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Thread: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

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    Sawhorse Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    2000, 2003, 2006, & 2009 IRC, P2503.5.1 Rough Plumbing.

    Test required for PVC DWV system.

    "DWV systems shall be tested on completion of the rough piping installation by water; or (if not plastic, PVC) by air; with no evidence of leakage. Either test shall be applied to the drainage system in it's entirety or in sections after rough piping has been installed as follows:

    Water test. Each section shall be filled with water to a point not less than 10 feet above the highest fitting connection in that section. or to the hightest point in the completed system."

    In other words; the entire DWV system including the vent system must be filled with water to a height, not less than 10 feet above the highest fitting or to the top of the highest vent above the roof.

    I have noticed over the years that this test has been omitted in most jurisdictions I have visited.

    NOTE: This is not the Building sewer test of the underground system. This is after the drain waste and vent system (DWV) has been completed (including the vent through the roof).

    Are you and/or your AHJ requiring and inspecting this test on residential construction?

    Thanks,

    Uncle Bob
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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    Yes we do, the completed plastic or cast iron system is filled to include the venting system either in commercial or residential here in our fine city.

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    Yes! I require water on most all systems. However, on extreme situation I will allow air. section 312.3 sorta leaves a can of worms. read close and compare to 312. I see if I can fined a photo!

    Sections are from 06 IPC.

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    RJJ,

    I see no discrepencies with the 2006 IPC requirements and the 2006 IRC requirements, however;

    2006 IPC 312.1 specifically states; "All plumbing system piping shall be tested with either water; or for piping systems other than plastic, by air.

    312.2 provides the requirements for water tests; which is for plastic (PVC); and;

    312.3 provides the requirements for air tests; which is for piping systems other than plastic" (312.1).

    And; if there were a discrepancy or difference between the requirements of the IRC and IPC;

    2006 IRC, R102.4 states; " Where differences occur between provisions of this code and referenced codes (IPC) and standards, the provisions of this code shall apply."

    Including; "Exceptions: Where enforcement of a code provision would violate the conditions of the listing of the equipment or appliance, the conditions of the listing and manufacturer's instructions shall apply."

    Note: 2006 IRC, Definitions. "Equipment. All piping, ducts, vents, control devices and other components of systems other than appliances that are permanently installed and intergrated to provide control of enviornmental conditions for buildings. This definition shall also include other systems specifically regulated in this code."

    The DWV system is specifically regulated in this code.

    Maybe I'm missing something; but, I don't see the can of worms,

    Uncle Bob
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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    I posted it in that manner because the plumbers always argue over that section. They take the position that it is allowed for air. I say weeeeeeeell NO!!!!!!! Sorry your wrong.

    I have several conditions that may exist that I permit air. When areas are being changed or expanded over finished areas below. Most often in office expansions! Residential: Freezing temp and when it is just not realistic to haul water for a test. Case in point, just approved one with air right after a 30" snow. Plumber does fine work and hasn't fail a water test in years.

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    We require a test on the entire system.........we accept air or water on any material, I know, plastic pipe, but with our climate, we could freeze anytime between September and May....
    Arguing with an inspector is like wrestling with a pig in mud, pretty soon you realize that the pig is enjoying it!

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    Well, I've tried to post here... perhaps I don't have the hang of hitting "submit"..

    You can't always get a 10' head test in renovations anyway.

    Since glued joints aren't going anywhere (unless you jockey them around after glueing), the chance of them leaking is pretty slim.

    Air is bad news with PVC... better with copper DWV (which we see from time to time).

    Up to the plumbers reputation, IMHO
    (PE)ach
    some days are just that..

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    We do require testing and have been advising plumbers to read the PVC mfrs specs for testing. Most are dumbstruck that air testing is verbotten on PVC/plastic. Always preferred a water test personally, as it is easier to find leaks when they are present. Putting soapy water on pipe fittings until you find a leak is tedious.

    Actually saved a homeowner a major headache on a water test one time. Whoever installed the boot at the roof penetration did a very poor job of it. Used a wrong sized boot and tried to use roofing cement to fill in around it. When they turned on the hose to fill the lines, water came flowing into the bathroom below from around the boot. It was corrected and passed the second time.
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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    We require the water test on plastic pipes. We will allow air during the winter months when freezing may be an issue.

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    We don't require testing of the entire system. We do the rough-in and then that's it, unless we have a two story (or more) then we'll test whatever is upstairs along with the lower.

    I don't believe any AHJ's in our area (Dallas Fort Worth) actually test the entire system that I am aware of.
    Mule
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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    We require a test of the entire drainage system.

    Chris

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    The City of Port Townsend Has a Plumbing Certification Pressure Test for Washington State license plumbers.



    RCWs > Title 9A > Chapter 9A.72 > Section 9A.72.040

    Print Version | [No disponible en español]

    9A.72.030 << 9A.72.040 >> 9A.72.050


    RCW 9A.72.040
    False swearing.

    (1) A person is guilty of false swearing if he makes a false statement, which he knows to be false, under an oath required or authorized by law.

    (2) False swearing is a gross misdemeanor.


    [1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.72.040.]




    CITY OF PORT TOWNSEND
    DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT
    250 Madison Street, Suite 301, Port Townsend WA 98368
    PLUMBING CERTIFICATION PRESSURE TEST

    BUILDING OWNER PERMIT #
    ADDRESS DATE OF TEST
    PLUMBING CONTRACTOR LICENSE #

    ? GROUND WORK ? ROUGH-IN PLUMBING ? FINAL

    DWV WATER SERVICE
    Air____________________________________________PSI Air___________________________________________PSI
    Water________________________________________Head Water_____________________________Working Pressure
    Time_______________________________________Minutes Time______________________________________Minutes

    NOTE: TESTING REQUIREMENTS (SECTION 318 UNIFORM PLUMBING CODE) MINIMUMS:
    Water Test – 10’ Head – 15 Minutes Test at Working Presure
    Air Test – 5# PSI – 15 Minutes 50# PSI – 15 Minutes

    I hereby certify the information provided above is the result of the Plumbing System pressure test conducted by the undersigned at the indicated address and date. Misrepresentation of this certification is a gross misdemeanor under RCW.9A.72.040 subject to a two-year statute of limitation. VISUAL SYSTEM INSPECTION IS REQUIRED BEFORE COVER.

    Signature Date


    Rick

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    Their is a discrepeancy between the IRC and IPC. The IPC does not permit an air test for plastic piping. The IRC does permit either water or air.

    ICC needs to change the code so they read the same.

    The excuse of the plumber being afraid of the water freezing is not valid. They can fill the system with water the day of the inspection and after it is inspected, drain the water out of the system and blow the water out of the traps.

    I have done many water test inspections in frigid weather and sever wind chills.

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    Of course it's valid.......wind chill has nothing to do with it, that's the effect on skin. Realistically, when its going to be a high of 0, with a morning low of 10, 15, 20 below, and there's no assurance of when the inspector will show up, damn straight freezing is a concern. That being said, we have a sign-off card also, that allows the plumber to test the system, and take responsibility for the whole system, it goes in the address file.
    Arguing with an inspector is like wrestling with a pig in mud, pretty soon you realize that the pig is enjoying it!

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    jj,

    "The IRC does permit either water or air."

    2000, 2003, 2006, & 2009 IRC;
    P2503.5.1 Rough Plumbing. "DWV systems shall be tested on completion of the rough piping installation by water; OR IF NOT PLASTIC by air; with no evidence of leakage."

    The IRC does not permit testing PVC piping by air!

    Uncle Bob
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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    I know most of you are IPC guys, but the UPC also does not permit testing of plastic piping with air. When plumbers here use air, and there are no problems, I will accept it. However, I will never advise someone to test with air. It is a life safety issue. I've heard of stories of fittings popping off and killing or maiming people. One of the stories (from what I heard) originated in my own home town. Air psi and water testing (psi differs with ft of head) are vastly different in terms of potential danger.

    As far as freezing goes...back in the late 70's I worked at a chicken farm. We would clean out the barns with high pressure hoses, sometimes in freezing temps as low as 15 below. We had to keep the water flowing 24/7, or shut it off and imediately drain the system. I recall water droplets freezing to slush before hitting the ground. Freezing is definately a problem while testing a system in cold temps.

    Again, if I show up to the job site, and there is an air test on plastic, I will accept it, but I will never tell them to use that medium.

    As far as the OP goes, we do not require testing in residential. Please don't ask why. I inherited it. If it was up to me, they would all do testing. I've seen fittings that weren't glued and had fallen apart. Approx 2 weeks ago, I found a cleanout missing a plug in the crawl during final. Luckily it was in such a position to not create too much of a mess, but had their system been plugged...look out.

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    That is why we allow the testing with air in the winter only and I certainly don't advise the plumbers. In our jurisdiction, it is not so much a function of the inspector not showing up but the plumber not wanting to be present, they want to fill the pipes and walk away.

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
    jj,

    "The IRC does permit either water or air."

    2000, 2003, 2006, & 2009 IRC;
    P2503.5.1 Rough Plumbing. "DWV systems shall be tested on completion of the rough piping installation by water; OR IF NOT PLASTIC by air; with no evidence of leakage."

    The IRC does not permit testing PVC piping by air!

    Uncle Bob
    I don't get it -- I opened my 2006 IRC to this section P2503.5.1 and it DOES NOT have the "or if not plastic" verbiage.

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    To answer UB's OP.. YES! Of course! Missed glue joints for plastic, errant sawzall from the framer or HVAC guy, bad cast iron pipe, bad bands, missed or bad solder joints, screws and nails.....the perfect hit through a nail plate when gun nailing shear panels, etc. etc, etc. fill it up until the water comes out of the vent on the roof and call for inspection. Air tests on plastic scares me......

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    Re: Residential PVC, DWV Rough Plumbing Test

    Heaven,

    You are correct that it doesn't say you cannot test plastic dwv systems with air in 2503.5.1. It does however say "or, for piping systems other than plastic, by air" in 2503.6 under "water supply system testing". I have no idea why it doesn't say it in the dwv section. Apperenty, the IRC allows air in dwv systems only.

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