Since plumbing in every public and private building makes up a community sewage and water disposal system, having a code that breaks down the best, most up-to-date practices for service and installation ensures this mega-system functions properly. For example, sewage presents a public safety hazard if handled poorly. If an irresponsible citizen or professional mishandles a structure’s plumbing, the results could be disastrous. Therefore, specific codes with certain handling and installation provisions must be established and maintained for the sake of public health.
This plumbing “code” doesn’t refer to theoretical codes of honor, per se, but contains a strict set of rules and regulations set out by governmental bodies (city, county and state) and meant for anyone working with drinking water, toilet facilities/sewer systems in offices, homes, schools, factories, and hospitals. Professional plumbers are not held to these standards alone, as any layman working on these systems can be held accountable if proper procedures aren’t followed. These plumbing and sanitation codes should be universally followed because failure to treat these systems safely could spread disease and endanger lives throughout the community.
The formal name for this code is the Universal Plumbing Code (UPC), and it was designed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO). To make sure provisions stay current, the code is updated regularly (every couple of years) with new concepts and technology. Although the UPC sets the plumbing codes, other governing bodies like city, county and state boards can have additional standards that must be accounted for. For this reason, you should always do thorough research before attempting any DIY project that involves plumbing or water systems. For more involved undertakings, having a licensed plumber on hand can protect you from making a sanitation mistake that could cost you both time and money to repair. Not to mention, botching a plumbing job is simply unsafe.
Common plumbing codes focus on ventilation and piping, but others involve fixtures and other materials. Here are a few examples of general codes:
- Use correct sizes for all pipes involving drains, supply lines and vents.
- Use enough distance between fixtures.
- Use certain pipe materials based on area (copper for supply lines and PVC for drain lines).
- Plumbing installation shouldn’t strain the structure of a house or building, and inspectors may suggest
- reinforcement of certain joists, if necessary.
- Use fire calking or protective plates around pipes.
For all your plumbing needs, call the experts at Five Star Plumbing at 361-400-0244 in Corpus Christi and 210-446-4570 in San Antonio.