You may be wondering, “Do I need a permit to replace my water heater in Kirkland?”
Currently, Kirkland 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, Kirkland 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 cringe 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.
Expansion Tanks: An expansion tank is required if a plumbing system is closed, this means that the back-flow, which normally runs between the house in question and the main water supply, is blocked. However, when water is heated, it starts to expand, which causes a rise in water pressure. The increased pressure must dissipate. If there is nowhere for the pressure to go, it places undue stress and strain on your water heater and your home’s plumbing system. Increased pressure will shorten the life of your water heater. However, expansion tanks provide relief from this excess water pressure and protect your home. Kirkland inspectors almost always enforce this code.
Approved Location: One of the dangers of gas water heaters is that they can dispel carbon monoxide. This dangerous byproduct can cause sickness and can even be fatal. It is illegal to put in a gas water heater in a small, frequently used space such as a bedroom or bathroom closet. The only exception to this code is a direct vent style (or power-direct vent) water heater. Local inspectors are very strict in enforcing this rule.
Earthquake Straps: As you probably know, the state of Washington is often at risk of earthquakes because of its geographical location, so you must keep your water heater secured by placing straps on both the top and bottom – covering a third of the heater at each end. The inspectors will be sure to check that you are meeting this requirement.
Venting: Natural gas combustion, which creates carbon monoxide, is one of the most critical components to ensure the installation is done properly. You certainly do not want any carbon monoxide to reach you or your family members, so you must ensure that your water heater has a suitable venting system. These vents should be made of the proper material and keep specific clearances from combustible materials. Again, inspectors will check to make sure you have followed this rule.
Pressure Regulating Valves: Devices that regulate pressure play an important role in preventing damage to your water heater and your plumbing. This is particularly the case if the pressure in your house is 80 PSI or higher. When we work with you, we take care to measure your PSI carefully and will definitely tell you whether or not you should install a regulator.
Greasepack Gas Valve Replacement: We will also be mindful to find out whether or not you have a greasepack valve on your water heater. These are not very reliable and neither the Uniform Plumbing Code nor Kirkland inspectors see them as acceptable.
Pans and Drains: Water damage is always a concern with a leaky water heater, especially when the tank is located inside or in an area where damage can occur. Kirkland thus enforces that you put a pan, linked to a drain line, under your heater when damage can occur.
Bonding: When your plumbing and your electrical wires are side by side, which is the case in many homes, you can run the risk of your wires deteriorating and causing your pipes to become energized. You definitely do not want this to happen, so Kirkland insists that you ground your pipes for both water and gas. You can do this easily with wire sized 6 awg and clamps.
Sediment Traps: It is important to protect your combustion chamber by trapping any debris or wetness that might otherwise enter. Thus, Kirkland will enforce that you include a trap for sediment.
Dedicated Water Shutoff: On occasion, you might want to turn off your water heater without compromising your household’s access to running water. You can achieve this by dedicating one shutoff to your water heater. Local inspectors see this as imperative and insist on it.
Pipe Insulation: Insulation is absolutely necessary for any pipes that are found in any space that is unconditioned. This helps to make your system more energy efficient.