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The City of Portland welcomes the opportunity to work with you on your residential mechanical permit. Learn more about what's required when you apply for a residential mechanical permit.
This webpage is about residential mechanical permits. You might also want to learn more about commercial mechanical permits.
When a residential mechanical permit is needed
Mechanical permits include permits for all HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning). Mechanical permits also include permits for gas piping, ductwork, furnaces, heat pumps or air conditioning condensing units and mini-split permits.
You need a mechanical trade permit to:
- Install or change any part of a heating or cooling system that has duct work or must be vented into any kind of chimney or vent
- Install, alter or repair gas piping (indoor or outdoor) between the meter and an appliance or a natural gas line
- Install a wood stove or fireplace insert
- Install a fuel oil tank
Even if a building permit is not needed, the work will need an mechanical permit. For new townhouse projects with three or more units, each unit needs a mechanical permit. Read more about trade permits and when a mechanical permit is needed.
You may also need an electrical permit and/or a plumbing permit. You might also want to read about commercial mechanical permits.
More information about decommissioning an underground oil tank or removing asbestos
- Contact the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality at (503) 229-5263 to find a DEQ-licensed provider to decommission an underground oil tank.
- Contact the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality at (503) 229-5982 to find a DEQ-licensed contractor to remove asbestos.
Residential mechanical permits and zoning setbacks
Outdoor mechanical equipment is not allowed to be in the required zoning setback. This includes:
- Outdoor air conditioner units
- heat pumps
- pool heaters
To find out more about your setback, call the Zoning information line.
Who can do residential mechanical work
If not doing the work yourself, you can hire a contractor. Contractors must have a license to work in Oregon. The Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) issues licenses to contractors. The permit application and their company materials must list the CCB license number.
Need help finding a contractor? The CCB website has good tips on how to search for a contractor.
Apply for residential mechanical permits online or in person
If plans are not needed, you can get residential mechanical permits and pay for permits on Development Hub PDX. If you are hiring a contractor, they should already be set up in our system to pull the permit for you.
You can also email your completed application. Or, set up an appointment to drop off a paper application. Or, please call us and we will work with you.
Some residential mechanical permits aren't available online
Permits not available online:
- Install A/C
- Install heat pumps
- Install generators
These permits need a site plan with the mechanical permit application. Call the General Inquiries phone number if you have questions about residential mechanical permits.
Residential mechanical permit fees
The fees are listed on the mechanical permit application. They are based on the work being done.
Apply for a trade permit extension or a trade permit reactivation
Apply for a trade permit extension or a reactivation:
Residential mechanical inspections, results and corrections
Call for an inspection before covering any gas piping or ductwork. You will need a final inspection to close out the permit.
Schedule an inspection
To schedule an inspection, call the automated Requests for Inspections phone number. You will need your IVR or permit number and the three-digit code for the inspection.
If you got your permit online through Development Hub PDX, you can schedule your inspection online too.
Get the results of an inspection online
Get the results of the inspection online by searching for your permit on Portland Maps on the following day.
There are many reasons why the work did not get approved:
- no access - the inspector may not have been able to inspect the work
- incomplete work
- code violations
If you need to make corrections- reinspections
- Remote Video Re-Inspections (RVR): If you have had an inspection and a re-inspection is needed, it is recommended that you use our Remote Video Re-inspection program. The program provides 24/7 appointment scheduling, time-certain appointments, and quick results to prevent project delays.
- Onsite Re-Inspections: The inspector will list the corrections needed on the inspection report. Call for a reinspection after making the corrections. Use the same three-digit inspection code.
- If you make the corrections the same day wait until 5 pm to request a reinspection. The inspector needs to enter their results before you can schedule the reinspection.
- There is a reinspection fee charged for more than one reinspection for a single issue. Read more about residential permit inspections.
Contact mechanical inspectors
If you have questions before your inspection, you can talk to an inspector. The inspectors' name, region, and phone numbers are listed on the the 1 & 2 family inspector area map.
Because of vacation or illness, your inspector may be different than the one listed on the map. If you have questions after your inspection, find out which inspector to call. Their contact information will be on the inspection results and on Portland Maps.