2018 to 2021 UPC - Uniform Plumbing Code Changes, Part 6

2018 to 2021 UPC - Uniform Plumbing Code Changes, Part 6

Posted by David Sunbury on Aug 23rd 2021

A continued summary of significant revisions of the Uniform Plumbing Code to be published in the 2021 edition.

 August 23, 2021


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This is a continuation of a summary of the significant code changes to the 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) which is developed and promoted by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials.

These code changes will appear in the 2021 edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code. Because it is possible for modifications to be made during the final hearing process and because there were multiple changes made to some code sections, the final edited version may be slightly different than what was in the actual code change proposal. Refer to the 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code for the final version of any code changes.

The proposed new code language is underlined. The text proposed to be deleted is stricken through. The proposed changes are followed by the proponent’s published reason statements, and occasionally by my comments when noted.

Code Change: 2021 UPC Code, Chapter 12, Fuel Gas Piping

My comments: There were numerous changes to Chapter 12 addressing correlation changes to Chapter 12, Fuel Gas piping to bring it in line with the National Fire Protection Association standard NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code. Changes were made to the following subchapters in an effort to correlate the two codes.

1208.6.7 Anode-less Risers and subsections 1208.6.7.1 through 1208.6.7.3 had some minor changes.

Section 1208.6.10 Listing was removed, and subsequent sections renumbered.

1208.6.10.1 Listing. Pipe joints shall be threaded, flanged, brazed, welded, or press-connect fittings that comply with CSA LC 4. Where nonferrous pipe is brazed, the brazing materials shall have a melting point in excess of 1000°F (538°C). Brazing alloys shall not contain more than 0.05 percent phosphorus.

Revise text as follows:

1208.6.10.6 1208.6.10.5 Metallic Pipe Fittings. Metallic pipe fittings shall comply with the following:

(1) Threaded fittings in sizes larger than 4 inches (100 mm) shall not be used unless approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

(2) Fittings used with steel, stainless steel, or wrought-iron pipe shall be steel, stainless steel, copper alloy, malleable iron, or cast iron.

(8) Special fittings such as couplings, proprietary-type joints, saddle tees, gland-type compression fittings, and flared, flareless, or compression-type tubing fittings shall be as follows:

(a) Used within the fitting manufacturer’s pressure-temperature recommendations.

(b) Used within the service conditions anticipated with respect to vibration, fatigue, thermal expansion, or contraction.

(c) Installed or braced to prevent separation of the joint by gas pressure or external physical damage.

(d) (c) Approved by Acceptable to the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

(9) When pipe fittings are drilled and tapped in the field, the operation shall be in accordance with the following:

(a) The operation shall be performed on systems having operating pressures of 5 psi (34 kPa) or less.

(b) The operation shall be performed by the gas supplier or their designated representative.

(c) The drilling and tapping operation shall be performed in accordance with written procedures prepared by the gas supplier.

(d) The fittings shall be located outdoors.

(e) The tapped fitting assembly shall be inspected and proven to be free of leaks. [NFPA 54: (1-8)]

1208.6.11 Plastic Piping, Joints, and Fittings. Plastic pipe, tubing, and fittings shall be installed joined in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Section 1208.6.11.1 through Section 1208.6.11.4 shall be observed where when making such joints. [NFPA 54:5.6.8]

1208.6.11.2 Heat-Fusion Joint. Heat-fusion joints shall be made in accordance with qualified procedures that have been established and proven by test to produce gastight joints at least as strong as the pipe or tubing being joined. Joints shall be made with the joining method recommended by the pipe manufacturer. Heat fusion fittings shall be marked “ASTM D2513.” [NFPA 54:5.6.8(2)]

1208.6.11.3 Compression-Type Mechanical Joints. Where compression-type mechanical joints are used, the gasket material in the fitting shall be compatible with the plastic piping and with the gas distributed by the system. An internal tubular rigid stiffener shall be used in conjunction with the fitting. The stiffener shall be flush with the end of the pipe or tubing and shall extend not less than at least to the outside end of the compression fitting where when installed. The stiffener shall be free of rough or sharp edges and shall not be a forced fit in the plastic. Split tubular stiffeners shall not be used. [NFPA 54:5.6.8(3)

1208.6.13.1 Flange Gasket Materials. Acceptable materials shall include the following:

(1) Metal (plain or corrugated)

(2) Composition

(3) Aluminum o-“O” rings

(4) Spiral-wound metal gaskets

(5) Rubber-faced phenolic

(6) Elastomeric [NFPA 54:]

Revise text as follows:

1208.8.4 Venting of Line Pressure Regulators. Line pressure regulators shall comply with all of the following:

(1) An independent vent to the exterior of the building, sized in accordance with the regulator manufacturer’s instructions, shall be provided where the location of a regulator is such that a ruptured diaphragm will cause a hazard.

(a) Where more than one regulator is at a location, each regulator shall have a separate vent to the outdoors or, if approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, the vent lines shall be permitted to be manifolded in accordance with accepted engineering practices to minimize back pressure in the event of diaphragm failure.

(b) Materials for vent piping shall be in accordance with Section 1208.6 through Section 1208.6.11.3.

Exception: A regulator and vent limiting means combination listed as complying with CSA Z21.80 shall be permitted to be used without a vent to the outdoors.

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1208.12 Backpressure Protection. Protective devices shall be installed as close to the equipment as practical where the design of the equipment connected is such that air, oxygen, or standby gases are capable of being could be forced into the gas supply system.

Gas and air combustion mixers incorporating double diaphragm “zero” or “atmosphere” governors or regulators shall require no further protection unless connected directly to compressed air or oxygen at pressures of 5 psi (34 kPa) or more. [NFPA 54: –]

Revise text as follows:

1210.4 Concealed Piping in Buildings. Gas piping in concealed locations shall be installed in accordance with this section. [NFPA 54:7.3.1]

1210.4.1 Connections. Where gas piping is to be concealed, connections shall be of the following type:

(1) Pipe fittings such as elbows, tees, couplings, and right/left nipple/couplings.

(2) Joining tubing by brazing (see Section 1208.6.10.2 1208.6.10.1).

(3) Press-connect fittings listed to CSA LC 4 for use in concealed spaces or that have been demonstrated to sustain, without leakage, forces due to temperature expansion or contraction, vibration, or fatigue based on their geographic location, application, or operation.

(4) CSST Fittings listed to CSA LC 1.

(4) (5) Where necessary to insert fittings in the gas pipe that has been installed in a concealed location, the pipe shall be reconnected by welding, flanges, or the use of a right/left nipple/coupling.

Revise text as follows:

1210.8.1 Cap Outlets. Each outlet, including a valve, shall be closed gastight with a threaded plug or cap immediately after installation and shall be left closed until the appliance or equipment is connected thereto.

Where When an appliance or equipment is disconnected from an outlet, and the outlet is not to be used again immediately, it shall be capped or plugged gastight.


(1) Laboratory appliances installed in accordance with Section 1212.3.1 shall be permitted.

(2) The use of a listed quick-disconnect device with integral shutoff or listed gas convenience outlet shall be permitted. [NFPA 54:]

Revise text as follows:

1213.5 Piping System Leak Test. Leak checks using fuel gas shall be permitted in piping systems that have been pressure-tested in accordance with Section 1213.0. [NFPA 54:8.2.1]

1213.5.1 Turning Gas On. During the process of turning gas on into a system of new gas piping, the entire system shall be inspected to determine that there are no open fittings or ends and that all valves at unused outlets are closed and plugged or capped. [NFPA 54:8.2.2]

1213.5.2 Leak Check. Immediately after the gas is turned on into a new system or into a system that has been initially restored after an interruption of service, the piping system shall be checked for leakage. Where leakage is indicated, the gas supply shall be shut off until the necessary repairs have been made. [NFPA 54:8.2.3]

1213.5.3 Placing Appliances and Equipment in Operation. Appliances and equipment shall not be placed in operation until after the piping system has been checked for leakage in accordance with Section 1213.5.2, the piping system is purged in accordance with Section 1213.6, and connections to the appliance are checked for leakage. [NFPA 54:8.2.4]

1213.6 Purging Requirements. The purging of piping shall be in accordance with Section 1213.6.1 through Section 1213.6.3. [NFPA 54:8.3]

1213.6.1 Piping Systems Required to be Purged Outdoors. The purging of piping systems shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 1213.6.1.1 through Section 1213.6.1.5 where the piping system meets either of the following:

(1) The design operating gas pressure is greater than 2 psig (14 kPa).

(2) The piping being purged contains one or more sections of pipe or tubing meeting the size and length criteria of Table 1213.6.1. [NFPA 54:8.3.1]

My comments: In accordance with IAPMO's Regulations Governing Committee Projects (Extract Guidelines), the above sections were revised to the latest edition of NFPA 54-2018. The code changes documented here are the actions moved forward as approved by the Technical Correlation Committee (TCC) for correlation of the codes.

Only the significant changes are shown here based on a review of the code change monograph. Some Technical Committee amendments from the hearings may not be accurately reflected here. Minor changes and grammatical changes are not shown here. Refer to the 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code for the final version of any code changes.

Code Changes: 2021 UPC Code, Chapter 13, Health Care Facilities and Medical Gas and Medical Vacuum Systems

Add new text as follows:

1303.8 Water Supply for Hospitals. Hospitals shall be provided with not less than two approved potable water sources that are installed in such a manner as to prevent the interruption of water service.

1303.9 Work Performed in Occupied Healthcare Facilities. In existing, occupied, inpatient healthcare facilities, all plumbing systems installation and remodel work shall be performed by personnel certified in accordance with ASSE/IAPMO 12010, ASSE/IAPMO 12030 and ASSE/IAPMO 12040.

Revise text as follows:

1307.3 Permitted Locations for Medical Gases. Central supply systems for oxygen, medical air, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and all other patient medical gases shall be piped only to medical gas outlets complying with Section 1316.0 1315.0, into areas where the gases will be used under the direction of licensed medical professionals for purposes congruent with the following:

(1) Direct respiration by patients.

(2) Clinical application of the gas to a patient, such as the use of an insufflator to inject carbon dioxide into patient body cavities during laparoscopic surgery and carbon dioxide used to purge heart-lung machine blood flow ways.

(3) Medical device applications directly related to respiration.

(4) Power for medical devices used directly on patients.

(5) Calibration of medical devices intended for Section 1307.3(1) through Section 1307.3(4).

(6) Simulation centers for the education, training, and assessment of health care professionals. [NFPA 99:]

Revise text as follows:

1309.0 Oxygen Concentrator Supply Units.

1309.1 Oxygen Requirements. Oxygen concentrator supply units for use with medical gas pipelines shall produce oxygen meeting the requirements of Oxygen 93 USP or Oxygen USP. [NFPA 99:]

1309.2 Particulate Size. Output shall have less than or equal to 6.85 × 10-7 1.686 x 10-6 pounds per cubic yard (1 mg/m3) of permanent particulates sized 1 micron or larger at normal atmospheric pressure. [NFPA 99:]

Revise text as follows:

1309.4 Compatible Materials. Materials of construction on the oxygen side of the oxygen concentrator unit shall comply with Section 1307.3(4) 1307.4(4) [NFPA 99:]

1309.8.1 Venting of Relief Valves. Indoor supply systems shall have all relief valves vented per Section 1308.2(1) 1308.2(4) through Section 1308.2(9). [NFPA 99:]

Add new text as follows:

1310.0 Category 1 Medical Air Central Supply Systems.

1310.2 Uses of Medical Air. Medical air sources shall be connected to the medical air distribution system only and shall be used only for air in the application of human respiration and calibration of medical devices for respiratory application. [NFPA 99:]

Add new text as follows:

1312.5 Piping Arrangement and Redundancies.

Piping arrangement shall be as follows:

(1) Piping shall be arranged to allow service and a continuous supply of medical–surgical vacuum in the event of a single fault failure.

(2) Piping arrangement shall be permitted to vary based on the technology(ies) employed, provided that an equal level of operating redundancy is maintained.

(3) Where only one set of vacuum pumps is available for a combined medical–surgical vacuum system and an analysis, a research, or a teaching laboratory vacuum system, such laboratories shall be connected separately from the medical–surgical system directly to the receiver tank through its own isolation valve and fluid trap located at the receiver, and between the isolation valve and fluid trap, a scrubber shall be permitted to be installed. [NFPA 99:,]

1312.6 Piping Serviceability. The medical-surgical vacuum receiver(s) shall be serviceable without shutting down the medical-surgical vacuum system by any method to ensure continuation of service to the facility’s medical-surgical pipeline distribution system. [NFPA 99:]

1312.7 Shutoff Valve. Medical-surgical vacuum central supply systems shall be provided with a source shutoff valve per Section 1314.6. [NFPA 99:]

Revise text as follows:

1314.0 Electrical Power and Control.

1314.1 Vacuum Pumps. Medical vacuum source systems shall be controlled to ensure continuous supply of suction at pressures consistent with Table 1305.1 under all conditions of system use as follows:

(1) Automatic activation of pump(s) as necessary to supply the demand.

(2) Managing the operation to equalize wear on all pumps. Where this equalization is achieved manually, the facility staff shall arrange a schedule for manual alternation. [NFPA 99:]

1314.2 Electrical Installation and Wiring. Electrical installation and wiring shall conform to the requirements of NFPA 70. [NFPA 99:]

Add new text as follows:

1315.4 Identification. Each outlet/inlet shall be legibly identified in accordance with 1323.15. [NFPA 99:]

1315.5 Threaded Outlets/Fittings. Threaded outlets/inlets shall be noninterchangeable connections complying with the mandatory requirements of CGA V-5. [NFPA 99:]

1315.6 Gas-Specific Station Outlet/Inlet. Each station outlet/inlet, including those mounted in columns, hose reels, ceiling tracks, or other special installations, shall be designed so that parts or components that are required to be gas-specific for compliance with Section 1315.1 and Section 1315.8 cannot be interchanged between the station outlet/inlet for different gases. [NFPA 99:]

1315.7 Common Parts. The use of common parts in outlets/inlets, such as springs, O-rings, fasteners, seals, and shut-off poppets, shall be permitted. [NFPA 99:]

1315.8 Marking of Components. Components of a vacuum station inlet necessary for the maintenance of vacuum specificity shall be legibly marked to identify them as components or parts of a vacuum or suction system. [NFPA 99:]

1315.9 Components Not Specific to a Vacuum. Components of inlets not specific to a vacuum shall not be required to be marked. [NFPA 99:]

1315.10 Factory-Installed Copper Inlet Tubes. Factory-installed copper inlet tubes on station outlets extending no further than 8 inches (203 mm) from the body of the terminal shall be not less than DN8 (NPS 1/4) (3/8-inch O.D.) size, with 0.3-inch (7.6 mm) minimum inside diameter. [NFPA 99:]

1315.11 Factory-Installed Copper Outlet Tubes. Factory-installed copper outlet tubes on station inlets extending no further than 8 inches (203 mm) from the body of the terminal shall be not less than DN10 (NPS 3/8) (1/2 in. O.D.) size, with 0.4-inch (10.2 mm) minimum inside diameter. [NFPA 99:]

1315.12 Protection from Damage. Station outlets/inlets shall be permitted to be recessed or otherwise protected from damage. [NFPA 99:]

1315.13 Multiple Wall Outlets/Inlets. When multiple wall outlets/inlets are installed, they shall be spaced to allow the simultaneous use of adjacent outlets/inlets with any of the various types of therapy equipment. [NFPA 99:]

1315.14 Nonstandard Operation Pressures. Station outlets in systems having nonstandard operating pressures shall meet the following additional requirements:

(1) They shall be gas-specific.

(2) They shall be pressure-specific where a single gas is piped at more than one operating pressure [e.g., a station outlet for oxygen at 80 psi (552 kPa) shall not accept an adapter for oxygen at 50 psi (345 kPa)].

(3) If operated at a pressure in excess of 80 psi (552 kPa they shall be either D.I.S.S. connectors or comply with 1316.14(4).

(4) If operated at a gauge pressure between 200 psi and 300 psi (1379 kPa and 2068 kPa), the station outlet shall be designed so as to prevent the removal of the adapter until the pressure has been relieved to prevent the adapter injuring the user or others when removed from the out-let. [NFPA 99:]

Add new text as follows:

1321.6 Purging. Braze joints shall be continuously purged with nitrogen NF. [NFPA 99:]

Add new text as follows:

1322.1.4 Shield Gas. The shield gas shall be as required in Section 1322.1.3. [NFPA 99:]

This completes the review of the significant changes to the 2018 Uniform Plumbing Code for the 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code.

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