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Homeowner electrical and plumbing permits

Homeowner electrical and plumbing permits

Learn more about electrical, plumbing and gas permit requirements, fees and eligibility for homeowners.

Before you apply


Use this page to help guide you through submitting a complete application. We will explain when you need a permit, what permits you need, what your application requirements are and go over some common rules relating to your project.

Do you need a permit?

Electrical permit

  • An electrical permit is required for all new wiring installations, and when extending or altering any existing electrical branch circuit wiring.
  • An electrical permit is not required when only replacing fixtures.

For more information about what type of electrical work a homeowner may obtain a permit for, review the eligibility and electrical wiring sections.

Plumbing permit

plumbing permit is required when a plumbing system is constructed, extended or altered. This includes replacing water and sewer lines in or around the home. In some cases, replacing a hot water tank, may require a permit.

A plumbing permit is not required to:

  • Repair a leak in a water distribution or drainage system.
  • Replace existing faucets and fixtures.
  • Remove blockage in the drainage.

Gas permit

Homeowners cannot obtain a gas permit unless they have the proper qualifications. Homeowners can, however, obtain a homeowner's gas fireplace installation permit.

How much will it cost?

​Permit type Permit fee Safety codes council fee (4%) Total
Homeowner's Permit ​$112 ​$4.50 ​​$116.50

Please see the fee schedule to for a complete list of permit application fees.

What are the rules?


Homeowner permit eligibility

As the homeowner, you can obtain homeowner’s plumbing, electrical and gas fireplace installation permits for new work, including renovations, if the following conditions are met:

  • You legally own the home - if you have recently purchased the property, it takes some time for the title to transfer to you. We may request a copy of your purchase agreement as proof of ownership.
  • You live in the home or intend to reside in it - the home cannot be a rental property. 
  • You are doing the work yourself - you cannot pull a permit on behalf of the individual or company doing the work. If you are hiring someone to do the work for you, they will need to apply the permit. Visit our hiring a contractor  page to review the 5 steps to choosing a contractor.

Other requirements

  • Homeowners cannot pull a homeowner's electrical permit and plumbing permit for apartment-style condos. A licensed contractor must install the wiring in these types of residences. 
  • The electrical and/or plumbing system can only service that home, including a secondary suite contained within it. 
  • If the home is a semi-detached dwelling, one side of the property is acceptable (the side the owner lives in). This includes any accessory buildings on the same property. 
  • Row-type, individually owned condominium townhouses are acceptable with authorization from the condo board to the unit owner. The permit would apply only to the unit that the owner lives in. Other units in the complex are not included.
  • If a corporation owns the home, a director can pull the permit if they live there and complete the work themselves. The City of Calgary will request a copy of the corporation documents to show proof of ownership.

Electrical wiring

Our homeowner electrical wiring guide provides important information to help homeowners who are interested in doing their own work. Other methods of installation not identified in this guide may be acceptable; however, all installations must meet the most current requirements of the National Electrical Code of Canada. 

As a homeowner, you can:

  • Tie into the main panel without physically changing it
  • Add a sub-panel to an existing main service, provided there is an existing main breaker​

Homeowners are not permitted to:

  • Install, alter or modify the main electrical service, including the main panel, main breaker or the meter base;
  • Install electrical wiring in permanent, in-ground swimming pools and hot tubs;
  • Install or alter solar photovoltaic systems;
  • Install battery-based energy storage systems;
  • Install electrical vehicle energy management systems (EVEMS) or load management systems;
  • Install electrical for air conditioning units;
  • Load calculations must be completed by a qualified electrician, and
  • Electrical contractors are not permitted to work under homeowner permits, they must obtain their own permit. 

 

Concealed wiring procedure

If your renovation has previously been finished without proper permits, you can still apply for the permits after the work has been completed. A contractor will need to apply for the required permit.

For an electrical permit, when the work has been concealed by drywall, you are required to follow the concealed wiring procedure.

A homeowner’s permit cannot be issued for concealed wiring completed without proper permits. To have the inspection done, the owner must hire a licensed electrical contractor. The contractor will have to obtain an electrical permit and check that the wiring complies with electrical codes. However, the homeowner is responsible for any previously concealed electrical wiring.

Note: There is a possibility the inspector may ask for drywall to be removed to complete their inspection.

Speak to one of our safety codes officers if you have questions about electrical requirements. To connect with us, contact our Technical Assistance Centre by emailing us, calling us at 311 or visiting 311 online services.

Plumbing permit

A plumbing permit is required when:

  • A plumbing system is constructed, extended or altered.
  • Water and sewer lines in or around the home are replaced.

Installing or replacing a hot water tank requires a permit in some situations. A permit is required if there are changes to:

  • The gas lines located upstream from the water heater shut off valve
  • The venting system (e.g. size and design)
  • The type of water heater (e.g. changing from a natural draft water heater to a direct vent water heater)

A plumbing permit is not required to:

  • Repair a leak in a water distribution or drainage system.
  • Replace existing faucets and fixtures.
  • Remove blockage in the drainage.

Our homeowner plumbing guide provides important information to help homeowners who are interested in doing their own work. Other methods of installation not identified in this guide may be acceptable; however, all installations must meet the most current requirements of the National Plumbing Code of Canada.

Concealed plumbing procedure

If your renovation has previously been finished without proper permits, you can still apply for the permits after the work has been completed. A contractor will need to apply for the required permit.

For a plumbing permit, when the work has been concealed by drywall, you are required to follow the concealed plumbing procedure.

A homeowner’s permit cannot be issued for concealed plumbing completed without proper permits. To have the inspection done, the owner must hire a licensed plumbing contractor. The contractor will have to obtain a plumbing permit and check that the plumbing complies with plumbing codes. However, the homeowner is still responsible for any previously concealed plumbing.

Note: There is a possibility the inspector may ask for drywall to be removed to complete their inspection.

For further inquiries, please contact our 311 online services.

For additional questions about plumbing requirements, please contact our 311 online services, or email plumbing&gas.tac@calgary.ca.

Visit residential inspections for information about inspection bookings, inspection outcomes, inspection types and more.

Gas fireplace installation permit

Gas fireplace installation permit

A homeowner’s gas fireplace installation permit is required when a homeowner is installing a fireplace insert themselves. The gas fireplace installation permit ensures the proper vent and mantel clearances are met; however, it does not include the gas line connection that services the appliance. The gas connection must be done by a qualified, licensed gas fitter who will require a separate contractor’s gas permit.

If the gas fitter is doing the entire installation, including the fireplace insert, only a contractor’s gas permit is required.

For additional questions about gas fireplace requirements, please contact our 311 online services.

Gas permit

Homeowners cannot take out a gas permit on their house. Homeowners cannot take out a gas permit on their house, unless the homeowner is a first-class or second-class gasfitter (i.e. journeyman). In all other cases, this permit must be pulled by a qualified, licensed contractor.

Mechanical permit

A homeowner is not permitted to take out a mechanical (HVAC) permit on his or her house. This type of permit and work can only be done by a qualified, licensed contractor.

If a permit is not obtained

If you, as a homeowner do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, there could be consequences if you do not correct the situation. Possible penalties include:

A City-issued stop-work order

  • A fine
  • Undoing work
  • Legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim
  • Doing more work than originally planned and budgeted

Homeowners are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you permits were unnecessary. If you’re unsure if you need a permit, call the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311. Find out if your contractor has a City of Calgary business licence at calgary.ca/contractors.

Applicants must ensure that work does not break restrictive covenants, caveats or any other restrictions registered against the property.

Apply


What is a complete application?

A complete application means that you have provided all the necessary requirements for our teams to complete their reviews. You should provide everything listed on the Complete Application Requirement List, including plans, supporting documents and payment.

An application for a permit may be refused  if, within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt,  if adequate information and documentation is not supplied as requested by the Safety Codes Officer. Should a permit be considered for refusal, the applicant will be given notification in writing and 30 days to resubmit the missing information. For more information, please review Building Advisory A19-002 Building Permit Complete Application.

Apply online

To apply online, you need a myID account. Create a myID account.

We’re currently experiencing higher than seasonal application volumes, we apologize for delays. To check the status of your permit, go to vista.calgary.ca and enter in your Job Access Code (JAC) number

Apply in-person

Drop off your application at
3rd floor, Municipal building
800 Macleod Trail SE

See COVID-19 Service Changes - Application drop-off for payment options.

We are currently not accepting appointments.

After you apply


What inspections do you need?

Electrical permit

The following tasks must be completed before booking an inspection. Please note it is not necessary to have drywall installed for a final inspection.

Please review the green service label policy to determine if you require a green service label (sticker).

Rough-in inspection

  • Have all wiring and interior of outlet boxes readily visible.
  • Remove vapour barrier and insulation where it’s covering any wiring. The exception is for wiring fished into walls.
  • All wiring must be supported.
  • Remove outer sheath of wiring and terminate all wiring into outlet boxes and fixtures.
  • Ensure all splices are made and all grounding is complete in outlet boxes and fixtures.
  • Do not secure devices (plugs, switches) to outlet boxes. Leave all wiring and terminations visible.
  • Cables may terminate into the panelboard, but wires should not be on breakers.
  • Never energize exposed wiring.
  • Rough and underground inspections should be combined.
  • Expose the trench on at least one end to confirm depth.
  • Access must be provided to all areas where electrical work has been completed.
  • For secondary suites, use the secondary suite electrical load calculation sheet to ensure your current electrical service is adequate. When complete, please email the form to us. If the main electrical service must be increased from 60 amps, 100 amps, or 200 - amp service, please have your contractor contact ENMAX.

Final inspection

  • Do not have any exposed live wiring.
  • Install all devices, receptacles and light fixtures.
  • Any open outlet boxes or unfinished wiring must be properly secured and installed in a junction box with an approved splice cap and a junction box cover.
  • Install, terminate and energize all breakers, if safe to do so.
  • Complete the panelboard breaker directory, all breakers must be labeled correctly.
  • Access must be provided to all areas where electrical work has been completed.

For more information, review the homeowner electrical wiring guide.

Plumbing permit

What you need to complete before you call for each plumbing inspection:

Rough-in inspection

  • Install and complete all plumbing drainage and venting.
  • Install and connect water lines to the rest of the water distribution system.
  • Properly support all drains, vents, and water lines.
  •  Install the bathtub/shower valve.

Final inspection

  • Install and ensure all fixtures and equipment are ready for use.
  • Ensure the bathtub and shower water temperature does not exceed 49 degrees Celsius.
  • Seal all piping designed for future fixtures with an approved plug or cap.
  • Provide a shut-off valve for all toilets.

How do you book your inspections?

Visit residential inspections​ for information about inspection bookings, inspection outcomes, inspection types and more.

Make changes to your permits

Visit manage your permit application​ for information on how to revise, cancel, and alter your permit.


Planning Services Centre

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (MT)

Live chat:
calgary.ca/livechat

Call:
403-268-5311

In person: 
Planning Services Centre,
3rd floor, Municipal building 
800 Macleod Trail SE

Book an eAppointment for in person services at appointment.calgary.ca

Trade Permit Centre

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (MT)

Email:
Trade.permits@calgary.ca

Call:
403-268-1488

In person:
Planning Services Centre,
3rd floor, Municipal Building
800 Macleod Trail S.E.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​

This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​

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