What building permits are needed to upgrade a water heater in South Florida / Miami?
As technologies in construction continue to improve home energy savings and meet greener Florida Building Codes FBC 2014, one of the most effective upgrades we can do to our homes is the water heater. In Miami Construction / South Florida a water heater change out can require multiple types of building permits that drive up the initial cost of the water heater install.
If your water heater upgrade is within the same type of system (tank to tank) you may only require a plumbing permit since odds are that the power requirement will be the same. More efficient water heater systems can run on the existing electrical circuiting and can be done using only a licensed plumber. However, if you plan to upgrade to a tankless water heater system to really maximize your savings then you are likely to need an electrical permit too.
Tankless water heaters require more power and larger circuits for their ‘on demand’ heating method. If this is the case then you will need to hire a licensed electrician to pull an electrical permit and upgrade the water heater circuit. In fact, you should begin with an electric load study to make sure that your existing electrical panel has enough extra power/room to accommodate the extra demand of a tankless water heater. An overloaded electrical panel can lead to constant tripping of circuits and fires.
Licensed architects and engineers can quickly evaluate the load on your panel and calculate the correct size water heater for your home’s needs… oversizing your water heater will eat up your savings and strains the existing systems.