Is your Chicago building’s plumbing system up to code? The city of Chicago and the national regulations state that plumbing systems must be of a certain quality and certain aspects of your plumbing system must be functional in order for the system to be legally compliant. Let’s take a look at some of the building codes and how you can ensure that you’re compliant with the current plumbing code.

The Importance of Plumbing Code Compliance

Keeping your building’s plumbing system up to code is vitally important. A code-compliant plumbing system is reliable and safe to operate. It doesn’t leak or contribute to mold and mildew, and there’s little risk of your potable water coming into contact with wastewater. Properly maintained and code-compliant plumbing systems also use less water and are less prone to experiencing major catastrophes.

Understanding the Difference Between Local and National Regulations

When it comes to understanding plumbing codes, there are two sets of regulations, including local and national. Your plumbing system must adhere to both sets of regulations in order to be considered legal. For example, in Chicago, did you know that each sink must provide both hot and cold water, and if you offer public bathrooms, separate facilities must be provided for each gender? Pipes and fittings must also be free of scratches, and any pipes located underground must be protected from coming into contact with the soil. In addition to those local codes, you may also need to make sure that your plumbing system is compliant with the IPC, NSPC, ANSI A40, and UPC.

How to Keep Your Chicago Plumbing System Compliant

If you’re worried about falling out of compliance with the current plumbing code, there are a few things you can do.

1. Start by Getting Regular Inspections

The first step is to get regular inspections from a professional plumber. Regular inspections can help identify problems with your current plumbing system, like low pressure, broken or worn parts, and water leaks. Your licensed plumber can also tell you if your current system is up to code.

2. Make Sure to Always Use Licensed Plumbers

The next step is to make sure you always use licensed plumbers for all of your inspections and repairs. Professional plumbers stay up to date on the latest plumbing codes. Not to mention, when you use licensed plumbers for all your repairs and upgrades, you can rest assured that all the work was performed to the highest quality and is in compliance with all the applicable building codes.

3. Upgrade Older Plumbing Systems to Ensure Code Compliance

If your plumbing system is older, there’s a good chance that it’s out of compliance when compared to the current codes. If you’re unsure, you can ask your plumber to check your system for compliance. If there are sections of your plumbing system that are out of date, we, at NuFlow, recommend upgrading your system so that it meets the current plumbing codes.

4. Keep All Documents Related to Your Plumbing System

Remember to keep all the documents and schematics of your plumbing system. This lets you know where your plumbing pipes are located and what work has been performed. It can also tell you how much you’re spending on plumbing repairs and water bills. This is useful for determining how old your pipes are and if you’re suddenly spending more money than anticipated on repairs and your water bills.

5. Consider Adding Environmentally Friendly Features

If you do find that you need to upgrade your system for code compliance, consider adding some environmentally friendly features. This can include installing low-flow faucets, toilets, showerheads, and tankless water heaters. If you need to replace your plumbing system, consider using plumbing pipes and fittings that use recycled materials. If you want to take this a step further, you could opt to keep your plumbing pipes and rehabilitate them with epoxy pipeliners. This means that no pipes are taken to landfills, and you can continue to use your current pipes.

Benefits of Remaining Plumbing Code Compliant

When you take the time to make sure your building’s plumbing system is up to code, you’ll be reducing your risk of leaks.

  • You’ll avoid certain legal issues, like fines, for not being compliant.
  • You may be able to get lower insurance premiums if your building’s plumbing system is well-maintained and up-to-date with the current plumbing code.
  • You’ll be reducing your liability risk. For example, if your building’s plumbing system experiences a catastrophic failure and damages tenants’ property, you could be forced to pay for the replacement of the items that were damaged by water.
  • A well-maintained plumbing system can increase your property value, especially if you’ve made environmentally friendly upgrades.
  • You could attract new tenants. When a building is well-maintained, current residents are more likely to recommend your building to family and friends.
  • You’ll be able to find problem problems in a timely manner before they cause significant water damage or disruption to your residents.

Drawbacks of Operation of a Non-Compliant Plumbing System

If you continue to use a non-compliant system, your building could experience a few negative consequences.

  • Your building could experience an increase in leaks and water damage.
  • Non-compliant systems negatively impact human health with mold and mildew growth.
  • If your backflow regulator isn’t working properly, wastewater or chemical-laden water from pools and hot tubs could enter your potable water supply.
  • You could experience higher water bills and higher repair bills.
  • You could receive fines and other penalties if your non-compliant plumbing system causes damage or leads to the distribution of unhealthy water to your residents’ taps.
  • Your building could be assessed at a lower property value.
  • You may have trouble getting and maintaining insurance policies for your building.

How NuFlow Can Help You Maintain Your Plumbing System

When it comes to protecting the safety of your building and residents, being proactive about your plumbing maintenance can help. As plumbing systems start to age, they can develop corrosion, pinhole leaks, and cracks. They’re also prone to leaking around fittings and joints. When this happens, water can drip inside your walls, leading to the development of mold and mildew. If it’s allowed to continue, structural components can start to rot. Getting regular inspections and maintaining a good relationship with your local plumber can help prevent these problems.

Of course, if you’re looking for a long-term solution to your aging plumbing system, pipelining can help. Epoxy pipelining can help rehabilitate your pipe without digging or cutting. This is because our equipment uses existing cleanout lines, and if there isn’t a cleanout line or access point in a certain location, we’ll add one. This aids in the process of lining your pipes and also helps future plumbers access your pipes. It’s also environmentally friendly and doesn’t contribute to landfill waste.

If you’re ready to rehabilitate your plumbing pipes with epoxy, don’t hesitate to contact us!