July 9, 2019
Towards the end of May, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners was unsuccessful at getting an extension because the state legislature didn’t come to an agreement. To make matters worse, they were unable to transfer their responsibilities to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Under normal circumstances, this would lead to deregulation of the state’s plumbing industry i.e. deregulated licensed plumbers. In fact, the department had until September of 2020 to cease all operations. However, Texas Governor Abbott renewed the program until 2021 without legislative approval.
Texas is home to some 71,000 licensed plumbers and a surging number of homes affected by Hurricane Harvey. Deregulation of the plumbing industry would have had negative effects on the licensed plumbers as well as consumers.
Consumers, in this case, are homeowners and property owners whose assets were affected by the disaster. Customers need skilled professionals to ensure that they get high-quality services. Plumbing is a crucial aspect that lays the foundation of a structure – miscalculations and errors can have significant effects on a home or building’s longevity and safety.
With deregulation, it would become easier for anyone to become a ‘plumber’ since the licensing authority no longer exists. Homeowners may rely on unlicensed plumbers to address their piping and heating appliance issues. This can lead to violations of plumbing regulations and laws.
Although Texas plumbers would still have their skills and expertise in the event of deregulation, it’s true that their value would decrease. Currently, plumbers have to complete various requirements before getting licensed. This includes a high school diploma, being at least 18 years old, completing a certain number of hours of hands-on plumbing work (apprenticeship), and sitting the exam.
If deregulation was allowed to occur, by September, anyone could call themselves a journeyman plumber or plumbing contractor and legally perform plumbing work. As of yet, it’s still a violation of the state plumbing code to perform plumbing work without a proper license.
It also requires that journeyman plumbers and contractors renew their licenses on a yearly basis. It keeps plumbers efficient – they know that without a valid license, their ability to work is hindered.
Without adequate regulation, customers bear the burden of checking a plumber’s reliability and credibility in terms of experience, before they hire them. Not to mention, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners wouldn’t be active to assess violations of the plumbing code.
As licensed plumbers, you have more advanced skills as compared to a handyman. This includes designing piping layouts and developing a complete heating system for new structures.
When you practice for the exam and take a vocational course, it gives you a plethora of theoretical knowledge about plumbing systems. This information is not learned by DIYing home plumbing systems, but through specialized education.
When you complete an apprenticeship with thousands of hours’ worth of hands-on experience, you have the expertise to diagnose issues and give solutions in record time.
PHCEid.org is an advocate for the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electrical contractor to properly identify their licensed status for public awareness. Professional Contractors have the license or certification to work in homes and businesses. Without the proper certification and licensing to become a skilled trades professional, it compromises the integrity of the trade industry.
The contractors listed on the PHCEid.org website are licensed or certified according to the codes and laws set forth by each governing state and/or entity. Licensed Contractors work in compliance with local and state codes set forth by their governing trade industry board. Get more information at PHCEid.org or call 844-954-2367 today