A Guide to the Current Plumbing Codes for New York City

People always desire to feel safe in the structures they live in. These buildings not only have to be secure, but also efficient and reliable. When you think about the cost that goes into safeguarding housing in New York City, you require all three parameters to work in your favor. Plumbing codes are an essential part of the three pillars. They ensure you get fresh water necessary for your sustenance and hygiene, as well as sanitary sewage disposal. The problem is that with so many ways to get things done, some may end up clashing with each other.

To verify all building owners and contractors are on the same page, a uniform set of rules has to be established for all to follow. These rules, in the form of the New York City Plumbing Codes, change regularly. Thus, we need to understand what the changes are. This way, you will ascertain your building or construction project is up to code.

What Are Plumbing Codes?

Plumbing codes are specifically worded rules by authorities. The purpose is to ensure contractors design and install the correct plumbing for particular buildings and enable city inspectors to know what to look for. That said, when installing plumbing systems, plumbing codes confirm that a standard exists and has to be adhered to.

These standards may differ for residential, commercial, or municipal buildings, yet they verify that occupants are protected from chemical, fire, or other hazards affecting the plumbing system. New York’s Plumbing Codes are informed by the International Plumbing Code.

Why Changes Are Necessary

Changes are mandated by the construction codes themselves, as can be found in the first section of Chapter 6 of the construction codes, aptly named the New York City Plumbing Code. It states that the commissioner in charge shall submit proposed changes to the regulations every three years. These adjustments are to align with the proposals in the International Plumbing Code’s latest edition.

Note that standards do not remain static, and this necessitates the development of new safety features to protect residents. The changes in standards help to deal with issues that may arise. Besides, when considering new additions to the law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, they need to suit people abled differently.

The materials popularly used for construction a few years ago may not be the best for building houses today. This calls for periodic reviews to determine whether to incorporate them into new constructions or do away with them and develop new ones.

What Are Some Changes to The Plumbing Code

The regulations that came into force in November 2022 have quite a few changes compared to those that came into force in 2020. It’s best to classify these changes as we explain each. Here’s a quick look.

Changes to Jurisdiction

Section PC 202 contains the general definition of terms found in the regulations. The descriptions given to building drain and building sewer received new wording in part. The changes put the two facilities under different jurisdictions. Typically, building drains fall under the New York Department of Buildings’ purview, while sewers fall under the Department of Environmental Protection.

Improvements to The Indirect Wastes Section

Improvements have occurred in the wording of various clauses of PC Section 802. For example, 802.1.1 states that each well of a sink with multiple compartments should discharge independently to a common waste receptor. Further, changes to the waste receptors section 802.3 mean such cannot be installed in concealed areas.

It also implies some areas are prohibited from having waste receptors, and these include;

  • Plenums
  • Crawl spaces
  • Interstitial spaces below floors and above ceilings
  • Attics

This is a slight change from the previous regulations that called for the installation of waste receptors in ventilated spaces.

Leeway For Chemical Waste Systems

The special wastes section PC 803 has received some changes. These comprise new subsections and tables, which now contain allowable stands for vent piping, vent pipe fittings, and chemical waste piping to conform to. These adjustments link with Chapter 7, which has the requirements for vent pipe installation and chemical waste.

Small Changes

Section 303 deals with fixtures, and the changes, particularly, have to do with sections 303.1 and 303.4. The former clarifies that all components should bear the manufacturer’s mark with reference to the standards. 303.4, on the other hand, reiterates that all equipment must undergo certification by a third party as manufacturers are prohibited from stating their compliance with the listed requirements.

PC Section 910.1 takes over from Section 907.1 on dealing with Vent Fixture trap distance. It also now deals with individual vents that need connecting to fixture drains of the traps or the trapped fixtures being vented at distances, not more than 16 ft.

This is an alteration from the previous length of 4 ft. Another descendant of Section 907.1 comes as 912.3, which now allows individual vents to be connected to the fixture drain of traps. The trapped fixture should be vented directly at distances of no more than 16 ft from the previous 4 ft.

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