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Home > City Departments > Permit and Inspection Services > Inspections > Plumbing > When A Permit Is Not Required

When A Permit Is Not Required

The following Plumbing work does not require a permit:

Repairs to Existing Plumbing Installations in Existing One and Two Family Dwellings which are limited to:

  • The repair in part or whole of any faucet, or supply tubes and fixture stops attached to said faucet
  • The unblocking of stoppages of drains, which does not entail cutting out any section of drain past the fixture trap
  • The repair of tubular drain assemblies and their connection to any sink or bathtub
  • The repair of water closet stop valves, supply tubes, and flushing mechanisms
  • The repair of any existing plumbing fixture, excluding Hot Water Tanks
  • The repair of sections of piping for the water distribution system to repair leaks provided the piping is located aboveground or above the floor in a basement or cellar, and the repair does not encompass more than twenty (20) lineal foot of piping.


Resident Homeowners and appropriately licensed Plumbing Contractors may make such Repairs to existing installations, consistent with the definition of "Repairs", without applying for and obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees. However, even when Plumbing Permits are not required, all installations, materials, parts, elements, components, fixtures, fittings, assemblies or systems used in such Repairs must conform to current plumbing code requirements, as well as current BCNYS Building and Energy Code requirements and City Charter Codes and Ordinances.
No other Plumbing Repairs may be made in Existing One and Two Family Dwellings without first obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees.

Repairs to Existing Plumbing Installations in Existing Commercial Buildings which are limited to:

  • The repair in part or whole of any faucet, or supply tubes and fixture stops attached to said faucet
  • The unblocking of stoppages of drains, which does not entail cutting out any section of drain past the fixture trap
  • The repair of tubular drain assemblies and their connection to any sink or bathtub
  • The repair of water closet stop valves, supply tubes, and flushing mechanisms
  • The repair of urinal flush valve systems.


Maintenance Personnel and appropriately licensed Plumbing Contractors may make such Repairs to existing installations, consistent with the definition of "Repairs", without applying for and obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees. However, even when Plumbing Permits are not required, installations, all materials, parts, elements, components, fixtures, fittings, assemblies or systems used in such Repairs must conform to current plumbing code requirements, as well as current BCNYS Building and Energy Code requirements and City Charter Codes and Ordinances.
No other Plumbing Repairs may be made in Existing Commercial Buildings without first obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees.


Replacements in-kind to Existing Plumbing Installations at Existing One and Two Family Dwellings which are limited to:

  • The replacement in-kind in part or whole of any faucet, or supply tubes and fixture stops attached to said faucet
  • The unblocking of stoppages of drains, which does not entail cutting out any section of drain past the fixture trap
  • The replacement in-kind of tubular drain assemblies and their connection to any sink or bathtub
  • The replacement in-kind of water closet stop valves, supply tubes, and flushing mechanisms
  • The replacement in-kind of any existing plumbing fixture, excluding Hot Water Tanks, and
  • The replacement in-kind of sections of piping for the water distribution system to repair leaks provided the piping is located aboveground or above the floor in a basement or cellar, and the repair does not encompass more than twenty (20) lineal foot of piping


Resident Homeowners and appropriately licensed Plumbing Contractors may make such Replacements in-kind to existing installations, consistent with the definition of "Replacements in-kind", without applying for and obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees. However, even when Plumbing Permits are not required, all installations, materials, parts, elements, components, fixtures, fittings, assemblies or systems used in such Replacements in-kind must conform to current plumbing code requirements, as well as current BCNYS Building and Energy Code requirements and City Charter Codes and Ordinances.
No other Replacements in-kind of plumbing parts, elements, components, fixtures, fittings, assemblies or systems may be made in Existing One and Two Family Dwellings without first obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees.


Replacements in-kind to Plumbing Installations at Existing Commercial Buildings which are limited to:

  • The replacement in-kind in part or whole of any faucet, or supply tubes and fixture stops attached to said faucet
  • The unblocking of stoppages of drains, which does not entail cutting out any section of drain past the fixture trap
  • The replacement in-kind of tubular drain assemblies and their connection to any sink or bathtub
  • The replacement in-kind of water closet stop valves, supply tubes, and flushing mechanisms
  • The replacement in-kind of urinal flush valve systems.


Maintenance Personnel and appropriately licensed Plumbing Contractors may make such Replacements in-kind to existing installations, consistent with the definition of "Replacements in-kind", without applying for and obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees. However, even when Plumbing Permits are not required, all installations, materials, parts, devices, assemblies, systems and fixtures used in such Replacements in-kind must conform to current plumbing code requirements, as well as current BCNYS Building and Energy Code requirements and City Charter Codes and Ordinances.
No other Replacements in-kind of Plumbing parts, elements, components, fixtures, fittings, assemblies or systems may be made in Existing Commercial Buildings without first obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees.

Service work to Existing Plumbing Installations at Existing One and Two Family Dwellings which is limited to:

  • Fixtures
  • Appliances
  • Hot Water Tanks
  • Pumps


Resident Homeowners, Factory-Certified Service Technicians, and appropriately licensed Plumbing Contractors may perform periodic service work on such installations without applying for and obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees. However, even when Plumbing Permits are not required, all installations, materials, parts, devices, assemblies, systems and fixtures used in such service work must conform to current plumbing code requirements, as well as current BCNYS Building and Energy Code requirements and City Charter Codes and Ordinances.


Service work to Existing Plumbing Installations at Existing Commercial Buildings which is limited to:

  • Fixtures
  • Appliances
  • Hot Water Tanks
  • Pumps


Factory-Certified Service Technicians, Maintenance Personnel, and appropriately licensed Plumbing Contractors may perform periodic service work on such installations without applying for and obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees. However, even when Plumbing Permits are not required, all installations, materials, parts, devices, assemblies, systems and fixtures used in such service work must conform to current plumbing code requirements, as well as current BCNYS Building and Energy Code requirements and City Charter Codes and Ordinances.
A City licensed Master Plumber or Journeyman Plumber who is supervised by a Master Plumber, both of whom are licensed by the City of Buffalo, may, as an employee of a factory or plant, perform Plumbing work in such factory or plant.

Installation of Listed Portable Plumbing Equipment and Appliances at Existing One and Two Family Dwellings.


Installation of Listed Portable Plumbing Equipment and Appliances at Existing Commercial Buildings.


All other Plumbing work must be performed by a Plumbing Contractor, licensed by the City of Buffalo.


All other Plumbing work requires a Plumbing Permit and the payment of a Plumbing Permit fee - See Flat Fee and Area-Calculated Fee Schedules.

Homeowners and appropriately licensed Handymen and Plumbing Contractors may make such plumbing Replacements in-kind, consistent with the definition of "Replacement in-kind", or Installations without applying for and obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees.

Maintenance Personnel and appropriately licensed Handymen, Plumbing Contractors, and Construction Managers may make such plumbing Replacements in-kind, consistent with the definition of "Replacement in-kind", or Installations without applying for and obtaining a Plumbing Permit and paying Plumbing Permit fees.