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skopper 08-31-2006 11:08 AM

Plumbing permits - homeowner vs plumber
I'm new to Washington state - never encountered this in California. In King County (Seattle and greater Seattle area) they require that if a homeowner gets the plumbing permit then he can't hire or have a licensed plumber help with the job in any way - in fact they say the homeowner has to do all the work himself. If a licensed plumber is used in any way then the plumber is required to get the permit themselves. What nonsense is this? Who cares who got the permit as long as it passes inspection? Any guesses?

Hube 08-31-2006 11:31 AM

Well, all I can say is,..... if this is the requirement, then unless you abide by it , you will be breaking this law, even if it maybe a foolish one.
why question it, it is the law, abide by it. You might end up saving yourself a lot of problems later.

Kerrylib 08-31-2006 04:13 PM

Best guess would be to prevent "apprentice" workers from moonlighting from their day job.

I'll bet the requirement was lobbied for by labor unions.

skopper 08-31-2006 10:07 PM

It's only one of the goofy things up here in this area. Building permits, plumbing permits, and electrical permits are all issued by separate agencies - equally stupid. At least electrical can be obtained over the internet.

The option for homeowners is to not get permits - not legal, but if I get a plumbing permit and then want a licensed plumber to help I have to lie about it. Easier to just not bother with the permit. That said, I have all my permits, it just seems like they are openly discouraging homeowners from getting them. After all, if I get it then plumber isn't going to have to charge me for his time to go and get it himself and the work will be done better than I could do it, although we both will meet code and pass inspection. That's the way it was in California.

Kerry must be along the right tracks though - something to do with crooked plumbers - except, they actually prohibit the use of licensed plumbers with a homeowner issued permit... hmmm...

glennjanie 09-01-2006 09:12 PM

Hi Skooper:
This is typical of homeowner's permits. Here in Kentucky they have the homeowner sit down in front of the inspector and draw the systme; it is their way of checking to see if the homeowner knows what he is doing. They also require the homeowner to sign an affidavit stating he/she will do all the work with their own hands. They have no problem with the homeowner asking a licensed plumber to give advise.
I understand your concern about a plumber's union but that is not the case. Its just that the plumber's had to endure a 4 year apprenticeship and pay the cost of testing, plus the renewal of the license every year. They soon have a lot of work and money tied up in the license and are very protective of their rights.
You are correct to say your work has to stand the same inspection as a plumber's work would.

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