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Water heater

Permits…Food for Thought

I read in the Review Journal a couple of weeks ago that the state legislature is considering doing away with the requirement that water heaters must have permits taken out when installed. The article said that in 2014, about 9,000 water heater permits were taken out in Clark County, approximately half of all water heaters sold in our valley.
Clearly many people are not bothering to follow the law. The fee for a water heater permit is $41 , not enough to cover the expense of sending an inspector to look at the job.

Also, many people don’t know that any repair to a potable water system requires permits. That means that if you have a water service replaced a permit must be taken out and the ditch must remain open until the inspector looks at it which could be weeks. Couple that with the fact that the inspector must coordinate the inspection with the home owner, as in the case of a water heater, and you can see why most people do not bother with permits.
It used to be that the only time you needed to take a permit out was when you were moving, or adding, changing your house.

The building department had an idea that the more permits you make people take out the more money you can take in. The problem is that unlicensed people do not take out permits and only legitimate contractors are burdened with this. Many contractors are starting to shift the responsibility to the homeowner. A homeowner can take out a permit for any work done to his house. The contractor stipulates on his invoice that the homeowner is responsible for all permits. They would rather go down to the building department themselves rather than pay the plumber for his time to do it.

Of course, none of this would be necessary if the building department would use common sense with regard to permits. Do we need a permit to change an outside faucet?
Do we need a permit to install a new shut off valve in a garage?
Both are part of the potable water system.
Where does it end?
Food for thought.

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