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Do I need a trade permit?

A Trade Permit is required for the installation, extension, repair, or alteration of any plumbing system, heating or cooling equipment system, or electrical wiring, appliances or equipment.

Use this application for the following purposes:

  1. Electrical Work
  2. Mechanical (HVAC) Work 
  3. Plumbing Work
  4. Any combination of the above, including change-outs

Exceptions: Under specific circumstances, a permit is not required for the replacement of a water heater and associated electrical circuitry in one or two-family dwellings per NC G.S. 160A-417(a)(2). See the requirements for exemption.

Additionally, a permit is not required for repair or replacement of electrical lighting fixtures or devices in one or two-family dwellings per NC G.S. 160A-417(a)(4).


Application Forms

There are multiple ways to apply for a sub permit! You can apply for your permit either by submitting application materials in person or by submitting them digitally via e-mail to You also have the option of using our online permitting system.

1. Download Application Forms

You may download applications forms and submit them in electronic format or in person to the Inspections division of Development Services.


2. Online Permitting

If you choose not to submit your application as mentioned above, you also have the option of submitting via our online permitting system here.

Related Pages


Water Heater Replacement Exception

If ALL of the following requirements are met, a water heater may be replaced without a permit. If one of the following requirements is missing, then a permit is required.:

  • The work is restricted to one- or two-family dwellings only (no buildings with three or more dwelling units and no commercial buildings).
  • The work has to be performed by a North Carolina Licensed Plumbing Contractor (or a bona-fide employee of a North Carolina Licensed Plumbing Contractor).
  • The licensee is required to personally examine the work at completion.
  • The licensee is required to ensure that a leak test has been performed on the gas piping.
  • The energy use rate or thermal input is not greater than the water heater which is being replaced.
  • The replacement is required to be installed in accordance with the current edition of the State Building Code (plumbing section).
  • There is no change in fuel.
  • There is no change in energy source.
  • There is no change in location.
  • There is no change in capacity.
  • There is no change in routing or sizing of venting or piping.
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