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 IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: davefoc (CA)

I've been reading through this site for a few months now and I've noticed these codes referred to often.

I did some internet research to try to figure out something about them. I figured out that the IPC is the ICC's plumbing code and the UPC is the IAMPMO's plumbing code.

I assumed that since California had adopted the ICC as the basis of their building codes that this would mean that California was adopting the IPC. Much to my surprise it doesn't mean that and California remains a UPC state. Is this a common situation in other states?

OK, about this time I thought I had it figured out when I noticed that the IRC was being referenced a lot around here. What the heck is the IRC? And why does the ICC have two different code books that both seem to include plumbing codes?

acronyms
ICC - International Code Council
From what I could tell this seems to be mostly an American organization. In what sense is it international?

IPC - International Plumbing code
The plumbing code of the ICC I thought.

IRC - International residential code
Another plumbing code of the ICC?

IAPMO - International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials

UPC - Uniform Plumbing Code
Plumbing code of the IAPMO

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: PlumerDan (CA)

don't forget the cpc...california plumbing code:)

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: davefoc (CA)

My head was spinning with acronym overload as I tried to sort through this. Thanks for reminding me of the CPC.

Is it standard practice for every plumbing company to purchase copies of the relevant codes each year there are significant changes or do plumbers tend to rely on the summary books?

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: redwood (CT)

Dave, Add to that a number of states such as Mass & Wisconsin that have their own codes... Now get real exciting and go to Texas the home of DLH where if he crosses the city or, county line the code may change. Now add to the code for all where the local authorities add ammendments to whatever code they use. Plumbing requirements are very different in Miami than Nome. Generally the UPC is more restrictive than IPC and probably if you plumb in accordance with the UPC it will pass IPC. It may cost more and make you loose a bid though.

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: plumb-bobII (VA)

Same here. In the seven cities that are local to me, all of them seem to have thier "ammendments".:confused:

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: dlh (TX)

no plumb-bobII, it is not the same thing. texas has adopted both the upc and ipc as the state code. each city in the styate then has the ability to adopt either of these codes and then make their amedmnets. now add to that that if the city hasnt updated their charter or what ever they could still be on a code like the southern building code (if you think the ipc is lenient oh boy) or what ever code they had before.

now to help answer the questions at hand, the irc is the international residential code. yes it has some plumbing codes in it but for the most part it is just for like framers and such. now it does have some specific things for plumbing but i cant remember exactly what they are

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: plumb-bobII (VA)

DLH, I was referencing Redwood, about the different cities.


.....The Southern Code, I remember that one. There were a couple towns on the Eastern Shore of Md. that used that.......they didn't care if you tested the drains, show 'em 50#'s on the water lines and you were all set!

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: markts30 (AZ)

Here (arizona) Phoenix is now 2006 UPC for commercial and IPC for residential...
Other bordering cities are IPC or UPC (whichever floats their boats) and the state's "official" code is still 1994 UPC...
Each city then makes it's own ammendments to their codes as they desire...
Phoenix is the only city in the state which actually has a city plumbing "license" that I am aware of...

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: davefoc (CA)

markts30,
wow.

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: redwood (CT)

So Dave have ya got an idea of how the code works now?

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: davefoc (CA)

"So Dave have ya got an idea of how the code works now?"

I think so:
The money grubbing builders have gotten together to enable cheap substandard plumbing with the IPC.

The money grubbing plumbing unions have gotten together to require needlessly complex, expensive plumbing with the UPC.

And the corrupt politicians just require a little of this and a little of that depending on what interest group provides them the most benefits.


My apologies with the above, it was meant to be humorous and I don't really have enough knowledge to have an opinion about any of it. It was just a parody of what I came across on-line about the codes. :)


It is disappointing to me that the codes aren't accessible on-line for little or no cost. I understand the idea that somebody needs to pay for writing and maintaining these codes but it seems that this would be such a tiny fraction of the overall cost of building that a way should be found to make them more accessible.

As to the IRC IPC thing which was what I started this thread about, my understanding is now that the IRC is some kind of summary document aimed at residential contractors that includes the relevant (for residential housing) parts of the IBC and the IPC and combines them into a single book. I wonder how the IRC fits into California which has adopted the IBC but is staying with the UPC.

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: redwood (CT)

I'd say you've figured it out pretty well!

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: Phil H

The IRC only seems like a summary of the IBC because it only covers one and two family dwellings. The IRC is a stand alone code. If adopted, it may be used in lieu of the seperate building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fuel gas, and fire codes. The home builder needs one book rather than a book shelf full of books. California does not have a seperate residential code. The state uses the UPC model for its plumbing code but it is ammended and called the CPC. Some cities add their own admendments to the code. I am waiting to see what happens when the new code takes affect. The new code opens the door for CPVC (and PEX?).

As you noted, California's new building code is based upon the IBC. The current (till next month) building code is based on the 1997 UBC written by ICBO. The UBC will never be updated. ICBO got together with the some other building code (BOCA & SBCCI) organization and formed the ICC.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: dlh (TX)

sorry but all codes have to follow the fuel gas codes since they are set by the railroad commission and not a code authority

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: davefoc (CA)

Thanks for that post Phil H.

There was a moment when I thought I understood this. Your post started another flurry of internet searches into acronym looneyville. When I came back and read your post again I realized that it was the most straightforward description of the situation anywhere on the internet that I could find.

I was fixated on the idea that the UBC was produced by the same organization that produced the UPC. Silly me. The UBC was produced by the ICBO, one of the organizations folded into the ICC and not by the group that produces the UPC.

I couldn't even run down a definitive answer as to PEX in California. I thought I had read something awhile ago that all the legal wrangling was over and PEX was officially allowed. I assumed because it is being used in most new housing in CA (as I understand it) that it was officially approved (and it might have been) but apparently local jurisdictions could approve it even before the state has. And the state may now have approved it, I couldn't tell. There seems to have been a convoluted series of court decisions that ended in a way that I wasn't sure of, but it does seem that PEX is at least on its way to total approval in CA.

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

As far as I know, the National Fuel Gas Code is published by the NFPA, not the Santa Fe!

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: redwood (CT)

:laugh: Yes, Jimmy you are correct! They also publish the NEC... To bad poop & water doesn't burn... If it did we'd probably have a decent National Plumbing Code from them!:laugh:

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

I commented on this in another forum recently:

The 2006 California Plumbing Code ( based on 2006 UPC ) basically allows PEX, but not adopted by certain state agencies.
As far as I know, this is still the status of PEX in San Diego:
[www.sandiego.gov]

As for CPVC, the code grants to local authority the power to approve the use of CPVC, subject to some severe requirements. The plumbing contractor must provide written certification that he will comply with the flushing and worker safety measures of section 301.0 of Appendix I. There is also a provision that a contractor or subcontractor who fails to comply with the flushing, gloves, and ventilation of section 1.2.2 of appendix I,{IAPMO IS 20-2005}, shall be subject to penalties.....etc.

Not surprising that I don't see much CPVC being used here either!

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 Re: IPC, IRC, UPC?
Author: dlh (TX)

thanks for the correction. it was early and i couldnt think of the authority and just threw one in that can over ride codes like the upc and ipc on certain things

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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