This is an important topic that's often overlooked. Whenever you replace a water heater in El Paso County, you have to pull a permit from Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. When people do find out about the required permit, they ask why one is needed?

We've gotten a variety of answers over the years, but what it all comes down to is that whenever you change something in a home that requires working with natural gas and/or plumbing, there is a good chance a permit is going to be required. Right now the permit fee is around $40 for water heaters.

If you're upset by this, we do understand your point of view. It's easy to look at things as if it's just another fee that the consumer pays for, but in reality, you are paying an expert to verify that something was done correctly and up to code. You are paying an expert to verify that there are no safety hazards.

Plumbers are aware of the permit requirement, but you as the homeowner need to make sure they pull permits. We've seen master plumbers do things that were not kosher, and when asked about a permit being finalized we were told one wasn't needed. What they did technically worked, but it's amazing how fast things get corrected once Regional Building is called. Even if the invoice from the plumber has a fee for the permit, you need to check to make sure the permit was in fact pulled AND finalized.