Plumbing codes regulate everything from the depth of your piping to the type of traps that should be used. They also give other information, such as the pipe sizing and soil stack requirements.

You might be tempted to skip these codes when carrying out simple DIY plumbing jobs, but that could lead to trouble down the line. Plumbing codes are there for a reason, and you should know them before tackling any plumbing jobs in your home.

Remember to Check the National Uniform Plumbing Codes

When doing DIY plumbing projects in your home, it’s important to remember that the National Uniform Plumbing Code (NUPC) is a set of standards that all plumbers and homeowners must follow. If you don’t adhere to these regulations, you could end up with serious problems down the road, especially when it comes to selling your home.

In addition to the NUPC, some regulations relate specifically to plumbing in your state or municipality. These regulations may differ slightly from those mandated by the federal government. However, they are still important when performing DIY plumbing tasks in your home. If you’re unsure whether or not they apply to your situation or want more information about them, contact a Los Angeles plumber near you who can guide how best to proceed with your project.

Correctly Slope Drainpipes

The plumbing code requires that a drainpipe slope toward the nearest waste pipe. This is to ensure that no sewage backs up into the house.

  • 1/8 inch per foot slope. The minimum recommended slope for vent stacks not vented above roof lines, such as roof drains and roof drainage systems.
  • 1/4 inch per foot slope. The minimum recommended slope for gravity vents that are vented above roof lines, such as stack vents and soffit vents. The 1/4″/ft. slope can also be used for other types of gravity vents where a greater slope would not be practical (such as in areas where there may be low ceiling heights).

Install Cleanouts

Most local building codes require that all plumbing fixtures inside a building have cleanouts installed so they can be accessed when repairs are needed — especially if they’re located under sinks or toilets.

The minimum size for cleanouts is 1-1/2 inches in diameter. The cleanout is where you can remove the plug from the pipe so that you can easily access the pipe to fix it if there’s a clog.

Avoid Cutting Notches in Joists

The joists are the horizontal beams supporting the floor and roof of your home. They’re the part of your house that you don’t see, but they’re essential to its structure. Cutting notches in joists can weaken them and put your home at risk for collapse. It’s better to avoid cutting notches in joists when plumbing.

Make Sure You Have the Right Size of Fittings and Pipes

If your drainage pipes are too small or don’t fit within the plumbing codes, you’ll have problems with your plumbing system in the future, meaning you will end up spending more money on repairs and replacements. Using the recommended pipe sizes helps water flow freely through your pipes without blockages.

Use the Right Pipe Material

According to the plumbing code, copper piping is the preferred material for water supply and drain pipes. However, it is not required in all cases. The code allows the use of PVC piping under certain conditions. Check your local plumbing code for specific details.

Adequate Water Pressure

Water pressure is vital to the entire plumbing system. It affects how easily the water flows through pipes, determining how quickly your faucets start to run and how well they can flush your toilets.

The codes and standards for plumbing systems are designed to make sure your home has adequate water pressure. The codes are updated regularly, so check for any changes since you purchased your home.

Correctly Vent Drainpipes

Your plumbing system consists of pipes, vents, and traps. These components protect your home from dangerous gasses and odors produced by wastewater as it drains into the sewer line.

A properly vented plumbing system prevents foul odors or dangerous gasses from building up and seeping into areas of your home.

Proper Fixture Placement and Spacing

Plumbing fixtures are designed to be installed at specific distances from one another. Plumbing codes and manufacturers’ specifications provide the exact measurements.

When you install your plumbing fixtures, don’t place them too close together. Doing so can cause problems with drainage and waste disposal. Call a plumber for advice if you’re unsure what’s required for your particular situation.

Maintain the Structure of the Building

The installation of plumbing fixtures must not weaken the structure of the house. Therefore, you must check with your local building department before installing any plumbing fixture in your home.

Need more details about national and local plumbing codes? Contact your Los Angeles plumbing experts for more information.

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