Bathroom plumbing and wiring must comply with local building code requirements, however small the job. Codes safeguard you and your family from health hazards and ensure that the job is done right.
Codes vary and plastic pipe may not be allowed in some areas. Upgrading wiring or adding a new electrical circuit is also regulated.
Be sure to check with your local building authority to find out what codes, permits and inspections apply to your project.
It's your responsibility to arrange for required inspections. If work isn't inspected or doesn't meet code, it may have to be ripped out, so be sure to get an inspection before enclosing the work.
WARNING: DOING WORK WITHOUT A REQUIRED PERMIT IS NOT ONLY ILLEGAL, BUT MAY ALSO INVALIDATE YOUR HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE.
Questions To Ask Building Officials
When you visit your local building department ask the inspector these questions:
- Does the work require a permit?
- What type of plans need to be submitted?
- Am I allowed to do all the work?
- What part must be done by a licensed plumber or electrician?
- When must the work be inspected?
Common Bathroom Codes
Here are some common code requirements found throughout the country:
- Receptacles in a bathroom must be GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected.
- At least one light fixture must be permanently installed and controlled by a switch at the room's entrance.
- There must be an operating window or an approved exhaust fan.
- Toilets must have 15" of clearance on either side of the closet flange.
- Pressure-balancing mixing valves may be required for the shower.