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Project Guidelines for Plumbing Installation and Modifications in New York City-NYC

Plumbing consists of the new installation, maintenance, repair, modification, extension or alteration of waste, domestic water, gas, sprinkler off the domestic water service (30 or less sprinkler heads), or standpipe (not connected to a sprinkler) systems in any building. Plumbing systems installation and modification in general cover five separate subsystems, and work may involve any one, or a combination of these systems:

  • Subsystem 1 – involves water that brings fresh water into the building

  • Subsystem 2 – the sanitary drainage that takes out wastewater out of the building

  • Subsystem 3 – gas that fuel various equipment or appliances

  • Subsystem 4 – involves storm water drainage

  • Subsystem 5 – used for life safety, includes sprinkler off domestic and standpipe when no sprinkler heads are attached

Installation and modification work may also include plumbing fixtures, equipment, finishes and appliances, which are required elements of these subsystems and often critical in completing the project.  For example, water heaters or furnaces / boilers, used for heating the building, and appliances including oven / cooking range in kitchen and dryers in laundry room, make up equipment and appliances under these subsystem. In outlining the plumbing project requirements, plumbing work may include any of the following major subsystems:

  • Potable Water Piping, devices and meters

  • Wastewater and Sanitary Drainage

  • Gas Work Piping, devices and meters

  • Storm Water and Drywell

  • Sprinkler off domestic (30 or less sprinkler heads) and standpipe (when no sprinkler heads are attached)

Work Without a Permit

New York City Administrative Code clarifies work exempt from permit. For example, replacing an existing plumbing fixture is minor work that could be performed without a work permit.

In general, a Licensed Plumber may do the following without a permit:

Hiring Professionals

The Department encourages anyone hiring a Construction Professional to check both their disciplinary and voluntary surrender records, as well as current license status. Property owners are responsible for any work performed on their buildings and should ensure qualified and experienced professionals that will comply with all requirements of the NYC Building Code and Zoning Resolution are hired.

The Know Your Construction Professional Directory provides disciplinary and voluntary surrender records for licensed Plumbers, Professional Engineers (P.E.) and Registered Architects (R.A.), Registrants and other Skilled Trades. Search our master list of all construction professionals monitored by the Department or search by category:

Licensed Plumber

The NYC Administrative Code definesLimited Plumbing Alterationas a repair of a plumbing or fuel gas piping system, which can only be performed by a Licensed Plumber. If the plumbing project exceeds Limited Plumbing Alteration  work, a Professional Engineer (P.E.) or Registered Architect (R.A.) must submit drawings for approval by the Department to obtain a work permit.

Registered Design Professional

If the plumbing project exceeds the work allowed under the categories of Limited Plumbing Alteration work as described in NYC Administrative Code, a P.E. or R.A. must submit drawings, for approval by the Department, to obtain a work permit.

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