Common Plumbing Code Violations To Be Aware Of

April 15, 2020

A certain amount of pride comes with being able to handle your own plumbing repairs at home. If you’re a weekend do-it-yourself enthusiast, you probably like to see the finished results and know that your handiwork allows important fixtures in the house to work better.

However, for all of your effort, you could risk compromising important fixtures and violating local codes for plumbing repairs and upgrades. Read on to learn about some common code violations to avoid when you work on the plumbing in your South Charleston home.

Using Illegal or Improper Materials

When you work on your home’s plumbing, it is important to find out what materials are allowed and which ones violate the local code laws. For example, you may think nothing of using corrugated pipes or rubber fittings to repair a drain or toilet. In fact, these materials are not permitted for plumbing use in many states now.

It is also illegal to use materials that are not designed for plumbing purposes. You cannot use a plastic soda bottle to repair a broken pipe under a sink, for instance. You also cannot use masking tape to seal holes and cracks. You must use the proper materials for the job if you want to avoid code violations where you live.

Failing to Leave Space Around Fixtures

Code enforcement laws require you to leave sufficient space around key bathroom and kitchen fixtures like the sinks and cabinets. You cannot crowd them into a tight space and expect them to be reasonable and comfortable to use. You must allow for the required amount of space as outlined by plumbing codes in your area.

This same space allowance must exist for the toilet in your bathroom. You must install it in a place that leaves plenty of room for it to be used comfortably without causing others to feel crowded or possibly get injured.

Plugging or Improper Installation of Water Heater Valves

One of the more dangerous code violations involves plugging the temperature and pressure valve in your water. This component, called a T & P valve, releases pressure and steam if the temperature or pressure in the tank gets too high. The valve will leak water as part of its proper function.

Some homeowners, however, plug the valve so that it cannot leak water on the floor. Plugging the valve can lead to the tank exploding. It can then cause significant injuries to people in the home.

If you fail to install the valve correctly, you likewise put your tank and home at risk of danger. You must learn how to install the valve properly or hire a professional plumber for the job to avoid this critical code violation.

Improperly Installed Sink Traps

Another job to hire a plumber for involves installing the traps in your bathroom and kitchen sinks. If you install it yourself improperly or use the wrong kind of trap, you risk violating the local plumbing code.

In fact, many homeowners still think it is OK to use S-traps in their kitchen and bathroom sinks. However, most modern plumbing codes stipulate that these traps do not allow for proper venting. Therefore, they are in violation of local codes and cannot be used in your home. Rather than use an obsolete sink trap, you need to find out which ones are allowed under your local code laws.

Wrong-Sized Drainage Pipes

You can violate the local plumbing codes where you live by using the wrong-sized drainage pipes. The piping that you use in this project must align perfectly with the size of the drain on which you are working.

If you use one that is too small, you will commit one of the most common plumbing code violations. At the same time, if you use piping that is too large for the drain, you also commit a violation.

Before you install piping in your home, you need to find out what size matches up to the drain. If you are not sure of how to make the match, you need to hire a professional plumber for the repair.

To spare you from committing these common plumbing code violations, consider hiring a professional plumber. At Mullen Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, we are ready to assist you in your home plumbing projects. Our technicians have the training and experience to get the work done properly and according to the city’s plumbing codes. In addition to plumbing, we also provide heating, cooling and indoor air quality services in South Charleston, WV.

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