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Drain cleaning legislation pending - (11/25/2012)

Where does “drain cleaning” end and plumbing begin? It’s a reasonable question.

Anybody can set up a drain cleaning business, whereas plumbers (as well as other professional tradespeople) need to be licensed and adhere to certain standards and regulations. That leaves consumers without any recourse when a drain cleaning service call goes wrong. A drain cleaning certification bill that is pending before the state legislature would help address issues such as these.

Essentially, the bill would require all drain cleaners to be certified and would empower the state’s Plumbing Board to grant certification as well as establish rules and regulations for the industry.

According to Harry Brett, Local 12 business agent, the Plumbing Board is all too familiar with drain cleaning service problems. “When something goes wrong, people call the Board,” he says, “assuming they can resolve it. But the Board has no authority to act.”

He adds that bringing oversight and training standards to the unregulated service would be a matter of safety, consumer protection, fairness, and common sense.

The issue was in the spotlight recently when Roto-Rooter allegedly dispatched unlicensed apprentices to perform plumbing work at jobs in Southeastern Massachusetts without the supervision of licensed plumbers.

Brett says that the bill has been favorably received and that he expects it will be passed. It is being reviewed by the committee on Senate Ways and Means

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