Each state will vary depending on their codes and requirements for plumbing permits. Some states require that you obtain certain permits before allowing a licensed plumber to visit and complete the work. If work is completed without the proper permits, or by a licensed plumber, or the property owner themselves, there could be serious repercussions, including being fined and possibly having to have the entire project redone by a licensed professional.
A plumbing permit is documentation that proves you have the required materials or knowledge to complete the project or hire a plumbing professional to complete the project. It states exactly what is going to be done and the stipulations around it. Each plumbing system that is installed must be inspected by the proper official, as do some major plumbing repairs.
When Must I Obtain a Permit?
Depending on where you are located, the requirements for in which you must obtain a plumbing permit may vary. In some states, they require you to apply for a permit if you are replacing the water heater, replacing or altering pipe that is underground, in a wall, or in the ceiling, and for all new installations of plumbing systems. Of course, remodeling a home or adding an extra bathroom to the home is considered new installations and you must have a permit.
There are times that a permit does not have to be obtained. These are times when the work being done falls under the category of minor repairs and is done by the owner. Unfortunately, if there is maintenance, repairs, or replacements needed, which can be a do-it-yourself job, the only person allowed to complete these jobs is the owner. If the owner cannot, they must hire a licensed plumber. When replacing new pipe that has been damaged, if the replacement is not more than five feet, it can be done without a permit, in most states.
Where Do I Get Plumbing Permits?
Each town or district has a BCD, or a Building Codes Division that consists of field offices for writing permits. When you are attempting to obtain a plumbing permit there are steps that must be done in order. The first step will be to apply for it by completing the correct form. There will be a fee for the permit, but once this is paid you can receive the permit and begin searching for a plumbing contractor. It can become the responsibility of the licensed professional to obtain plumbing permits, but this must be discussed between the owner and the professional.