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Your State’s Licensing & Exams

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Critical Care, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Your State’s Licensing & Exams

    Do you need to be licensed in your state to perform irrigation work? If so, do you have a license? What does you license allow you to do, legally? And, could you tell us a little bit about the exam and/or process of becoming licensed?

    Outside of very minimal repairs such as changing a sprinkler head or two, in this state (Oregon) you must be licensed to do any irrigation work. By the way, this includes blowing out systems.

    You must first qualify to take the exam(s) through education points or work experience. Once you qualify, then you must then pass two or more exams. For irrigation the exam consists of 100 questions pertaining to irrigation, 50 to backflow, and 50 to laws and rules. If you decide to do any landscape construction, then you’ll end up taking more exams up to a total of 450 questions for “all phases”.

    For a look at what makes up the exams here in Oregon take a look at this link:

  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    nothing here. It has good and bad points, but I'm glad we don't. Probably why SprinklerGuy moved here. So we can be scrubs together!!:D
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Let me correct that. We do need a cross-connection license to install backflow preventers (which I have) and need to be licensed to test (which I don't have and don't do).
  4. skurkp

    skurkp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    I am trying to pass my Texas exam now, there are four part Design, Install, Back Flow and Hydraulics. You first have to complete the 45 hour course in order to be qualified to take the test. There are two different tests one for the installers and one for the irrigators. there is also a course requirement and test for back flow inspection and repair.:dizzy:
  5. AssuredServicesCo

    AssuredServicesCo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    Texas has a pretty tough test but if you study for six months you can pass. It was the hardest test I've ever taken.
  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    The Texas Irrigator's License is required of anyone doing anything to a landscape irrigation system anywhere in the state. There are exceptions but that is for people that are working on an irrigation system at the company where they are regularly employed.

    The law says "...it is illegal for any non-licensed person to install, maintain, repair, design, or sell landscape irrigation system in Texas."

    That means that as an LCO, it is against the law for you to replace that sprinkler head you just cut off with your zero-turn. It means that you are not supposed to run through a sprinkler system and make adjustments. It means that unless you are a registered Landscape Architect designing irrigation systems as part of a project, it is illegal to go out and sell an irrigation system design.

    Pretty tough, but also hard to enforce. There are more and more getting popped with some pretty hefty fines - usually over $1000.00 per offense.

    As a Licensed Irrigator we are entitled by state law to install irrigation systems, repair them, etc. we are also able to make a tap into the potable public water supply and connect to a backflow device. We are not licensed to set water meters or make taps on the upstream side of any meter. We can repair backflow devices and even change them out. In order to do all of these things, we are also required to abide by all state and local ordinances and codes, as well as obtain the proper permits and if required to post the proper bond. So we don't need a plumber for anything related to an irrigation system.
    As far as testing backflow devices, we have to be certified by the ABPA and have a current license on file with the various water purveyors.

    One thing most irrigators don't do is have an electrician hook up the AC power to the controller. If you read the electrical codes carefully, you need to have an electrician make any connections to the circuit breaker (if hard wired), and in many towns, you are supposed to have an electrician pull a permit to even plug in an indoor transformer of a pigtail. Most cities don't enforce this, but they could if the electrical inspector decided to get tough.

  7. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,630

    Maryland .... You need a home improvement contractors license to install irrigation , and landscaping , decks additions , replacement windows etc etc.
    All contract law as far as how much deposit , how you can sell and what your responsibilities are. Plumbers make the connection.
  8. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Wouldn't it be nice if there was some kind of standard within the industry! I had a buddy wanting me to do some work down in California but I was totally in the dark as far as requirements, etc.

    It sounds as if Texas is very similar to Oregon, but perhaps with a few slight differences. Jerry, an LCO is now allowed in this state to replace up to three heads with exact replacements. Guess the idea is so that if they chop up a head with a mower they can replace it. Testing backflow devices here also requires another license, and wiring up another 110 volt outlet has to be done by an electrician.

    Cost wise, Oregon may be on the high side. My contractor's license is $75 annually, and my annual landscape business license $200. Proof of insurance & bonding required. Bond amount is now on a tiered system.

    BTW, I mentioned this in another forum, but there was a bill that was introduced by the Oregon Landscape Contractor's Association that would require licensing (grounds maintenance contractor) for LCOs, or people doing grounds maintenance. Didn't make it past ways and means, but that sure would have been interesting...
  9. sprinklerman

    sprinklerman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    In New Jersey you need 3 years exper. under someone else and they have to sign off on your app. or 2 yr. and some education. I'm preparing to take the test August 17th 2006 :help: Not so sure how I'll do. I'm still studing though. New Jersey requires
    $45 app fee/ re app fee
    $150 exam fee/ re take fee
    $300 for cert (if pass test) then $300. bi annual
  10. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    NJ test was somewhat easy. Study the turf manual, and code book and you should do fine.

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