Four Plumbing Services That Require You to Get a Permit

For many people, the fact that you can’t work on your own home without obtaining permission from the government (often involving a fee) is outright ridiculous. However, there are good reasons for this requirement. For one, most major plumbing services that require a permit will involve some sort of interaction with public infrastructure, and could compromise utility lines or someone else’s property if not done correctly. This is why it’s best to leave these major jobs to a professional who can take care of things quickly and effectively.

But how do you know your plumbing repair will require a permit? A professional plumber will tell you, but this blog will discuss four common examples of a major plumbing service that requires you to obtain a permit before beginning the work.

Whole-Home Repipe

This one probably comes as no surprise. Whole-home repiping is a huge job that involves tearing into walls, completely reworking plumbing lines, and several days of intensive work. It will affect everything from water lines to some drains and even some fixtures or faucets here and there. It’s pretty easy to see from how much work goes into these services that a whole-home repipe is considered a remodel, and thus requires you to get a permit from your local city or municipality before starting the job.

However, permitting also has another benefit in these services—preventing possible contamination of our water supply. Most single-family residential buildings are not required to have dedicated backflow prevention devices, and thus improperly-installed plumbing could actually present a risk to public water lines in the event of a rapid change in water pressure. This is why we strongly advise having a professional plumber carry out your whole-home repipe service (not to mention they can also usually help you get the proper permits faster and easier than it would be if you tried to get it done yourself).

Water Heater Replacement

Water heaters are an integral part of your plumbing system, and because they carry so many risks if improperly installed, you are required to get a permit in order to carry out the replacement or installation. In California specifically, this is because a water heater needs several important safety protocols to be followed for all water heater installations. First, all water heaters need to be properly fastened to the walls where they are installed in order to prevent them from tipping over in the event of a major earthquake. Second, they need to have automatic shutoff valves put in place to seal off gas leaks in the event a gas line breaks in the event of an earthquake or another ground-shifting disaster. Getting a permit is the state’s way of making sure that your new water heater installation is fast, effective, and adheres to these incredibly important building codes, thus keeping your home, your property, and your neighbors safe in the event of a disaster.

Sewer Line Replacement

Replacing a sewer line is an extremely important job for the safety and sanitation of your home. Your sewer line is the ultimate destination of every drain in your home, and thus it needs to be able to handle a wide variety of types of waste as well as an influx of wastewater. However, servicing these lines is incredibly difficult. Because they are buried underground, getting access to them is tough, and replacement almost always involves digging a hole in your property. Likewise, because these lines are connected to a public system, there’s a chance that a bad or improper repair could damage the sewer line and jeopardize public sanitation for everyone connected to it.

As such, it stands to reason that you’ll need to get a permit in order to have your service done. In many cases, you need to have a special license in order to work with public utility lines, and thus you should look for a professional plumber who has the right licenses to do this. They will also help you get the permits you need for your work for a faster and stress-free experience.

Drain Line Replacement

Replacing a drain line is a pretty big job that in most cases will require you to get a permit. While some simple repairs are okay, major drain line replacements for things like showers, bathtubs, or even perimeter drains may require you to get a permit to complete the work. In many cases, fixing something like a tub or shower drain may actually involve you digging down into the foundation of your home, potentially jeopardizing its integrity and structure. Repairing slab-based lines, either water or drain, involves substantial work and is something that should only be undertaken by a professional with training and experience.

Need help with a major plumbing service? Call the pros at John Owens Services, Inc. at (415) 942-6565 today for more information.