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What is the Uniform Plumbing Code?

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Many homeowners aren’t aware of the uniform plumbing code until they’re remodeling a home, or building new construction. However, this code is an important component of providing consistent quality of plumbing across the nation and meeting inspector expectations.

The History of the Uniform Plumbing Code

Before 1926, there weren’t any standard regulations which addressed plumbing installation and maintenance. Los Angeles inspectors started to recognize a problem with the inconsistency that resulted from this issue. The group banded together with the Plumbers Associations to create the first uniform plumbing code.

The group operated under these codes for about 20 years, and in 1945, the Western Plumbing Association became interested in the success the group experienced. The group adopted the Uniform Plumbing Code across the nation, which created a higher level of quality and consistency for plumbing.

The Contents of the Uniform Plumbing Code

The uniform plumbing code covers the essential components to both installing and maintaining plumbing systems: plumbing fixtures, fixture fittings, handling water heaters, sanitary drainage and storm drainage. It also includes fire stop protection, health care facilities, and handling gray water systems.

Discussing the Code with Your Plumber

Licensed plumbers typically have a copy of the updated codes, and install plumbing in accordance with these regulations. However, when interviewing a plumber, ask if they have the most current copy of this code. Some states may even publish the codes on their secretary of state page for consumer review. This will ensure your plumbing is up to par once inspectors come for a visit.

Updating of the Uniform Plumbing Code

The uniform plumbing code is updated regularly by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO). As scientific research and analysis evolves, the group is careful to incorporate these changes into the uniform plumbing code.

Professionals can check the IAPMO web site at a couple times each year for updates. When the code is updated, it can be purchased for $100-$126, depending on if you want a soft cover or loose leaf binder. The IAPMO also publishes the uniform solar energy code, uniform mechanical code, uniform swimming pool, spa and hot tub code, which may be of interest if you’re employing a plumber for any of these projects in the future.

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