The form takes 15 minutes to complete. Permits are issued after payment.
When a residential plumbing permit is needed
You will need a plumbing permit to:
- Repair, replace, relocate or add to the piping system
- Install new plumbing fixtures (toilets, sinks, showers, tubs and dishwashers)
- Replace water heaters or existing fixtures
- Cap off fixtures that have been removed
- Install rain drains, drywells or water lines,
- Install backflow prevention assemblies for lawn sprinkler systems
- Install sewer lines or to cap a sewer
- Install cesspools or septic systems
- Replace metallic water service with a non-metallic water service. Replacing a metallic (copper or galvanized steel) system with a non-metallic system (plastic or CVPC) may also need an electric permit. You may need to install a new grounding electrode.
Even if a building permit is not needed, the work will need a plumbing permit. Read more about trade permits and when a plumbing permit is needed. You can also get information about commercial plumbing permits.
Adding a bathroom needs a plumbing and building permit, and may also need an electrical and/or mechanical permit. For new townhouse projects, each unit needs an electrical permit. To remove on-site sewage disposal system (cesspool or septic tank, you need a decommissioning permit.
You do not need a plumbing permit to:
- Fix, replace, or maintain an appliance or parts already in place.
- Replace related plumbing parts that do not need water (toilet seat).
If unsure, call Residential Inspections to ask an inspector.
Please be aware that since every project is unique there may be some situations where you will be asked to provide additional information. If required by the Water Bureau, a backflow prevention assembly may be required to be installed at the property line, on your property on the center line of the City water service. Call the Water Bureau at 503-823-7480 for more information. More information can also be found on the Site Plan Checklist and the Sample Site Plan (below).
Who can do the residential plumbing 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 license number. Need help finding a contractor? The CCB website has good tips on how to search for one.
All plumbing contractors must have a license from the Oregon State Plumbing Board (PB).
Apply for a residential plumbing permit
If plans are not needed, you can get residential plumbing permits online through Development Hub. If you are hiring a contractor, they should already be set up in our system to pull the permit for you.
You can also send in your application by email.
Plumbing permits not available online:
- Sewer permits
- Rainwater harvesting
- 5 bathrooms or more
- Adult foster care home
- Sewage ejection
- Fire Sprinklers
- Grey water system
These permits need plans with the plumbing permit application (except sewer). Call the trade permits help line if you have questions about getting a permit.Plumbing Permit Application (507.09 KB)
Residential plumbing permit fees
The fees are listed on the plumbing permit application. They are based on the fixtures and the work being done.
The Environmental Soils Section of Development Services approves septic tank installations.
Environmental Services needs to approve:
- Sanitary sewer connections to public sewers
- Proposed storm sewers to a public sewer, natural drainage way, curb or public right-of-way
- Separate inspections for private stormwater treatment systems.
- System Development Charges “SDCs” when additional plumbing fixtures are added.
Get ready for a residential plumbing inspection
Call for an inspection before covering any piping with floor, wall, or ceiling. Piping includes water, sewer, storm water or vent system. The inspector will test all piping (typically with water).
You will need a final inspection of all finished fixtures or plumbing to close out the permit.
Residential plumbing inspections, results and corrections
To schedule an inspection, call the automated inspection request line. 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, you can schedule your inspection online too.
Get the results of the inspection online by searching for your permit on Portland Maps on the following day.
Not approved - 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
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.
Apply for a trade permit extension or a trade permit reactivation
Contact plumbing 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.
Broken sewer and drain lines information
The sewer and drain lines have probably been in place since the house was built. When one of these lines breaks, the leaking sewage beneath the yard harbors disease, may contain hazardous chemicals, and provides a thoroughfare for rats.Broken Sewer and Drain Lines (Brochure 7) (426.31 KB)