What are Plumbing Codes

Plumbing codes are instituted to provide a basis on which regulations and standards of plumbing installation and materials are controlled. They are a type of construction code. Model plumbing codes, which numerous local codes are taken from, are agreed upon by building associations, plumbing code officials and other industry experts.

All builders are required by law to follow the applicable local plumbing codes. They are imposed for flowing water, sewage and toilet facilities in homes, offices, factories, schools, hospitals and other buildings. The plumbing codes regarding design, methods and materials may differ to a certain extent between various states, counties and municipalities.

Features of plumbing codes

The overall model plumbing codes must first be adopted by a governing jurisdiction and given legal concurrance to become law. Some jurisdictions adopt the model plumbing codes just as they are published, but also reserve the power of amending the codes when they are adopted. Code enforcement officials form membership organizations concerned with writing down, publishing and maintaining the model plumbing codes.

You should apply the most up to date plumbing installations practices for your particular plumbing system; these methods are detailed by the plumbing codes. The plumbing of any building - private or public becomes part of the communitys water and sewage disposal system. This is the main reason that individual building owners following the plumbing codes become mandatory for the protection of public health and safety.

It ensures safety against spread of various diseases and also that the water system does not become overloaded or damaged in any way. Faulty plumbing setups can lead to serious hazards owing to noxious gas backups, back siphoning, bursting pipes, floods, electric short circuits and other causes.

Plumbing codes and set standards are enforced mainly regarding:

- The size of drain and vent pipes and supply lines
- Kinds of material to be adopted
- The distance from trap to vent arm
- Slope of the drains and height of the drains
- Height of horizontal vent pipe section above floor level
- Number and type of fixtures sharing a vent or drain pipe
- Distance between pipe supports

At different stages of the installation process, inspections are carried out on plumbing systems. Inspectors usually verify the entire waste system and the supply system for compliance with plumbing codes.

Adherence with plumbing codes

It may be kept in mind that rough plumbing pipes must never be covered prior to inspection by officials checking conformance with plumbing codes. Cooperate with the inspectors who may require carrying out their inspection work from time to time while the plumbing system is set up. Following plumbing codes is beneficial for the health and well being of you, your family, and your community.

For more information, see the website of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers. (IAPMO) is dedicated to the protection of the public's health and safety through the development and maintenance of the Uniform Plumbing Code and Uniform Mechanical Code.