As a New Jersey homeowner, you’ll probably eventually need to call a plumber for drain cleaning, pipe repairs, or sewer repair services. In any city, township, or suburb in North NJ, there are quite a few plumbers and plumbing companies. It’s important to hire plumbers who are specialized in your particular needs. Some plumbing companies cover all kinds of general residential repairs, but other plumbers specialize in subfields like sewer services, renovation plumbing, or commercial and industrial plumbing installation.
Plumbers in NJ also need a particular set of qualifications, including insurance and licensing, to qualify as a master plumber. It’s important to make sure that the company you’re hiring is actually licensed to work in New Jersey.
At A1 Sewer & Drain, we’re a local North NJ plumbing company. We specialize in sewer and drain services for both homes and businesses, including sewer repair, drain repair, sewer cleaning, and more. To find out more about our services, call us any time to talk to one of our experienced plumbers.
Hiring Licensed, Insured Plumbers
To legally work as a plumber in New Jersey, contractors and companies need to be both licensed and insured.
Licensed Plumbers in NJ
Plumbers generally go through a period of apprenticeship before they become a master plumber in their own right. To become a licensed plumber in New Jersey, the NJ Office of Attorney General’s Division of Customer Affairs mandates that candidates pass a written exam, and meet certain experience requirements.
To become licensed, a person must:
- Be at least 21 years of age.
- Meet the appropriate experience requirements.
- Complete a four-year apprenticeship OR hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
- Pay an application fee.
- Pass the written exam.
To qualify for the exam, the person needs practical, hands-on plumbing experience. According to the official guidelines, this experience can include:
- Plumbing installation
- Plumbing maintenance
- Extension or alteration of existing plumbing systems
- Repair and installation of plumbing fixtures and plumbing appliances.
It does not include supervisory or managerial tasks, only field experience working with real plumbing systems in NJ.
When it comes to plumbing professionals, there are three levels:
- Apprentice. A plumbing apprentice works under the supervision of a master plumber or journeyman plumber. Apprenticeship allows aspiring plumbers to gain real-world experience before getting their license. Trade unions and individual businesses offer apprenticeship programs, which may require a high school diploma or a GED.
- Journeyman. After around 2-5 years of apprenticeship experience, one can apply for a journeyman’s license. They take a test that verifies both general plumbing knowledge, and understanding of state and local plumbing codes in New Jersey. Unlike a plumbing apprentice, a journeyman can work independently.
- Master plumber. After working as a journeyman, a plumber can apply for a master plumber’s license. Unlike apprentices and journeymen, master plumbers must be able to create their own blueprints for plumbing installation. Master plumbers are also licensed to become independent contractors, or to start their own plumbing companies.
Insurance for NJ Plumbers
Licensed plumbers must have insurance, although regulations can vary in different states. In New Jersey, plumbers need a minimum of $500,000 in liability coverage. That sounds like an awfully big number, but the insurance is necessary to cover things like bodily injury, property damage, products liability, and medical payments.
Companies for General Residential Plumbing
Many NJ plumbers specialize in general residential plumbing repair and installation services, and in many cases, specialists will also accept that kind of work. These are the guys you call in for general things like toilet repair or sink faucet repair. Although many homeowners can manage a few basic repairs on their own, like replacing a kitchen sink u-trap, there’s a point at which it makes more sense to call a professional.
There are also situations when you’ll need to call an emergency plumber, who can come to your home at short notice during irregular hours. A gushing water pipe in the basement or a flooded kitchen isn’t something you can handle on your own. General plumbers are knowledgeable about repairs, local codes, and working with materials like copper and PVC pipe.
General plumbing contractors provide a variety of general residential services, including:
- Plumbing leak detection
- Water pipe leak repair
- Frozen plumbing pipe repair
- Copper and PEX repiping
- Emergency plumbing leak repair
Hiring a Specialist for Sewer & Drain Services
While some plumbers provide a variety of residential and commercial services, other plumbing companies specialize in sewer and drain services. If you need a plumber for sewer repair, your best option is to find a local company that specializes in it. Sewer and drain plumbing contractors have specific knowledge about installing, repairing, and replacing sewer main lines, drains, and other parts of plumbing systems that convey wastewater away from a building.
Sewer Plumbing Services
Sewer and drain contractors offer a range of services for homes and businesses, including:
- Sewer repair. Sewer pipes can break, crack, burst, or collapse, and can sometimes need to be repaired. Although sewer repair can require excavation, modern sewer repair often utilizes trenchless techniques. Trenchless sewer repair methods require specialized parts and equipment that allow plumbers to access and repair sewer lines as noninvasively as possible. Sewer repair plumbers are trained and experienced in using these repair techniques effectively.
- Sewer cleaning. Clogged sewer lines are surprisingly common, and can cause widespread clogging and backflow throughout a building’s plumbing systems. Various materials like grease and oils, paper products, and invasive tree roots can obstruct the flow of wastewater through a sewer pipe, causing water to back up into pipes. Plumbers for sewer cleaning services use hydro jetting equipment to clear out debris. These systems are similar to pressure washers, propelling water at high speeds to blast apart debris. Sewer jetting equipment enters the sewer line through the cleanout, and nozzles are available in various sizes to direct the streams of water. Hydro jetting can also be used to clear out drain pipes.
- Sewer inspection. For most sewer cleaning and sewer repair jobs, plumbers don’t need to dig to access the sewer line. This is made possible, in part, by sewer camera inspection equipment. Sewer cameras are lowered into the sewer pipe through the cleanout, using fiber optics to relay a video feed from the camera to a monitor. Sewer video inspection allows contractors to look directly into the sewer line remotely, finding the location of clogs, cracks, scale buildup, and other problems. Information gained with sewer camera inspection helps contractors make the right decisions about how to effectively repair a drain pipe or sewer main line.
- Drain repair and drain cleaning. Plumbers who specialize in sewer repair will usually provide drain services as well. This includes home drainage systems, commercial and industrial drains, and even culvert pipes.
- Sewer pipe installation and replacement. Sewer service plumbers know how to properly install a new sewer line, or replace an existing sewer line.
Plumbers for Trenchless Sewer Repair
When feasible, homeowners generally prefer to opt for trenchless sewer repairs, rather than sewer excavation. This preserves lawns, landscaping, driveways, and other areas of your yard, by eliminating the need to dig any large holes.
There are several methods available to plumbers for trenchless sewer repair, and they’re all relatively noninvasive while still being effective. Trenchless techniques can be used to either repair damaged pipe, or replace a section of sewer pipe. Options include:
- CIPP pipe lining. Cure-in-place pipe (CIPP) sewer relining involves inserting a flexible resin and fiberglass tube into the sewer pipe. The tube hardens in place, creating a sturdy pipe liner that patches cracks and holes to eliminate leaks and restore water flow.
- Pipe bursting. Pipe bursting allows contractors to replace a severely damaged section of your sewer pipe, without the need for sewer excavation. Machine equipment is used to lower a bursting head into the pipe, which breaks apart sections that are already damaged. As the pieces of the old pipe are pushed outward, a new pipe is pulled into place behind the bursting head.
Plumbers for New Sewer Pipe Installation
Sewer installation is a complex process that requires a knowledgeable specialist. When installing sewer lines, contractors need to perform careful calculations to ensure that it drains properly. These calculations yield a drop per foot, which should never exceed 1/4″. This ensures that solids and liquids will flow at the same rate through the sewer pipe. Soil type and soil quality also need to be taken into account, to prevent pipes from sinking downward or collapsing due to unstable soil.
Finding a Plumber for Septic Tank Services
In many rural and suburban areas, septic tanks are a common way to cleanly dispose of wastewater and waste materials from a home or building. Sewer service plumbers also provide repair, installation, and maintenance services for septic tank systems, including:
- Septic system and septic tank installation. Septic tanks, drainfields, and other components of a septic system, need to be properly installed by an experienced professional plumber. There are several types of septic systems available, which can work well for different situations or in different geographical areas. Experienced septic service plumbers can advise homeowners and business owners about their best options for septic system installation. They’re also trained in how to conduct soil testing to ensure proper drainage.
- Septic tank repair. Septic tanks need occasional repairs for problems like clogging, damage to the septic tank, or issues with the pipes or drainfield. PVC piping connected to septic tanks can crack or fracture due to the ground shifting and “settling” beneath it. Cast iron pipes can corrode, and bacterial processes can also corrode the septic tank itself.
- Septic system replacement. All or part of a septic system may need to be replaced by an experienced plumber after a certain amount of time. From simple pipe replacement, to replacing an entire drainfield, septic service and sewer service plumbers can advise you on what you need to get your septic system working again.
Plumbers for Sewer Pumps & Sump Pumps
Many sewer service plumbers also offer installation and repair services for sewer ejector pumps and sump pumps. Sewage ejector pumps are necessary in basements and other low-lying areas, helping to force wastewater upward through the drain pipes against the force of gravity. Sump pumps help prevent flooding and backflow in basements, helping homeowners avoid potential water damage during severe weather. With both types of pumps, issues with float switches, electrical wiring, discharge lines, and other components can create the need for professional repairs. Some areas of New Jersey may require homeowners to install a sump pump, depending on local building codes.
Plumbing Installation for Renovations & Remodeling
If you’re remodeling or renovating your home, or if you otherwise need to replace some plumbing, you need a contractor with a good understanding of the layout, design, and engineering involved in residential plumbing systems. For remodeling, new additions, and new construction, plumbers often collaborate with general contractors, designing and installing plumbing systems that will hold up for years to come.
Hiring Commercial Plumbers in NJ
Many plumbers offer commercial services, including general plumbing, and commercial sewer and drain services. Commercial plumbing systems are somewhat different from residential systems, especially in industrial settings. For this reason, commercial plumbing requires training and experience in dealing with these systems.
Plumbers for Commercial Drain Repair
Commercial drains and drainage systems are built for heavy use, and differ from residential drains. For commercial drain repair, it’s important to hire a plumber with experience in this area. Like residential drains, commercial and industrial drains can be cleared out with hydro jetting. Commercial drains can be prone to clogs due to the amount of waste they need to handle. Restaurant drains, even with well-maintained grease traps, are at particular risk, due to cooking grease that can accumulate inside.
Drain repairs are also important in commercial settings. Damaged pipes can have cracks, holes, and other jagged areas where grease and debris are likely to catch and take hold. This leads to a higher likelihood of clogging, making good drain maintenance important. Old drain pipes made from metal are at a particularly high risk of damage, since they often display signs of corrosion that wears away at the metal. Aging metal pipes may require drain line replacement, often with newer materials that are more resistant to corrosion.
We’re Local NJ Plumbers for Sewer & Drain Services
At A1 Sewer & Drain, our team of experienced plumbers specialize in residential and commercial sewer and drain services. We offer sewer installation, sewer repair, drain repair, sewer and drain hydro jetting, and more. We have staff on call 24/7 for emergency sewer repair services, ensuring that you’ll always get fast, effective repairs when you need them most. To find out more about our services, or to talk to one of our friendly local plumbers, call us any time at A1 Sewer & Drain, at 201-645-0888.