Legislative and Regulatory Information

IWD Apprenticeship Report Shows Higher Wages

The Iowa Registered Apprenticeship Employment and Wage Report issued in January by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) shows that job training via apprenticeships is yielding impressive results. IWD analysis shows that occupation by occupation, workers trained in apprenticeship programs earn wages in most cases significantly higher than workers in the same occupation who only earn a high school diploma or use other types of one and two year training programs.


Summary of the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act & FAQ

October 2013

The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act was enacted on January 4, 2011 to amend Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA or Act) respecting the use and introduction into commerce of lead pipes, plumbing fittings or fixtures, solder and flux. The Act established a prospective effective date of January 4, 2014, which provided a three year timeframe for affected parties to transition to the new requirements. In anticipation of these changes taking effect, EPA is providing the following summary of the requirements of the lead ban provisions in Section 1417 and some answers to frequently asked questions related to the amendments to assist manufacturers, retailers, plumbers and consumers in understanding the changes to the law. 

Click here to download the full EPA Low Lead FAQ

Also - be sure to check out PHCC National's short article on How to Prepare for the New Lead Free Laws


State Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board Proposed Regulations

August 7, 2013

The Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board has released proposed regulations to implement legislative changes made in Senate File 427.  The proposed rules are available for review by clicking on the links below.


EPA Issues Press Release on the Dangers of Substitute Refrigerants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a press release warning “…homeowners, propane manufacturers and sellers, home improvement contractors and air conditioning technicians of potential safety hazards related to the use of propane or other unapproved refrigerants in home air conditioning systems.”  As has been reported by PHCC, EPA is also continuing its investigation into the marketing and use of propane as a substitute for HCFC-22 (R-22).  The use of propone-based refrigerants has become a very visible issue and PHCC will keep members informed.



State Law





2013 Iowa Legislative Summary

 Senate File 427 Modifications to Existing Plumbing and Mechanical Licensing Bill

This bill has passed the Senate and the House and would make modications to the current state licensing law. Some key changes are as follows:

  • An individual that holds either a HVAC license or a Refrigeration will be issued a HVAC-R license;
  • Creates one Mechanical license for individuals that hold either 1) an HVAC and Hydronic license or 2) a Refrigeration and Hydronic license;
  • A sheet metal journeyman license will now be available.;
  • The bill requires that the labor services division of the department of workforce development and the department of public health develop a plan to combine the contractor registration and contractor licensing application process for contractors licensed under Code chapter 105, to be implemented in time for licensing renewals due July 1, 2017; 
  • The bill requires that the board adopt the most current version of the uniform plumbing code and the international mechanical code. Additionally, the board and local jurisdictions may adopt standards that are more restrictive; 
  • Licenses issued on or after July 1, 2014, shall expire on the same renewal date every three years, beginning with June 30, 2017. Licensees whose licenses have an expiration date of July 1, 2014, or later shall be issued a license with an expiration date of June 30, 2017, and shall have the license renewal fee prorated.



Makes an in-state construction void and unenforceable if provisions of the contract require that the law of another state be used in litigation or arbitration. Defines in-state construction contracts. AMENDED & PASSED 21-0; FM: Kaufmann (Adds provisions on mediation.)



Iowa Plumbing & Mechanical Systems Board
Contractor Registration

Beginning November 1, 2012, the Iowa Plumbing & Mechanical Systems Board will start issuing contractor licenses for professionals in the plumbing, HVAC, refrigeration, and hydronics trades. This requirement implements changes made by the General Assembly to Iowa Code chapter 105 in 2009. These changes are intended to establish public liability insurance and surety bonds for plumbing, HVAC, refrigeration and hydronics contractors working within the state of Iowa.

Contractor licenses will be issued for a period of 3 years. The fees for the initial license will be waived if purchased prior to December 31, 2013. Beginning January 1, 2014 all applicable fees will apply.

Please click here to download more information and a copy of the contractor license application form.



Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board Regulations

Proposed September 5, 2012

For a copy of these regulations, click on the link prior to each description. Written comments will be accepted through September 25, 2012.

For a copy of these regulations, click here. Written comments will be accepted through September 25, 2012.


(ARC 0313C) Noncompliance Regarding Child Support, Nonpayment of State Debt, and Noncompliance Regarding Student Loan Repayment, describes the process the board will follow when denying the issuance or renewal of a license upon the receipt of a certificate of noncompliance from the Department of Human Services for child support, the College Student Aid Commission for student loan default or the Department of Revenue for nonpayment of state debt.

(ARC 0314C) Petitions for Rule Making, describes the process that the board will follow when receiving and responding to a petition for rule making.

(ARC 0315C) Declaratory Orders, describes the process that the board will follow when a petition for declaratory order is received.

(ARC 0316C) Agency Procedure for Rule Making, describes the process that the board will follow when a petition for rule making is received.

(ARC 0317C) Fair Information Practices and Public Records, describes the process that the board will follow when a request for access to open records is received, specify how to handle confidential records, and implement the Fair Information Practices Act.


Iowa Mechanics' Lien Law Update

Check out the most recent changes to Iowa's Lien Law by clicking here!


 State Legislation 2012

House File 2015 - Reinstates Prior Hydronic Definition

This bill would amend Code chapter 105, the Iowa plumber, mechanical professional, and contractor licensing Act. Last session, House File 392, changed the definition of “hydronic” by striking language, which limited application to heating and cooling systems used for comfort. The bill reinstates the previous language. The bill takes effect upon enactment.

House File 2041 - Eliminate Division of Labor's Contractor Registration

This bill would repeal Code chapter 91C, which currently requires construction contractors to register with the labor commissioner, imposes a registration fee, regulates registered contractors, and includes other related provisions. Any funds remaining in the contractor registration revolving fund created by Code section 91C.9 on the effective date of the bill are required to be transferred to the general fund of the state.

Note that this legislation would apply to the Iowa Workforce Development contractor registration [http://tinyurl.com/7fn3dcb] and not the pending Plumbing and Mechanical Systems contractor registration. [http://tinyurl.com/7gm7sy3 - Section 641-29.2(4)]

State Legislation 2011

House File 392 (successor to House File 42) has been approved by the House and the Senate and was signed by Governor Branstad on April 28, 2011. The bill became effective on that date.

This bill revises the Iowa plumber, mechanical professional, and contractor licensing Act (Code chapter 105).

  1.  The bill revises the definition of the term “refrigeration” to include all natural, propane, liquid propane, or other gas lines associated with any component of refrigeration.
  2. The bill amends the definition of “hydronic” to strike the word “comfort” modifying “heating” and “cooling”.
  3. The definition of "HVAC" is amended to include "any type of refrigeration used for food processing or preservation."
  4. The bill provides that the application for a license under Code chapter 105 can be no longer than two pages plus one security page.
  5.  The Licensing Board is required to submit a report to the General Assembly 60 days following the end of each fiscal year. This report shall include a balance sheet projection for at least the upcoming three years. If the revenue projection exceeds the expense projection by more than 10%, the board is required to adjust their fees so that it is no more than 10% higher than projected expenses.
  6.  The combined license fee shall be the total of each of the separate license fees reduced by 30%.
  7.  For calendar years 2011 and 2012, the fee for an initial journeyman and apprentice license is $50 and the fee for an initial master license is $125.
  8.  The renewal fee is waived for all licenses that have an expiration date from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012. If a licensee renewed their license prior to the effective date of this law, they shall receive a refund of the entire renewal fee paid.
  9.  For any initial license issued in 2011 prior to the effective date of this law, the licensee shall be granted a refund that shall be the difference between the fee paid and actual new fee set forth in section 5 above.
  10.  The law adds a new exemption to licensing: The law shall not apply to a person who is performing work on a volunteer, non-paid basis or assisting a property owner performing non-paid work on the owner’s principal residence.
  11.  A licensee that holds either a master or journeyman HVAC or Refrigeration license shall be exempt from having to obtain a special electrician’s license pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 103 in order to perform a disconnection and reconnection of an existing air conditioning or refrigeration system.
  12.  The license period would be extended to three years instead of the current two years.
  13.  Continuing Education hours would also be over 3 years and a licensee would have a 30-day grace period after the expiration of the license to complete all requirements necessary for a renewal without incurring a penalty.
  14.  Adds language stating that except for fees charged for the issuance of permits or inspections of work performed, a county or city may not impose any fee for plumbing, HVAC, refrigeration, or hydronic systems work.
  15.  A new waiver for military service has been added.



Federal Legislation



Link to PHCC-National Association Legislative Page

EPA Rules regarding Renovation, Repair and Painting



Iowa State Legislation

Iowa State Regulations


Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Examining Board

Chapter 25 - State Plumbing Code
Chapter 27 - Administrative and Regulatory Authority
Chapter 28 - Licensure Fee
Chapter 29 - Application, Licensure, and Examination
Chapter 30 - Continuing Education
Chapter 31 - Waivers and Variances from Administrative Rules
Chapter 32 - Licensee Discipline
Chapter 34 - Complaints and Investigations
Chapter 35 - Licensure of Nonresident Applicant - Reciprocity
Chapter 36 - Petitions for Rulemaking