It’s a question that plagues homeowners who are considering getting their hands dirty, but there are many simple plumbing jobs you can do without any training. This article will go over what plumbing work you can do without a license and how to get started.

The best way to decide if you need a license for your project is to find out if it is considered trade work or not. Trade work includes things like installing water heaters, toilets, light fixtures, and dishwashers. It also includes replacing, extending, or repairing water, gas, or drainage pipes. If your work isn’t related to trade, then you most likely don’t need a license.

How do I know if my project is considered trade work?

To figure out how much plumbing work you can do yourself, you need to learn if the plumbing work is considered trade work or not. There are a few projects that may require a license but are still not considered trade work. These include:

• Leak detection and repair – If you’re fixing a leaky faucet or toilet, you don’t need a license.

• Installation of a bathroom sink, laundry tub, or shower – This type of work is considered trade work but doesn’t require an inspection.

• Water heater replacement – This type of work does not require any plumbing training or licensing.

• Leak detection and repair of an outdoor hose bibb – Replacing a hose bibb is considered trade work but doesn’t require a permit.

What types of plumbing work require a license?

While many homeowners are perfectly capable of doing their plumbing work, they may not have experience in the field. For example, some homeowners could get confused about which pipes need to be cut or which ones you don’t want to cut. Others could become overwhelmed or just nervous working in the dark. Plumbing projects that require no knowledge of plumbing or electricity are all in the safe and easy category.

Other jobs that fall under plumbing work that does require a license include:

• Replacing, extending, or repairing a water, gas, or drainage pipe
• Replacing water, gas, or drainage valves and equipment

• Reinstalling plumbing fixtures and faucets

• Assembling a new water main or sanitary sewer line

You must have the proper registration to perform these tasks. The following are the different types of credentials, and if needed, when they are required:

What is a Plumbing License?


A plumbing license is a credential issued by the state to a licensed plumbing contractor. The permit allows the holder to perform work that requires a plumbing permit. The state will issue the license only after verifying that you have completed an apprenticeship program or have sufficient experience and training in the field.

What is a Master Plumber?

A master plumber is a person who has completed an apprenticeship program or has extensive experience in the field. A master plumber has passed a test that allowed them to register with the state and receive their master plumber status.

What is a Journeyman Plumber?

A journeyman plumber is a person who has completed an apprenticeship program and then passed a plumbing test. The individual can now obtain their journeyman status. A journeyman can work on any job that requires a plumbing permit, except large assignments like building new structures with plumbing systems. Those jobs require a licensed contractor who holds a plumbing license.

What is a Certified Master Plumber?

The certification of master plumbers is a professional designation given to individuals who have completed an apprenticeship and passed the same examination that journeyman plumbers must pass. The United Board of Certification (UBC) provides this certification. To earn this designation, the individual must have substantial experience and training in the field and the ability to demonstrate safe and ethical practices.

What Plumber should I hire?


If you are looking for a professional plumber to do your plumbing work, you need to go to a licensed plumber. The state does not regulate “unlicensed” plumbers. In doing so, the state allows plumbing work that requires a plumbing permit to be given out by anyone who claims to be a plumber.

If you live in the Daly City, CA area, then we recommend you call Plumbers in Daly City today.