Home>Discussions>BATHROOMS>licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts
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kahlil
licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

toh shows how to change your old toilet yourself. in massachusetts i've been told you need a licensed plumb er to change a toilet. it there a way to diy that does not break the law?

dj1
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

If that's the law in MA - I think it's wrong. A homeowner should be able to work on his home, except when there is a safety issue.

Tell me, are they looking to re-assess your home after you have a new toilet installed? maybe that's the reason.

What's next: you can't change a light bulb without a license?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

Can't answer for MA, but in most locations the law has an exception for DIY homeowners. Check with your local building department.

Jack

johnjh2o
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

As hard as it is to believe you must be a licensed plumber to do any plumbing work in Mass. I don't think it's fair but that's Mass.

MLB Construction
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

i live in mass and you're supposed to pull a permit to change a broken light switch. it's a little crazy here. many towns differ in their rules. in my town i can pull my own electrical permit and do all the work myself and i'm not a licensed electrician. but if i want to change my faucet, i'm supposed to call a plumber.

the thinking behind this, mainly regarding electrical, plumbing and structural is to be covered by insurance in the event that anything happens. ie, electrical fire, flood due to a burst water supply, something collapses, etc. granted, i do many of these things myself even though i shouldn't but i also agree with the safety factor and covering your butt to protect yourself via pulling a permit. inspectors around here are so so busy that dealing with diy-ers can slow them down dramatically. in some towns there is sometimes a few days wait just to get an inspection which can really delay a job. but rules are rules and when things go bad as least your butt is covered.

A. Spruce
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

The reasoning behind it is supposed to be building and construction safety, however, IMHO, it's become a way for municipalities to line their pockets with your money and for the insurance crowd not to have to pay out in the event that a gnat farts in your home.

I think that people should be able to do their own work if they wish, HOWEVER, they should know what they're doing if they're going to attempt it. The unfortunate reality is, a good majority of people, don't know how to do anything, and end up making more of a mess than doing good. It doesn't matter if it's a DIY'r or a "pro", the gap between those of us capable of making home repairs and those who are not gets wider by the day.

There is also no common sense in these extremely restrictive laws either. They can't differentiate between changing a toilet or a faucet, which is no big deal, and cracking into the main plumbing lines or steam or gas lines, which absolutely should not be done by anyone other than someone that knows what they're doing, i.e., a licensed specialty tradesman, or a general contractor.

dj1
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

Rules are very different from place to place.

Years ago a city building inspector told me that when ever it involves safety, a permit was needed. He gave me examples like:
- Roof deck framing and construction - needed inspection. Roof covering - no inspection needed.
- Plumbing: drain connections - yes. Faucet installation - no.
- Electrical: panel change - yes. Install fixtures - no.
- Concrete: slab, footing and foundation - yes. Walkways - no.
And so on.

A. Spruce
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts
dj1 wrote:

Rules are very different from place to place.

Years ago a city building inspector told me that when ever it involves safety, a permit was needed. He gave me examples like:
- Roof deck framing and construction - needed inspection. Roof covering - no inspection needed.
- Plumbing: drain connections - yes. Faucet installation - no.
- Electrical: panel change - yes. Install fixtures - no.
- Concrete: slab, footing and foundation - yes. Walkways - no.
And so on.

Not around here, even a roof overlay requires a permit, inspections of said overlay may or may not happen, most often, they do not.

Mastercarpentry
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

You guys got it easy. I work in about a dozen different jurisdictions and they're all different.

Some small towns here make you get a local business license which is cheap for the town's residents, but alarmingly high if you live elsewhere. I don't work those places because their inspectors are stupid sadistic sciolistic s-heads just because they can be :mad: Most places here are reasonable and DIY is fine for most anything so long as it's done to code. A few do specify where a licensed trade is needed, such as water and sewer taps, inside-the-panel electrical work, and HVAC sections involving fuels or refrigerants.

I can see why you want to ensure that a job is done correctly, but that doesn't always mean that a good DIY'er isn't capable of that. Some of the finest (and worst) work I've ever seen was DIY-done, and I've seen licensed trades do crap work too so licensing alone has no merit- good inspections are where it's really at

Phil

dj1
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

" I can see why you want to ensure that a job is done correctly, but that doesn't always mean that a good DIY'er isn't capable of that. Some of the finest (and worst) work I've ever seen was DIY-done, and I've seen licensed trades do crap work too so licensing alone has no merit- good inspections are where it's really at"

True, very true, seen it so many times.

A. Spruce
Re: licensed plumber to change a toilet in massachusetts

Don't worry, Phil, technically, around here you need to have a business license in every city/county you work in, but the reality is that MOST businessmen don't bother with such things and I've yet to see a case where this was an issue. The biggie is that the contractor is licensed and insured, the state is more concerned with than than ANYTHING else. Stings are common to catch "illegal" contracting, regardless of the quality of work or whether it is to code. All they are really interested in is their 30 pieces of ****, once you give them that, they really don't care what you do. Which plays back to my earlier comments on the requirements of permits, it is absolutely, 100%, unequivocally NOT about safe construction practices, it is completely and totally about money into the coffers of the municipality.

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