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IAPMO
The Bottom Line on Codes: Safety 
 
 

Competition in the marketplace is part of doing business, lamentably even where it concerns the codes and standards that protect humankind from preventable maladies and serious injury. At IAPMO, we will proudly stack up our Uniform Codes against any competing standard, confident we’ve packaged the strongest protective provisions, developed in the most open and balanced manner known to our industry. We welcome an honest challenge to those facts.

What we won’t abide without pushback are misleading and exaggerated claims that paint our codes as a detriment to the jurisdictions utilizing them. The attached document will set the record straight about the Uniform Plumbing Code and its effectiveness and affordability for the cities, counties, states and nations that have chosen the only American National Standard governing plumbing systems. 

The plumbing industry is constantly innovating and the codes that regulate safe installation practices must also continually evolve to include the new tested and industry-recognized installation practices, products and systems.

Safe plumbing is based on science, not solely on reducing building costs. You cannot put a price on occupant safety and protecting our environment. The Uniform Plumbing Code® (UPC) thoughtfully mandates the methods and materials necessary to build a safe, sound plumbing system — the entire point of adopting any building code. These minimum requirements are developed for the purpose of safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of a building’s occupants.

IAPMO proudly supports the United States’ plumbing industry, actively working to promote policies and provide resources that keep this critical sector strong. IAPMO also works closely with industry partners to recruit a new generation of workers to the plumbing and mechanical trades. The plumbing industry employs more than 715,000 people across 154,000 (mostly small) businesses, including manufacturers in 24 different states exporting to 198 countries worldwide. This sector plays a vital role in keeping America’s drinking water safe and ensuring that we have effective sanitation. 

The plumbing industry’s preferred code, the UPC is supported nationally by the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, the United Association, and the World Plumbing Council. Asked to choose which plumbing code best protects public safety and welfare, licensed plumbers select the UPC.

IAPMO has provided communities with the most innovative plumbing code in the country, one that is backed by the latest science and research. Examples of innovations first incorporated in the UPC include:
• Legionella — Cases of Legionella have grown by 450% since 2000, with a mortality rate of approximately 10%. IAPMO shows its leadership in code development by volunteering technical expertise for fighting water-borne pathogens such as Legionella and has developed a task group to ensure new practices are included in the 2021 UPC to address this growing epidemic.
• Water Demand Calculator – IAPMO’s new Peak Water Demand Calculator (WDC) for sizing plumbing systems is the most significant advancement for plumbing system sizing since the 1940s. The WDC provides for water and energy savings, improved hot water delivery times and addresses today’s lower flow rates for plumbing fixtures and appliances. The calculator saves 10 – 50% in piping material costs alone, depending on the size and the number of fixtures in a residential building.
• The UPC, the only American National Standard governing plumbing, is a turnkey resource for the plumbing industry and government entities both across the United States and in such nations as India and Indonesia, where it has been adapted into the first national plumbing standard for these developing nations of more than 1.6 billion people.

For a plumber/contractor, the UPC requires ONE book for all plumbing installations, while the competitors may require up to SIX BOOKS at four times the cost just to correctly and completely install a water heater. The Uniform Codes like the National Electrical Code has always been written to completely integrate into any jurisdictions’ set of building codes.