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Uniform Codes Questions & Answers
Uniform Codes Questions & Answers 

Every week we will be including additional questions and informal UPC and UMC interpretations:

What is the building owner required to do by the UPC, if anything, with regard to upgrading his facility when a new tenant plans to occupy a space or floor in an existing building?

Plumbing fixtures shall be provided for the type of building occupancy and in the minimum number shown in Table 4-1 (2003/2006/2009). Table 422.1 (2012/2015) The final judgment in such matters is within the purview of the Authority Having Jurisdiction, with rights of appeal when agreement cannot be reached.

1. Would UMC section 609.0 require a smoke detector shutdown for each air handling unit or equipment with less than 2,000 cubic feet per minute where a number of individual systems less than 2,000 cubic feet per minute that do not intermix airflow or use common supply or return are present in a single building (i.e., 3 fan coil units each at 1,200 cubic feet per minute in separate areas of a building with aggregate total of 3,600 cubic feet per minute for the total building)? 2. Is this an aggregate total for the entire building that would then require a smoke detector shutdown for all air moving supply equipment (i.e., individual 500 cubic feet per minute fan coil units throughout a building with, say 8,000 cubic feet per minute supply air total)?

1. No. Section 609.0 applies to air-moving systems which are defined as “a system designed to provide heating, cooling or ventilation in which one or more air-handling units are used to supply air to a common space or are drawing air from a common plenum or space.” Since the example of the system you have provided does not intermix or supply and return from a common area, automatic shutoffs are not required. 2. Yes. An aggregate total is used for units that have a common supply or return. If there were several 500 cubic feet per minute units that shared a common supply and return that exceeded 2,000 cubic feet per minute, then each unit would require an automatic shutoff. The deciding factor is whether or not a common supply or return is used.

This question is regarding the location of a L.P.G. water heater in a laundry room which constitutes a confined space. The laundry room has two doors, one into the hall, and the other door into the bathroom. The only means of access into the bedroom is through the laundry room. Would this installation of a gas fired water heater in the laundry room be allowed by Section 505.1 (2003/2006/2009) 504.1 (2012/2015)?

No. It is not acceptable to install a water heater in a confined space (see Section 205.0) that opens into a bathroom. The only exception would be a direct vent water heater. Section 505.1 (2003/2006/2009) 504.1 (2012/2015) requires that no water heater which depends on the combustion of fuel shall be installed in a closet or confined space opening into a bath or bedroom.

Does the code require the installation of insulation on refrigerant lines outside of a structure used for condensing units located either at ground level or on the roof?

No. The code does not require insulation on refrigerant lines outside the structure.

When replacing the water distribution system of an existing apartment complex, would it be required to replace the shower valve with pressure balancing tub/shower valves?

Pressure balancing shower valves became a code requirement in the 1997 edition of the UPC. Section 101.5.3 (2009), 101.11.2 (2012), 102.2 (2015) does not require fixtures, such as the shower valves in your question, to the current standards unless the valves are being replaced. Replacement valves would need to meet current codes and standards per sections 418.0 (2009); 408.3 (2012/2015).

Is it permissible for concealed, unprotected gas piping with screwed joints to be installed in walls or floor/ceiling assemblies that are "framed and rocked" without the use of recesses, channels, or access panels? What about welded joints?

Yes. It is permissible for concealed, unprotected gas piping to be installed in walls or floor/ceiling assemblies that are framed and rocked. In addition, this would include welded joints as well as screwed joints.

When a combination tub/shower valve, listed to ASSE 1016, and installed only as tub filler, does this comply with UPC Section 414.5?

Temperature limiting valves for bathtubs and whirlpool tubs shall meet the requirements of ASSE 1070 or CSA B125.3 as prescribed in Section 414.5 of the (2006/2009) 409.4 (2012/2015) UPC. The difference between the two devices is; a 1016 device can be a pressure balance, thermostatic mixing or combination pressure balance and thermostatic mixing valve. A 1070 device is thermostatic mixing valve only. A 1016 device is required on shower or tub/shower combination valves to prevent thermal shock when standing in the water under the showerhead. A 1070 device is allowed in section 414.5 because the thermal shock issue is eliminated when the water from the tub filler mixes with the water in the tub. A person is not standing directly under the water coming from a tub spout and is not subject to thermal shock. Please consult the AHJ in your jurisdiction to see if they would allow the installation described.

Are galvanized fittings allowed in a gas piping system?

Yes. Section 1309.5.2.2 (2003) (1309.5.8.4(2), 2006/2009), (1308.5.10.4, 2012) allows for the use of galvanized pipe and, therefore, allows the use of galvanized fittings.

Does an emergency shower and/or eyewash located inside of a building require a drain to the sanitary system?

Yes. Section 304.0 requires liquid waste from all plumbing fixtures, appurtenances, and appliances to be properly connected to the drainage system of the building. In 2012 Section 416.5 was added and allows emergency showers and eyewashes to be install without a drain. If a drain is installed it must comply with Section 811.0 (Chemical Waste).

Is it possible that the requirements for combustion air into a boiler room be different for a forced draft boiler/burner that pulls in combustion air to the burner via its own motor and fan versus that of a natural draft-type burner that does not?

Yes. Sections 1021.0 (2003), 1020.0 (2006) and 1019.0 (2009/2012) refers you to Chapter 7 for combustion air requirements. Section 701.1.1 states “Gas utilization equipment of other than natural draft and Category I vented appliances shall be provided with combustion, ventilation, and dilution air in accordance with the equipment manufacturer’s instructions.” If the manufacturer’s instructions do not address combustion air, than the provisions of Sections 701.6 or 701.7 (2003/2006/2009/2012) must be followed.

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