NC Irrigation Contractors – Are You Grandfathered In?

If you are installing irrigation systems in North Carolina and you want to continue to do it after June 29, 2009, then you will need to get your NC Irrigation Contractors License .   One of the requirements for this license is that you pass a test which will test your knowledge of installation and repair best practices for irrigation systems..  But for some contractors there is a way around the test.  This falls under the grandfather clause.


Basically, there are 3 sections under the grandfather clause that might allow a contractor to avoid taking this test.  They are referred to as Section 2, Section 3 and Section 4.


Section 2 allows those who had previously obtained a CIC (Certified Irrigation Contractor) designation or a CID (Certified Irrigation Designer) designation to avoid taking this test.  Of course those with this status will have to meet all of the other qualifications for licensure.


Section 3 allows anyone who is a registered landscape contractor under Chapter 89D of the General Statutes or any licensed plumbing contractor under Article 2 of Chapter 87 to avoid the test requirement.  This particular grandfathering rule has some irrigation contractors frustrated and rightly so.  Installing irrigation systems in a manner that will conserve water and still properly nurish the plants they are designed to water is not necessarily something a plumbing contractor would understand or have experience doing.  If the goal of this new license is to make sure that we clean up the less experienced irrigation system installers, then this grandfather clause would seem to work at cross purposes with the overall goals of this license.


Section 4 allows anyone who can document 10 years in business as an irrigation contractor as of Jan 1, 2009 to avoid the test.  The documentation process will be rigorous to be sure.  While I understand why this section was inserted in the law, I think like section 3, this may not serve the public in the way that this law was designed to do.  If you were a poor installer without skills in the first place, then perhaps you should be forced to take the test and learn the techniques that help irrigation systems conserve water. 


In addition to the test, this license will require the irrigation contractors to submit a bond to the state of North Carolina.  To get your NC Irrigation Bond set up, visit us on the web at  At Clinard Insurance Group, we specialize in helping landscaping contractors of all stripes and we can help you get this bond set up in 9 minutes or less and get you off the phone and back to work serving your clients.  If you want more information on all kinds of insurance for landscapers, please visit our landscape contractors web site, or call us, toll free, at 877-687-7557.