Any owner, authorized agent, or contractor who desires to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any plumbing system shall first hire or cause to hire a licensed and/or registered contractor. The contractor shall first make an application to the building official and obtain the required permit for the work. Building permits may be issued to the property and building owners when so allowed by the Memphis and Shelby County Technical Codes and State of Tennessee Contractors’ License Laws.

A licensed master or journeyman plumber is required to be on site during any inspection that requires a water or air test. See Section P310 of the Standard Plumbing Code for required tests.


  • Underground rough-in inspection: To be made after trenches or ditches are excavated, piping installed, and before any backfill is put in place
  • Top-out inspection: To be made after the roof, framing, fire blocking, and bracing is in place and all soil, waste, and vent piping is complete, and prior to this installation of wall or ceiling membranes
  • Final inspection: To be made after the building is complete, all plumbing fixtures are in place and properly connected, and the structure is ready for occupancy

Length of Permit

Separate permits are required for building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, heating ventilation, air conditioning, sprinklers, underground fire service, and signs. This permit becomes null and void if work or construction authorized is not commenced within six months, or work or construction is suspended or abandoned for a period of six months after work is commenced.

Work shall be considered suspended if an approved inspection has not been made within a six-month period. Issuance of permit shall not be held to permit, or to be an approval of, the violation of any provisions of any county ordinance / resolution or state laws.

Additional Resources