UPC Plumbing Code, Helpful Hints by Bert Polk Plumbing inspector

Discussion in 'UPC Plumbing Code Questions' started by Terry, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,889
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Here is a nice link to Bert Polk's plumbing tips

    States that use the UPC

    Alaska UPC adopted at State level but IPC in use locally
    Arizona UPC adopted at State level but IPC in use locally
    California UPC applicable Statewide
    Colorado UPC adopted at State level but IPC in use locally
    Hawaii UPC, with local ammendments.
    Indiana UPC base document for State code
    Iowa UPC effective Statewide, IPC adopted by Local Governments
    Kansas UPC adopted at State level but IPC in use locally
    Minnesota UPC effective Statewide(1)
    Missouri TBD either IPC or UPC effective Statewide
    Montana UPC effective Statewide
    Nebraska UPC adopted at State level but IPC in use locally
    Nevada UPC adopted at State level but IPC in use locally
    New Mexico UPC adopted at State level but IPC in use locally
    North Dakota UPC effective Statewide
    Oregon UPC effective Statewide
    South Dakota UPC 2003 version effective Statewide

    US Virgin Is. UPC Island wide
    Washington UPC effective Statewide, with amendments
    Wisconsin Plumbing Code Link
    Wyoming Both IPC & UPC used by Local Governments

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    Klickitat County Plumbing Help
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  2. Winslow

    Winslow Plumber

    Messages:
    450
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Hawaii also uses the UPC, with local ammendments.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2010
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    That link to Bert is a great resource. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. How many thousand words have been posted here trying to explain the concept of not draining second floor waste into the vent from first floor! One of the earyl pics in the series shows that so well!!!!!!!
  4. Hairyhosebib

    Hairyhosebib New Member

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Arizona
    This is a great resource and helps me out a lot. I am curious about why water heater T&P valves can be plumbed with multiple elbows and several feet of pipe here in the Phoenix area. I sure don't have mine like that. Every elbow causes the water to be slowed down as it escapes the tank! I sure would not want mine to blow up.

    [video=youtube;GF_Wrm-Ns0I]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF_Wrm-Ns0I[/video]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2011
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,889
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You are allowed fittings on the relief line. I've never heard of a working T&P with 3/4" drain that was ever a problem. The problems occur when someone puts a cap or plug in the relief line to stop a leak. At best, as long as they are allowed to drip out the pressure, you should be fine. In apartments and condo's, with stacked units, they normally let us run two heaters on 3/4" and then start bumping up the sizing as we go down.
  6. Hairyhosebib

    Hairyhosebib New Member

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Arizona
    I'm thinking you are only allowed 2 fittings after the T&P according to the UPC code. And it is to terminate six inches above the floor. Just like in the picture of the link above. Water heaters are time bombs. When I was in plumbing school we were shown a picture of a grade school building that had pretty much blown up because the maintenance guy removed the old leaking T&P valve and plugged it off and did not turn the water heater off. While he was gone getting a new valve the water heater blew up killing several people. I think this may have happened in the 60"s but I don't know where it occurred.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,889
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    "I'm thinking you are only allowed 2 fittings after the T&P according to the UPC code."

    I would like to see that paragraph in the code book. Do you have a code book to look in? I'm looking at mine, and I don't see that mentioned. Most T&P lines have about six 90 bends. We talking water at 150 PSI going through the pipe. Though I find it goes out the end of the pipe smoking fast at 70 PSI.
    And water supply to the water heater, has plenty of 90's too.
    You can pop the T&P on any heater, and as long as you are running 3/4" out, it's a gusher on the other end.
    Nowhere in the UPC code book does it mention fittings.
    It does mention that there can be no "shutoff" valve on the drain. But then no plumber would ever consider installing a shutoff on the drain.
    Where water heaters exploded, someone had "capped" off the relief with a plug or a cap.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  8. Hairyhosebib

    Hairyhosebib New Member

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Arizona
    Well,
    I'm just recalling what I was taught in plumbing school in Indiana in the 1980's. Again like the picture that is posted, isn't it to be terminated within six inches of the floor. Isn't that what the picture shows? Mine was piped to the outside. If I never go outside, how would I know if there is a problem? Most people don't know. I would certainly rather have the leak near the water heater instead of a slow leak growing moss at some place I never look at. What I was taught may have been taken from a BOCA code book from the 1980's too. It could easily have been a personal preference to the instructor too. You know very well how a teacher/proctor can be. We were also taught that any new part that was installed in a potable water system or any new water lines installed are to be sanitized by a certain percentage of bleach and water and held in such piping system for X amount of time and then flushed out. Is this still part of the code? I do not have a current code book. It is easier to have you answer My question. LOL I notice in one of the other pictures that code requires a cleanout above the flood rim level of the kitchen sink. It would certainly make my life easier if there were a good useable cleanout above flood rim level of every urinal, sink, water fountain, water closet and anything else that might get plugged and needs to be cabled out.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  9. godsplumber

    godsplumber In the Trades

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    California
    I will use the pictures. Thanks for the link
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I am curious about why water heater T&P valves can be plumbed with multiple elbows and several feet of pipe here in the Phoenix area. I sure don't have mine like that. Every elbow causes the water to be slowed down as it escapes the tank! I sure would not want mine to blow up.

    In Phoenix, the T&P line has to be piped to a "safe discharge" location, which is usually outside the building. The "excess elbows and pipe length" have NOTHING to do with a heater exploding, unless it is run in such a way that water is trapped and then freezes. If the water is "escaping" the tank, then it will NOT blow up anyway. It blows up when the water CANNOT escape and then the tank ruptures and all the potential energy in the superheated water is released "instantly". Phoenix was using the IPC for residential work and the UPC for commercial, but I have not been involved enough to know if they still do it that way. When the clerk told me they were using the IPC, I told her, "That means you are using the anything goes code now", and she said, "That's about it".
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
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