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Old 01-26-2009, 03:26 PM   #1
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plumbing permit


I live in Wilton, Ct and am told by the building dept. that I need a plumbing permit to REPLACE an existing electric hot water heater.

Why do I need a permit?

Can I replace the water heater myself after I get the permit?

Thanks for any insight.

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Old 01-26-2009, 03:38 PM   #2
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1. Because the people your community elected said so.
2. Maybe, call your building dept and see if the people your community elected say you can.

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Old 01-26-2009, 04:23 PM   #3
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Many people, including licensed plumbers and electricians, are not always capable of installing a water heater in a safe manner. There are bonding issues, electrical issues, and important details such as the T&P piping installation that are often overlooked.

With a gas water heater the hazards of an improper installation are even greater (cabon monoxide, etc).

Although an extreme example, here's a demonstration of what a water heater is capable of.
http://www.waterheaterblast.com/
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:24 PM   #4
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Also, the International Code requires a permit for such work.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:51 PM   #5
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KC, how does one "test" the T&P valve, as mentioned in the link provided?
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:43 PM   #6
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The T&P valve can be tested (to make sure it isn't corroded shut) by merely pulling the little lever on the valve perpindicular to the water tank. Be careful because VERY HOT water and steam will come out of the pipe coming off of the valve. If there isn't a pipe on the T&P put one on before testing or you will be burned.

Now the problem with testing T&P's. After you test them, they're notorious for never sealing back up perfectly. Sediment gets caught in the seal and sometimes they'll drip.

The best course of action with T&P's is to test them at first sign of corrosion of any parts of the water heater or calcification in the pipes, or even annually to be really safe. They cost $6 at any home center and are pretty standard. Just plan on replacing it on occasion. They simply unscrew (turn the heater off and partially drain it first) using a pipe wrench. Several wraps of teflon tape, and thread the new one in.

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