Public vs Private Use bathrooms

Discussion in 'UPC Plumbing Code Questions' started by Tuttles Revenge, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

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    What is your interpretation of a public or private use for plumbing?

    Say my office restroom for example. We have 2 restrooms, one for women and one for men. Each have locks, so they're intended for a single occupant. The office is not intended for the public off the street to enter to use as opposed to a restaurant that serves the public.

    218.0
    Private or Private Use

    Applies to plumbing fixtures in residences and apartments , to private bathrooms in hotels and hospitals, and to restrooms in commercial establishments where the fixtures are intended for the use of a family or an individual.
     
  2. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    private use I belive is your offive
     
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  4. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a personal bathroom attached to a single office would be private use. But if one men's room serves multiple offices, it's public use, under the definition posted. Because an office is a commercial establishment (it's not any of the others), and the restroom is intended for the use of more than one individual.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
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  5. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    I think your right wayne a restroom reserved and withen the bosses office might be private but the one thats in a comon hallway likely be public even if it only serves one person at a time.
     
  6. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

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    So like in a restaurant that serves the public but has separate bathrooms for employees. The public restroom is definately public. But because every employee can use the private restrooms then they're public? Public for purposes of code, but not open to the public.

    Or because in our office, I'm related to 2 other individuals in my Family.. But the fixtures aren't specifically Just for the use of our family.. OK.. public.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    When an inspector asks to use your bathroom, decline. ;)

    Maybe replace the signs with something less inviting, like your name and a woman's name.

    Then maybe you can replace the split-front toilet seats if you like.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  8. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    I don't think the relationship between you and an employee changes status of the building I think certain areas are or could be private and other areas would be public.
    I can see an argument the plumbing code is a little vague my guess there are other things that could determine the private / public and a determination from AHJ whoever that may be
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IPC2018/chapter-2-definitions says
    PRIVATE. In the classification of plumbing fixtures, “private” applies to fixtures in residences and apartments, and to fixtures in nonpublic toilet rooms of hotels and motels and similar installations in buildings where the plumbing fixtures are intended for utilization by a family or an individual.
    PUBLIC OR PUBLIC UTILIZATION. In the classification of plumbing fixtures, “public” applies to fixtures in general toilet rooms of schools, gymnasiums, hotels, airports, bus and railroad stations, public buildings, bars, public comfort stations, office buildings, stadiums, stores, restaurants and other installations where a number of fixtures are installed so that their utilization is similarly unrestricted.
    From that that, I would infer your restrooms would not be public under 2018 IPC. UPC probably draws the line differently.

    https://www.phcppros.com/articles/10694-ipc-code-changes-part-1 shows discussion of proposed IPC 2021 changes, and the word "unrestricted" stays.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  10. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, I read those definitions the same as in my earlier post in this thread.

    Restroom attached to a single office -> intended for use by one individual -> meets the last "private" clause

    Restroom for more than one office -> "general toilet room of . . . office building" --> meets the "public" definition. The last clause of the "public" definition, "where a number . . ." only modifies "other installations".

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Imagine a lawyer's office serving two lawyers. There is counter, and customers come back to confer with one of the lawyers in his private office. Restrooms are only accessible from behind the counter, but any actual customer, admitted behind the counter, is welcome to use the restrooms. How would you interpret for that one?
     
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  12. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    Public. It doesn't meet any of the categories listed in "private." The only possible category would be the "intended for utilization by a family or an individual," but it is intended for the use of 2 lawyers and their clients.

    Now suppose you tell me the lawyers are related and the clients don't use it. I'll still say "public" because I doubt the building was built with the intention of only leasing the office to families.

    Whereas if the a single user office has a restroom attached to it, it is arguably "intended for utilization by an individual".

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  13. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Public Clearly lawyers, secretaries, customers everyone is using it.
    But I see old houses converted to businesses such as lawyers offices and they often have issues with compliance
     

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