All contractors wishing to obtain a residential or commercial plumbing permit must show proof of their Ohio Plumbing Contractors License issued by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board except those obtaining a “Homeowners Permit” and contractors registered as a “Specialty Contractor”. Hamilton County Public Health’s Plumbing Division also requires a $10,000 performance bond for all contractors installing plumbing. This ensures plumbing jobs are completed and installed to code. A yearly registration fee of $100 is required. To become a registered and bonded plumber with Hamilton County Public Health, complete the Plumbing Registration Form (2021 form is downloadable here and 2020 is downloadable here).
Plumbers may also wish to establish an escrow account with the Health District to save time and travel to and from the Health District offices.
Here are the registration documents you need to turn in to become a registered contractor in Hamilton County:
- Application: 2021 Registration Packet
- $100 Application Fee;
- Continuation certificate stating your bond, already on file, is valid through 12/31 of the year for which you are registering
An Original Plumbing Bond (Bond Requirements), for first time registrants or companies that have obtained a new bond not on file with this office;
- Certificate of Liability (for your company);
- OCILB license – Website print-outs are not acceptable. (Not required for specialty contractors)
NOTE — Here are reasons why your registration packet will be returned:
- The same company name is not listed identically on all documents
- One or more required document(s) is missing
- Documents are incomplete
When registering with a continuation certificate, for quickest processing, send completed registration documents to HCPHCustServ@hamilton-co.org. Upon review a member of our staff will contact you for the option to pay with credit card or trust account. Otherwise, mail to:
Hamilton County Public Health
250 William Howard Taft Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45219
If you have any questions about registering, please use the following contact information.
Plumbing Registration Questions:
Contact a member of our Customer Service Team
Numbers to Know:
- City of Cincinnati Plumbing Department of Inspection: (513) 352-3280
- Hamilton County Building Department: (513) 946-4550
- Cincinnati Master Plumbers Association: (513) 742-2672
- Local 392 Plumbers, Pipefitters, & Mechanical Equipment Service: (513) 241-1760
- Metropolitan Sewer District: (513) 244-1332
Contractors for Hire
When hiring any contractor, it’s always a good idea to get at least three bids. If there is a large difference between two bids, find out why (look at the labor hours, material etc.). A good rule of thumb: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
- Ask for names of past customers and call them for a reference. Find out how long the contractor has been in business. Call the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints filed against the contractor before you hire!
- Call your local health/building department’s plumbing division to see if your job requires a permit and inspection.
- Counties are not permitted to license plumbers, but Hamilton County Public Health does require a $10,000 performance bond for all contractors installing plumbing. This ensures plumbing jobs are completed and installed to code.
- If you want to assure the contractor is a licensed master or journeyman plumber, you must ask to see their journeyman or master license from one of the surrounding cities such as City of Cincinnati, Middletown or Norwood, etc.
- If a contractor does not want to get a permit, that should be a warning sign that something is wrong. An honest contractor should not hesitate to have an inspector see his or her work.
Find a Contractor
Click here for our list of contractors who are bonded and registered to install plumbing in Hamilton County (This does not necessarily mean they have a journeyman plumber’s license or state plumbing certification license). Hamilton County Public Health does not recommend one plumbing contractor over another.
A Specialty Contractor – a contractor restricted to installing only outside water service main and outside sanitary sewer piping.
You must use the new backflow form or your test sheet will be returned.
For more information about backflow devices, obtaining a test sheet, finding a backflow tester/contractor, registering as a contractor, or making a payment. Please contact our customer service representatives at (513)-946-7830.
NOTE — We will no longer accept any backflow test sheets that are not printed from our database. Below are instructions for how to print a test sheet. Do not white out and copy any existing test sheet to use for another device. A blank test sheet should be used for new or recently found devices.
- Better Business Bureau
- Bond Requirements Form
- Contractors for Hire
- Plumber Health & Safety
- Plumbing Application
- Plumbing Bond Form
- Plumbing Contractor Registration Application
- Plumbing Escrow Form
- Plumbing Fees
- Plumbing Permits for Homeowners
- Search for a Registered Bonded Plumbing
- Where is my job located? (in what jurisdiction)