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You may be wondering, “Do I need a permit to replace my water heater in Richmond?”

Currently, Richmond does require a permit for a water heater installation. The good news is we can pull the permit for you, and it will not slow down any work on our end.

Every few years, Richmond water heater codes change to adopt new installation and safety measures. While intended to increase your overall home safety, these code requirements can result in extra installation charges.

Some customers scoff at the idea of paying for a permit for a water heater replacement, but the fact of the matter is water heaters can be dangerous if not installed correctly. In fact, water heaters cause more property damage than any other home appliance. And if the unit is not installed to code by a licensed professional and causes damage, your home insurance could reject any claims. That’s why we put a premium on safety and doing everything by the book.

Your expert technician will go over an item-by-item checklist of all applicable safety codes needed for your installation prior to any work being completed, or cost to you.

We try to keep this information as up-to-date as possible, but your local installer will be able to answer any specific question you may have.

Local Water Heater & Plumbing Permits – Richmond, CA

Water Heater Codes Currently Enforced in Richmond

Approved Location – As gas water heaters emit small amounts of (Carbon Monoxide) CO from heater vents, the CA Plumbing Code regulates the location of the water heaters. They cannot be placed in closets, bathrooms, or bedrooms, unless that is the sole purpose. This regulation avoids accidents or human contact with CO. This regulation is currently enforced in Richmond.

Earthquake Straps – A requirement of the CA Plumbing Code states that water heater tanks have to be fastened down with earthquake straps for your safety – one strap on the top third and one on the bottom third. This requirement is enforced in the city of Richmond.

Venting – If you have a gas combustion water heater, you should be aware that they emit carbon monoxide (CO) and require correct venting. The size of the vent is dependent on the size of the water heater. You will also need sufficient clearance from combustible or flammable exteriors if the vent material heats up. This is actively enforced by Richmond.

Pans and Drains – Water heaters located on a built-in platform or an interior location could leak and cause water damage. Therefore the CA Plumbing Code requires a pan to be placed under the water tank with an attached drain-line running to the exterior. Richmond enforces the Pan and Drain system running to the exterior

Pressure and Temperature Relief Drain (“P&T Drain”) to the Exterior –Your P&T Drain is required to be run to the exterior to prevent the possibility of scalding while the pressure and temperature relief is discharging. Richmond enforces this requirement.

Dedicated Water Shutoff – A dedicated water shutoff allows you to have water available in the rest of the house while water is shut off to the water heater while it is being serviced. Richmond actively enforces this code item.

Pipe Insulation – Pipes must be insulated if they are exposed in unconditioned space. This is enforced in Richmond.

Bonding – The CA Electric Code requires your water and gas pipes to be grounded. Bonding the pipes with 6 awg wire and clamps effectively grounds all your pipes. This is required due to your plumbing being built adjacent to your electrical wiring. If your wires begin to deteriorate, they could energize your pipes which can be dangerous. Inspectors in Richmond currently require this.

Sediment Traps – Sediment traps are meant to catch moisture and debris and prevent it from entering the combustion chamber of the water heater. At this time, Richmond actively enforces this.