On July 1, 2021, SB-1670, a new law concerning plumbing, took effect. The law, passed during the legislative session of 2020, impacts general contractors, specialty plumbing construction contractors, homeowners and house-flippers who require the use of a plumber.
Representatives from the plumbing industry worked alongside state legislators to draft a new bill that would address the current shortage of certified plumbers, expand plumber training opportunities and increase consumer protection. These changes are undoubtedly exciting, but they also present challenges. To better prepare your business, we’ve listed some of the law’s highlights below:
• SB-1670 requires all plumbing work to be done by a new classification of contractors called licensed plumbing contractors. Activities that fall under the umbrella of “plumbing work” include hiring certified plumbers as well as offering, advertising and bidding for plumbing jobs.
• SB-1670 requires general contractors to subcontract plumbing work to a licensed plumbing contractor.
• Current specialty plumbing construction contractors must apply for the new plumbing contractor license to continue doing plumbing work. You can access the plumbing contractor license form by clicking here.
• Under the new law, only licensed plumbing contractors can hire certified plumbers.
• Any plumbing work performed on a job site must be performed by certified plumbers or properly supervised trainees, under the employment of a licensed plumbing contractor.
• If you’re a contractor and a plumber, you’ll need to obtain two separate documents –– a plumbing contractor license and a general contractor registration. With both pieces of paperwork, you can do plumbing and non-plumbing construction without fear of fines or penalties.
The new law makes a number of changes, so it’s important you familiarize yourself with the wording and comply. If you’re a contractor who’s currently registered, make sure to submit a plumbing contractor application to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries no later than Sept. 1. When you do, you’ll also need:
For more information about the new plumbing requirements, or to download the application, visit the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries website by clicking here. If you’re interested in reading SB-6170, click here.