Gas Appliance FAQs

Why does my gas appliance need to be inspected by WSSC?

The State of Maryland designates this responsibility to WSSC.  An improperly installed gas water heater, or other appliance, can be the cause of unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in a home and can also lead to explosions. 

I just bought a gas appliance from a big retail store and arranged for installation through them.  What should I look for when the installer comes to my home?

  1. Verify the plumber has a WSSC Permit for your installation.  The permit is required for each installation of an appliance.  Having a permit does not take care of the inspection requirement.  The permit stays with your paperwork; the installer doesn’t keep it.
  2. Check the installer’s license. (must be licensed by WSSC)
    1. The plumber/gasfitter should have a WSSC License to show to the Customer
    2. Or to speak with a member of the WSSC Licensing Unit, please call 301-206-8588
  3. Be sure the plumber has scheduled the WSSC inspection after the installation, or if  it’s more convenient, follow the instructions on the permit and schedule the  inspection yourself. On the day of inspection, you will be able to call the inspector  who should be able to provide a 2-hour window for the inspection.

I bought a gas appliance and installed it myself?  What should I do?

The Plumbing and Fuel Gas Code for Montgomery and Prince George’s counties does not allow homeowners to install gas appliances.  You must contact a WSSC-licensed plumber who will obtain a permit, check the installation, then set up a WSSC inspection.

I just moved into a new house and can’t find any records about the installation or inspection of the gas appliances.  Who should I call?

Call WSSC at 301-206-4004.  We’ll check the inspection records for your address, and let you know if a permit and inspection are needed.

Is WSSC taking steps to improve tracking of permits and inspections of gas appliances?

Yes.  Currently master plumbers can purchase short-form permits in batches, without providing an installation address for each permit.  The plumbers are supposed to assign a permit to a specific installation address, write that address on the permit and give it to you when they come to install the appliance.  WSSC learns about the installation through the phone call to set up an inspection.  Now, WSSC is pursuing code changes that would require installers provide an address for each permit within a few days of purchase.  We are also evaluating software that will make the tracking of permits, installations and inspections much easier.

How long could these software and code changes take?

18 months to three years.

I have a permit for the installation of my gas appliances, but no one set up a WSSC inspection.  What should I do?  And since I have a permit, will I have to pay for the inspection?

The permit allows installation, but does not guarantee the installation was done properly.  A WSSC inspection is still required.  Call us at 301-206-4004 to set up an inspection.  However, the inspection will be free because you already paid for it when you paid for the permit.

I had a gas appliance installed two years ago and can’t find any of my paperwork.  I don’t know if the appliance was inspected by WSSC, and I’m concerned. What should I do?

First, check the appliance. When WSSC approves an installation, a Green APPROVED sticker is attached to the appliance.  If you can’t find a sticker, call WSSC at 301-206-4004 to check the inspection history for your address.  If a permit was purchased, but the appliance was not inspected by WSSC, then the plumber must buy one on your behalf, then schedule an inspection.

What if I can’t reach the installer or he refuses to cooperate?

Call WSSC at 301-206-4004.  We will work with the installer to resolve the issue.

Does WSSC have enough inspectors to handle inspections in a timely manner?

Yes.  We have 27 full-time inspectors.

What are the hours for inspections?

7:30a.m. – 2:30p.m., Monday through Friday. This can be narrowed to a two-hour window on the day of inspection by calling your assigned depot from 6:45a.m. -7:30a.m.  prior to the inspector leaving for his route.  (Depot information can be provided, upon request, when inspection is scheduled.)  Click here for the list of WSSC Depots.

Who can I call to lodge a complaint against the installer?

If you have a complaint against an installer, call WSSC’s Licensing Unit at 301-206-8588.  If you have a complaint about services you think you paid for but didn’t receive, Montgomery County residents can call the Officer of Consumer Protection at 240-777-3636.  Prince George’s County residents can call the Office of Community Relations 
at 301-952-4729.

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