The Louisiana Plumbing Code was designed so as to serve as a comprehensive and exhaustive regulatory document that will guide any decision made that are meant to protect the public’s health, life and welfare in a built environment. The plumbing code is meant to be protected through the adoption and enforcement by both state and local governments.
The plumbing code allows for the use of performance-based requirements that encourage plumbers to leverage on innovative building materials, designs as well as construction systems while still recognizing the advantages of traditional materials and systems. This way, there is flexibility when building construction and design while still maintaining a high-quality life safety.
The code allows for a nationally recognized consensus to be used in judging both the performance of systems as well as materials thus allowing for the equal treatment of both traditional and innovative materials and systems. This process ensures that plumbers can easily introduce new materials while constructing which still guarantee a high consumer protection level.
While the state or local governments enforce these laws in your area. It’s also important to note that for any plumbing work to be done – be it installation, enlargement, alteration, repair, improvement, removal or replacement of any plumbing work – one has to acquire a permit, especially where the state or the local authority requires a plumbing permit. The Louisiana plumbing code helps contractors to remain compliant to the requirements of the code.
The International Plumbing Code
In 2013, Louisiana adopted the International Plumbing Code which was signed into law by the then Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal. The International Plumbing Code (IPC) came into effect on the 1st of January 2016and was meant to replace the state’s old plumbing code. The IPC was published by the International Code Council (ICC).
The move was meant to give the state of Louisiana a new plumbing code to use instead of the Louisiana Plumbing Code. There are more than 30 states that have adopted the International Plumbing Code either at a state level or at a local level. There are numerous public health benefits that the code has beside it being plumber and industry smart. The code provides guidelines for plumbing facilities as well as the acceptance of new and innovative products, systems and materials available in the market.
Changing of the code made it mandatory that both commercial and residential plumbing would comply with the IPC. Some of the other changes that came with the passing of the new IPC code was that the legislature removed the plumbing code authority from the Department of Health and Hospitals and gave the authority to the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council.
The Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council was also changed from 19 to 20 members. This saw a new position created for the state health officer or his designee. Both a House and Senate committee on health and welfare were added to oversee the initial plumbing adoption among other changes. However, some of the changes were not new to the state of Louisiana as they had been for many years been using the International Building, Residential, Energy Conservation, Existing Building, Fuel Gas and Mechanical codes to guarantee the safety of its residents.
Plumber Requirements According to the Louisiana Plumbing Code
For one to become a plumber, there has to be a pre-approval from the state. This is a requirement from the state. Individuals must have a Journeyman plumbing license before they can become eligible to sit for the Master Plumber exam. In order for one to qualify for the Journeyman Plumber classification, the individual must at least five years of work experience or have worked full-time for 8,000 hours in the plumbing industry.
Their application should also have signatures of three Journeyman or Master Plumbers that are currently licensed and who can vouch for their experience. For one to qualify for the Master Plumber classification, an applicant must have a current Journeyman Plumber License or alternatively have a restricted Master Plumber License that is current or have an LA professional engineer’s license with five years of experience in the plumbing industry.
Master plumbers are expected to have a general liability insurance in case they have employees as licenses cannot be given without an insurance proof. While a Journeyman plumber is only allowed to do repair work, a Master plumber is unrestricted to the scope and size of work they can do except for Water Supply and Medical Gas Protection Specialist. Master Plumbers can also advertise, bid on jobs and pull all the necessary permits.
Getting a Journeyman or Master Plumber License
In Louisiana, the exams for one to get licensed as a Journeyman Plumber or Master Plumber in Louisiana are usually held in different months. January, April, July, and October are the months when the Journeyman license exams are held while the Master Plumber exams are held in February, May, August, and November.
To qualify for Journeyman license exams, you must have completed an approved apprenticeship program while to qualify for the Master Plumber license exam; you must have been a Louisiana licensed Journeyman Plumber. For both exams, the applications have to be made 30 days before, and applicants get scheduled for the exams in order of which the applications got approved.
It’s essential to pay special attention to the requirements of the application form as a failure to have the right details may force you to miss the exam. The Journeyman Plumber exam will cost you $135 with $125 being for the exam and $10 processing fee. The Master Plumber exam will cost you less by $35. It costs $110 with $10 being the processing fee. Should you get approved for the exam, the State Plumbing Board will email out test letter to schedule when to take the exam 30 days before the exam date.
It’s therefore important that you notify the State Plumbing Board should you change your address. The Louisiana Plumbing Code is quite extensive, and anyone looking to get into the plumbing industry or professionals that already are should familiarize themselves with it so as to ensure that they are compliant with the state requirements.