of 15 or fewer
  • Mercantile occupancies (retail establishments) with 100 or fewer
  • Business occupancies with a load of 25 or fewer 
424 Urinals (OUT OF ORDER)

 

424.2 Substitutions for water closets

In each bathroom or toilet room, urinals shall not be substituted for more than 67 percent of the required water closets in assembly and educational occupancies. Urinals shall not be more than 50 percent in other occupancies.

This is the part of the course that is covered in the video preview. In both the video and text course, there are many more sample calculations! 

We are going to work through a few calculations using Table 403.1. Please follow along in your book during these exercises.

  1. How many women’s lavatories and water closets are required for a skating rink with an occupancy load of 1500?

The first step is to divide the 1500 by 2 to get the number of women, 750. Water Closets at 1 per 40 for 750 females = 18.75, round up to 19 lavatories at 1 per 150  for 750 Females = 5

 

Table 403.1 Image

Kentucky COVID-19 License Renewal Updates & FAQs

Kentucky plumbing professionals, your license renewal deadlines have been extended due to COVID-19. With Kentucky still in a state of emergency as of this writing, the governor’s executive order may apply to you.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • If your license expires during the state of emergency, you do not need to submit proof of completion until 60 days after the state of emergency ends.
  • You do not have to complete any parts of the renewal process that are only possible in a physical classroom during  the state of emergency or 60 days after it’s lifted.
  • Once the state of emergency is lifted, you must complete the renewal process within 120 days.

NOTE: There is no penalty for finishing your renewal process during the state of emergency or before the mentioned deadlines. If you would like to complete your license renewal process from the comfort of home and on your own schedule, click here.

This emergency order changes the deadlines for license renewal, but the general guidelines have not changed. Here are some answers to FAQs about renewing your license:

Do I have to complete continuing education to renew my Kentucky plumbing license?

Yes, you must complete 6-hours of continuing education.

When is my Kentucky plumber continuing education due?

Kentucky plumbers must renew their licenses every year by the last day of their birth month.
See temporary COVID-19 update above.

How do I renew my Kentucky plumbing license?

  1. Complete 6-hours of continuing education
  2. Complete the renewal notice that you will receive 30 days before expiration
  3. Provide proof of continuing education completion (we provide a printable certificate immediately upon course completion)

What is the renewal fee for my Kentucky plumbing license?

Journeymen - $60

Master - $250

Who submits my Kentucky plumbing license plumbing course completion?

We will submit the course completion to the state; but the licensee still needs to show proof of continuing education completion. (We provide a printable certificate immediately upon course completion).

Who do I contact at the state level with questions about my Kentucky plumbing license?

Department Housing Building & Construction
Licensing Branch

101 Sea Hero Rd. Suite 100
Frankfort, KY 40601

502-573-2002 (Telephone)
502-573-1598 (Fax)

Vermont Plumber’s License Renewal Update & FAQ

In May, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed Act 100 into law extending plumbing licenses due to expire after March 30 to September 30, 2020.

The full press release says this extension is a response to trade workers struggling to obtain continuing education credits for license renewal because either classes were cancelled, or online classes were not obtainable. The state also recommends that all license holders who have a license due to expire after September 30, 2020 should start exploring all available options for obtaining continuing education credits.

We want you to know that our state-approved continuing education courses are 100% online and available from any device with an internet connection. If you have been unable to renew your license, click here to register for our 8 credit-hour course.

See below for some License Renewal FAQs:

How often do I renew my Vermont plumber license?

You must renew your license every two years. If your license has lapsed, it may be renewed within 90 days of its expiration date along with a $15 reinstatement fee in addition to the renewal fee.

If your license has lapsed past 90 days, you must apply for reinstatement and appear before the board. Applicants for license renewal must provide the board with evidence of completion of 8 hours of continuing education or training that is board-approved, completed within the previous 2 years and two of which must be code review. A copy of a certificate is acceptable evidence of this.

Is continuing education required to renew my Vermont master plumbing license?

Yes, you must complete 8-hours of continuing education each cycle including 2-hours of code review.

Who issues the Vermont plumbing license?

The Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety
1311 US Route 302 – Suite 600
Barre, VT 05641

Phone:  802-479-7561
Toll-Free:  800- 640-2106

Tips for Staying Safe This Summer

OSHA and the US Department of Labor recently published a press release reminding both employers and employees to remember necessary precautions for working safely during summer months. Florida's plumbing professionals are no strangers to sweltering summer temperatures, but dangerous heat exposure can occur indoors or outdoors any time if the conditions are right.

When working in a warm environment, the human body relies on its ability to get rid of excess heat to maintain a healthy internal body temperature. Heat dissipation happens naturally through sweating and increased blood flow to the skin. Workers cool down more rapidly if the external (environmental) heat and physical activity (metabolic heat) are reduced. If heat dissipation does not happen quickly enough, the internal body temperature keeps rising and the worker may experience symptoms including:

  • Thirst
  • Irritability
  • A rash
  • Cramping
  • Heat exhaustion or heat stroke

Heatstroke is the most severe heat-related illness. Workers suffering from heatstroke experience mental dysfunction such as unconsciousness, confusion, disorientation, or slurred speech. If you or any of your employees experience these symptoms on a job site, call 911 immediately!

Here are three important tips to remember from OSHA’s Occupational Heat Exposure page to ensure everyone stays safe this summer:

  • Water. Rest. Shade. Workers should drink water every 15 minutes, and take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas
  • Ensure adequate planning and supervision is in place to keep workers safe in the heat
  • Train workers on the hazards of heat exposure and how to prevent illness

We are happy to help ensure the safety of America’s working men and women by providing workplace safety training in all of our state-approved continuing education packages. Remember, Florida plumbers must renew their licenses by August 31st!


FLORIDA PLUMBER CONTINUING EDUCATION PACKAGES
Available in Video from the Comfort of Home

Florida Plumbing Renewal FAQ

Florida's certified plumbers must renew their licenses by August 31st of 2020.

  • Registered plumbing contractors renew their licenses by August 31 of odd-numbered years.
  • Certified plumbing contractors renew their licenses by August 31 of even-numbered years.

The cost to renew is $209, plus $50 per qualified business. 

How do I renew my Florida plumbers license?

To renew your license, you will need to create an account with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation website and complete the renewal process.

Biennial License Renewal Fee
Certified Contractor = $209 *
Registered Contractor = $209 *

* Includes $5 Unlicensed Activity fee and a fee of $4 which must be transferred to the Department of Community Affairs to fund projects relating to the building construction industry or continuing education programs offered to persons engaged in the building construction industry in Florida.

How many hours of continuing education do I need to renew my Florida plumbing license?

  • Registered Plumbing Contractors must renew by August 31st every odd-numbered year.
  • Certified Plumbing Contractors must renew by August 31st of even-numbered years.
  • The Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board requires contractors obtain 14 hours of continuing education every 2 years.
  • Of the 14 total hours, 1 hour of each of the following topics must be completed:
    • Workplace Safety
    • Workers' Compensation
    • Business Practices
    • Advanced Building Code
    • Laws and Rules
    • Wind Mitigation
  • The remaining 8 hours are considered 'General' and can cover any of our approved topics.
  • If your license was issued more than 1 year, but less than 2 years, prior to August 31st of the renewal year, you must complete 7 hours of general credits for the current renewal cycle.
  • If your license was issued less than 12 months prior to August 31st of the renewal years, you do not have to complete any continuing education for this cycle.

Who do I contact regarding a plumbing license in Florida?

Division of Professions
Construction Industry Licensing Board
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783
Phone: 850.487.1395

Website: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/index.html

FLORIDA-APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION

Should You Become An Idaho Plumber? Part 2: Training & Exams

This is part 2 of our series on becoming a plumber Idaho. Read Part 1: Salary or Part 3: Career.

Most of the training required to move through the stages of plumbing licensure is done on the job. Each section below details the training and education necessary to move from apprentice to journeyman to plumbing contractor.

Step 1: Apprenticeship
To qualify as an apprentice plumber you must be at least 16 years old, submit a completed and notarized application, and pay a $50 non-refundable license registration fee. As a plumbing apprentice,  you must complete a Plumbing Board approved course of instruction for four years to be eligible to become a journeyman.  You must score at least 70% in each course to pass.

Courses are available at

  • College of Southern Idaho (800) 680-0274
  • College of Western Idaho (208) 562-3000
  • Eastern Idaho Technical College (800) 662-0261
  • Idaho State University (208) 282-3372
  • Lewis Clark State College (208) 792-2442
  • North Idaho College (208) 769-3214
  • Treasure Valley Community College (541) 881-5755
  • Boise Plumbing JATC* (208) 288-1296
  • Pocatello Plumbing JATC* (208) 232-6806

Step 2: Journeyman

Before you can become a journeyman in Idaho, you must work as an apprentice for four years and accumulate 8,000 hours of work time and you must complete the required plumbing courses mentioned above. You will also need to pass two exams. The written exam can be completed before you finish 8,000 hours of work experience although you are not eligible to become a journeyman until the working requirement is met. You will have four hours to pass this exam. The practical exam can be provided on a job-in-progress or in a lab setting - you must be able to complete the work with no violations.

Study for the plumbing exams online in HD video.

Step 3: Plumbing Contractor

To qualify for a plumbing contractor license you must complete two and a half years as a licensed working journeyman plumber. Once your application has been excepted you can apply for the contractor examination. The exams lasts for four hours, covers Chapters 5-12 from the 2015 Uniform Plumbing Code and Business/Law.

Study the Uniform Plumbing Code, sizing, and statues and rules online in HD video.


What careers are available to a licensed plumber? Read Part 3 to find out!


DO YOU NEED IDAHO PLUMBER EXAM PREP OR CONTINUING EDUCATION?

Should You Become An Idaho Plumber? Part 1: Salary

This is part 1 of our series on becoming a plumber Idaho. Read Part 2: Training & Education or Part 3: Career.

Idaho is booming. The housing market is on the upswing, unemployment is down state-wide, and new jobs are coming to the state. It only makes sense that the construction industry is growing to keep up. As people move to the area, attracted by jobs and a low cost of living, new homes and businesses need to built and plumbed. So, should you become a plumber?

Let's Talk Money

Construction currently counts for 6.1% of the state's GDP and $1.9 billion in wages each year. Plumbers in the state make an average of $43,693 per year - more than 4% greater than private sector employees make. Not only do plumbers receive a higher than average median wage, they do not have to rack up student loans while preparing for their job. Instead, plumbers must complete four years of on-the-job experience as a paid apprentice before becoming licensed Journeyman. In other words, rather than spending thousands of dollars to attend college and get a job, you can work as a paid apprentice for four years, rack up zero debt, and be eligible for a job that pays 4% more than your college counterpart.


What training is required to become a licensed plumber? Read Part 2 to find out!


DO YOU NEED IDAHO PLUMBER EXAM PREP OR CONTINUING EDUCATION?

Oklahoma Plumber Renewal FAQ

Oklahoma plumbers must complete 6-hours of continuing education every 36 months. Licenses must be renewed every year on the last day of their birth month. Continuing education must have been completed within 36 months of their license deadline or the state will not process the renewal.

How do I renew my Oklahoma plumber license?

  1. Complete 6-hours of approved continuing education
  2. Complete a renewal form and pay the appropriate fee
    • Journeyman - $75
    • Plumbing Contractor - $200

NOTE: If you are late renewing your license you must pay a late fee in addition to your renewal fee

  • Journeyman total fee if renewing late: $100
  • Plumbing Contractor total fee if renewing late: $300

What are the renewal fees for my Oklahoma plumber license?

  • Journeyman - $75
  • Plumbing Contractor - $200

NOTE: If you are late renewing your license you must pay a late fee in addition to your renewal fee

  • Journeyman total fee if renewing late: $100
  • Plumbing Contractor total fee if renewing late: $300

Do I need continuing education to maintain my Oklahoma plumber license?

Yes, you must complete 6-hours of continuing education.

How often do I have to renew my Oklahoma plumber license?

Every year by the last day of your birth month.

Who issues the Oklahoma plumbing license?

Oklahoma Construction Industries Board Plumbing Division
2401 NW 23rd Street, Suite 2F
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Telephone: (405) 521-6550


DO YOU NEED OKLAHOMA-APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION?

Wisconsin Plumber License Renewal FAQ’s

Wisconsin plumbers, the next renewal date for Journeyman, Master & Utility Contractors is coming up on March 31st. Be sure to check your license to verify the year of your renewal.

When is my Wisconsin plumber license due for renewal?

All Journeyman, Master, & Utility Contractors - 4 years from licensure on 3/31.
Commercial Plumbing Inspectors - 4 years from licensure on 6/30.
Cross Connection Control Testers - every 4 years on the anniversary of licensure.

Do I need to complete continuing education to renew my Wisconsin plumber license?

Master, Journeyman, & Commercial Plumbing Inspectors - 24 hours
Journeyman & Master Restricted Appliance & Service - 12 hours
Cross Connection Control Testers - 6 hours

How do I renew my Wisconsin plumbing license?

  1. Complete the required continuing education
  2. Send fees and renewal application to the DSPS
  3. Renew online at https://esla.wi.gov/PortalCommunityLogin

What is the renewal fee for my Wisconsin plumbing license?

The renewal fee varies by license type. Please see the chart provided by the state.

Who submits my Wisconsin plumbing license plumbing course completion?

We will submit your records to the state after you have completed the course.

Who do I contact at the state level with questions about my Wisconsin plumbing license?

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
4822 Madison Yards Way, Madison, WI 53705
Phone: (608) 266-2112
E-Mail: DSPSCredTrades@wi.gov


DO YOU NEED CONTINUING EDUCATION?

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