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

Currently, Mill Valley 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, Mill Valley 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 – Mill Valley, CA

Water Heater Codes Currently Enforced in Mill Valley

Approved Location – Many gas water heaters emit small amounts of Carbon Monoxide (CO) from heater vents. To prevent accidents and avoid contact with CO, the CA Plumbing Code regulates the location of the water heaters. The tanks cannot be located in bedrooms, bathrooms, or closets (unless that is the only purpose). This regulation is currently enforced in Mill Valley.

Earthquake Straps – The California Plumbing Code requirement that water heaters have earthquake straps on the top third and bottom third of the tank is enforced in Mill Valley. As California is an earthquake zone, the requirement is enforced for your safety.

Venting – Gas combustion water heaters produce carbon monoxide (CO) requiring approved venting. The size of your water heater will decide the size of the vent. If the vent material heats up you must ensure an adequate amount of clearance from flammable or combustible areas. This requirement is enforced by Mill Valley.

Pans and Drains – If water heaters are situated in an interior location or on a built-in platform, they could leak and be responsible for water damage. To prevent this, the CA Plumbing Code requires a pan to be placed under the water heater with an attached drain-line running to the exterior. Mill Valley requires the drain to run to the exterior.

Pressure and Temperature Relief Drain (“P&T Drain”) to the Exterior – The CA Plumbing code requirement concerning P&T Relief drains is that they must be run to the outside. This is enforced to prevent accidental scalding during the discharging of the P&T drain. Mill Valley currently enforces this requirement.

Dedicated water shutoff – During times when your water heater needs servicing a dedicated water shutoff allows the water to your water heater to be turned off while the rest of the house continues to have running water. This code item is actively enforced in Mill Valley.

Pipe Insulation – Un-insulated pipes are required to be insulated if they are exposed in unconditioned space. This is a requirement of the CA Plumbing Code and is enforced in Mill Valley.

Bonding – The CA Electric Code requires that water and gas pipes be grounded. Bonding the pipes with 6 awg wire and clamps will successfully ground the pipes. Plumbing and electrical wiring are often located near each other and it is possible for your pipes to be energized if your wires begin deteriorating, putting you in a dangerous situation. This requirement is being enforced in Mill Valley.

Sediment Traps – Sediment traps located on gas lines running to your water heater catch debris and moisture in the line and prevent it from getting into the combustion chamber of the water heater. This is currently not enforced by Mill Valley.