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

Currently, Cupertino 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, Cupertino 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 – Cupertino, CA

Water Heater Codes Currently Enforced in Cupertino

Approved Location – Regulations state that most water heaters cannot be located in areas such as closets, bathrooms or bedrooms (unless it’s used exclusively for the water heater). This prevents accidents as well as human contact with slight amounts of CO (Carbon Monoxide) that escapes from gas heater vents. Cupertino enforces this regulation.

Earthquake Straps – Water heaters require certified earthquake straps on the bottom and top thirds of your water heater. Cupertino enforces this regulation for your safety.

Venting – Since Carbon Monoxide(CO) is produced by Gas combustion water heaters they require proper venting. The size of the water heater determines the size of the vent. If the vent material gets hot there must be good clearance from flammable or combustible areas. This requirement is enforced by inspectors.

Pans and Drains – If your water heater is positioned in an interior location or on a built in platform damage could occur from leakage. The CA Plumbing Code requires a pan under the water heater with a drain line to the exterior. Cupertino enforces this requirement. However, CPVC, which is an approved material for all kinds of drain lines (and less expensive than copper) is not allowed to be used.

Pressure and Temperature Relief Drain (“P&T Drain”) to the Exterior – To prevent accidental scalding while the P&T drain is discharging, the CA Plumbing Code requires your P&T relief to be run to the exterior. Inspectors currently enforce this. In cases where piping to the exterior is not possible, Cupertino will not allow the use of a Watts 210 valve as a substitute to draining to the exterior.

Dedicated Water Shutoff – If your water heater needs servicing a dedicated water shutoff allows you to turn the water to the water heater off without having to turn off the water to the rest of the house. This code item is actively enforced in Cupertino.

Pipe Insulation – Pipes located in unconditioned space are required to be insulated in Cupertino.

Bonding – Your gas and water pipes are required to be grounded by the California Electric Code. Bonding the pipes with 6 awg wire and clamps effectively grounds all the pipes. This is a requirement because plumbing is regularly built near electrical wiring. If the wires degrade, they could energize your pipes. Inspectors in Cupertino are currently requiring this.

Sediment Traps – Sediment traps are found on gas lines running to your water heater. The trap catches moisture and debris that gets into the line preventing it from entering the combustion chamber of the water heater. Currently, local inspectors enforce this.