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(This is a compilation of the statutory text of the above chapter, for legal reference,
annotations and amendments refer to a published text)
§ 34-37-1. Definitions.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have meanings respectively
ascribed to them herein unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:
(1) Apprentice gas fitter or plumber. A person other than a master or journeyman
gas fitter or plumber, who is engaged in learning and assisting in the installation
of gas pipe, equipment, apparatus, and appliances, and shall work directly under
the supervision of a journeyman or master gas fitter or plumber, and who has successfully
fulfilled the registration requirements of the board and has been duly registered
by the board as such for the current year.
(2) Board. The Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board as renamed by this
chapter. The board shall examine, certify, and regulate plumbers, gas fitters, and
medical gas piping fitters on a statewide basis pursuant to this chapter.
(3) Certification. The process of testing at the state level to determine the knowledge
and skill of an individual with respect to plumbing and gas fitting, and the issuing
of certificates to indicate that an individual has passed the examination.
(4) Gas fitting, gas systems, or gas work. The installation, repair of pipes, fixtures,
fittings, appliances, or apparatus necessary for supplying natural gas for residential
or commercial use from the point of delivery and all gas piping before connection
to the combustion zone and including the applicable venting of flue gases to the
outside atmosphere and the provisions for air for combustion and ventilation. This
chapter shall not be construed to prevent any contractor certified by the Alabama
Board of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors from installing, replacing, or
performing service or repair on natural gas fired air heating/cooling appliances,
excluding piping to them provided the installing contractor has a valid certificate
issued by the Alabama Board of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors.
(5) Journeyman gas fitter. A person who engages in or works at the actual installation,
repair, or replacement of gas work, who has successfully fulfilled the examination
requirements of the board, has been issued a journeyman gas fitter certificate by
the board, and possesses a valid and current annual certificate issued by the board.
The certificate shall be available for inspection on request.
(6) Journeyman plumber. A person who engages in or works at the actual installation,
repair, or replacement of plumbing systems, who has successfully fulfilled the examination
requirements of the board, has been issued a journeyman plumber certificate by the
board, and possesses a valid and current annual certificate issued by the board.
The certificate shall be available for inspection on request.
(7) Master gas fitter. Any person engaged in or proposing to engage in the business
of contracting to do, or of superintending the installation, maintenance, or repair
of gas systems or gas work, either or both. The individual shall qualify to be a
certified master gas fitter. If the business be a firm or corporation, at least
one active employee of the firm or corporation shall be a duly registered and certified
master gas fitter, actively and continuously connected with the conduct of said
business. The master gas fitter shall have in his or her possession a current annual
certificate issued by the board. The certificate shall be available for inspection
(8) Master plumber. Any person engaged in or proposing to engage in the business
of contracting to do, or of superintending the installation, maintenance, or repair
of plumbing, or both. The individual shall qualify to be a certified master plumber.
If the business is a firm or corporation, at least one active employee of the firm
or corporation shall be a duly registered and certified master plumber, actively,
continuously connected with the conduct of the business. The master plumber shall
have in his or her possession a current annual certificate issued by the board.
The certificate shall be available for inspection on request.
(9) Medical gas piping fitter. A master plumber or master gas fitter whose certificate
bears an endorsement for installation of medical gas piping. A journeyman plumber
or journeyman gas fitter whose certificate bears an endorsement for installation
of medical gas piping shall be entitled to install medical gas piping under the
direction of a master plumber or master gas fitter whose certificate entitles him
or her to install medical gas piping. The medical gas piping fitter shall have in
his or her possession a current annual certificate with endorsement issued by the
board. The certificate shall be available for inspection on request.
(10) Medical gas piping. Piping used solely to transport gases used for medical
(11) Plumbing, plumbing systems, or plumbing work. The installation, repair, or
replacement of pipes, fixtures, or other apparatus necessary either for supplying
water or for removing liquid or waterborne waste. The term is also used to denote
installed fixtures, drainage, vents, and water distribution systems.
§ 34-37-2. Board renamed; authority expanded.
The Plumbers Examining Board as created by Act No. 529 of the 1949 Regular Session
of the Legislature (Acts 1949, p. 827), as amended, is renamed the Plumbers and
Gas Fitters Examining Board and the authority of the board is expanded to allow
the board to examine, certify, and regulate plumbers, gas fitters, and medical gas
piping fitters on a statewide basis. The board may make and enforce rules adopted
in accordance with Chapter 22 of Title 41, the Alabama Administrative Procedure
§ 34-37-3. Appointments to board; composition.
The board members established by this chapter, shall continue to serve on the board
as renamed by this chapter until the expiration of their current terms. Appointments
shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate. Commencing on the effective date of the act amending this section, members shall serve until the expiration of their respective terms of office and shall vacate office on that date. The Governor shall designate the length
of term for each of his appointees not to exceed four years. The board shall always
be composed of the following members: One member appointed by the Governor shall
be a master plumber as defined by this chapter; one member appointed by the Governor
shall be a journeyman plumber as defined by this chapter; one member appointed by
the Governor shall be a registered professional engineer licensed as such by the
State Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors as provided
in Article 2 of Chapter 11 of this title, or any subsequent act relating to the
licensing of professional engineers; one member appointed by the Governor shall
be a municipal or county building official; one member appointed by the Governor
shall be a master gas fitter as defined in this chapter; one member appointed by
the Governor shall be a journeyman gas fitter as defined in this chapter; and one
member appointed by the Governor shall be appointed from the public at large. The
member representing the public at large shall not be engaged or otherwise connected
to the plumbing or gas industry or the installation of plumbing or gas work nor
connected with any person, firm, or corporation handling or dealing in material,
fixtures, or appliances connected with plumbing or gas work. The membership of the
board shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural,
and economic diversity of the state.
§ 34-37-4. Board; meetings; compensation; employees.
(a) The board shall meet when necessary for the proper performance of its duties,
but in no case less than once a year. Meetings shall be held at places in the state
as the board deems necessary. At its first meeting next following May 2, 1989, and
every two years thereafter, the board shall organize itself by electing from its
membership a chair, vice-chair, and a recording secretary. The board shall appoint,
employ, or contract with an executive director for the board, and may appoint, employ,
or contract with a deputy director, neither of whom shall be subject to the State
Merit System. The executive director shall serve as treasurer of the board, but
the deputy director may serve as treasurer of the board in the absence of the executive
director or when otherwise directed by the board. In addition to any other duties,
the deputy director may serve as a hearing officer for the board in any license
proceeding pursuant to Section 34-37-12. The executive director and the deputy director
shall not be a member of the board and shall not be engaged or otherwise connected
with the plumbing or gas fitting industry. The board shall set the compensation
of the executive director and the deputy director in accordance with regulations
of the State Personnel Board. Four members of the board shall constitute a quorum
for transacting business. Each member of the board shall receive as compensation
for services the sum of two hundred dollars ($200) per day for each day spent in
active service for the board. In addition to per diem compensation, each board member
shall be reimbursed for any necessary expense incurred in performing duties as a
board member. The expenses allowable to each board member shall not exceed the per
diem amount of state travel expenses allowed by law, from time to time, for state
employees traveling on state business. Employees of the board shall also be entitled
to reimbursement for traveling expenses incurred when traveling on official board
business at the rate for state employees traveling on state business. The board
may employ or contract for stenographic or clerical help and compliance officers
when needed, and may purchase necessary office supplies, equipment, and services.
(b) The compensation and expense provided for in this section, and all other authorized
expenses, shall be payable solely from fees collected by or on behalf of the board.
In no event shall any expense incurred by the board be charged against any funds
of the State of Alabama other than the funds collected under this chapter.
§ 34-37-5. Deposit and disbursement of funds; bond of the executive director and
(a) There is established a separate special revenue trust fund in the State Treasury
to be known as the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board Fund. All receipts
collected by the board under this chapter shall be deposited in this fund and used
only to carry out this chapter. The fund shall be disbursed only by warrant of the
State Comptroller upon the State Treasury upon itemized vouchers approved by the
executive director of the board or, in the absence of the executive director, by
the deputy director. No funds shall be withdrawn or expended except as budgeted
and allotted according to Sections 41-4-80 to 41-4-96, inclusive, as amended, and
only in amounts as stipulated in the general appropriation bill or other appropriation
bills. Any funds unspent and unencumbered at the end of each fiscal year that exceed
25 percent of the board's budget for the previous fiscal year shall be transferred
to the State General Fund.
(b) The executive director and the deputy director of the board shall, before entering
upon the duties of their office, make and file with the Secretary of State an official
bond in the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000), unless covered by the state blanket
bond. The appropriate premiums on the bond shall be paid out of the funds of the
board, and the bond shall be executed by an approved bonding fidelity or guaranty
company qualified to do business in Alabama and acceptable to the Secretary of State.
§ 34-37-6. Certification of compentency; requirement, application - Board's duties.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to purchase a business
license or to do or perform, or to contract, direct, or superintend any plumbing,
gas fitting, or medical gas piping within any incorporated city or town or county
of this state unless the person has first received a certificate of competency,
hereinafter referred to as "certificate," that is in force and effect at the time
the plumbing, gas fitting, or medical gas piping is done, directed, or superintended,
except as hereinafter provided.
(b) The board shall register every person who may apply for an apprentice plumber
or gas fitter registration certificate upon forms provided by the board, upon first
paying all prescribed fees.
(c) The board shall examine and pass upon the qualification of every person who
applies for a journeyman's plumber or gas fitter certificate upon forms provided
by the board. An applicant for examination for a journeyman's plumber or gas fitter
certificate shall submit proof that the applicant has two years of work experience
as an apprentice plumber or gas fitter or has completed an apprentice training program
approved by the board. Applicants for journeyman plumber or gas fitter shall be
examined, orally or in writing, upon the fundamentals of plumbing or gas fitting,
the theory and practice of plumbing installation and construction or gas fitting
work, and the experience and ability of the applicant in practical plumbing installation
and construction or gas fitting work. If the applicant is found to possess an accurate
knowledge of the theory and correct practice of plumbing installation and construction
or gas fitting work, and sufficient experience and ability in plumbing installation
and construction or gas fitting work to safely and competently apply that knowledge
and practice, the board shall issue a certificate, upon the applicant first paying
all prescribed fees. The examination shall be administered by an independent examining
(d) The board shall examine and pass upon the qualifications of every person who
applies for a master's plumber or gas fitter certificate upon forms provided by
- Applicants for examination for a master plumber certificate shall submit proof to
the board that the applicant has at least one year of work experience as a journeyman
- Applicants for examination for a master gas fitter's certificate shall submit proof
to the board that the applicant has at least one year of work experience as a journeymen
- An applicant for a master's certificate shall be examined upon knowledge, training,
and ability, in the planning, laying out, and supervision of plumbing installation
and construction work or gas fitting work, and if found to possess those qualifications,
the applicant shall be issued a master's plumber or gas fitter certificate by the
(e) No person shall be issued a certificate without passing the prescribed examination.
A person who has passed the examination shall not be required to take the examination
thereafter in order to secure a certificate in subsequent years. At least four examinations
per year shall be conducted, at a time and place prescribed by the board after reasonable
(f) Any master plumber, master gas fitter, journeyman plumber, or journeyman gas
fitter performing medical gas piping shall provide proof to the board that he or
she has successfully completed a current medical gas piping certification program
approved by the board. The approval by the board shall be indicated by endorsement
as a medical gas piping fitter on his or her certificate. Any journeyman performing
medical gas piping shall work under the direction of a master plumber or master
gas fitter whose certificate entitles him or her to install medical gas piping.
§ 34-37-7. Reexamination.
Any person who fails to pass an examination may, upon reapplication and payment
of the regular examination fee, be reexamined at any subsequent examination given
by the board.
§ 34-37-8. Renewals; acceptance and inspection of certificate.
(a) Any person who holds a certificate issued by the board shall be issued statewide
certification upon the renewal of their existing certificate.
(b) Any certificate issued by the board shall be acceptable by any city, town, or
county in the state and any existing local statute or ordinance contrary to this
section is repealed, and no other competency certification or examination shall
be required of plumbers, gas fitters, or medical gas piping fitters by any local
(c) Any current registration or annual certificate issued to any person by the board
shall be in possession of the person at any time he or she engages in or proposes
to engage as a master, journeyman, or apprentice plumber, gas fitter, or medical
gas piping fitter, as the case may be, and upon request he or she shall make the
certificate or registration available for inspection and identification by any person
or persons for whom he or she engages or proposes to engage as such, and for identification
by plumbing, gas, or other authorized enforcement personnel of any governmental
entity, board, or agency when requested.
§ 34-37-9. Fees; reissuance fees; exceptions.
The board shall set the necessary fees to administer the requirements of this chapter
and when adopted, such fee schedule shall be in lieu of any fee schedule heretofore
prescribed by said board. The board shall not change the fee schedule to be effective
in the middle of a calendar year.
The certificates provided for herein shall be issued by the board upon the payment
of the prescribed fees. All annual certificates shall expire on December 31 of the
year in which they are issued. The certificate fees herein prescribed shall be in
addition to all privilege or license taxes otherwise levied. Certificates renewed
after December 31 shall include the late renewal penalty established by the board.
All applicants requesting replacement of lost or stolen certificates shall be required
to pay a $5.00 reissuance fee based on the regular fee schedule.
All persons serving in the armed forces will not be required to pay any back years
for a renewal certificate during the calendar year he is released from active military
duty. All other persons shall pay back years unless proof satisfactory to the board
is furnished indicating that the individual was not employed in such years in the
plumbing or gas fitting trade.
§ 34-37-10. Temporary certificate.
The board may issue a temporary revocable certificate for journeyman classification
one time only to any person pending such person's examination for a certificate,
if such person furnishes satisfactory proof that he holds a license or certificate
to practice as a journeyman plumber or gas fitter in any state wherein plumbers
and gas fitters are required to meet prescribed standards before engaging in the
trade of journeyman plumber or gas fitter. Any such temporary certificate during
the effective period thereof shall have the force and effect of an annual certificate;
but no such temporary certificate shall be effective for a period of more than 90
days from the issuance thereof, or until the next examination, whichever is longer.
Prior to receiving any such temporary certificate, the applicant therefor shall
be required to pay to the board one half of the annual certificate fee provided
for journeyman plumber or gas fitter, as the case may be. Additional test dates
for master plumber and master gas fitter examinations may be given at the discretion
of the board.
§ 34-37-11. Reciprocal agreements.
The board may establish reciprocal agreements with any other state licensing or
certifying board which recognizes, as a minimum, the standards prescribed by the
board, and may allow certified plumbers and gas fitters to receive a license in
this state without taking examinations if such plumber or gas fitter is licensed
in the reciprocating state.
§ 34-37-12. Revocation of certificates.
The board may revoke or suspend any certificate if obtained through concealment,
misstatement or misrepresentation of any material fact in the application for such
certificate, or for a willful violation of any law or ordinance pertaining to the
business of the holder of such certificates. Before a certificate may be revoked,
the holder thereof shall have notice in writing, enumerating the charges against
him, and be entitled to a hearing by the board not sooner than five days from receipt
of notice. The holder of such certificate shall be given an opportunity to present
testimony, oral or written, and right of cross-examination and representation by
counsel. All testimony shall be given under oath. The board shall have power to
administer oaths, issue subpoenas, and compel the attendance of witnesses.
The decision of the board shall be based on the evidence produced at the hearing
and made a part of the record thereof. The person whose certificate has been revoked
shall not be permitted to apply for a license for one year from the date of revocation.
Hearings shall be conducted by a hearing officer appointed by the board. Said hearing
officer may be a board member, the executive director or such other person as the
board may deem fit and proper to hold such hearing. The testimony adduced at said
hearing, along with all other proceedings, shall be taken down by a competent stenographer
and shall be preserved as a record of the board and shall be open to the public
inspection at all reasonable times. A copy of said record so adduced shall be furnished
to each member of the board, and no license shall be revoked unless a majority of
the board members concur with the revocation of same.
No annual certificate shall be issued to any certificate holder whose certificate
shall have been revoked by the board after such hearing until one year from and
after the date of such revocation unless the certificate holder whose certificate
shall have been so revoked shall enter into a bond with good and sufficient surety
in the penal sum of $1,000 to faithfully comply with the provisions of this chapter
and of all rules and regulations and codes adopted by the board, provided, however,
that such certificate holder whose certificate shall be so revoked may within five
days after such revocation appeal from the board's decision or revocation to the
circuit court of the county in which said certificate holder resides, does business
or is employed.
§ 34-37-13. Master plumber's and gas fitter's bond.
In order to protect the public from damages arising from plumbing and gas fitting
or plumbing work and gas fitting work failing to comply with the requirements of
any state laws applicable thereto, or with the ordinances of any municipal corporation
applicable thereto, it is hereby provided that before any person engages in the
business of master plumber or master gas fitter, he shall execute and deposit with
the judge of probate in the county of his principal place of business a bond in
the sum of $2,000.00. Such bond shall be a cash bond of $2,000.00 or executed by
a surety authorized and qualified to write surety bonds in the state of Alabama,
and shall be approved by the probate judge. Such bond shall be conditioned upon
all plumbing and gas fitting work done or supervised by such master plumber or master
gas fitter complying with the provisions of any laws or ordinances relating to plumbing
and gas fitting and applicable thereto. Action on such bond may be brought against
the principal and surety thereon in the name of, and for the benefit of, any person
who suffers damages as a consequence of said master plumber's or master gas fitter's
work not conforming to the requirements of any laws or ordinances pertaining to
plumbing and gas fitting and applicable thereto, provided, however, that the aggregate
liability of the surety to all persons so damaged shall, in no event, exceed the
sum of said bond.
§ 34-37-14. Wrongful use of certificate; notification of address; inactive status
(a) No person who has obtained a certificate shall allow his name to be used by
another person, either for the purpose of obtaining permits, or doing business or
work under his certificate; and every person certified shall notify the board of
the address of his place of business and the name under which such business is carried
on, and shall give immediate notice to the board of any change in either.
(b) Before any person certified by the board engages in the business of master plumber
and/or master gas fitter, he shall notify the board of the address of the place
of business he or she engages in as such and the name under which such business
is carried on and shall give immediate notice of any change in either. All information
required by this section shall be furnished on a business certification form furnished
by the board.
(c) Any certified master plumber or master gas fitter who desires to renew his annual
certificate but does not intend to engage as a master shall complete an inactive
status affidavit obtained from the board.
§ 34-37-15. Acts, works and conduct permitted, without license; chapter not applicable
to specific natural gas utility companies.
(a) The following acts, work, and conduct may be performed by anyone, without license
or certificate, provided, however, that all work and services herein named or referred
to shall be subject to an inspection and approval in accordance with the terms of
all state laws and applicable municipal ordinances:
- Plumbing work done by a property owner in or about a building owned or occupied
by him or her.
- Plumbing or gas fitting work done by anyone who is regularly employed or acting
as a maintenance man acting under the supervision of a maintenance engineer or maintenance
engineer incidental to and in connection with the business in which he is employed
and engaged, provided said plumbing or gas fitting work is done on the premises
of said employer, and who does not engage in the occupation of a plumber or gas
fitter for the general public.
- Maintenance and reinstallation work done upon the premises or equipment of a railroad,
other businesses or industry, by an employee thereof who does not engage in the
occupation of a plumber or gas fitter for the general public.
- Plumbing or gas fitting work done by persons engaged by any public utility company
in the laying, maintenance and operation of its service mains or lines and the installation,
alteration, adjustment, repair, removal, and renovation of all types of appurtenances,
equipment, and appliances, provided such plumbing work does not necessitate tying
into waste or sewer lines on the outlet side of a trap or alter gas piping on consumer
side of meter.
- Appliances or fixture installations and service work done in connecting appliances
or fixtures to existing piping installations.
- Any person may install washing machines to existing piping installation or waste
lines, provided such plumbing work does not necessitate tying into waste or sewer
lines on the outlet side of the trap.
(b) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any natural gas utility company
having fewer than 350 employees that is regulated by the Alabama Public Service
§ 34-37-16. Restrictions.
(a) No person shall use nor allow their certificate to enable anyone other than
the certificate holder and his employees directly supervised by the certificate
holder to perform plumbing or gas fitting. Local officials may require the certificate
holder to be present if any problems develop on the work.
(b) No certificate issued by the board can be sold or transferred. Any certificate
which is misused may be revoked by the board.
§ 34-37-17. Violation; penalty.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision of this chapter regulating
plumbers, gas fitters, or medical gas piping fitters. Any person convicted of such
violation shall be punished as prescribed for a Class B misdemeanor.
§ 34-37-18. Repealer.
All laws or parts of laws which conflict with this act are hereby repealed and Act
No. 529, H. 977, 1949 Regular Session (Acts 1949, p. 827), is hereby specifically