What Have We Been Doing?

What has the UPHCA Been Doing?

What Has Been Happening?

I understand there are times when you might ask “What do I get from my membership to the UPHCA?  The following are a few answers and if you don’t agree with anyone of the items listed below please contact me!

*  The ‘Handyman’ Exception or “Minor Plumbing Work that is Incidental” as it is properly named had a few changes made that went into effect June 2023.  One of the significant change took out a list of services or procedures that could be done by an unlicensed/handyman and took out the $350 limit monetary limit.  The wording of the previous rule had become an issue for DOPL to enforce, it created loopholes for individuals to abuse.  This simple statement replaced the previous rule: 

2(a) “Minor plumbing work that is incidental” means repair or replacement of residential type Plumbing appurtenances, fixtures, or appliances, provided that no modification is made to: existing culinary water, soil, waste, or vent piping; or a gas appliance or combustion system.

In discussion with the State Plumbing Licensing Board on July 5, 2023 (audio of the meeting) the new modification of the rule clearly defined the work that must be done by a licensed plumber.  In simple terms, anything behind the wall of a residential unit, or work that requires the main water system to be turned off or installing new appurtenances, fixtures or appliances (definitions of these terms see below) cannot be done unless a licensed plumber performs the work.  A “Handyman” can replace or repair a fixture, toilet, dishwasher, garbage disposal, etc. however if there is a change to the source of culinarily water or drainage to the “Plumbing System” that was originally installed, only a licensed plumber can perform the work.  There is no monetary value associated with this new rule.

A Few Examples to Illustrate:

  • Simple dishwasher replacement – Handyman
  • Dishwasher relocated or a new installation – Plumber Only
  • Toilet Repaired or Replaced – Handyman
  • Toilet relocated in bathroom, any changes – Plumber Only
  • New bathroom installed in a home – Plumber Only
  • Toilet Replaced, Water valve behind toilet will not turn off, Main water is turned off to replace or bypass the valve – Plumber Only.

These are just a few examples.  Essentially the rule is any new or change to the existing plumbing system to a residential unit must be completed by a licensed plumber.
NOTE: Any changes or replacement to water heaters can only be performed by a license plumber.

*  Another item the UPHCA worked on and through the rule making process changed was the “Maintenance Exception.” This was an issue that the UPHCA found concerning, DOPL was defining incorrectly.  It was any property owner with their W-2 employees or “their agents” could do any plumbing work on their own facilities, no individual license necessary under this previous rule.  The UPHCA proposed a change to the rule and was enacted over a year ago:

([5]6)  (a) “Maintenance” means [the] routine actions to repair, [replacement and refinishing of] replace, refinish, or preserve any component of an existing structure in its original condition.[; but,]
(b) “Maintenance” does not include:
(i) alteration or modification to [the] existing weight-bearing or structural components; or
(ii) any work that involves an electrical or plumbing system.

The Maintenance Exception clearly excludes plumbing or electrical systems.

*  Licensing continues to be a concern with an effort to reduce requirements or end licensing all together in the State of Utah.  The UPHCA has an excellent record of working with the legislature and with DOPL on these and other issues affecting the industry.  We have an excellent lobbyist team ensuring our voice is heard and our positions are understood.

The UPHCA is working hard for our industry and trade.  We can’t solve everything, nonetheless when an issue does come to our attention, we evaluate it and then start working on the solutions.  It’s a game of patience when working with government!

“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.” The Dalai Lama

The UPHCA is the Mosquito!