Tightening up a dripping faucet or readjusting the toilet tank float seem like easy enough jobs for the average DIYer. However, when could DIY plumbing jobs put you at risk of completing unlicensed work at your home? What plumbing jobs require a permit, and what can you do without a permit? Here we look at the permit requirements for plumbing and rooter repairs and projects in your home.
Does Size of the Project Determines Permit Requirements?
Most homeowners assume that larger plumbing projects need permits while smaller projects don't. While it is true that larger plumbing projects will almost certainly require permits, many smaller plumbing projects do as well. The purpose of plumbing permits is to ensure the plumbing work in your home is safe and effective, and your plumbing system is functional. Even repairs done at home by a homeowner may need permits. It’s important to check local codes before any work is done, to see whether you need a permit.
Determining Your Local Regulations
There are national plumbing codes that govern the work done by plumbers across the country. But the local and county regulations supersede the national codes, so it's important to check the local requirements for plumbing permits before you start work.
You can find out the local codes governing your project with a quick online search or inquiry with the building and safety department in your county. Most counties have the permit requirements listed on their website, so they should be easy to find. If you have any trouble, contact the department by phone or visit in person.
Jobs That Usually Require a Permit
Jobs that usually require a plumbing permit include:
- Repiping an existing plumbing system
- Replacing hot water heaters
- New plumbing installations
- Emergency repair for new piping over 5 feet
- Moving existing plumbing
- Replacing a drain line
- Almost all work with sewer lines
Jobs That Usually Don't Require a Permit
A homeowner can usually make ordinary minor repairs to their home plumbing without a permit, such as:
- Repairing, replacing or maintaining existing accessible features
- Emergency repairs to concealed piping where the new piping is less than 5 feet.
What Should I Do If I Need a Permit?
Getting the right permits for your plumbing and rooter projects is essential to ensure safe and efficient repairs. If you're working with a professional plumber, they will help you get the right permit for your project. Even if you plan to complete the plumbing work yourself, you may need a permit. Your local building and safety department can help you apply for and purchase a permit. You must do this before you start work.
When determining your need for a plumbing permit, it can be helpful to talk to your local plumbing contractor in San Ramon about advice for your particular plumbing issue. Even if you don’t require a permit, it can be beneficial to choose a licensed plumber to ensure all work done in your home is safe and reliable.