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Need a plumbing license in Orange County Florida?

Need a plumbing license in Orange County, FL ?

A recent incident with a Advanced Drying Systems Incorporated, Tampa, FL spurred this article.  Recently had damage done to my residence by  Advanced Drying Systems Incorporated, Tampa, FL.  Long story short…they “played” plumber and used incorrect plumbing caps when cutting off some water supply lines in a bath-room.  Caps blew off (literally) and approx. 1000 gals of Florida’s Finest Water washed through my 2nd story.

It made me think.  Who can work on my plumbing legally?  What type of credentials must they a have? And this is what I found…



  • A Plumbing Contractors license is required in Florida for any job that involves the trade. Anyone seeking to become a plumbing contractor in Florida is required to sit for two exams, business and finance and the trade.
  • Applicants must document four years of experience. Applicants are also required to provide a credit report and financial statement that is no more than 12 months old. A net worth of $2,500 – $20,000 (depending on classification) is required.
  • The minimum general liability insurance that is required for licensure is $100,000 for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage.

What can be done under this license:

  • A “plumbing contractor” means a contractor whose contracting business consists of the execution of contracts requiring the experience, financial means, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, or, when not prohibited by law, design plumbing.

(note that the definition includes the word “alter” and “repair”- this is definitely an area requiring a plumber.)

Taking this a step further… Florida requires a licensed plumber for any work that includes connecting lines to potable (drinking) water.  Bathroom sink faucets are definitely potable water.

Courtesy of AllStar Plumbing

What is the penalty for a company who ignores Florida Law, like Advanced Drying Systems Incorporated, Tampa, FL and proceeds to alter or repair a customer’s potable drink water supply lines for compensation?

Section 489.127, Florida Statutes, provides as follows:

(1) No person shall:

(a) Falsely hold himself or herself or a business organization out as a licensee, certificateholder, or registrant;
(b) Falsely impersonate a certificateholder or registrant;
(c) Present as his or her own the certificate or registration of another;
(d) Knowingly give false or forged evidence to the board or a member thereof;
(e) Use or attempt to use a certificate or registration that has been suspended or revoked;
(f) Engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor or advertise himself or herself or a business organization as available to engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor without being duly registered or certified;
(g) Operate a business organization engaged in contracting after 60 days following the termination of its only qualifying agent without designating another primary qualifying agent, except as provided in ss. 489.119 and 489.1195;
(h) Commence or perform work for which a building permit is required pursuant to part IV of chapter 553 without such building permit being in effect; or
(i) Willfully or deliberately disregard or violate any municipal or county ordinance relating to uncertified or unregistered contractors.

Thus, there are nine different ways to commit a crime of unlicensed contracting in Florida. Proof of any one violation is sufficient to sustain a conviction.

For purposes of the Florida statute, the term “Certificate” means a certificate of competency issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. “Registration” means registration with the department in accordance with Chapter 489, Florida Statutes.

The term “Contracting” means that the accused engaged in the business of a “contractor,” as defined in Section 489.105, Florida Statutes. The statute defines “contractor” as a person who is responsible for a qualifying construction project and the person who, for compensation, undertakes to, submits a bid to, or does himself or herself or by others construct, repair, alter, remodel, add to, demolish, subtract from, or improve any building or structure, including related improvements to real estate, for others or for resale to others.


In Florida, unlicensed contracting is generally charged as a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 1 year in jail or 12 months of probation, and a $1,000.00 fine.

However, if the accused has been previously convicted of contracting without a license, the offense may be charged as third degree felony, with penalties of up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine. A third felony may also be charged where a person contracts without a license during a State of Emergency, as declared by executive order.

Have an unlicensed or uncertified contractor to report in Orange County, FL ?  -CLICK HERE-

or call ;1.866.532.1440 (inside Florida) or 850.488.6603 (outside Florida)

Therefore, our water-dry or water damage mitigation company ( Advanced Drying Systems Incorporated, Tampa, FL ) appears to have broken the law in addition to acting in a negligent manner.  This of course is OUR OPINION!

Have you had a similar incident occur?  Let us know.



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Our Orlando plumbing leak story!

Recently, we had a real plumbing leak disaster in our Windermere, Florida home.  Here is the nutshell version of the story with some real life advice to help others in similar situations…

Toilet Flange

Employee of Advanced Drying Systems pictured

Our daughters bathroom developed a decent leak due to a poorly installed toilet flange.  The toilet never seated properly and recently started leaking, causing a moderate amount of damage to the bathroom and our garage ceiling below.  We hired Advanced Drying Systems Incorporated, Tampa, FL to remediate.  A professional water-dry company does just that, they dry everything out in hopes that mold will not occur.  We originally wanted to keep the responding company’s identity anonymous however, as this situation was negligence, in our opinion,  but the intent was not malicious.  They removed the toilet, cut the sheet-rock, added some fans to help dry the area.


Pex Piping

Our home is newer, built in 2001.  Therefore the house is fully equipped with pex pipe.  Pex is a very chem-resistant flexible water pipe.  It is easier to install and will not become brittle like PVC type pipes will over time.  The only caveat is that the fittings are very specific,  require special tools and are not compatible with PVC or C-PVC fittings. This is not your old “blue-glue”  type piping.

Moving along

In the process of drying the bathroom, Advanced Drying Systems Incorporated, Tampa, FL (not a licensed plumber)decided the vanity had to be removed, although it was not wet or damaged.  They decided to cut the plumbing valves off completely, remove the vanity and then cap the open pipes (sounds like a good plan).  –You must be a licensed plumber or work for a licensed plumber to do this btw and a permit should be issued by Orange County, Florida– Well, the workers did as they described.  They used PVC cement to attach C-PVC caps to pex style plumbing without letting us know these details.

What happens next

Cap formerly attached to Pex Pipe

Well, that night as our lovely daughter slept in her bed-room the water was pushing on those ill-fated plumbing caps.  Eventually one of them let loose!!  This pipe, we estimate, pumped between 750 and 1000 gals of water into our daughters bathroom, bedroom, hall and our garage before we found out!











Damaged Garage

Between, the bathroom, the bedroom, hallway, personal effects, garage and exterior we experienced roughly $80,000.00 worth of damage due the negligence of the water-dry company!  We hired Serv-Pro of Orlando to remediate this damage and have to say they did a fantastic job!!  Kept us informed all the way, let us know what they can and can’t do and the pricing was very fair.  BTW, they informed us that a water-dry company touching any of our plumbing would not be appropriate in any situation!






  1. Be involved through the process, DON’T ASSUME
  2. Know what type of plumbing your home has (PVC, C-PVC, Copper, Pex, etc…)
  3. Select contractors on reputation, not value for critical systems/issues
  4. Trust but VERIFY!
  5. Consider council when a contractor damages your property!