I really couldn’t believe this, but I googled it and it was right before my eyes: If one wants to replace an electric water heater in New Jersey, one has to apply for a plumbing permit and an electric permit at the township.
And the only reason I did the googling was because M, the small business owner, replaced the electric water heater in his store two years ago. He didn’t tell me who replaced it for him, but somehow I suspect that he did it all by himself. And then the township came to inspect his store recently and slapped a list of violations on him–among them three are about the water heater.
“Are you sure I have to have permits to replace a water heater? I mean it is such a small water heater since we don’t use much hot water in the store anyway.” He asked in a incredulous tone of voice.
I was really surprised myself. I mean I just know people would get Home Depot or a plumber to replace their water heater for them. I have no idea there are permits involved. I guess the plumber or the Home Depot people naturally take care of all the township requirements.
And you won’t believe how much it costs to hire an electrician to straighten everything out to appease the township. You won’t believe it. I just got an estimate for the unfortunate store owner–almost two thousand dollars. I think he almost had a heart attack when he heard this.
And of course when I tried to complain of the expensiveness of this to others, I got a deluge of complaints back about how expensive things are. Everybody has a list of grievances about prices and inflation. So I became an unwilling receiver of many stories related with dysfunctional air conditioner, refrigerator with a bad freezer, washing machine trouble, dryer issues, basement flooding, frozen pipe last winter, each taking hundreds if not thousands of dollars to fix.
Well, let me watch something or listen to something, probably a TV show or a song, to get my mind off these daily annoyances.