There are many different projects in your home that involve plumbing work. Not all of them will require a plumbing permit, but many do. And it is worth your time to find out which ones do and why.
Local Building Departments
Most of the information you will need about plumbing permits can be obtained from your local building department. They will have the specifications required for the design, fittings and layout. You will also find out if the building department will issue permits to homeowners or whether a licensed plumber needs to apply for and complete the work.
Why Are Permits Necessary?
Plumbing always deals with one of two types of water - drinking water or wastewater. Both of these can affect the health of your family and/or the surrounding environment, so the proper plumbing needs to be done to ensure the safety of your community. Permits are required to be sure that the project is being done according to the most current building standards.
Various aspects of the project are covered within the plumbing permit. The size and type of plumbing pipe needs to be specified, as well as the lengths and angles that the plumbing is running. Not only the water supply, but also the venting and wastewater plumbing will be covered under the permit. The fittings (including elbows, tees and valves) will also need to be specified in the drawings submitted for a permit review.
Inspections and the Role of the Inspector
Often applying for and obtaining a plumbing permit will require inspections. Usually these visits occur at three different times: for plumbing installed underground an inspection occurs before the pipes are covered up; during the rough in stage (or before any of the finishing is installed, such as drywall or flooring); and after the project has been completed.
The inspection schedule depends on the scope of your project and you can expect the building department to notify you of that schedule when you apply.
Remember that the plumbing inspector is employed to look over your work, not to design the system and certainly not to correct anything for you. They may offer guidance and advice (especially at the first inspection), but that is not part of their job description. Expect the inspector to look over your work up to that point and tell you which areas need to be changed, but anything more than that will be at their personal discretion.
Always be courteous and helpful to the plumbing inspectors. They are there to ensure you are following the building codes, which will help to protect your community from sicknesses and other problems. You're best to appreciate any assistance they are willing to give and be completely cooperative at all times.
Permits are a necessary part of many different plumbing projects. Any time you are adding plumbing to your home or substantially renovating the current system you can expect to obtain a permit. There is a very reasonable cost associated with the process and it will involve inspections at various points in the job. The inspector will not offer design help and you need to be cooperative and courteous. As long as you are following the local building codes that pertain to plumbing, you have nothing to worry about.Posted by: TrustedPros