When Do I Need A Plumbing Permit?

By Danika | March 31, 2022

When Do I Need A Plumbing Permit?

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If you’re a casual DIYer or home renovator there may come a time when you ask yourself “When do I need a plumbing permit?” If you’ve never attempted a plumbing project, you would likely be surprised to hear that you need a plumbing permit for big and small jobs depending on your county’s regulations. Plumbing permits are typically required to create a gold standard of work for plumbers, ensuring that their work is up to housing codes. 

With these permits, a majority of the work professional plumbers do can be determined as quality work. If it follows the guidelines of the permit, your plumbing won’t fail you. Plumbing permits also protect plumbers, who can refer to these permits if and when they are asked to cut corners or adhere to the misguided requests of homeowners. 

Before you start fiddling with your plumbing, be sure to check what permits you may need. County regulations govern above state and national, so check those areas first. You’ll often find county-specific permit requirements online. If your project does require a permit, you’ll have to go about getting it yourself. 

If you hire a plumber, they get the required permit(s) for you. Considering the extensive experience with the process, obtaining a permit usually goes much faster with the help of a professional plumbing company. Below are the plumbing projects that generally require a plumbing permit. Keep in mind this will vary depending on where you live.

Sewer Replacements

Safety codes surround the process of replacing sewers, meaning you’ll need a permit to do it. With the greater potential for things to go awry and end in a smelly disaster, plumbing permits are required to mitigate those risks. Sewer replacements are considered to be ‘big jobs’, one you’d likely need a plumber for. 


Re-piping is also considered a ‘big job’. Every pipe in your home is replaced in a re-pipe, making it a serious endeavor that requires a plumbing permit. Again, a professional plumber typically handles this job. They will likely handle any permit problems for you, too. 

Replacing A Water Heater

Water heaters are complicated to replace. They can even be dangerous, causing physical harm and burns if done improperly. Plumbing permits are required to prevent these dangerous accidents, as an unskilled hand can easily damage themselves or their new water heater

Safety regulations may vary based on county regulations, but you almost always need a plumbing permit to replace a water heater

Relocating Plumbing

You may need to relocate your plumbing in the event of a bathroom remodel or home renovation. This puts the actual pipe-moving into the remodeling category, which means you’ll have to adhere to building codes. A plumbing permit is then necessary to make sure your project is following code standards, which may vary depending on your residence type. 

Drain Line Replacement

Replacing a drain is no easy task. Plumbing permits are required to make sure no one is attempting this feat without the expertise that guarantees success. Like replacing a sewer, a lot can go wrong when replacing a drain line. This line is vital to the homeostasis and functioning of your home, which is why you or your plumber will need to get a permit before tackling it.

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