10 Things the Plumbing Inspector Wants You to Know

Renovating and installing residential kitchens requires taking into consideration law-mandated rules and specs. Our designers sat down with the Norwood plumbing and gas inspector to review important codes, regulations and issues to be aware of when designing kitchens. Here are 10 things to consider:

  1. A licensed plumber is the only one allowed to file for a plumbing or gas permit and only the permit holder may request the inspection.

  2. The inspector will review the appliance specs to confirm that all minimum clearances are met.

  3. All appliances and fixtures installed in the State of Massachusetts must have a Product Approval Number from the State Plumbing Board.

    • The Ma. State Plumbing Board Website has all product approvals listed by manufacturer and model.  Search by entering the manufacturer and scroll for your model.

  4. Minimum manufacturers clearances are not negotiable. Minimum code requirements are 30″ vertical above cooking surface and 18″ vertical for side cabinets (usually within 5″).

    • Manufacturer’s minimum clearances take precedence.

    • Make sure the valance around the hood maintains minimum clearances. Many times the hood is installed to code, but the valence can be too low.

    • Light rails must maintain the 30″ above cooking surface and 18″ above side counter tops, as the inspector will measure from the top of the cooking surface to the bottom of the surrounding fixture/cabinet.

  5. If an appliance is not on the MA Approval List, you may apply for a variance with the State Plumbing Board for an $86 fee. Applications may be obtained online.

    • Cannot use a commercial range/hood for a residential home. Must be listed for residential use.

    • Be aware of purchasing unknown/unpopular brands bought online that may lack approvals.

  6. A sink in an island must have a “bow vent”.  This is a reason for installing a plumbing wall in the island.  There are  3” needed for the bow vent, therefore the minimum sink cabinet depth would be 21”.  Drawers or roll-outs in an island sink are not recommended because of this space limitation.

  7. Be aware of an elderly customer choosing a gas stove, issues of concern: hard-of-hearing (ignition clicking) and loss of sense of smell (gas from ignition being left on).

  8. If the hood blower is over 400CFM, then a Make-up Air Unit is required. (Building Code Requirements)

  9. For a gas laundry dryer in a closed room, you must have make-up air registers (min. 12” x 12”) that are vented to open areas or you can use louvered doors.

  10. If an inspector makes a ruling that you do not agree with, you have the right to appeal the decision to the State Plumbing Board which would review it at a public hearing.