Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Plumbing Permit

Service overview

You need a permit for plumbing work. This includes:

  • Installation.
  • Alteration.
  • Renewal.
  • Replacement.
  • Repair.

A Plumbing Permit is not required for:

  • Minor repairs with the same material. This includes replacing faucets, valves, and parts.
  • Removing and re-installing toilets, if no pipes or fixtures will be replaced or moved.
  • Stopping leaks and clearing stoppages.

EZ permits

Some kinds of plumbing work are eligible for EZ permits, which do not require you to submit plans. This includes:

  • New construction and additions for a one-or-two-family dwelling, up to four stories.
  • Alterations in buildings with four or fewer dwellings, up to four stories high.
  • Alterations in spaces less than 2,000 sq. ft. or involving fewer than seven new fixtures, excluding food equipment.
  • Replacement of any number of fixtures with fixtures of the same kind.
  • Pipe repair.
  • New or replacement water service, with service to a single building.
  • New or replacement house drain, with service to a single building.
  • New or replacement curb trap or fresh air inlet.
  • Sealing a lateral.
  • Installing of a backflow device.

Rough-in Permits

You can get a Rough-in Permit to install pipes before the full permit is issued.

This includes:

  • Water supply piping.
  • Soil or waste piping.

To get a Rough-in Permit, you must first submit an application for a Plumbing Permit, including plans and the associated fees.

Who

Any property owner or their authorized agent who needs a plumbing permit. Authorized agents may include:

  • Licensed master plumber.
  • PA-licensed design professional.
  • Attorney.
  • Licensed expeditor.

Requirements

Permit application

The plumbing permit application must include the complete scope of work and current owner information.

Contractor

A licensed master plumber must oversee plumbing work. The master plumber must:

  • Have an active license
  • Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes
  • Have current insurance on file with L&I.

If anyone other than the master plumber applies for this permit, the application must be accompanied by a signed statement on the master plumber’s letterhead confirming their association with the project.

Backflow devices must be installed by an approved technician.

Plans

If your application requires plans, they must follow plan requirements.

Related permits

  • Separate building permit required for all renovations.
  • You need separate permits from the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) for connections to the water main or sewer and for water meters. Contact PWD at (215) 685-6271 or email wtr@phila.gov.
  • All disturbances to the City sidewalk need Streets Department footway permit. This permit will be automatically issued with your Plumbing Permit.
  • All fixtures used for food preparation must follow the requirements of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
  • Large hot water heaters may require a permit from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health

Where and when

In person

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Offices close at Noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

Cost

Fee types that may apply

Filing fee

This fee is nonrefundable and is applied toward the final permit fee.

  • $100

Permit fee

Permit fees are determined by the type of work being done and fall into three categories:

  • New construction and additions
  • Alterations to existing buildings
  • Repair and replacement

The tables below explain conditions within each category and their fees.

New construction and additions

(Includes area drains, roof drains, water distribution, building drains, building sewer, and trap.)

Condition Fee
All new construction and additions $225 for seven fixtures, $20 for each additional fixture
Additions to one-or-two-family homes $40 for seven fixtures, $18 for each additional fixture
New plumbing systems without structures $225
New water distribution and drainage system as a separate application $200
Alterations

(Includes area drains and roof drains.)

Condition Fee
All new construction and additions $150 for seven fixtures, $18 for each additional fixture
Additions to one-or-two-family homes $40 for seven fixtures, $18 for each additional fixture
Repairs and replacements

Activity

Fee

Water distribution line replacement from curb stop into building

$100

Repair or replace waste or water lines and stacks

$100 each pipe

($30 for one-or two-family homes)

Repair or replace house drain, trap, and fresh air inlet

$60

Repair or replace area drain, roof drain, and storm drain

$60

Lateral

$75

Water heater

$30

Fixture replacement (no piping)

$60 for seven fixtures, $5 for each additional fixture

Fixture replacement in one-or-two-family (no piping)

$25

Surcharge fees

  • City surcharge per permit: $3 
  • State surcharge per permit: $4.50

Record retention fee

  • Per plan: $4

Rough-in Permit fee

  • $150

Accelerated Plan Review fee (optional)

Applications for new construction that include plans are eligible for expedited review. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5–10 business days.

  • Fee: $540
  • If your plans require more than four hours to review, you will be charged an additional fee of $135 per hour.

To apply, fill out an Accelerated Plan Review application and submit with your permit application. Amount must be paid when you submit your application and will not be credited toward your final permit fee.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
  2. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.

How

You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center. 

In person

1
Bring your completed application, application materials, and payment to the Permit and License Center.
  • Applications with plans are reviewed within 20 business days. The applicant can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5-10 business days.
  • Applications without plans are reviewed while you wait.
    • Applications without plans must be made by a licensed contractor or include a signed statement on the Contractor’s letterhead verifying involvement with the project.
  • Rough-in Permits may be issued immediately.
  • Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified.
2
If approved, the applicant will receive notice to pay the balance.

If not approved, the applicant will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

3
Schedule required inspections and begin work.

Contact your local inspection office when the contractor is ready to start work. The contact information will be noted on your permit.

You need to arrange the inspections noted on your permit with your assigned inspector.

A Certificate of Approval will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.


Top