You may be wondering, “Do I need a permit to replace my water heater in Mission Viejo?”
Currently, Mission Viejo 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, Mission Viejo and the State of California water heater codes change to adopt new installation and safety measures. While implemented to increase your overall home safety, these code requirements may 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.
Water Heater Codes Currently Enforced in Mission Viejo
Approved Location – The CA Plumbing Code Regulations prevent most gas water heaters from being located in bedrooms, bathrooms, or closets (unless sole use). This regulation prevents human contact with the small amounts of Carbon Monoxide (CO) released from gas hot water heater vents and the possibility of accidents. This is presently enforced by Mission Viejo.
Earthquake Straps – California is an earthquake zone which requires some regulations for everyone’s safety. Water heaters are required to have certified earthquake straps on the top and bottom thirds of the tank. Most inspectors in Mission Viejo enforce this regulation.
Venting – Gas combustion water heaters generate carbon monoxide and require venting. The size of the vent is established by the size of the hot water heater. Depending on the venting material, the inspector will require ample clearance from the vent near any flammable or combustible surfaces. Currently, Mission Viejo is enforcing this.
Pans and Drains – If water heaters are located on a built-in platform or an inside location, a leakage could cause water damage. As prevention, the CA Plumbing Code requires a pan under the tank with a drain line running to the exterior.
Pressure and Temperature Relief Drain (“P&T Drain”) to the Exterior – The CA Plumbing Code requires the P&T relief drain to be run to the exterior. This requirement is in place to prevent accidental scalding when the P&T relief is discharging. Presently, this is enforced in Mission Viejo.
Dedicated Water Shutoff – A dedicated water shutoff allows you to keep water running to the rest of your home while your hot water heater is off or being serviced. Mission Viejo enforces this item.
Grease pack Gas Valve Replacement – Grease pack valves used to be utilized regularly for water heaters. However, the California Plumbing Code no longer approves their use due to a high failure rate. We are required to check for this valve when inspecting your hot water heater and advise you to have it changed if we find one. This item is enforced by Mission Viejo.
Expansion Tanks – In 2008, the California Plumbing Code began requiring expansion tanks for a ‘closed plumbing system.’ This system has a backflow preventer between the house and water main. Heated water increases by about 2% causing pressure build-up, with a rapid drop in pressure when a faucet is turned on, causing deterioration of the plumbing, fixtures and water heater.
Eventually this can lead to failure of the water heater. Expansion tanks are required on closed systems and it is strongly recommended that you install one if you have a closed system. Mission Viejo does enforce this code.