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LA County & the Valley Water Heaters

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

Currently, most towns in and around LA County do 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, LA County water heater and plumbing 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 – Los Angeles County

Codes Currently Being Enforced in LA County

The following are safety regulations that we have found are typically enforced in towns in and around LA County. We go to great lengths to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, but please consult your installer, whose knowledge will be in-depth and up-to-date.

Approved Location – To prevent accidents, water heaters cannot be located in a closet (unless it is reserved for only the water heater). As well, hot water heaters cannot be located in bedrooms or bathrooms. As tiny amounts of Carbon Monoxide (CO) may be released from gas water heater vents, this regulation prevents human contact and accidents. LA County enforces this requirement.

Earthquake Straps – Certified earthquake straps are required on hot water heaters for your safety. The straps should be located at the bottom and top thirds of the heater. The majority of LA County inspectors enforce this for your safety.

Pans and Drains – A water heater which is located on a built-in platform OR in an interior location where damage may occur from water leakage is to have a pan with a drain line to the exterior positioned under the unit. The CA Plumbing Code requires this and our experience shows that LA County will enforce it.

Pressure and Temperature Relief Drain (“P&T Drain”) to the Exterior – Your P&T relief drain must be run to the exterior as required by the California Plumbing Code. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent scalding if a person walks near the hot water heater during pressure and temperature relief discharge. LA County currently enforces this.

Dedicated Water Shutoff – If you need to turn off the water line running to the hot water heater for any reason, a dedicated water shutoff on your water heater will allow water to continue being used in the rest of the house. LA County actively enforces this requirement.

Grease Pack Gas Valve Replacement – While inspecting a hot water heater, we will also check the dedicated gas valve to the tank. If we find a grease pack valve, we will recommend replacement as they are known to fail and are not approved because of this. This item is currently enforced in LA County.