Every week we will be including additional questions and informal UPC and UMC interpretations
- Please clarify the intent of UMC Section 931.1 (904.11/2009, 904.10/2012, 304.4/2015, 2018) regarding access openings and passageways.
- The code prescribes a minimum opening to the attic equipment of 30 inches x 30 inches but allows 22 inches x 30 inches opening when the equipment may be removed through such an opening. (This allows access penetrations into attics without requiring a joist to be cut when framed on 24 inch centers). The distance from the opening to the equipment shall not be further than 20 feet when measured along the center of the passageway and should have a minimum 24 inch wide solid floor to walk on. (This is also helpful when joists are spaced on 24 inch centers to allow standard 4 foot deck material to be halved and attached to the 24 inch center joist.) The passageway shall have clear space of 30 inches x 30 inches. This is an invisible clear space from the opening to the equipment that shall be maintained while traveling on the 24 inch wide solid floor.
- 1. Are fire sprinkler systems included within the scope of Section 603.0? 2. Does the UPC regulate backflow protection for fire lines which are separate from the domestic water system, and that connect directly to the public water main? 3. Does the answer to question #2 change if a water storage tank supplements the public water supply to the fire protection system?
- 1. Yes. Section 602.2 prohibits connection of pipes that contain “water which has been used for any purpose whatsoever” to a “public or private water system unless a backflow prevention device that is approved for the potential hazard is provided.” 2. Yes. Fire lines are an extension of the potable water system. Fire lines which are pumped, or which are not piped in materials approved for carrying potable water, or which contain glycol or other additives, must be isolated from the potable water system by an appropriate backflow preventer. 3. No. Note: Local ordinance may place cross-connection control for fire protection systems which are directly connected to the public water supply under the jurisdiction of the purveyor or public health agency.
- A question has been raised about the underside of stone countertops when the sinks are attached below or under the countertops. There is 1/2" or more of the edge that creates an overhang into the sink bowl area. Does this edge or overhang meet the definition of a fouling edge or surface as per Section 406.4 (2003) 401.1, (2006/2009/2012), 401.2 (2015/2018) ?
- No. The area described would not be considered a concealed fouling surface.
- Section 305.0 (304.0, 2009 & 2012) of the UMC requires 30 inch access to appliances. Is a fan and coil unit (chilled water coil) considered an appliance?
- Yes. A chilled water fan coil unit is considered an appliance as per the definition of “appliance” in Section 203.0 (2003/2006/2009/2012).
- In the UPC 1. Would a pressure regulator and strainer located above a T–bar suspended acoustical tile ceiling meet the accessibility requirements of Section 608.2? 2. Does a strainer located above a T–bar suspended acoustical tile ceiling comply with the Code requirement that it be readily accessible?
- 1. Yes. The intent of the readily accessible requirement for the strainer is to provide a totally unobstructed or unimpaired clearance to access the regulator assembly for servicing. 2. Yes. The same answer for question #1 applies to question #2.
- In new construction, is a clothes dryer allowed by the UMC in a garage at floor level?
- Yes, but only if all components capable of generating a glow, spark, or flame that could ignite flammable vapors (including pilots, burners, heating elements, or switches) are located at least 18 inches above the garage floor (UMC Section 308.0 [307.0, 2009]). This section also requires that appliances installed in garages be protected from mechanical damage
- Does the term "floor-ceiling" and "floor-subfloor" mean that a 'water-tight pan' is required on all floors of a building except for slab on grade locations?
- A water-tight pan would be required in all attic installations and other relatively concealed locations, where the supporting structure is assembled of components which could fail due to undetectable water leakage. In all cases, the point of discharge must be in a readily observable location as to immediately alert the occupant(s) of required maintenance.
- Does gas piping installed in such a way as to be laying on and supported by trusses, joists, or other structural members, at least at intervals required by Table 13-3, require attaching to these structural supports with metal straps?
- Yes. Section 1311.2.6(A) [1312.2.6(A), 2009; 1311.2.5, 2012; 1311.2.4, 2015; 1310.2.4, 2018] requires gas piping to be "adequately supported by metal straps or hooks at intervals not to exceed those shown in Table 13-3 (2003/2006/2009), T13220.127.116.11 (2012)." All piping must be secured to prevent movement. Properly securing the piping ensures that a good-faith effort has been applied to prevent unintended lateral movement which might result in the piping being damaged or strained.
- Does UPC Section 704.3 mean that a dishwashing machine cannot be drained into a properly vented floor sink?
- Section 704.3 lists a number of items after which it states “and other similar fixtures.” Unless constructed as part of a “fixture,” dishwashing machines would normally be construed as something other than a fixture.
- Is it required in the UMC that voids around piping passing through concrete floors on the ground be appropriately sealed? For example, in houses with slab-on-grade construction, where the drain line for the tub and shower penetrates the slab, is this area required to be sealed?
- Yes. All pipe openings in an on-grade slab within the fixed limits of the building foundation must be "appropriately sealed" to prevent insects or vermin from entering the building.
If you have a code question you would like answered in this forum, please click here to submit question
IAPMO members may view the complete online Answers & Analysis content here