Tag Archives: Water Heater Installation

Plumbing Permit – The Process Explained

Plumbing Permit – Do I Need One?

Late last year we talked about why you should pull permits for plumbing repairs.  This time we will get a little deeper into the process of pulling a plumbing permit and why. Only a licensed professional, or in some cases the homeowner, can pull a plumbing permit.  As a homeowner if you are requested to pull a plumbing permit for someone who presents themselves as a professional, that person is more than likely to be unlicensed. You may get a better price for unlicensed work but that carries a risk of poor craftsmanship and even substantial fines for the property owner. It can be quite time consuming for the plumbing company and add a little cost to the plumbing services, but the benefits far outweigh the savings.

You may be wondering which services require a plumbing permit. This is determined by the individual municipalities and counties where the work is being conducted. Most of the time it is for major plumbing services like home water re-pipes, main sewer line replacements, and water heater replacements. Pulling the proper plumbing permit protects the homeowner or commercial property owner against substandard work, and creates a public record that the plumbing services were completed to local code requirements and inspected. This can be a real advantage when selling, refinancing, or insuring the property.

So yes, for major plumbing repairs you need to pull the proper plumbing permit.

Plumbing Permit – Overview

Plumbing Permit - Application

  ****** Tampa Plumbing Permit Application ******

Once the determination is made that a permit is required for the plumbing services, your plumbing contractor accesses the public property records to determine zoning, ownership, and property descriptions that are required by the permitting authority where the property is located.  Some require that the plumbing permit be posted at the job site, many do not have this requirement. Additionally, if the work requires a permit and the value of the work is $2500.00 or greater, another legal document known as a Notice of Commencement (NOC) is required. This is a notarized document that certifies that the work was done with the knowledge and authorization of the owner or the owner’s representative. It is recorded with the County Court and a certified copy of the NOC is delivered to the appropriate building department to be attached to the plumbing permit. Only then will then the permitting authority allow the property to be inspected and the permit to be finalized and closed.

Plumbing Permits  – Step by Step

  1. Plumbing services that requires a permit are identified and an internal company request is made for a plumbing permit to be pulled.
  2. The plumbing company permit specialist researches the property in public records and gathers the necessary property information.
  3. An application is filed by the plumbing services contractor or their agent. This may be in person or online depending on the permitting authority.
  4. If the plumbing permit requires a Notice of Commencement (NOC), the permit specialist prepares this legal document and secures the notarized signature of the owner or authorized person for the property.
  5. The document is hand delivered to the county courthouse for recording and to secure a certified copy.
  6. The certified copy of the NOC is delivered to the building department to be attached to the plumbing permit and an inspection can now be scheduled when work is completed.
  7. When the plumbing service is complete and ready for inspection, a date is set for the inspection. No permitting authority allows a specific time of day for appointments so the owner or a designated person may need to be available all day on the day of inspection if access to the interior of the home is required.
  8. The inspection is completed and passes, or approval is withheld if even one criteria needs attention. If so a follow up inspection is scheduled to complete the job.
  9. When the job is complete, the plumbing company’s permit specialist follows up to verify approval and all necessary paperwork is completed.

So there you go.  And remember, if a plumbing company indicates that a permit needs to be pulled, it is not as a means of making more money.  It is so the consumer is protected and will have the peace of mind that they received quality craftsmanship and the work is done to local codes. If you have any questions leave a reply and I will update the post to answer.

Who’s Got Plumbing??? We all do! See ya soon.

Water Heaters – Residential Guide

A Guide to Residential Water Heaters

Today we will be talking about the two most common types of residential water heaters. Conventional storage tank water heaters that most of us have in our homes, and  tankless water heaters that have become more popular in the past few years.  Both of these types are whole home water heaters that can supply hot water to all fixtures in your home simultaneously.

Water heaters can account for well over 15% of residential energy costs. Choosing the right style and energy source for your household needs is an important decision. The efficiency of water heaters varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, model, and fuel sources.

Storage Tank Water Heaters

The most common type of water heater is the storage tank style that we are all familiar with. They store large amounts of heated water for use when needed.  A small initial investment is needed and they have economical operational costs over time. Energy sources for storage tank water heaters include electric, natural gas, or  propane. (Note: natural gas and propane water heaters require additional venting for safety). Since water heaters can be installed in a closet, garage, basement, or even an attic, there are multiple styles and capacities to choose from to fit your usage and placement needs.  Residential storage tanks range in capacity from 20 to 80 gallons.

For households with:

Water Heaters - Residential Gas

***Vented Natural Gas Water Heater***

1 or 2 people, a 20-30 gallon tank is recommended.

2 – 4 people, 40 gallon tank is recommended.

3-5 people, 50 gallon tank is recommended.

5 or more, 60 gallons or more is recommended.

Short or “low boy” tank styles have a larger circumference and shorter height. They are ideal for placement under cabinetry, on shelving in a utility room, or in an attic.

Medium tank styles are smaller in circumference than the short style and taller in height.  These are the most common tank style and are ideal for larger spaces like garages, utility rooms, and basements.

Tall tank styles are taller and thinner than the medium style. This style is for installation in tight spaces like a closet, small utility room, or to save space in a smaller garage.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are becoming more popular, especially for condominiums and smaller household with only one or two people. Tankless water heating systems heat water on demand using a natural gas or propane burner (Note: natural gas and propane water heaters require additional venting for safety), or an electric element as it passes through the water heater. They require a larger up-front investment that can be recovered over time by eliminating the energy costs related to keeping a large tank of water at a consistent temperature. Tankless units can save up to 30% of your monthly energy costs related to heating water for your home.

Tankless water heaters are compact units that can easily be mounted on the outside wall, in a garage, or utility closet. Some tankless water heaters come equipped with waterproof remote controls. These allow adjusting the temperature as needed. You might want 120°F when running dishwasher, 104°F for kids bath time, then back up to 110°F to fill the tub for a relaxing soak.

To properly size the tankless hot water heater you will require, you will need to calculate the maximum amount of hot water your home may use at one time. This is known as the flow rate. Flow rate is determined by how many fixtures you expect to be using at the same time, the type of fixtures (kitchen faucet, shower faucet, dishwasher, etc.), and size of supply piping. Contact a licensed plumbing company to assist you in determining the correct flow rate required to properly size the tankless water heater in your home. Remember to always be a smart plumbing consumer. Research the plumbing company before you hire them by checking out their reviews on their website, their BBB ranking and their reviews on Google +.

Other Water Heating Options

There are other water heater options for your home. Hybrid systems employ elements of the storage tank design with the addition of a heat pump to increase hot water production and efficiency. Another type are point of use systems. These systems are smaller, individual water heaters that are installed near the specific locations hot water is required. Point of use units are usually used to supplement a tank or tankless system. Keep an eye out for a follow up post where we will delve further into the hybrid water heaters and point of use water heaters.

Who’s Got Plumbing??? We all do!! So Subscribe via email in the right hand column and receive automatic notifications of new informative plumbing articles. Have a great day.

Plumbing Permits – The Legal Side of Plumbing

Why Pull Plumbing Permits?

Just spent the better part of the morning and afternoon pulling plumbing permits for some of our upcoming jobs in the Tampa and the Brandon areas. Plumbing projects like home re-pipes, drain replacements, sewer line replacements, and water heater installations require plumbing permits.  Most of all, the municipalities require them  to protect the consumer.

Plumbing Permits

Natural Gas Rheem Water Heater 

If you contract an unlicensed handyman to complete these types of plumbing jobs for you it can cost you. Code enforcement fines, hours of your time, thousands of dollars to repair shoddy workmanship, and out-of-compliance repair can result. In addition, worker injury and damage claims become the property owners responsibility. Lawsuits are always a possibility if unlicensed contractor accidents occurs on your property.

Rather than taking the chance, the plumber you hire should be licensed, insured, and bonded. They will have the ability to handle all of the permitting and inspections required by your local city, county, or municipality. Furthermore, this will alleviate your responsibility for worker injury. Licensed plumbing companies are required to carry workers compensation insurance. While pulling the proper plumbing permits may cost a couple extra dollars and some time at the permitting office. Consumers will have the peace of mind they deserve when hiring a service provider and investing hard earned money in a home’s plumbing  system.

Professional Plumbing Repairs

If you are looking to complete some major plumbing upgrades or repairs make sure to always hire a licensed, insured and bonded plumbing company. They will have experienced plumbers that are trained to comply with all local building codes. For absolutely professional plumbing work, whether it be sewer repair, home re-pipe, 24/7 emergency plumbing services, or just day-to-day plumbing maintenance contact a fully licensed local plumber.

Finally, more information on the permitting and inspection process, read our post on the plumbing service permitting process.

Who’s Got Plumbing??? We all do! See ya soon.