Water Service Line Permit Requirements
The on-line permit is available for properties in Sunnyvale with a residential zoning district.
Zoning district information is available on-line by clicking on E-Zoning.
This permit will allow replacement of the existing water service line between the building and the City water meter.
Following is a listing of the general requirements for replacing water lines based on the 2016 California Plumbing Code, 2016 California Electrical Code, and the Sunnyvale Municipal Code. This brochure is intended to provide general information, contact the Building Safety Division for any questions or additional information.
Water supply pipes and fittings shall be PVC, copper (type L or M), malleable iron, galvanized steel, CPVC, or other approved material and shall be in accordance with NSF 61. (CPC 604)
Note: where plastic piping is used, a label shall be fastened to the main electrical meter panel stating, "This structure has a nonmetallic water service." (IAPMO IS 8-2006)
Underground water lines shall be buried a minimum of 12” below grade. (CPC 609)
Non-metallic piping shall have a blue insulated 18-guage copper tracer wire adjacent to the piping. The tracer wire shall terminate above ground at each end of the non-metallic pipe. (CPC 604.10)
Grounding and Bonding Requirements
Grounding shall consist of a continuous grounding electrode conductor run from the panel to a ground rod (grounding electrode) and to the cold water pipe. Grounding of the electrical service at the main water line must be within the first 5’ of water piping into the building. The underground water service shall not be used as the grounding electrode without supplemental electrode. [CEC 250.52 (A)(1) and 250.53 (D)(2), 250.68(C)]
For new structures and additions to existing structures, a concrete encased ground electrode shall be installed. This shall consist of 20’ of ½” bare or zinc-coated rebar or bare copper wire in the portion of the footing in contact with earth. (CEC 250.52(A)(3)(1) and 250.52(A)(3)(2))
For existing structures, the grounding electrode shall be nonferrous (copper), listed, and not be less than 5/8” in diameter. The electrode shall be installed such that at least 8’ of length is in contract with the soil. The upper end of the electrode shall be flush with or below ground level unless the above-ground end and the grounding electrode conductor attachment is protected against physical damage. (CEC 250.52 (A)(5))
The required grounding electrode conductor (from electrode to panel) size is listed in the following table:
Bonding of the hot, cold, and gas lines is required when the electrical panel is replaced. Bonding of the hot, cold, and gas lines is required with water service replacements (if using a less conductive material than is existing) and for all re-pipes. Bonding shall consist of a continuous bond jumper installed at the water heater between the hot, cold, and gas lines. The bonding jumper shall be sized based on the following table. (CEC250.4(A)(4))
BONDING JUMPER SIZING (Table 250.102(C)(1))
Size of Main Panel
Aluminum or Copper-Clad Aluminum
The Water Service Line Permit is NOT available on-line if you are:
Adding a new water service with a new City water meter.
If the condition above applies, the permit shall be issued at the One-Stop Permit Center, City Hall, 456 W Olive Avenue. Specific process information is available at the
Building Division web site.
Two inspections are required, a rough and a final. The rough inspection should be scheduled when the new water line is installed and before it is covered up. A final inspection should be scheduled after all work is complete.