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(A) No person shall commence or proceed with any of the following without first securing from the Inspection Department with jurisdiction over the site of the work any and all permits required by the State Building Code and any other state or local laws applicable to the work:
(1) The construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, movement to another site, removal or demolition of any building or structure.
(2) The installation, extension or general repair of any plumbing system except that in any one-or two-family dwelling unit a permit shall not be required for the connection of a water heater that is being replaced, provided that the work is performed by a person licensed under G.S. § 87-21, who personally examines the work at completion and ensures that a leak test has been performed on the gas piping, and provided the energy use rate or thermal input is not greater than that of the water heater which is being replaced, there is no change in fuel, energy source, location, capacity, or routing or sizing of venting and piping, and the replacement is installed in accordance with the current edition of the State Building Code.
(3) The installation, extension, alteration or general repair of any heating or cooling equipment system.
(4) The installation, extension, alteration or general repair of any electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment except that in any one- or two-family dwelling unit a permit shall not be required for repair or replacement of electrical lighting fixtures or devices, such as receptacles and lighting switches, or for the connection of an existing branch circuit to an electric water heater that is being replaced, provided that all of the following requirements are met:
(a) With respect to electric water heaters, the replacement water heater is placed in the same location and is of the same or less capacity and electrical rating as the original.
(b) With respect to electrical lighting fixtures and devices, the replacement is with a fixture or device having the same voltage and the same or less amperage.
(c) The work is performed by a person licensed under G.S. § 87-43.
(d) The repair or replacement installation meets the current edition of the State Building Code, including the State Electrical Code.
(B) A permit shall be in writing and shall contain a provision that the work done shall comply with the State Building Code and all other applicable state and local laws. No permits shall be issued unless the plans and specifications are identified by the name and address of the author thereof and if state law requires that plans for certain types of work be prepared only by a licensed architect or licensed engineer, no permit shall be issued unless the plans and specifications bear the state seal of a licensed architect or of a licensed engineer. When any provision of state law or of any ordinance requires that work be done by a licensed specialty contractor of any kind, no permit for the work shall be issued unless the work is to be performed by such a duly licensed contractor.
(C) No permit issued under G.S. §§ 143-136 through 143-143.2 or 143-151.26 through 143- 151.36 shall be required for any construction, installation, repair, replacement or alteration costing $15,000 or less in any single-family residence or farm building unless the work involves: the addition, repair or replacement of load bearing structures; the addition (excluding replacement of same size and capacity) or change in the design of plumbing; the addition, replacement or change in the design of heating, air conditioning or electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment; the use of materials not permitted by the North Carolina Uniform Residential Building Code; or the addition (excluding replacement of like grade of fire resistance) of roofing. Violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor.
(G.S. § 160A-417(a), (b)) (1992 Code, § 150.20) Penalty, see § 150.99