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

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Zanne

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True. Some people buy houses to "flip" them. And there are things that can be hidden. Like, a homeowner can use modern wiring and run 6" of it and tie it in to knob-and-tube wiring. They can cover up and hide foundation cracks or huge structural issues and the inspectors might never see it. Mike Holmes has a TV series where he helps people fix their homes that they bought after a home inspector cleared the place & missed major problems.

Also, some places get rented out. I had some tenants who lived in my house for many years & stopped paying rent (while we were overseas and couldn't do anything about it) bc they mistakenly thought they could get squatters rights to the place. They did a LOT of damage trying to DIY stuff-- tore out plumbing vents, messed up the plumbing, screwed up the wiring, destroyed the floors, etc. There are signs of some electrical fires that started & some of the outlets were missing. Even though they thought they were going to get to keep our home, they still treated it like garbage.

There are some homeowners who think the codes don't matter & just try to do things cheap and dirty (or easy). They don't realize/care that codes exist for a reason.
 

jeffmattero76

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True. Some people buy houses to "flip" them. And there are things that can be hidden. Like, a homeowner can use modern wiring and run 6" of it and tie it in to knob-and-tube wiring. They can cover up and hide foundation cracks or huge structural issues and the inspectors might never see it. Mike Holmes has a TV series where he helps people fix their homes that they bought after a home inspector cleared the place & missed major problems.

Also, some places get rented out. I had some tenants who lived in my house for many years & stopped paying rent (while we were overseas and couldn't do anything about it) bc they mistakenly thought they could get squatters rights to the place. They did a LOT of damage trying to DIY stuff-- tore out plumbing vents, messed up the plumbing, screwed up the wiring, destroyed the floors, etc. There are signs of some electrical fires that started & some of the outlets were missing. Even though they thought they were going to get to keep our home, they still treated it like garbage.

There are some homeowners who think the codes don't matter & just try to do things cheap and dirty (or easy). They don't realize/care that codes exist for a reason.
I am not saying to ignore codes. I am simply refusing to be forced to "ask permission", via a permit, to do work that I am perfectly capable of doing in my own home.
 

Zanne

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I am not saying to ignore codes. I am simply refusing to be forced to "ask permission", via a permit, to do work that I am perfectly capable of doing in my own home.
I know it is annoying and a lot of people feel the same way you do. But, the problem is, because a lot of people feel the same way and not all people are competent/capable of doing things correctly, they had to put in the codes (well, and they also want $). There is no way in hell that my water heater's hookup met any sort of code, but I live in an area where permits weren't required. So, it wasn't done properly by the original installers.

I'm not saying it's fair, but it's the rule. If you want to be able to sell the house later on, you have to get the stupid permit. I saw a house/property that was for sale for a decent price but it turned out that the house wasn't included in the sale because it couldn't be sold due to not having permits. It was condemned and the real estate agents refused to even show the property because of that. So, the house just sat there falling apart, being burglarized, etc, and nobody would buy it. All because they did work without permits.

They do it partially to protect themselves bc if they grant a permit for a homeowner doing it and something was not done right, they are liable since they approved it. So, it's easier for them to just say that if a licensed plumber did it, it must be fine but a DIY person could have done something wrong. Even though in reality, it could be different.
 

jeffmattero76

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I know it is annoying and a lot of people feel the same way you do. But, the problem is, because a lot of people feel the same way and not all people are competent/capable of doing things correctly, they had to put in the codes (well, and they also want $). There is no way in hell that my water heater's hookup met any sort of code, but I live in an area where permits weren't required. So, it wasn't done properly by the original installers.

I'm not saying it's fair, but it's the rule. If you want to be able to sell the house later on, you have to get the stupid permit. I saw a house/property that was for sale for a decent price but it turned out that the house wasn't included in the sale because it couldn't be sold due to not having permits. It was condemned and the real estate agents refused to even show the property because of that. So, the house just sat there falling apart, being burglarized, etc, and nobody would buy it. All because they did work without permits.

They do it partially to protect themselves bc if they grant a permit for a homeowner doing it and something was not done right, they are liable since they approved it. So, it's easier for them to just say that if a licensed plumber did it, it must be fine but a DIY person could have done something wrong. Even though in reality, it could be different.
I believe you are confusing CODE requirements (set by the code organization) with the PERMITTING requirements (set by the municipality). As stated previously, I have no problem with the code requirements. My problem is with the municipality extracting a permit fee. I have every right to work on my own home without having to ask permission from some governmental authority.
 

TomFOhio

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If you want to install your own water heater everything has to be correct. Shut off valve on in- coming water line, expansion tank, correct distance for pipe on the relief valve from the floor, is it venting properly, I think a home inspector even checks for gas leaks & gas pressure at the control valve. If this is all good then don't worry about it and wait till you sell your house and see if anything is said.
 
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jeffmattero76

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Tom - I agree 100%. That was the point of my first comment. The home inspector for the future buyer is responsible to report anything that was not installed correctly, and if incorrectly installed, the buyer and seller would have to negotiate how to address the issue. Whether or not a permit was applied for and/or issued should have nothing to do with my ability to sell my home.
 

Zanne

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I understand how you feel and why you feel that way, Jeff. Unfortunately, there are a lot of BS rules in the world and sometimes we have to just put up with it or lobby to have the rules changed.

If you don't feel like spending the $ to get the permit and you want to deal with it later on when you go to sell, that is up to you.
 

DFBonnett

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If you don't feel like spending the $ to get the permit and you want to deal with it later on when you go to sell, that is up to you.
Deal with what? When I sold my mother's house after she passed, the inspector came up with a laundry list of items not to code. There were no "permits" for work my father did or I did over the twenty years after he passed. The buyer's shyster demanded a major price reduction. I told him they could have their deposit back if they didn't want the house and to go piss up a rope. They bought the house as is at the asking price.
 

Zanne

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Deal with what? When I sold my mother's house after she passed, the inspector came up with a laundry list of items not to code. There were no "permits" for work my father did or I did over the twenty years after he passed. The buyer's shyster demanded a major price reduction. I told him they could have their deposit back if they didn't want the house and to go piss up a rope. They bought the house as is at the asking price.
Good for you, but not all places have the same rules and it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes there isn't enough interest as it is and in some areas, they will make it so the house itself can't be sold or considered in the evaluation due to not having permits. If someone is willing to buy a house after they have been told there are code violations, that is on them, but buyer beware. Maybe you, your father, and the original poster here are all very good at DIY and do things safely, but there are people who try to fix places up and have absolutely zero clue what they are doing. I have seen a whole slew of DIY mistakes made that were fire hazards, electrocution hazards, and sewer gases coming up, etc.

Mind you, something as simple as hooking up a water heater shouldn't be that hard to get signed off on because it's hard to mess up-- but the monkeys who DIYed my house managed to mess it up.
 

CT-18

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Agree with Zanne a 100%. I have seen some crazy stuff installed by DIYers and Flippers.
 

justin_dewan90

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I've seen drain lines consisting of only duct tape. No pipe left. Just duct tape. Son kept calling his dad the master of duct tape.
 

Zanne

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I've seen drain lines consisting of only duct tape. No pipe left. Just duct tape. Son kept calling his dad the master of duct tape.
I've seen where someone used basically the corrugated tube from a vacuum cleaner duct taped to the underside of the structure with the end just dangling underneath to run the water out before. And I recently watched someone who, against my advice, just installed his washing machine drain plumbing completely wrong. Some people just don't care about doing it right.
 

havasu

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When I purchased this house, the previous owner had used that asbestos/paper VW exhaust pipe to exhaust the tankless water heater. That was the first thing I replaced, after demanding $2k credit from the purchase price for their stupidity.
 
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