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What is a Master plumber?

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  • #16
    Re: What is a Master plumber?

    Originally posted by goob View Post
    If you dont have a license , like some people on this forum what do you call them?
    Again, the point is that in California there is NO LICENSE for someone who works AS A PLUMBER. The business owner who advertises, contracts for work, etc......he has the state license. I would have to estimate that of all the people who go to work every day as plumbers, a very large percent have NO LICENSE, because there is no license to get. Only if you are a self employed one man shop do you need to get the state license. The owner-license holder can hire Donald Duck and call him a plumber.

    This is just the way it is.

    There are people who advertise themselves as Master Plumbers. They may be union members with a union masters, or they may just be blowing smoke. In souther California, as far as my experience can tell, only large commercial construction plumbers, and possibly those doing city/state projects, are union shops.
    Last edited by lovetheUSA; 12-21-2008, 11:32 AM.

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    • #17
      Re: What is a Master plumber?

      Originally posted by lovetheUSA View Post
      Again, the point is that in Californian the is NO LICENSE for someone who works AS A PLUMBER. The business owner who advertises, contracts for work, etc......he has the state license. I would have to estimate that of all the people who go to work every day as plumbers, a very large percent have NO LICENSE, because there is no license to get. Only if you are a self employed one man shop do you need to get the state license. The owner-license holder can hire Donald Duck and call him a plumber.

      This is just the way it is.
      not exactly. it's left up to the city inspectors to check for licenses. in the 13 years i did union commercial new construction, i was only asked 1 time to show my license. the union requires the license upon turning out from an apprentice.

      if no one is going to enforce the laws, no one is going to bother getting a license.

      in the city of los angeles, we are required to hold a city of los angeles journeymans license. once again, inspectors not asking for them, makes it easy for the unlicensed to continue working.

      when the supply house sells csst to homeowners, then the cycle will continue.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #18
        Re: What is a Master plumber?

        Originally posted by lovetheUSA View Post
        Again, the point is that in California there is NO LICENSE for someone who works AS A PLUMBER. The business owner who advertises, contracts for work, etc......he has the state license. I would have to estimate that of all the people who go to work every day as plumbers,

        a very large percent have NO LICENSE, because there is no license to get. Only if you are a self employed one man shop do you need to get the state license. The owner-license holder can hire Donald Duck and call him a plumber.

        This is just the way it is.

        I find that statement alone, very disturbing and that's exactly what happened in Ohio. It watered down the profession completely, dismantled the structure of the credential system where a plumber earns his skill and can be measured by the levels of accomplishments by the steps he/she has taken.

        4 years and then take a test can mislead because if that person did nothing but a single task, like water heater replacements, if he so decides to test out for that contractor's license, you're throwing someone into a legal right to operate as a plumbing company without the safeholds in place to know all aspects. I've seen the test for the contractor's license. It covers a wide angle of plumbing but if someone hasn't "experienced" the full gammut of plumbing to understand the base knowledge, you can't throw permission to somebody that "just" took a test one day and just studied up that one point in time.

        I guess the true backup is 90% of all businesses fail, no matter what system you belong to and too often the business owner thinks that the license guarantees success and the ability to run with the rest. So not true and there is only a very small fraction that go the distance for years. And some that go years might not be making money, or are running underground to keep it going. Lots of different ways but the true blue ones are few and far between.

        The same can be thrown back in states that have the original idea (apprentice, journeyman, master) but as you see, that's a staged process that introduces set levels of learning/training/responsibility measure.


        I guess the bottom line is when I was in Ohio and hold my Ohio journeyman's license, them going to a state contractor's license all but dissolved the value of the license I hold because anyone with $300 and years on the job now qualifies as a plumber. That is totally wrong and I believe a politician made that move to generalize, not specialize certain trades in their state to hold down costs, suppress all trades as an even scale of thinking.


        We as plumbers should of fought like mad hell when this transition was trying to take place because we all knows as licensed plumbers that our job takes new meaning to the blue collar trades, simply by the nature of our business, which follows the health and safety idea solely by the contamination, germ control, human "end" products and the devices used to clean the human body, preventative washing, food preparation, sterile utensil cleaning, the list goes on and on and on.


        We should NOT be grouped in with the drywallers or cable tv installers. No way and I encourage the debate to prove the substantial differences.
        Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 12-21-2008, 11:53 AM.
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        • #19
          Re: What is a Master plumber?

          California was actually dominated by union shops in the 50's, 60's & 70's, during this period the contractor was the business side of building or repairing something and the apprentice and journeyman was how things got done .

          Then the recession hit in the 80's and union pipe fitters like my dad started running out of work so they went out on their own. Problem was and still is, the union journeyman that goes out on his own still pays all of the required dues but since he is on his own and there is no one to negotiate wages with, he loses the benefit of contract negotiation. Consequently, most drop out of the union over time.

          Then these now-non-union journeyman hired employees and taught them on there own (instead of apprenticeship school because they were no longer in the union).

          Fast forward current day... California has 3-4 generations of self taught plumbers and HVAC techs and the contractor (who used to be the business side of the trade) is now the "Journeyman". I should also add that many are trained by 3,6, and 9 month trade schools. The instructors in these trade schools are usually the same self-taught journeyman and they also rarely have a teaching credential or even basic training on how to teach - you get the picture.

          I believe California is 5-15 years away from of some type of major media event (blown-up water heater or furnace, carbon monoxide poisoning, whole family killed, etc...), where a politician recognizes the lack of training in California and pushes legislation that will establish a new standard a little closer to what exists on the east coast.

          We did see a slight improvement a couple of years ago, as electricians are required to take a certification test before they can work on their own while employed by a contractor.

          Of course right now California can't even pay its bills, so I doubt anything is going to change real soon!
          Last edited by spodelee; 12-21-2008, 12:59 PM.
          spodelee

          Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

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          • #20
            Re: What is a Master plumber?

            I was not familiar with the LA city license. In SD, the contractor's licencse number of the owner is what is required on the permit. Certainly there are people who really are running their own business, and "ride" on a license number from brother in law, whatever. The state cracks down on that when they catch them.

            It is quite easy to check status of a license on the state website, so consumers have some recourse if they do some homework.

            You are required to put your license number in any ad...such as business card, truck sign, newspaper ad. I do see violations of that all the time and aparently there is not a lot of enforecement if folks are willing to risk the violation. The local newspaper requires in ads that you have your license # or state "no license". There are people who advertise under "Handyman..no license" and then list "plumbing" under services offered. It is just a jungle out there!

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            • #21
              Re: What is a Master plumber?

              Nation wide there seems to be adumbing down of the plumbing profession from the acceptance of inferior codes to the allowed use of inferior products. I suppose most of this was done to make getting into the trade easier ( the party line. truth is greed got the better of them) What it has done is just the opposite. Applications for apprentice licenses are down almost 50% nation wide. Many states allow applicants for journeyman and master licenses to take the exam open book. As a result the caliber of licensed plumbers has steadilly declined over the years as well as the pay scale. I have been bitching and moaning for years now to anyone and everyone that will listen. Most has fallen of deaf ears. The PHCC seems more interested in exploiting its organization than working for the plumbers that it represents. The state plumbing boards have become political backwaters for hacks that never made it in the real world and have now found a way to glean an income from the State. The code review boards are beholding to the manufacturers and lobbiests that are wining and dining them.
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