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Information you need to do building and remodeling projects right the first time and protect the safety and value of your home.
 

When do I need an mechanical permit?

Safety first
For your safety, your family's safety, and the safety of future occupants - and to avoid expensive mistakes - do not perform any electrical work that is beyond your skill level.
What is mechanical work?
When do I need a permit for mechanical work?
What information do I need?
How do I get an inspection?
Planning to do mechanical work on your house or duplex?
 
What is mechanical work?
Mechanical work on one- or two-family dwellings includes work on heating, cooling, or ventilation systems, including bath vents and woodstoves. Installation, alteration, or repair of gas piping between the meter and an appliance or other equipment, including all liquefied petroleum gas piping, is also considered mechanical work.
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When do I need a permit for mechanical work?

A permit is required to do the following:

  • install or change any part of a heating or cooling system that must be vented into any kind of chimney, including unvented decorative appliances
  • install a woodstove, fireplace insert, pellet stove, or related venting
  • install, alter, or repair gas piping between the meter and an appliance (indoors or outdoors)
  • install bath fans, dryer exhausts, kitchen range exhausts, and appliances that are required to be vented

If you are not sure if you need a permit, call the jurisdiction responsible for your area.

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How do I get a permit for mechanical work?
Permits are issued by Building Codes Division (BCD) field offices or your local building department, depending on the jurisdiction responsible for your area.
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What information do I need?

Plans are generally not necessary to get a permit to do mechanical work on a dwelling. You will be expected to briefly describe the work proposed. For example, describe the appliance you intend to install and whether you will be installing a new vent, new ductwork, etc. If you are installing new gas piping, know how many outlets for future gas appliances you need.

If applying for a permit to install or replace a woodstove or fireplace insert, you will be asked whether the appliance is certified to meet Department of Environmental Quality emission standards. The inspector will check the label on the stove or stove insert at inspection. If you are not sure whether the appliance is certified to meet emission standards, ask the dealer or a mechanical inspector.

A mechanical inspector or office staff member can discuss your project with you. If all the necessary information is available, you can usually leave with your permit.
Mechanical permit fees are generally based on the number of appliances, chimneys, vents, or gas piping outlets that will be installed. Permit fees are paid when the permit is issued.

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How do I get an inspection?

Any work done under a permit must be inspected by a certified mechanical inspector.

You may call the request line at the building department responsible for your area. A minimum of 24 hours' notice is generally required for inspections.

When you call, you will be asked for the permit number, homeowner's name, project address, type of inspection needed, and the date on which inspection is desired.

Be prepared to furnish detailed directions to the job site. Unless all of the work is outside and accessible, an adult needs to be at the site to provide access for the inspector.

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Planning to do mechanical work on your house or duplex?

As the owner of a one- or two-family dwelling, you can hire a contractor registered by the Construction Contractors Board to do the work, or you or an immediate family member can do it yourself. A friend, neighbor, tenant, or family relative cannot legally receive compensation for the work unless he or she is a CCB-registered contractor. A licensed plumbing contractor may legally install natural gas piping.

If you have questions regarding a contractor's eligibility to perform work on your property, call the Construction Contractors Board, (503) 378-4621.

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