New Construction Codes Effective 2022: Plumbing Code Changes

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will adopt the 2018 International Plumbing Code for construction projects, except for two municipalities (the City of Philadelphia and Allegheny County), on February 14, 2022.  There will be a six-month grace period during which some may be reviewed under the 2015 IPC.  Construction projects, regardless of circumstances, will be designed in compliance with the 2018 IPC after the grace period has passed. 

There are 15 chapters in the International Plumbing Code (IPC), and only four of them remained unchanged between the 2015 and 2018 editions of the IPC.  There are 65 revisions in 11 out of 15 chapters.  The changes encompass definitions, pipe materials, pipe fittings, plumbing fixtures and equipment, requirements for occupancies not referenced before in prior plumbing codes, residential dishwashers, hot water generation, distribution, and cross-connection control, interceptors, drainage systems, rainwater quality, and even water supplies for fire protection.   

While not practical to list all the changes in detail in this brief article, we wanted to highlight a few that we find particularly noteworthy:  

303.5 Cast Iron Soil Pipe:  IPC now provides requirements by which cast iron soil piping and fittings must be listed and physically labeled by a third-party certification agency to show compliance with ASTM and CISPI standards.  

Table 403.1.2 Single-User Toilet Facilities:  Single-use toilet rooms must now be appropriately labeled, indicating that either sex is permitted access to the room. 

422 Health Care Fixtures and Equipment:  This section was deleted in its entirety from the 2018 IPC as other standards in the health care industry adequately govern the application and use of health care fixtures and equipment. 

608.17.1.1 and 1.2 Beverage Dispensers: The requirements for backflow prevention at beverage machines are now two distinct categories: “Carbonated Beverage Dispensers” and “Coffee Machines and Noncarbonated Drink Dispensers.”   

704.1 Slope of Horizontal Drainage Piping: Sanitary piping conveying grease-laden waste shall have a minimum slope of ¼” per foot.  Slopes less than ¼” per foot do not produce wastewater velocities sufficient enough to effectively move grease and other food waste solids to the interceptor. 

Section 1303.1.1 Non-Potable Water Supplies for Fire Protection: The plumbing code references non-potable water for use in fire protection systems and defers to the International Fire Code for applicable regulations governing its use. 

For a comprehensive list of changes in the 2018 International Plumbing Code, consider purchasing “Significant Changes to the International Plumbing Code, 2018 ed.” directly from www.shop.iccsafe.org.  If you have any questions about the 2018 International Plumbing Code and how these changes may affect your next project, please do not hesitate to contact Robert J. Allen, P.E., CPD, at rja@ba-inc.com.  Previous Insight Articles can be found here.

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