Common Plumbing Code Violations
Like electrical work, plumbing work in Chicago and the surrounding communities is subject to specific building codes to ensure all homes are safe, protected, and functional. Plumbing codes help ensure both the proper function of plumbing systems and the health and safety of the public and the people who use a property. Here are some common plumbing code violations to watch for in Chicago area properties.
1. Improper Slope of the Drain Pipes
Drain pipes use the force of gravity to pull water towards the sewer. If they are not properly sloped, they can easily back up or cause slow drain problems. Improper slope can also cause leaks. Today’s building codes require 1/8 inch of pitch per foot of pipe, with a 3-inch pitch for large diameter pipes.
2. Poor Placement of Clean-Outs
A cleanout is a port in the plumbing system that allows access for maintenance. Cleanouts need to be placed properly so that they are accessible. This means they should not be underneath machinery, underneath cabinets, or inside casements. In addition, because casements could be in pipes that have sewage running through them, and could drip when being accessed, they should never be in areas where electrical exposure is a risk, like by electrical junction boxes, or in areas where sanitation is crucial, like in hospital patient rooms or any food preparation areas.
3. Improper Number of Cleanouts
Plumbing codes also require a specific number of cleanouts, based on the size of the system. Cleanouts should be spaced at least every 100 feet and at each change of direction that is more than 45 degrees, according to current plumbing codes.
4. Insufficient Space Around the Toilet
Plumbing code requires the distance between the toilet and any finished wall to be 15-inches from the toilet’s centerline. If the toilet flange is set before dry walling is complete, then it’s easy for this to be a problem, as drywall has thickness that must be accounted for when measuring the spacing.
5. Improper Fittings at Changes of Direction
When a pipe changes direction, a fitting allows it to do so seamlessly. However, the wrong fitting can cause an obstruction. Plumbing codes dictate which fittings will make the best choice in particular situations. Sometimes, homeowners who try to fix their plumbing on their own will inadvertently make a mistake and create a situation that violates plumbing code by using the wrong fitting.
If you are training to become a plumber, you must know what these problems are and how to avoid them. Illinois Plumbing Consultants gives you the chance to gain the right training and experience to avoid these mistakes, and fix them when you find them in the field. Learn more about our training programs today by filling out a contact form!