5 most common plumbing code violations

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5 most common plumbing code violations:

Plumbing codes help ensure the proper performance of plumbing systems. By doing so the codes make for more efficient systems while safeguarding the health and safety of the public.

The codes themselves can get pretty complex, which is a good reason to always go with a professional plumber for any kind of plumbing work. But out of ignorance, accident, corner-cutting or downright fraud, people install plumbing systems that are not up to code all the time. Here’s a brief overview of the most common residential plumbing code violations.

  1. Improper slope: Drain pipes need gravity to properly empty of water towards the sewer. Standard practice calls for drain pipes to have ¼” per foot pitch, although 1/3″ per foot is allowed if the drain pipe is 3″ diameter or larger. Improper pitch can allow for leaks and/or a slow draining of a sink or bathtub.
  2. Not enough clean-outs: The cleanout is the maintenance access port for a plumbing system. The number of cleanouts depends on the size of the system. According to the IPC, building sewers shall be provided with cleanouts located not more than 100′ (30 480 mm) apart, measured from the upstream entrance of the cleanout. Cleanouts also need to be installed at each change of direction greater than 45 degrees (0.79 rad) in the building sewer, building drain and horizontal waste or soil lines.
  3. Improperly placed clean-outs: Cleanouts should be placed in such a way that they won’t be covered by casements, cabinets or machinery. Cleanouts should also be placed to avoid proximity to food preparation areas, hospital operating rooms, computer rooms or other critical areas. Like, say, an electrical junction box…
  4. Not installing the proper fittings for changes of direction: Changes of direction in pipes must be done with fittings that will not cause an obstruction in flow.
  5. Not enough space around toilet: The minimum distance between the toilet and a finished wall on either side is 15″. This is measured from the toilet’s centerline, not from the outside edge. The plumber determines the actual distance when he sets the toilet flange in the floor. In new construction, the plumber sets the flange after the wall framing is complete but before the builder hangs drywall. Standard drywall is 1/2″ thick, so the plumber should set the toilet flange at least 15-1/2″ from the center of the flange to the wall framing.
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