The first time I heard the terms “paruresis” and “parcopresis” was in the mid-1980s at a plumbing code hearing. In those days, there was no Google to look up the words. I listened to the chief plumbing inspector from a Midwestern state explain why this was an important issue in the plumbing profession.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a document in March entitled, “Building Codes Strategy.” I finally received a copy in late April. I would encourage you to download the document and read what FEMA has to say.
The 7th Emerging Water Technology Symposium (EWTS) was held in San Antonio the second week of May. The Symposium is sponsored by the leading plumbing groups: IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, World Plumbing Council, and the Alliance for Water Efficiency. This two day Symposium always has some interesting presentations.
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.