Plumbing codes are rules that help keep our pipes and fixtures working properly. Following these rules helps prevent costly issues. However, some contractors and DIY plumbers may unintentionally break these codes. You might think it will not matter if you fix the problem. But violations of these codes can have dire consequences. You might face stop work orders, fines or possible legal consequences.
Common plumbing code violations
Plumbing code violations can occur if contractors are unaware of the code requirements. These requirements, like the International Plumbing Code (IPC), have been developed across the United States over time. New Jersey adopted the 2021 National Standard Plumbing Code in 2022.
Below are some of the common plumbing code violations a contractor must be aware of:
- Improper ventilation: Contractors must equip plumbing systems with proper vent pipes. Vent pipes should be appropriately sized and installed at the correct angle. These must be terminated safely from windows, doors and other building openings.
- Faulty pipe slope: Contractors must ensure that horizontal drainage pipes have the required slope for adequate water flow. They should connect each plumbing fixture to the drainage system with the correct pipe size. The slope should also be consistent throughout the system to prevent stagnant water.
- Inadequate backflow prevention: Contractors must install appropriate backflow prevention devices. They must use check valves or air gaps at critical points in the plumbing system.
- Insufficient pipe support: Contractors must ensure that they have supported pipes at regular intervals. They must use appropriate hangers or brackets. Neglecting to provide sufficient pipe support can lead to sagging, misalignment and even pipe failure.
- Noncompliant fixture installation: Contractors must strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions and plumbing codes when installing fixtures. This includes correctly sealing connections, ensuring proper drain traps and securing fixtures tightly. Additionally, they must install water-saving fixtures. This is in compliance with local regulations to promote water conservation.
Adhering to plumbing codes is crucial for contractors to avoid violations that can compromise the safety and functionality of plumbing systems. They can ensure compliance and deliver high-quality plumbing installations by implementing proper practices.