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The City of Portland welcomes the opportunity to work with you on your residential plumbing permit. Learn more about what's required when you apply for a residential plumbing permit.
This webpage is about residential plumbing permits. You might also want to learn more about commercial plumbing permits.
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.
Adding a bathroom needs a plumbing and building permit, and may also need an electrical permit 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.
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.
Who can do 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) or have a valid license through the Oregon Landscaping Contractors Board to install backflow devices.
Oregon Landscape Contractors Board (LCB) license numbers
If you are using an Oregon Landscape Contractors Board (LCB) license number, you can apply for trade permits by emailing your applications to TradePermits@portlandoregon.gov
You may not use our online permitting system, DevHub, to apply for trade permits because our system does not support LCB license numbers.
Apply for a residential plumbing permit online, by email or in person
If plans are not needed, you can get residential plumbing permits online through 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 send in your application by email, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can set up an appointment to drop off a paper application. Or, please call us and we will work with you.
Please be aware that since every project is unique there may be some situations where you will be asked to provide additional information.
Backflow prevention assembly information, site plan checklist and sample site plan
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:
Additional review needed for some applications
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.
Some residential plumbing permits aren't available online
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 General Inquiries if you have questions about getting a permit.
Residential plumbing permit fees
The fees are listed on the plumbing permit application. They are based on the fixtures and 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 plumbing inspections, results and corrections
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.
Today's residential inspections
Schedule an inspection
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 an inspection online
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
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 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.