Virtual inspection guidelines
Public Health — Seattle & King County Plumbing and Gas Program is piloting virtual inspections using Zoom.
Qualifications for a virtual inspection
If a customer does not have sufficient connectivity to participate in a video Zoom meeting at their inspection location, a virtual inspection cannot be conducted (this may be a limitation in parts of unincorporated King County, as well as other locations). Other limitations that may prevent a successful virtual inspection are installation location, lighting, and camera quality. Please check all of these before requesting a virtual inspection.
The following types of inspections qualify for a virtual inspection:
- Water Service, Unincorporated King County only
- Water heater replacements of like-for-like appliances
- Shower pan, if requested
- Shower valve
- Minor corrections (reinspection with restrictions) – based on program determination
- Plumbing finals with restrictions – limited scope (ex. missing air gap on a dishwasher, incorrect p-trap install, replacement of an individual simple part)
The program will make final determinations on what inspections can be performed through a virtual inspection.
Requesting, timing, and logistics for setting up your virtual inspection
Virtual inspections are conducted Tuesday - Thursday 8:00AM–2:00PM for the requested inspection(s).
Virtual inspection requests received after 6 AM will, at earliest, be scheduled for the next business day, that virtual inspections are performed (e.g. if the request is submitted Friday at noon, the earliest virtual inspection would be the following Tuesday).
If it is determined that the inspection cannot be carried out virtually, the inspection will need to be resubmitted through the IVR resulting in an additional delay.
If you would like to request language interpretation, please include the language you speak in your inspection request.
Please submit the virtual inspection request form through the link on the website to request an inspection. If it is determined that your request qualifies for a virtual inspection, you will be provided a process document with specific requirements necessary to perform the inspection.
When it is determined that you qualify for a virtual inspection, you will receive an electronic invitation with a scheduled time and zoom link for the virtual inspection. The inspector will walk you through the inspection process, identifying if any items require correction. At the conclusion of the inspection the inspector would inform you of the inspection results. If a correction notice is required, the inspector will send you an e-mail with a list of items that need to be addressed.
The inspection will be documented on the fillable inspection form and will be sent to the permitholder via email.
Required equipment and responsibilities for participating in a virtual inspection
If your plumbing system qualifies for a virtual inspection you must have a device with a webcam, for example, iPad, iPhone, Smartphone or Tablet and have internet access. To get started download the "Zoom" application. https://zoom.us/download.
The contractor or homeowner responsible for installing the work will need to be present and show all work performed. Inspections may include climbing ladders, crawling, walking on uneven surfaces, using tape measures and other needed tools, etc.
- Prior to the start of the inspection please have all necessary tools available to perform the inspection, for example; flashlight, tape measure, screwdriver, level, ladder, etc.
- Make sure your smart phone / tablet is fully charged, with notifications turned off to avoid inspection interruptions.
- Be ready to sign into the Zoom meeting invitation from the plumbing inspector at the scheduled day and time. Ear buds with a microphone greatly improves communication.
- Limiting unnecessary jobsite sounds such as power tools, radio, etc. improves communication.
- When approved plans reviewed by PHSKC are involved in the virtual inspection, these approved plans must be present for at virtual inspection.
- Each virtual inspection will begin at the street view to verify location, structure and property address.
NOTE: during a virtual inspection when major deficiencies in workmanship, discrepancies, deviation from the approved plans, unsafe environment, etc. is determined, the inspector has the right to cancel the inspection.