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

Currently, Tacoma 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, Tacoma 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 Tacoma installer will be able to answer any specific question you may have.

Local Water Heater & Plumbing Permits – Tacoma, WA

Water Heater Codes Currently Enforced in Tacoma

Approved Location: Most of the time, a water heater must not be situated inside a bathroom, bedroom or closet. This is because, on occasion, CO can accidentally leak from a water heater, and can be dangerous to individuals close by. It is also to minimize the possibility of accidents. Inspectors in Tacoma do tend to enforce the legally acceptable placement of your water heater.

Earthquake Straps: The state of Washington is located in an earthquake zone, so it is essential that straps, designed to stabilize during earthquakes, are attached to both the bottom third and top third of your water heater. Most of the time, Tacoma inspectors enforce this regulation, in order to maintain safety.

Expansion Tanks: Your water heater might run on a closed system, which means that the plumbing stops back-flow from the mains to the house. If this is the case, the sudden changes in pressure can cause damage to, and even malfunctioning of, your water heater. Thus, the Uniform Plumbing Code states that all closed systems should use an expansion tank. At present, this requirement is definitely being enforced in Tacoma.

Venting: In Tacoma, most water heaters rely on gas combustion, which means that they produce CO during operation. As a result, it is imperative that they are fitted with appropriately-sized vents, which are kept away from flammable materials. Correct venting is enforced by Tacoma at the moment.

Drain Lines and Pans: Your heater might be on a platform or positioned inside, where possible leaking could cause problems. If so, you must put a pan, with a drain line running off it, beneath your water heater. Just as with all other requirements listed in this section, this one is demanded by the code and enforced by inspectors in Tacoma.

Valves to Regulate Pressure: If the pressure of the water running in your house exceeds 80 PSI, then you must lower it by putting in a regulating device, as high levels of pressure can cause damage. Our technicians will measure the water pressure at your residence and let you know the results, so that you can decide what to do.

Replacement of Grease Pack Gas Valves: Unfortunately, grease pack valves malfunction often, if we find them at your house, we will suggest that you replace them.

Bonding: According to the electrical code, it is essential that you ground any pipes – both water and gas – with clamps and wire (6 awg).

Traps for Sediment: In order to stop water and debris from going into the water heater’s combustion chamber, it is important to place a sediment trap on the gas line. Tacoma inspectors work hard to enforce this requirement.

Dedicated Water Shutoff: This is important, as it enables you to switch off your water heater without cutting the general supply of water to your house.

Pipe Insulation: Any pipes that are located in any area that is not conditioned must be insulated.

P&T Drain Union: According to the Uniform Plumbing Code, you do not need to put a union on the drain concerning the P and T. However, in Tacoma, this item is enforced. The benefit of this is that it means that the water heater can be taken away easily, if necessary.