How to apply?

Submit an application to Building that identifies the property, list the name of any contractor who will work on the project, and describe the proposed work in detail. You need to submit additional plans only for a new installation, not a replacement. For a new installation, submit three sets of plumbing details, electrical plans, and a floor plan showing the water heater location. If a water heater is to be installed in a new enclosure at the exterior of the structure, a plot plan will be required.

Permits for the replacement of an existing water heater can be obtained through the online permit system.

A separate handout entitled Plan Requirements describes requirements in greater detail and gives you examples of how the various plans should be drawn.

If you have not recently installed a water heater, you should be aware of these changes in the requirements:

Water heaters must be anchored or strapped to prevent toppling during an earthquake.

To conserve energy, water heaters must be wrapped with an insulation blanket having an R-value of at least 12. Internal and external insulation together must equal R-16. Both hot and cold water pipes must be insulated for the first 5 feet from the water heater.

Water heaters located in garages must have the source of ignition raised a minimum of 18 inches above the floor.

Temperature/pressure relief valves must be extended to an approved location on the exterior of the structure.

A bonding jumper sized in accordance with the National Electric Code, Article 250-80 must be installed across the hot and cold water piping.

What fees must I pay?

For the replacement of a water heater, you must pay plumbing and filing fees.

New installations may require building, plumbing, lectrical, filing, microfilm, and plan check fees.

Please refer to the current fee schedule or contact a Permit Technician at (650) 599-7311 for an estimate of your permit costs.

Learn More