I have an un-permitted water heater, how do I get a permit/inspection after the fact?

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by John748, Mar 6, 2018.

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  1. Mar 6, 2018 #1

    John748

    John748

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    In the past when I lived in more rural areas I installed two water heaters myself over the years. I was able to pull a permit and have the inspector come out and sign off, not just water heaters but we are talking all plumbing, electrical etc. I learned the code and did it right.

    Fast forward a decade and now I live in a larger city where only licensed plumbers can pull permits to replace a water heater. The bids I received were $1060 to $1400 to replace a 50 Gallon (6 Year) Basic NG Unit, simple drop in install on a newer 10 year old home. I picked up the replacement for $450 out the door with my discount and installed it in under 2 hours. I also replaced the two FIP pipes and put in a new pan. It was the exact height as the old one and so no problems just dropping it in and hooking up the connections, no need to modify the vent, no leaks, works like a charm.

    Now I need it permitted with an inspection sticker as I plan to sell the house in the near future. I called two plumbing companies here and they say they wont pull a permit on a water heater they did not install.

    The normal permit is $32 but its probably more since its after the fact, still should not be too bad, I'm willing to pay whatever the fines are on top.

    Should I keep calling around? Is it not unreasonable to ask a plumber to come check my work, pay them $200 for 15 minutes of their time and the $30-$60 or whatever the inspections are?
     
  2. Mar 6, 2018 #2

    justin_dewan90

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    In my town, if you are the home owner you are allowed to do the work yourself and still pull permits. Not sure if that's the case in your neck of the woods. Have you called the city? Don't give them any info just incase they frown upon it. You will be hard pressed to have a plumbing company come in and give there stamp of approval because from that point on they will be liable. Good luck. Throw some pictures in so we can see your handy work, and see what thoughts are here.

    I will say though, we have gone into homes to do exactly what you're asking for, but we make it very clear that we are not responsible for anything that goes wrong with the tank or any leaks that occur afterwards.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  3. Mar 6, 2018 #3

    John748

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    I'm in an unincorporated area just outside of city limits. The county is where the permits come from I believe. The previous water heater had a county inspection stickers as do the two HVAC's in the attic and breaker box. When I called the county office previously, they told me only a licensed plumber can pull a permit (which is also what their website says).

    Its a typical slab house garage install. It is elevated 18" on a platform in a closet in the garage with a drain. I installed it in the same position with 6" of wall clearance on all sides. Plastic flex line from the galvanized NG gas line. Plumbing wise, the house is Pex (2008) and has the adapters to hook up FIP connections. Bent the FIP's pipes to fit properly, looks just like the original.
     
  4. Mar 6, 2018 #4

    justin_dewan90

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    Yeah, sounds like you're in one of those grey areas. Is it by any chance that any surrounding city would claim you're residence? Meaning would any surrounding city be willing to come and do an inspection. Have been in this grey area before but have been able to have one city or another claim that specific residence. Almost sounds like an area where a home inspector would be enough. GRANTED, home inspectors really aren't enough. They don't always know what they are looking for.

    Have also found county inspectors to not be so reliable or knowledgeable about there profession either. Could be other places. But the ones I've dealt with, they have literally made up rules and say "that's fine this time" kind of thing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  5. Mar 6, 2018 #5

    havasu

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    The hell with that. I'd verify this information from the county office, and if it is actually mandatory, I'd visit a friend and steal his.

    Dumbest money maker for the county I've heard of, or some county official is getting his pockets padded by some unscrupulous plumber who wants to screw you out of your hard earned money.

    Did I mention this really pisses me off?
     
  6. Mar 6, 2018 #6

    John748

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    I dont think the county inspectors care, its just getting the inspector out there which requires a permit from a licensed plumber. I'm happy to sign an "as/is clause" or whatever if a plumber comes out and checks the work. Really I just want the sticker that says the county came out, inspected it and its good to go. Getting a licensed plumber to come out and look at it (and order a permit) seems to be the issue though. I dont really want to trash a 3 month old water heater to pay another $1100+ for a plumber to put in the exact same model of water heater just to get the inspection sticker, that is the issue.
     
  7. Mar 6, 2018 #7

    justin_dewan90

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    Then tell that to the plumber you call. Make sure it's a reputable company. Someone that has been in your area a while. Try a local, reputable plumbing company. My company is family owned for 71 years and I have done exactly what you are asking for no problems as long as I can check your work and make sure everything is to my satisfaction. Like I said, you will be hard pressed to find a plumber who doesn't want to sell you something but it is a fair request. If they are knit picky that's fine. But don't let them sell you a new water heater. I say knit picky for bad solder joints, something that has no teflon that should, something not tight enough. They need to be thorough on the search because, yes they pull the permit they are responsible at that point. I hope you good luck, because you are in an area that's hard to work in if you aren't a licensed professional. Or just wait until your home is inspected by a home inspector and hope you pass.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  8. Mar 6, 2018 #8

    John748

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    So if you were in my county (~1 million population) and it requires a $30 permit plus probably another $30 late fee (after the fact), what would be a reasonable charge for you to come out, check out the work I did and if it looks good, I assume a $100 fee to come out plus whatever the fees are for the permit and then a fee for your time?
     
  9. Mar 6, 2018 #9

    justin_dewan90

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    50-65 service call/estimate fee or at most 140 hourly charge pending I do something. Company set, flat rates. Depending drive time too. When I say do something. Means something of importance. Not just tightening up something.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  10. Mar 6, 2018 #10

    TomFOhio

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    Call a plumbing company and tell them that you have a new water heater for them to install. If they say ok then disconnect what you did and set the tank off to the side and let them hook it up and get permit. This would get you out of your bind. We installed water heaters purchased by the customer. We just didn't warranty the tank, only our work.
     
  11. Mar 7, 2018 #11

    Geofd

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    tomfohio is right I wouldn't pull a permit if someone else who
    did the work even if it was legal anything can happen so let them
    Do it from scratch good luck
     
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  12. Mar 7, 2018 #12

    jeffmattero76

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    Microsoft Word and some stickers from Staples might solve the problem.

    Why do you have to get a permit to replace something that was already there??? Why can't you work on your own house??? To me, these permit fees are simply extortion.
     
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  13. Mar 7, 2018 #13

    Mr_David

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    :eek::eek:

    Bureaucrats!! Must be in northern CALIF. My 1st thought was LA, but the population there is almost 4 million. So maybe Sacramento??

    OR are you in the UK. I hear they have some strict code requirements there.

    Where are you?
     
  14. Mar 7, 2018 #14

    havasu

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    I remember hiring a guy to install a 5 ton A/C, even though the energy calculations said a 4 ton was the biggest unit I could place in my attic. Has anyone priced a 4 ton A/C unit? They are actually more money than a 5 ton A/C unit, so I opted for the larger unit. Since an inspection was necessary, I used a razor blade and cut off the "5 ton" sticker on the unit, and the inspector never questioned anything else after the A/C guy said it was a 4 ton unit.

    I'm not advocating anything illegal, but there surely has got to be a work around to this problem!
     
  15. Mar 7, 2018 #15

    havasu

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    By the way, the OP lives near Oklahoma City, OK. The way I read their permitting was yes, if you are a licensed plumber, you need to pull a permit for plumbing matters. Where it became muddy was it did not mention whether a permit was necessary for when a person does work in his own house. I'm sure this was by design, as permits fill the city coffers and by not pulling a permit means the city doesn't get money.

    My opinion, I'd ignore this permit and play stupid saying you have no idea who installed it.
     
  16. Mar 7, 2018 #16

    EliPers

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    Do they really not raise questions in these kind of situations? Thanks for sharing that piece of advice, Tom. I'll keep that in mind.
     
  17. Mar 7, 2018 #17

    Zanne

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    Maybe you could do as suggested by Tom. Call plumbers and ask if they would be willing to connect the pipes and pull a permit and how much that would cost. They wouldn't have to move it, it would save them time and all they have to do is hook it up and put in for the permit.

    If they have a reasonable price, it might be worth it to not get in trouble later on. You could even ask around local hardware stores if they know a plumber who might be amenable.
     
  18. Mar 9, 2018 #18

    CT-18

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    I know permits are a pain in the backside, but I would not buy a house knowing that Mr. DIY did all the work himself. Permits are also to protect the homeowner that has no clue that the floor joist that was installed cant carry the load above. How about Mr. DIY decides to redo all his wiring and then sells the house which later catches on fire due to a faulty install. Around here homeowners can pull there own permits, but people see someone on TV do it so they think they can too
     
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  19. Mar 9, 2018 #19

    jeffmattero76

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    Isn't that what a Home Inspector is supposed to do? Mr DIY may well do a better job than a contractor, since Mr. DIY is living in the house with his family.
     
  20. Mar 9, 2018 #20

    CT-18

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    Not all live in the house, nor do most know the code. You would be surprised at what I have seen that homeowners have done.
     

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