Friday, April 30, 2010

Are Plumbing Appliance ‘Permit’ Fees Going Overboard?

Attention Subdivision Trustees! Alert your residents the next time they purchase a dishwasher, garbage disposal, toilet, sink and maybe other plumbing items, St. Louis County has a surprise for you – a $63 permit fee. We wonder if this applies to garden hoses?

The fee has been the law for many years. And — depending on the jurisdiction — it can apply to laundry washing machines, water heaters and others, too.

Sure enough, a spokesman for the St. Louis County’s public works department cited the same code. A dishwasher is “a plumbing appliance,” said David Wrone, and it requires a $63 permit and an inspection after it has been installed. The county’s rule covers only unincorporated areas and those municipalities that outsource to the county their own code enforcement. But many other local governments in the area — including the city of St. Louis — have the same rule. He said the county’s budget crunch and its need for increased revenue wasn’t a factor.

This sort of shakedown is unpopular enough without liars like Wrone adding insult to injury. The budget crunch had nothing, nothing at all to do with the collection of the dormant fee? Who does he think he’s kidding?

Is this just another money grab. Next thing the government will start charging a Bathroom Tax just think they can set up cameras in all bathrooms and start charging every time you have to “go.”

The next question is then why are they not also charging for an electrical inspection, because the appliance requires electric also. It would be the same as plumbing if this is a replacement appliance; with a dishwasher you unscrew the water supply line and disconnect the electrical cord and slide out the old unit. To install you slide in the new unit plug in the electric, screw on the water line and you are done.

The County cites the dangers of improperly installed dishwashers, including backflow problems that could taint otherwise clean dishes with bacteria-infested water. But let’s use a little common sense here. Bacteria-infested water? Get real. Has the St. Louis County Health Department ever received a complaint of bacteria-infested water coming from a dishwasher?

The county received requests for just eight dishwasher-installation permits in April. That’s probably just a fraction of the number of new dishwashers installed during that period.


  1. Anonymous7:06 PM

    Imagine that.
    This all happened after the Plumbers Union and the Pipefitters Union, local 562 merged into on large union.

    Also, remember, former Councilman Jim Omara, was president of the Pipefitters, and now Councilman Mike OMara is an Official with the Pipefitters 562.

    It was primarily designed to steer this work to Union workers, but is now a permit deal for St. Louis County.

  2. Anonymous10:16 PM

    Communism! Forcing people to pay for something they can easily do themselves. Forcing people to do something they do not want or need. Just like the trash fiasco. This is another example of "big brother" making decisions for us. I'm already trying to sell my house over the trash fiasco that was crammed down my throat. I’ve lived my whole life in unincorporated St. Louis County. It’s a shame that communist leaders are forcing me out. We used to have a wonderful free country. Now we have a bunch of communist laws that only affect the honest people. I used to be an honest, employed, law abiding citizen. Now I’m a radical, lucky to be employed, resisting the communist leadership.

  3. Anonymous10:52 PM

    I suppose next when we replace the DVD player or television we will need an electrical inspection. Things that the homeowner could do for decades now has to have an inspection to make sure we know how to do it correctly. I love my country but more and more everyday I fear my government.

    I just did some house painting. I hope I didn't need an inspection.