Issue: 9/03

By Kelly Johnson

The Plumbing Manufacturers Institute held a workshop July 15 and 16 to "promote a better understanding of codes, standards, conformity assessment, certifications and more." Fifty-three PMI members and nonmembers from 26 plumbing manufacturers gathered in Schaumburg, IL, to learn more about PMI's role in plumbing codes and regulations in the U.S. and Canada.

The workshop began Tuesday with an overview of PMI and its activities provided by Barbara Higgens, PMI executive director. PMI President Ralph Herrbach followed with a review of "Plumbing Industry Basics," in which he briefly discussed the history of the plumbing industry.

The remainder of the afternoon was devoted to a program led by David Viola, technical director for PMI, focusing on how PMI gets involved in the technical arena for codes and standards, working the International Code Council (ICC), the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCCNA), the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the C3 Coalition. Viola's presentation included a comparison of the code development processes, plumbing code objectives, manufactured housing concerns, accessibility provisions, state and federal regulatory agencies, and major state and local jurisdictions.

The workshop continued Wednesday with a discussion of product standards and conformity assessment. The program touched on standards developers, standards accreditation, the standards development process, third party certifier accreditation and certifying agency services, methods of indicating conformity with standards, and conformity assessment requirements in plumbing codes.

Plans are underway for a second codes and standards workshop to be held in January 2004. For more information, visit

Kelly Johnson is Managing Editor of PME and can be contacted at