Replace water heaters and underground piping, alter piping inside
a wall or ceiling, or beneath a floor, and for plumbing in all new installations.
Emergency repair, alteration, or replacement of freeze-damaged or
leaking concealed piping, if new piping exceeds 5 feet.
Remodel or add on to your one- or two-family dwelling when existing
plumbing is to be relocated. This includes installation of building
sewers, water service, and exterior rain drains.
A plumbing permit is not required in the following circumstances:
When a property owner does "ordinary minor repairs" to plumbing
systems on his or her own property, which means repair, replacement,
or maintenance of existing accessible fixtures, parts, and appliances
and their related water and drain attachments. Do not alter an existing
plumbing system without a permit.
When a property owner or licensed plumber performs emergency repairs
to, or replacement of, freeze-damaged or leaking concealed piping, provided
new piping doesn't exceed 5 feet in length.
If you are not sure if you need a permit, call the building department
responsible for your area.
Permits are issued at Building Codes Division (BCD) field offices or
your local building department, depending on the jurisdiction responsible
for your area. In most cases, you'll complete a form, pay a fee, and get
your permit. If a plumbing contractor is doing the work, it is the contractor's
responsibility to get the permit and ensure that required inspections
are done. The plumbing permit will be issued in the name of the party
performing the work.
A plan or blueprint is usually not required for a one- or two-family
Fees are based on the size and complexity of the job. Some local building
departments base fees on the number of fixtures to be installed or the
number of feet of piping for water, sewer, or rain drains.
A plumbing inspector or office staff member can discuss your project
If you have the necessary information for the proposed project, you
can usually leave with your permit.
Plumbing permit fees are paid when the permit is issued.
If you are having the work done by a plumbing contractor, the contractor
is required to notify the inspecting building department when the work is
ready to be inspected. If you are doing your own work, you can call the
building department responsible for your area to request an inspection.
If you have installed water piping, the work must be operational and exposed
for inspection. Inspectors may require that drainage piping be plugged and
filled with water for inspection. 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.
do plumbing work on your one- or two-family dwelling?
As the owner of a one- or two-family dwelling, you can either hire a
contractor or do the plumbing work yourself without a license. A friend,
neighbor, tenant, general contractor, or other person cannot legally do
the plumbing work unless he or she is a licensed plumber working on behalf
of a licensed plumbing contractor.
All materials (pipe, pipe fittings, fixtures, and other devices used
in plumbing systems) must be listed and approved for their specific uses.
This is especially important when installing materials that come into
contact with drinking water.
If you hire a plumbing contractor, ask for his or her business registration,
and ask for the license number of any journeyman plumber performing work.
Plumbing contractors must also be registered with the Construction Contractors
Board, (503) 378-4621.
Lawn sprinklers may be installed only by licensed landscape contractors.
Permits are required to connect lawn sprinklers to your building's water
If you have questions concerning your eligibility to work on a building,
call the Building Codes Division, (503) 378-4133 or (800) 422-7457, or
your local jurisdiction.