Homeownership is rewarding, but it’s also a lot of work. There are a million little things to think about, like scheduling regular service visits for your major appliances and getting a permit for that new water heater. If you’re asking Google, “Do I need a permit to install a new water heater?” the short answer is that yes, you absolutely do. Here’s a quick crash course in permits for installing a new water heater.

Identifying Residential Permit Requirements in Pima County

Almost every single municipality in the country requires homeowners to secure permits for certain residential work. This includes doing additions, building porches, and installing major appliances, such as central air conditioners and water heaters. Getting a permit to install a new water heater is an essential step that you cannot skip. Any reputable contractor will refuse to install the appliance until the proper permit has been secured. Unfortunately, unlike Intelligent Design, many contractors won’t secure the permit for you.

Understanding the Need to Get a Permit to Install a New Water Heater

It’s easy to understand why it’s essential to obtain a city permit to install a new water heater if it’s a new construction building. However, homeowners are often confused about why they need a permit if they are only replacing their old water heater with a new one.

Quite simply, it’s because a water heater can be a potentially dangerous appliance if it has been installed improperly. And unfortunately, there are a lot of unqualified and unlicensed plumbers out there. Getting a permit and an inspection is necessary because it ensures that the water heater has been installed correctly and is safe for use.

Knowing What Can Happen If the Water Heater Is Installed Improperly

Unqualified and unlicensed plumbers might tell you that getting a permit and an inspection is not necessary because installing a water heater isn’t exactly rocket science. However, these appliances really are potentially dangerous when installed improperly.

If you’ve ever seen the TV science show “Mythbusters,” you might recall an episode in which the co-hosts intentionally caused a water heater to explode. They obtained a full-size, 52-gallon water heater. They then built a shack around it that conformed to their state’s building codes. After obstructing the relief valve, the “Mythbusters” team discovered that it really is possible for an exploding water heater to shoot through the roof of a building. In fact, this highly pressurized water heater shot up about five hundred feet into the air.

This demonstration took place on a controlled set. Imagine the damage an exploding water heater could do in a residential neighborhood. This situation might sound farfetched, but it’s not uncommon for unlicensed contractors to install water heaters without a temperature and pressure (T & P) valve. Deaths have been known to occur because of this issue.

Plus, this is only one of the potential problems that can occur. Another, far more common problem is the potential for the water heater to emit scalding water. Temperature control with a properly functioning thermostat is essential for the health and safety of your family.

Another common problem with unpermitted and improperly installed water heaters is the risk of fire and electrical hazards. Electric water heaters must be wired correctly. If your household is upgrading to a bigger size of water heater, then it is likely you’ll need a larger wire size and a new breaker. If the water heater is fueled by gas, it’s imperative that the gas line is connected properly. Otherwise, there is a serious risk of a gas leak.

Getting a Permit to Install a New Water Heater

When you’re ready to replace that old water heater, you’ll quickly find that the process of obtaining a permit isn’t as easy as it should be. You’ll have to go downtown to the municipal building, fill out endless forms, and wait on a line. It’s a huge hassle and a waste of time. That’s why it’s much better to choose a plumbing company that will handle the new permit for you.

Intelligent Design can actually pull the permit right from our own office in Tucson. We’ll make sure the paperwork has been filled out correctly and that everything is 100% legitimate so that you don’t have to worry about it.

We also provide free, no-obligation estimates for homeowners who need to replace their old water heaters. To schedule your free estimate in the Tucson area, give us a call at (520) 462-1538. Intelligent Design is the No. 1 rated company in Southern Arizona for HVAC services and plumbing. We pride ourselves on providing courteous, professional service and expert craftsmanship. If you need a new water heater, then you can depend on our licensed plumbers. When you schedule your appointment for a new water heater installation, be sure to ask us about our Membership Club discounts!

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