The NYC Plumbing Code regulates the installation, maintenance, repair, modification, extension or alteration of any waste, domestic water, gas piping, or fire standpipes in any building or piping system. The Department requires inspections on all plumbing or fire suppression work that must have a permit.
Permits for plumbing and fire suppression work are only issued to a Licensed Master Plumber (LMP) or Licensed Master Fire Suppression Contractor (LFSC). Only these licensees – or the employees they supervise – may work on piping systems. The Department issues LMP licenses to contractors qualified to perform plumbing, standpipe and sprinkler work (for less than 30 heads). A contractor working on a sprinkler system or standpipe must be an LFSC.
Plumbing contractors must be qualified to do the plumbing work they were hired to perform because improper work can create serious danger. For example:
LMPs and LFSCs must have a place of business in New York City – not a home office. NYC Construction Codes §28-401.3 requires Licensed Plumbers to include their license number and business information on trucks, business cards and advertisements. When hiring a licensed plumber, have a written contract that includes the contractor's company name, address and license number(s). Report work by unlicensed contractors or misconduct by unlicensed contractors to the Office of the Buildings Marshal at (212) 393-2930.
Before plumbing work begins, the property owner must hire a New York State licensed Professional Engineer (PE), Registered Architect (RA), or Department-licensed plumber to file for the proper permits. The Department must review and approve the applications.
All plumbing job filing and permit request must be submitted in DOB NOW: Build. Applicants can no longer submit paper filings to the Department. As a result all stakeholders, such as Registered Design Professionals, Licensed Master Plumber and Owners associated with a job filing will need to first register in eFiling in order to submit a filing or permit request in DOB NOW: Build. If previously registered in eFiling, use the existing eFiling username and password to access DOB NOW: Build. Owners will be required to access the system to provide approval for the filing.
Permits issued in DOB NOW: Build have an expiration date that is the earliest of:
For those permits where the expiration date is less than one year from date of issuance because of expiration of an insurance or the license, the permit will now be extended automatically at no cost if the insurance or license is renewed before the expiration date.
The new expiration date will be reflected in DOB NOW at the end of the day of the current expiration date. To get the automatic permit extension, renewal information must be submitted at least five (5) days in advance to the DOB Licensing Unit to ensure sufficient time for processing (see instructions to submit new insurance certificates and license renewal information). If there is a lapse in insurance or license, then the licensee will need to renew the permit and pay the $100 fee. For permits that expire because it has been more than one year since the date of issuance, the licensee must also continue to renew pay the $100 fee.
The LAA/Permit Renewal Unit issues permits for repair work where the total cost does not exceed $25,000 per building in any 12-month period. These permits do not require plans or PE/RA approval. LAA and Emergency Work Notifications (EWN) must be submitted in DOB NOW: Build. LAA filings submitted in DOB NOW will be permitted in real time.
The PE or RA must file plans and an application for NB, ALT1 or ALT2 projects. The approval time depends upon the project's complexity and quality of the submitted plans. For all NB or alterations job filing that contains plumbing work, the plumbing work must be submitted in DOB NOW: Build. For example, for a NB job filing, the applicant will continue to submit the NB applicant through the borough office; however, the plumbing portion of work must be filed in DOB NOW: Build. The applicant will be able to reference the NB application on the job filing in DOB NOW: Build.
Once the project is completed, PEs or RAs must have a final inspection, and LMPs need all inspections and tests completed and final plumbing sign-off. Schedule an inspection online in DOB NOW: Inspections. In some cases, PEs or RAs may inspect their completed projects to confirm that the work meets their filed plans and complies with all applicable laws. After sign-off or notification of completion in DOB NOW: Inspections, the applicant can request a Letter of Completion in DOB NOW: Build.
Property owners and the people performing plumbing work without a permit may face violations with penalties, court appearances, and civil or criminal penalties. However, some minor projects are not subject to the permit requirement. Simple repairs or replacing existing faucets, toilets and sinks are considered cosmetic; someone without a license may do this without a permit.