Plumbing Work

Terms and Conditions for Plumbing Work


Work on an existing building or structure

Work authorized by this permit must comply with the General Terms and Conditions for Work on Existing Buildings and Structures.

Plumbing work

Plumbing work must comply with the edition of the Chicago Plumbing Code in effect at the time when the permit application was submitted to the Department of Buildings. Plumbing work must be performed by the Chicago-licensed plumbing contractor or homeowner listed on the permit application.

Repair or replace a plumbing fixture, other than a water heater

Identification and markings

Plumbing fixtures must bear the identification of the manufacturer and any markings required by applicable standards referenced in the Chicago Plumbing Code.

WaterSense label

New and replacement water closets, urinals, shower heads, weather-based irrigation controllers, spray sprinkler bodies, commercial pre-rinse spray valves, and private residential lavatory faucets must have a label to show that they comply with the US EPA’s WaterSense program.

Reuse of plumbing fixtures

Used plumbing fixtures may only be reinstalled if they are structurally sound, free from cracks or other defects, and meet the technical requirements for new fixtures in the Chicago Plumbing Code.

Repair or replace a water heater

Certification and label

The water heater must be third-party certified and have a label and listing plate to show compliance.

Manufacturer’s instructions

The water heater must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. A copy of the manufacturer’s installation instructions must be on site at the time of inspection.


The water heater must be tied in with unions. Dielectric unions or fittings must be used for joining dissimilar metals.

Shutoff valve

A full port shutoff (3/4" valve) must be installed on the cold water branch line. No valves are allowed on the hot water side.

Relief outlet

The outlet of a pressure, temperature, or other relief valve may not be directly connected to the building drainage system.

Combustion air

A fuel-fired water heater must be provided with adequate combustion air and may not be installed in a location that is prohibited by the Chicago Plumbing Code.

Clearance to combustible material

A fuel-fired water heater must be installed with clearances to combustible materials as required by the Chicago Construction Codes.

Fuel gas shutoff valve

For a fuel-fired water heater, a fuel gas shutoff valve not less than the nominal size of the connector must be installed ahead of the connector.

Flue pipe

The installer must verify that any existing flue pipe that will be reused is in good condition. A damaged or defective flue pipe may be repaired or replaced under this permit.

Carbon monoxide detector

For a fuel-fired water heater installed within a residential unit, the installer must verify that a functioning carbon monoxide detector is present within the residential unit.

Electrical circuit

The water heater must be installed on an electrical circuit with a breaker ampacity as specified on the water heater’s label or listing plate. This permit does not authorize new or altered electrical wiring.  

Repair plumbing piping or riser

Openings and penetrations

This permit does not authorize new or expanded penetrations or openings in walls or floors that separate a residential unit or non-residential unit from another unit, a shared corridor, or a stairway. This permit does not authorize installation of any piping, ductwork, or equipment in an enclosed stairway or other type of exit. Where new material is installed in an existing opening, firestopping or other protection must be installed as required by the Chicago Building Code.