Plumbing Permits

Plumbing Permits

For your safety and the safety of your family and future occupants - and to avoid expensive mistakes - do not do plumbing work that is beyond your skill level.

Do I need a plumbing permit?
A plumbing permit is required to do the following:

  • To replace water heaters, alter piping inside a wall or ceiling or beneath a floor and for plumbing in all new installations.
  • To do emergency repair, alteration or replacement of freeze-damaged or leaking concealed piping, if new piping exceeds 3 feet.
  • To remodel or add on to your one- or two-family dwelling when existing plumbing is to be relocated. This includes installation of building sewers, water service and rain drains outside the building.

A plumbing permit is not required in the following circumstances:

  • When a property owner does ordinary minor repairs to plumbing systems on his or her own property. "Ordinary minor repairs" means repair, replacement or maintenance of existing accessible fixtures, parts and appliances and their related water and drain attachments. Do not alter an existing plumbing system without a permit.
  • When a property owner or licensed plumber performs emergency repairs to or replaces freeze-damaged or leaking concealed piping, provided new piping doesn't exceed three feet in length.

If you are not sure if you need a permit, call the Building Codes Division at (503) 338-3697.

Where do I get a permit for plumbing work?
Permits are issued  by the Building Codes Division, which is located at 800 Exchange Street, Suite #100, Astoria.

Complete an application, pay the fee, and get your permit. If a plumbing contractor is performing the work, it is the contractor's responsibility to get the permit and ensure that required inspections are performed. The plumbing permit issued in the name of the party performing the work.

A plan or blueprint is usually not required for a one and two-family dwelling permit. Fees are based on the size and complexity of the plumbing work being done: the number of bathrooms for new single-family construction and the number of fixtures to be installed for additions/remodels and commercial including the number of feet of piping for water, sewer or rain drains.

A plumbing inspector can discuss your project with you. If you have the necessary information for the proposed project, you can usually leave with your permit. Plumbing permit fees are paid when the permit is issued.

How do I get an inspection?
If you are having the work done by a plumbing contractor, the contractor is required to notify the inspecting jurisdiction when the work is ready to be inspected. If you are doing your own work, you can call the Inspection Line at (503) 338-3698.

If you have installed water piping, the work must be operational for inspection. The plumbing inspector requires drainage piping be plugged and filled with water for inspection.

When you call, you will be asked for the permit number, homeowner's name, project address, type of inspection needed and the date on which inspection is desired. Be prepared to furnish detailed directions to the job site.

Unless all of the work is outside and accessible, an adult needs to be at the site to provide access for the inspector.

Planning to do plumbing work on your one- or two-family dwelling?
As the property owner of a one- or two-family dwelling, you can either hire a licensed plumbing contractor or do the plumbing work yourself (or a direct relative) without a license. A friend, neighbor, tenant, general contractor or other person cannot legally do the plumbing work unless he or she is a licensed plumber working on behalf of a licensed plumbing contractor.

All materials (pipe, pipe fittings, fixtures and other devices used in plumbing systems) must be listed and approved for their specific uses. This is especially important when installing materials that come into contact with drinking water.

If you hire a plumbing contractor, ask for his or her business registration and ask for the license number of any journeyman plumber performing work. Plumbing contractors must also be registered with the Construction Contractors Board , (503) 378-4621.

Lawn sprinklers may be installed only by the homeowner or licensed landscape contractors . Permits are required to connect lawn sprinklers to your building's water supply. Backflow assembly required to connect underground sprinkler system.

If you have questions concerning your eligibility to work on a building, call the Building Codes Division, (503) 338-3697.