In all things pertaining to water and sewer pipes, Benjamin Franklin is here to help.
That’s why we want to provide you with a brief overview of the various regulations and permit requirements applicable to residents of Annapolis MD.
If you are having trouble figuring out where to find answers to your plumbing questions, feel free to use the information and resources listed here as a starting point for your research.
Laws change frequently and there are far too many regulations to mention them all here, so this page probably won’t find answers specific questions you have about a specific situation. This page is only designed to help you grasp some of the issues you may face when doing plumbing work in Annapolis.
Please be aware that nothing written on this page constitutes legal advice.
While we try to provide the most recent and accurate information to give you a clear understanding of the basics, we don’t take responsibility for any action taken on your part based on the material listed on this page.
If you have any doubts or need a definitive answer to a question regarding the law, contact a City of Annapolis or Anne Arundel County government official.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Even minor changes can require a permit and inspection if they meet certain criteria.
Plumbing Laws that Apply in Annapolis
There are three levels of government that have some oversight over plumbers and their work in the area:
- The State of Maryland
- Anne Arundel County
- The City of Annapolis.
Most permits and rules are administered by city government, so the official Annapolis website contains most of the information you will need for plumbing projects.
The City of Annapolis has adopted the 2009 National Standard Plumbing Code published by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association as the city code with some amendments.
Residents outside the city limits may find themselves under the jurisdiction of Anne Arundel County, which uses an amended version of the 2012 International Plumbing Code published by the International Code Council.
While there are roughly 20 city-specific amendments in the Annapolis code, there are a few of particular importance:
- All apartments, houses and other dwellings must be equipped with a valve that turns off the supply of water to the residence without preventing water from flowing to other habitations. The valve must be accessible from the outside.
- Washers, water heaters and above ceiling mounted air conditioners must have pans to collect condensation to prevent leaks and overflow.
- All new residences must have “sufficient sanitary facilities” according to the city’s specifications. Each tenant must have their own facilities in the case of communal habitations.
Read the amendments in their entirety in “Chapter 17.28 – Plumbing Code” of the Annapolis, Maryland Code of Ordinances. The code is available through the city’s website (annapolis.gov).
Department of Neighborhood and Environmental Programs keeps a complete copy of the current city code on file.
Plumbing Permits in Annapolis
According to the city’s legal code, “Plumbing” or “plumbing fixtures” means “water-heating facilities, water pipes, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes washing machines, catch basins, drains, vents and other similar supplied fixtures, together with all connections to water or sewer lines.”
Repair work, installation or removal of a plumbing fixture often requires a permit. You may not need one for simple maintenance work and minor repairs, but you should contact the Annapolis Department of Neighborhood & Environmental Programs to be on the safe side.
Do I need a Permit?
Types of plumbing tasks that do require a “Building Permit”:
- Repairing leaking gas pipes
- Installing new plumbing fixtures of any kind
- Replacing or installing toilets
- Repairing leaks in underground pipes
Tasks that typically do not require a “Building Permit”:
- Replacing a sump pump (an electrical permit is required for initial installation)
- Repairing a leaking toilet
- Emergency plumbing to fix water leaks that don’t require structural alterations to the dwelling
The City of Annapolis requires you to obtain a building permit before making any kind of alteration or modification to a building that costs $500 or more.
Permits are required for work of any cost on structures located within the city’s Historic District.
Applying for a Permit
The application process is relatively simple for basic projects. If you are having electrical, construction or other types of work done along with plumbing, you will need to submit a separate permit for each one.
All permits are handled by the Annapolis Department of Neighborhood & Environmental Programs.
Department Email: [email protected]
How to apply for a permit:
- Obtain a digital or physical copy of the two-page Building Permit application from the Department’s office or website. The Building Permit form is available as a fill-in-able PDF file.
- Enter all required information in the appropriate fields by hand or use Acrobat Reader (or similar program) to fill out the form digitally. Complete all of the fields. Leaving blanks may delay or nullify your application, forcing you to start the process over again.
- Ask a department official if you need to submit drawn plans with your permit. Most plumbing work does not require plans. However, you need to submit five (5) sets of drawings with your permit if they are required.
- Submit your application for review by the department along with the appropriate fee. You can find the current fee schedule on the “Forms Permits and Licenses” page on the Department’s website.
- Wait roughly three weeks for the appropriate agencies to review your application. You will receive a letter or phone call notifying you when the process if finished.
- Begin work once you receive the physical copy of the permit and post it in a location visible from the exterior of the residence according to the Department’s requirements.
- Follow the instructions and recommendations listed on the Inspection Requirement sheet issued by the Department when you received your permit. You need to schedule an inspection from a city representative to officially finish the project.
Why You Need a Professional Plumber
Do-it-yourself plumbing is not only a hazard to your water lines and other fixtures; it can also put you on the wrong side of the law.
You need to be a licensed plumber certified by the State of Maryland to conduct plumbing work, even on your own house. Any work that requires a permit must be done by a licensed individual.
Benjamin Franklin plumbers are certified professionals. We know what we are doing and have the proper licensing to work in the city of Annapolis.
Whether you just need to clear out a pesky blocked drain or want plumbing installed for a new addition to your house, give us a call or visit our website for a free estimate. You won’t be disappointed!