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

Currently, Santa Clara does requires 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, Santa Clara 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 – Santa Clara, CA

Water Heater Codes Currently Enforced in Santa Clara

Approved Location – To prevent accidents and avoid contact with CO (Carbon Monoxide), emitted in small amounts from gas heater vents, bathrooms and bedrooms cannot be used as water heater storage areas. Closets may be utilized if that is its only purpose. This regulation is currently enforced in Santa Clara.

Earthquake Straps – Water heaters are required to have earthquake straps on the top and bottom thirds of the tank in accordance with the CA Plumbing Code. The city of Santa Clara enforces this requirement for your safety.

Venting – As gas combustion water heaters produce carbon monoxide (CO) they require proper venting. The water heater size establishes the size of the vent. The clearance between combustible or flammable areas and the vent must be adequate enough to prevent a fire if the vent material gets hot. This requirement is enforced by Santa Clara.

Pans and Drains – The CA Plumbing Code requires a pan to be placed under your water heater if it is located in an interior location or on a built in platform. As potential damage could happen from leakage, a drain line must be attached to the pan and run to the exterior. In most cases the drain to the exterior is required by Santa Clara.

Pressure and Temperature Relief Drain (“P&T Drain”) to the Exterior – To avoid accidental scalding while the P&T discharges, the CA Plumbing Code requires the P&T drain be run to the exterior. This requirement is enforced by Santa Clara. Furthermore, Santa Clara also requires a 6” nipple on the P&T Drain.

Dedicated Water Shutoff – A dedicated water shutoff ensures you will always have water available, even if your hot water tank is being serviced. The water directly to the tank can be turned off, leaving the rest of the house with running water. This is enforced by Santa Clara.

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

Bonding – The CA Electric Code requires water and gas pipes to be grounded. You can successfully ground your pipes by bonding with 6 awg wire and clamps. Often plumbing and electrical wiring are located near each other. If your wires begin to degrade it is possible that your pipes will become energized, putting you in a dangerous situation. Currently, inspectors in Santa Clara require this.

Sediment Traps – Sediment traps are located on gas lines that run to the water heater. Moisture and debris are caught in the trap preventing it from entering the combustion chamber of the water heater. Currently, Santa Clara is enforcing this.