DEAR BARRY: I live in an old condo complex and recently replaced my water heater. The fixture is located in an upstairs closet, and the new codes require an overflow pan with a pipe to the exterior to prevent water damage if there is a leak. Unfortunately, the condo board has refused to allow this pipe because it would alter the outside appearance of the building. I've argued the point, but they are as stubborn as cement. Do they have the right to deny compliance with the state plumbing code, or can I install the pipe without their permission? --William DEAR WILLIAM: The condo board could use some common sense in place of blind adherence to outdated restrictions. If any water heater in the complex develops a leak, someone will be paying to repair water damage, and that someone could be a member of the board. If the condo leaders remain fixed in their position, here is a possible way to force their hand: A permit is required when you replace a water heater. Most people don't...
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