3 Household Projects That Require a Professional

2018 Jan 29
Posted in: Electrical
what home improvements require a permit

Are you a DIY kind of homeowner?

If so, heads up—you’ll need a permit from the city to perform the following electrical and plumbing projects:

  1. Adding GFCI outlets (when mandated by code)
  2. Installing an appliance 30 amps or greater
  3. Replacing a water heater

We know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, but just because something requires a permit doesn’t mean I need a professional, right?”

Yes, that’s correct. You aren’t required by law to hire a professional for these projects.

BUT you should hire an electrician/plumber if you want to avoid:

  • Risk of property damage and/or electrical fire
  • Damage to your home that your homeowner's insurance may not cover
  • The hassle of pulling the permit yourself (this is very difficult for non-professionals)
  • Struggling to obtain a certificate of occupancy that proves everything is up to code and certified by an electrician and plumber (you need this if you ever sell or rent your home)

Let’s take a closer look at why a professional should handle the 3 household electrical/plumbing projects we mentioned in the beginning…

Need help right away? Give us a call, and we’ll quickly send over one of our plumbers and electricians to handle the project for you.

#1: Adding GFCI outlets (when mandated by code)

If a GFCI outlet is “mandated by code requirement”, a permit is required to install it.

So when is it mandated by code?

Well, according to the National Electrical Code (NEC) (Article 210.8), GFCI outlets have to be used for all 125-volt, single-phase, 15 and 20 amp receptacles in the following areas:

  • Bathrooms
  • Outdoors
  • Unfinished basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Kitchens
  • Garages
  • Laundry and utility sinks
  • Pool and spa areas

So anytime you add a GFCI outlet (or update an older outlet to GFCI) in these areas, you’ll want to hire a professional.

You see, DIY GFCI installations can easily result in the outlet being improperly grounded, which can cause loss of power—or worse, an electrical fire. Additionally, if any wires are installed incorrectly, the outlet won’t protect your family against electrical shock.

A licensed electrician will obtain the proper permits to install/replace your GFCI outlet and perform the job quickly, properly and safely.

#2: Installing appliances 30 amps or greater

Arizona electrical code requires a permit to install any new electrical appliance greater than 30 amps. And, like we stated above, that means it’s best to let a professional install these appliances.

Common electrical appliances over 30 amps include:

  • Electric ranges and stoves
  • Electric water heaters
  • Electric dryers
  • Central air conditioner
  • Furnaces
  • Backup heating for heat pumps

You see, installing a new appliance greater than 30 amps requires running wire from the appliance to the main electrical panel. This is a potentially dangerous job, as rewiring anything on your home’s electrical panel could lead to electrocution or even a fire.

And remember, to get your home’s certificate of occupancy, all electrical work will need to be verified by an electrician. So why not have a professional do the work, in the beginning, to make sure it’s done correctly?

#3: Replacing a water heater

Three main reasons you need a professional to replace a water heater include:

  1. The water heater has to be installed in accordance with manufacturer's standards. Professionals are well-acquainted with the standards of various water heater manufacturers, so they can take the hassle out of having to do all that research.
  2. In order for Maricopa County to inspect the work and provide you with a certificate of occupancy, you’ll need to apply for a permit. And applying for a permit can be extremely difficult for someone without an electrical/plumbing license.
  3. When a professional installs a water heater, they’ll know how to safely...
  • Wire all of the electrical components of the water heater
  • Connect the temperature and pressure relief valve
  • Attach water inlet & outlet pipes
  • Connect the gas valves, burners and flue pipes
  • Add an expansion tank if needed

Need an Arizona electrician or plumber?

Just give us a call or schedule an appointment online with one of our licensed and trusted electricians or plumbers. No matter what your household electrical or plumbing project is, we can help!

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