ABS in Highrise buildings

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by robertpatterson, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. robertpatterson

    robertpatterson New Member

    Messages:
    11
    I live in a condo with 15 floors and built in the 1970's. The drain piping from the roof that goes through the interior walls needs to be updated. Can it be changed from Cast Iron to ABS.
    The uniform building code says at you cannot use ABS in buildings more than 4 stories in Zone 1. What does Zone 1 mean and what is recommended?

    Thanks.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,134
    Location:
    New England
    My guess is no, but a call to the building inspector would settle it quickly.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Two things. Cast iron will last for many years. Surely your CI is not bad after less than 40 years. Secondly, ABS and PVC drains are very noisy. I would think that if you made the change, you would be swamped with angry condo owners. Even is allowed, I would urge you to get some more opinions.
  4. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    It is a noise and fire issue. Mostly fire though. Zone 1 is usually commerical which typically a 5 story condo building is.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    plastic

    It is almost all a fire issue. Plastic pipes emit a toxic smoke when they burn, and that is not good to have on the upper levels of a high rise. 3 or 4 floors is marginal, but at least the occupants have a good chance of evacuating before the levels become critical.
  6. robertpatterson

    robertpatterson New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Thanks for all your help!

    Wondering if Code says that all areas above a certain floor you cannot install abs piping or if it allows for a few pipes. Say there are two pipes every 20 feet.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,825
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    code

    The code cannot anticipate every nuance you would like it to. It cannot say, for example, that you cannot use a lot of plastic above the stated floor, but if you want to stick a little piece in here and there it is okay. Therefore, it says once you reach the third or fourth floor, depending on the version, it cannot be used, period. And if the building is fire rated, plastic cannot be used ANYWHERE in the building.
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