Consumer beware: Texas lawmakers vote to eliminate oversight of plumbers

By  | 

(KWTX) In the waning hours of the legislative session Sunday, state lawmakers failed to pass a measure extending the life of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, which is responsible for licensing plumbers and enforcing state law governing plumbers.

(Photo by Bill Gowdy)

The board has until Sept. 1, 2020 to end operations.

Lawmakers also voted to eliminate the law that gives Texas the power to regulate the profession effective on Sept. 1, if Gov. Greg Abbott signs the measure.

"Basically our plumbing licenses will be gone September of this year and that's what it boils down to unless Gov. Abbott intervenes and does something about it," said Chris Sproles, the owner of Central Texas Plumbing Solutions.

"It makes it worse for us for somebody that's put in years of schooling and on the job training for that to not mean anything anymore. It's just a big deal to us," Sproles’ son, John Crawson, said.

As plumbers we look at ourselves to protect the health and the welfare of the nation. I mean getting the sewage away from your house, getting water and gas into your house without any any incidents or bodily harm or damage it's a big deal to us."

The failure to extend the life of the Board of Plumbing Examiners was the result of disagreement on the timing of a proposed transfer of the board’s authority to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, a move supporters said would speed up the licensing of plumbers at a time when they’re in short supply.

State Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, told the Texas Tribune that municipalities could regulate plumbers through local ordinances.

Sproles says he will be asking the City of Waco to consider setting up its own regulations if the governor does not step in.