Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
This appendix contains Title 9, Section 9-1003 of The Philadelphia Code and relates to the licensing of the plumbing trade.
  1. Definitions.
    1. Plumbing. Drainage, water piping, or the construction, alteration and repairing of any drainage, cesspools, trap, waste vent or water piping, and fixtures attached thereto, except gas or electric heaters.
  2. License required.
    1. Except as provided in subsection 2(b) no person shall perform plumbing work unless that person is either:

      (.1) A Master Plumber licensed pursuant to this Section:

      (.2) A journeyman plumber licensed pursuant to this Section: or

      (.3) An apprentice registered pursuant to this Section who performs such plumbing work under the direction of a licensed plumber.
    2. This Section shall not prohibit a helper or laborer performing ordinary unskilled labor (such as excavating, drilling, cleaning and moving) under the direction of a licensed plumber, nor shall it prohibit any person from performing minor plumbing repairs as defined in subsection 8-201.2 (P-202.0)1.
  3. Master Plumber License.
    1. Applications for a Master Plumber's license shall be made to the department on forms provided by the department. Such application must include the name, home address and business address of the applicant, certify that the applicant has been a duly registered apprentice plumber for not less than four years and a licensed journeyman plumber for at least one year.
    2. Upon receipt of the application and payment of the application and examination fee as set forth in subsection 9-1003(7), the department shall examine the applicant to determine whether the applicant has the requisite knowledge of a Master Plumber. If the applicant passes such examination, pays the annual license fee as set forth in subsection 9-1003(7) and provides satisfactory evidence that the insurance requirements of section 9-1003(5) have been met, then the applicant shall be licensed and registered by the department.
    3. The Department shall issue to each licensed and Registered Master Plumber a license, a permanent registration number stating that the applicant has successfully passed the examination for a Master Plumber and is entitled to apply for re registration annually thereafter, a certificate of registration, and one metal plate or decal bearing the words "Registered Master Plumber, Philadelphia", and the permanent registration number. If additional metal plates or decals are required, they shall, upon written application, be furnished by the Department.
    4. A Master Plumber's license is valid for one year, and may be renewed upon payment of the annual license fee as set forth in subsection 9-1003(7).
    5. A Master Plumber may, upon application to the department, be placed on an inactive master plumber list, provided he or she surrenders his or her current Master Plumber license, ceases to maintain a place of business for plumbing, removes all advertising directly or indirectly pertaining thereto, and applies for and receives a current annual license for journeyman plumber. A Master Plumber on the inactive list who wishes to regain active status as a licensed Master Plumber shall make application on forms provided by the department, which shall grant such application when the applicant surrenders his or her current annual journeyman plumber license, establishes a bonafide business address, and pays the required fee for the current annual Master Plumber license.
    § 9-1003(3)(R) Certification of Experience.
    Applicants for Master Plumber who have not held Philadelphia licenses for apprentice plumber or journeyman plumber shall certify proof of experience establishing the required five years of plumbing construction experience, at least one year of which shall be at the journeyman level or its equivalent. Proof of such experience shall be in the form of one or more of the following:
    1. Tax records reflecting employment in the field of plumbing construction by a plumbing contractor licensed through a local or State jurisdiction.
    2. Proof of licensure in the field of plumbing construction through a local or State jurisdiction.
  4. Apprentices and Journeymen.
    1. No person shall work as a journeyman plumber unless he or she is licensed with the department. Applications for a journeyman's license shall be made on forms provided by the department. Such application must include the name and home address of the applicant, certify that the applicant has been a duly registered apprentice plumber for not less than four years, and include proof, in the form acceptable to the department, of such employment. Upon receipt of the application and payment of the application and examination fee as set forth in subsection 9-1003(7), the department shall examine the applicant to determine whether the applicant has the requisite knowledge of a journeyman plumber. If the applicant passes such examination, then the applicant shall be licensed by the department upon payment of the annual license fee as set forth in subsection 9-1003(7)(b).
    2. A journeyman plumber's license is valid for one year, and may be renewed upon payment of the annual license fee as set forth in subsection 9-1003(7)(b).
    3. No person shall work as an apprentice plumber unless he or she is registered with the department. Application for registration shall be on forms provided by the department, and shall include the written certification of the employer of the apprentice that such employer is a licensed Master Plumber. An apprentice must register again if the apprentice changes employers.

      Apprentices must be at least sixteen years of age.
    § 9-1003(4)(R) Certification of Journeyman Experience.

    Applicants for Journeyman Plumber who have not held Philadelphia licenses for apprentice plumber shall certify proof of experience establishing the required four years of plumbing construction experience. Proof of such experience shall be in the form of one or more of the following:
    1. Tax records reflecting employment in the field of plumbing construction by a plumbing contractor licensed through a local or State jurisdiction.
    2. Proof of licensure in the field of plumbing construction through a local or State jurisdiction.
  5. Master Plumber Insurance Requirements.
    1. All licensed Master Plumbers shall maintain the following insurance from insurers authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

      (.1) Workers' compensation where applicable: Statutory limits.

      (.2) Comprehensive general liability: $200,000 per occurrence combined single limit for bodily injury including death and property damage liability.
    2. Copies of all insurance certificates shall be submitted to the Department prior to the issuance of a renewal license.
    3. The licensee shall notify the department of any change in a required insurance policy or cancellation thereof within five days of such change.
  6. Master Plumbers: Required and Prohibited Conduct.
    1. No Master Plumber shall permit his or her name to be used by any other person, directly or indirectly, either to obtain a permit or to do any work under his or her license.
    2. Every licensed Master Plumber shall have a bonafide place of business and shall display on the front of that place of business the word "Registered" and the name or names of the person, firm, or corporation and Master Plumber registration number in letters not less than three inches high.
    3. No person, other than a licensed Master Plumber, shall be allowed to display the sign of plumbing or plumbing repair or house drainage or water piping, or any advertisement pertaining thereto.
    4. Every licensed Master Plumber shall give a ten day notice of any change in his or her place of business, and upon his or her retirement from business shall surrender his or her license and registration certificate to the Department.
  7. Fees.
    1. The application and examination fees for plumbers shall be as follows:

      (.1) Journeyman Plumber
      First application and examination $125
      First retake of examination $75
      Additional retakes of examination $125
      (.2) Master Plumber
      First application and examination $250
      First retake of examination $200
      Additional retakes of examination $250
    2. The annual license fee for plumbers shall be as follows:

      (.1) Apprentice plumber $25

      (.2) Journeyman plumber $100

      (.3) Master Plumber $180
    3. A Master Plumber who is delinquent in the payment of his or her annual license fee and who desires to continue to engage in the business of plumbing shall pay an additional delinquency fee of $50.
  8. License Suspension and Revocation.
    1. The department may suspend or revoke any license granted under this Section for any of the following reasons: After an administrative hearing conducted within 10 days.

      (.1) Repeated failure to comply with the provisions of this Section or with the provisions of Title 8 (Philadelphia Plumbing Code);

      (.2) Failure to obtain or maintain the insurance required pursuant to subsection 9-1003(5);

      (.3) Work completed in an unworkmanlike manner;

      (.4) Failure to pay any fine imposed for a violation of any provision of this Section or of Title 8 (Philadelphia Plumbing Code) within ten (10) days of imposition by a final order from which all appeals have been exhausted; or

      (.5) Failure of the licensee or the licensee's business to pay any tax or charge imposed pursuant to Title 19 in connection with the business or the licensee's activity.


    9-1003(8)(a)(R) The suspension and revocation of licenses shall be applied according to the following schedule:
    • Upon the second offense ..........Thirty (30) day suspension of license
    • Upon the third offense..............Sixty (60) day suspension of license
    • Upon the fourth offense ...........Ninety (90) day suspension of license
    • Upon the fifth offense ..............Revocation of license
    Notice of a proposed suspension or revocation of a license, and notice of the opportunity to receive an administrative hearing prior to suspension or revocation, will be sent by the department by certified mail.
UpCodes Premium
Leverage the most sophisticated code compliance platform.
TRY FREE FOR TWO WEEKS VISIT PRICING