My first encounter in dealing with combating Legionnaires’ disease through code regulations dates back to 1977. Older individuals will recall that the disease got its name after the outbreak in 1976 in Philadelphia at the American Legion Convention.
In a previous column last year, I identified a change in definition, by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), regarding showerheads, body sprays and safety shower showerheads. In December 2020, during the Trump administration, DOE basically redefined “showerhead” as a single device that discharges water. Hence, if you installed two showerheads installed on a single shower valve, DOE would consider them two showerheads.
The most powerful section of any code is the alternative approval section. This section is typically found in either the administrative chapter of the code or the general requirements chapter. Every code has an alternative approval section. Basically, the alternative approval section allows an applicant to file a request for acceptance of anything that is either not allowed in the code or is restricted in the code.
I recently attended a Chicago ASPE Chapter meeting that had a presentation on heat pump water heaters. The presentation was excellent. The information and the way it was presented was extremely beneficial to the plumbing and mechanical engineering community.
Chicago has been known as the last major city in the United States that still mandates lead and oakum cast iron systems in buildings. No-hub fittings have never been allowed in the Chicago Plumbing Code. What is interesting is that caulking tools used to make lead and oakum joints are normally found in the plumbing museum.
With the first in-person code hearing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a question of how many people would show up for the ICC meeting. Walking in on the first morning, it was shocking to see a full room.
Last month, ICC completed the technical code changes to the 2024 Edition of the International Plumbing Code (IPC), International Mechanical Code (IMC) and International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC). Yes, you read that correctly — the 2024 editions of these codes.
During the last few months, I have heard a number of debates about the use of the term “potable water” versus “drinking water.” What has been interesting is everyone actively involved in the plumbing profession insists on using the term “potable water.” While others think that “drinking water” is more understood by the general public.
After every IAPMO Technical Committee meeting discussing code changes, engineering colleagues always ask, “Does the union control the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC)?”