As a plumber in Delaware, you play a crucial role in maintaining the health and safety of your community. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the steps and requirements for establishing eligibility, applying for, and renewing your plumbing license in Delaware. It also outlines license bond requirements and insurance needs for plumbers in the state.

Applying for a Plumbing License in Delaware

General Information

In Delaware, you need a Master Plumber license to legally perform plumbing work. If your work involves heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, ventilation, or process cooling or heating systems, you will also need a Master HVACR or Master HVACR Restricted license.

Application Process

Applications for a plumbing license in Delaware are submitted through the online system DELPROS. Here’s how to do it:

  • Visit the DELPROS homepage and create a user account.
  • Start your application and remember you can save and return to it later. However, you must submit your application within six months of starting it.
  • Check the status of your application online using the “View Application Status” feature in DELPROS on your e-License dashboard.

Requirements for All Applicants

These requirements apply to both reciprocity and examination applications. In addition to submitting the application and fee in DELPROS, you must submit:

  • State/Jurisdiction Licensure Verification sent directly to the Board office from each state or jurisdiction in which you currently hold or have ever held a license.
  • Verification of Employment form or a substitute document to prove your work experience.
  • Tax form Schedule C to prove your work experience for periods of self-employment.

Examination Applicants

If you’re applying by examination, you must submit:

  • Copy of your apprenticeship program Certificate of Completion and proof of at least two years work experience under the supervision of a master licensee after receiving Certificate, if you have a journeyman certificate.
  • Proof of at least seven years work experience under supervision of a master licensee, if you do not have a journeyman certificate.

Reciprocity Applicants

If you’re applying by reciprocity, you must submit:

  • Proof of practicing a minimum of seven (7) years after receiving licensure as a Master in the reciprocating jurisdiction, if the licensure standards are not substantially similar to those of Delaware.
  • A copy of the other jurisdiction’s law and regulations for evaluation, if you hold a current Plumber license in any state or U.S. territory not listed above.

Renewing Your Plumbing License in Delaware

To renew your plumbing license in Delaware:

  • Look out for a renewal notice 60 days before your license expires.
  • Renew your license online through the DELPROS portal.
  • Pay the renewal fee of $86.
  • Complete 5 hours of continuing education during each renewal period.

Plumber License Reciprocity

In the world of plumbing, license reciprocity refers to the agreement between states that allows a licensed plumber in one state to practice in another without having to go through the entire licensing process again. This is particularly beneficial for plumbers who operate near state lines or who wish to expand their business across state borders.

Delaware has reciprocity agreements with several states. However, it’s important to note that the specifics of these agreements can vary. Some states may require additional exams or proof of experience. Always check with the Delaware Board of Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Examiners for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

License Bond Requirements in Delaware

In Delaware, plumbers are required to post a license bond before they can obtain their plumbing license. This bond serves as a form of financial protection for the state and any consumers who might suffer financial harm due to the plumber’s actions. The bond ensures that the plumber will adhere to all state laws and regulations pertaining to their trade.

The amount of the bond required can vary, but it is typically in the range of a few thousand dollars. It’s important to note that the plumber does not need to pay the full bond amount upfront. Instead, they pay a premium, which is a percentage of the total bond amount. The exact premium rate can vary based on the plumber’s credit score and other factors.

If a claim is made against the bond, the surety company that issued the bond will pay out the claim up to the full bond amount. The plumber is then responsible for repaying the surety company for any money paid out on a claim.

Insurance Needs for Plumbers in Delaware

Insurance is a critical component of running a successful plumbing business. It provides financial protection against a variety of risks that can lead to significant financial loss. Here are the main types of insurance that plumbers in Delaware should consider:

  • General Liability Insurance: This covers third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury. For example, if a client trips over a pipe you put on the floor while repairing a sink and breaks their wrist, this policy would cover their medical expenses, as well as any legal or settlement fees if they file a lawsuit against you.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: This covers claims of professional negligence, error, breach of contract, or failure to deliver a service on time. If you make a mistake in the installation that causes the system to fail, the owner could sue you for the error. This policy would cover your legal and settlement costs associated with the lawsuit.
  • Business Property Insurance: This covers business property or buildings that are damaged by certain accidents, weather events, or other hazards. If a fire breaks out in your office and destroys all of your plumbing equipment, your business property insurance would cover the costs to replace it.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: This covers medical expenses of employees who are injured or get sick while at work. Most U.S. states require employers to have workers’ comp for their employees.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: This covers vehicles that you use for business purposes, such as driving to plumbing projects. It covers accident-related expenses resulting from injuries, death, or property damage.
  • Tools and Equipment Insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace equipment that is damaged or stolen. You can sometimes add this coverage to another type of policy, like your general liability insurance.

Remember, the specific insurance needs of your plumbing business can vary depending on the nature of your work, the size of your business, and other factors. Always consult with an insurance professional to ensure you have the right coverage for your needs. For more details, check out our in-depth analysis on Delaware plumbing insurance cost.

Conclusion

Becoming a licensed plumber in Delaware involves meeting specific education and experience requirements, passing an examination, and maintaining a license bond and insurance. Always check with the Delaware Board of Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Examiners for the most up-to-date information. With the right preparation and resources, you can successfully navigate the licensing process.