View Full Version : California plumbing code question

Kelley G
06-22-2007, 04:38 PM
I was wondering if someone could tell me if, when making a drain line connection to a 3 compartment sink (commercial application), that 1) ABS is acceptable and 2) that the use of [what I call] no hub connector can be used to connect from the bottom of the sink to the ABS.

I have the latest CPC disk, but I am not a plumber and some of the code is hard to understand. For work, a contractor put this in and I do not think it is correct. Picture attached (if it is allowed).

thank you for any help you could provide.


PS. you'll also notice with the pic, that they didn't install any clean-outs. it's kinda scarey what theaes guys are doing!

master plumber mark
06-22-2007, 05:02 PM
that is a compartment sink.....

the no hub connectors should be ok....
you dont have to worry about them rotting out anytime soon.
and they are more sturdy than the cheap plastic that I
usually see under sinks all the time..

it is dropping into an indirect drain underneath
the unit....which is code

it apears to have an air gap above the drain
which is good too....

the actual drain is the square thing sitting directly
underneath the black pipe ing....

you really have nothing to clean out with such a small run
down to the main floor drain...

06-22-2007, 07:33 PM
I plumb on another planet!
An indirect waste for a triple basin?!?
My state it's ok to connect up to three basins provided they are at least within 31 inches of eachother horizontally, they drain within 6 inches vertically and have a cleanout or removeable trap.
Also....usually a triple basin is a commercial sink....requires the 1-1/2" drains all connect to a 2" commen drain, then a grease trap after that (getting into the code on those is a whole new ball o wax).

06-22-2007, 08:07 PM
Here all 3 compartment sinks must drain indirectly.

06-22-2007, 08:18 PM
My state has adopted the nat'l gas code so far...turns out nothing major was different.
The plumbing is gonna be a different story

Kelley G
06-23-2007, 09:11 AM
hi all,
thank you all for your quick replies, however, I really need someone who is familiar with California plumbing code. my concern over the use of ABS and the no hubs is that over time, as people store crap under there or run the mop bucket into it after a few times, the ABS and no hubs will be damaged. And, bottom line, these "contractors" should be following code. period

by the way, if you think that picture was bad, I could really show you some doosies! (had one site where they used silicone to plumb the ABS! not a lick of the proper glue!)

thank you for any help you could provide,

06-23-2007, 10:56 AM
I don't know what is tougher than ABS, and those nohubs look fine.

I don't think there is a way that would stand more abuse than what you have there.

06-23-2007, 02:48 PM
The California Plumbing Code (2001) based on 2000 UPC is quite broad and uses language to the effect that " material and fittings may be used subject to their approvals". All the material and fittings in your picture are listed by IAPMO, etc. The question is then, are they appropriate in the situation. Generally, ABS is limited to residential construction not more than 2 stories. That is widely stretched, since a 2 story townhouse, over a gargage cut into slope, even with a laundry room and 1/2 bath on the garage level, is routinely done with all ABS. Local implementation of the codes, and local interpretation, will govern. Since this is an indirect waste, not directly connected to the building drain, I suspect many areas would allow this set-up. I never did much commercial building work, so I can't say for sure what an inspector would say about this.

It is true that the no-hubs could be dislodged if knocked pretty good, and the waste arm could be snapped at the wye as well. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the health department frowns on using under the sink for any kind of storage , so is that really an issue? I think you bottom line is this: if it was done with a permit, which is required, and inspected, then you don't really have a beef. If you wanted all cast brass and galvanized fittings, that would have needed to be spelled out and $$quoted beforehand.

Kelley G
06-23-2007, 07:06 PM
thnk you very much for your reply. I did read that passage about the residential and 2 story, and I thought - "I must be missing something. why just residential?" It didn't make much sense. and then I would read something that could be construed to include ABS. Very confusing!

on our ground up construction projects, the 3-comp sinks are plumbed in copper using flanges at the sink drain connection. some are direct and some are indirect waste with airgap. it is only on the remodels that I have seen ABS being used. the contractors doing these remodels are not the same as the ones doing full construction and that is why I question if they even know what they are doing. I'm pretty sure that none of them hold a Plumber's license. Probably the only guy that has one is the guy in the office doing take-offs ;)

I can't say that I can really trust the quality of the City inspections for these small upgrades that I am inspecting before I 'inherit' them as part of maintenance. I have found drains that run uphill, ABS put together with silicone, no air gaps at indirect wastes, rubber hose 9o's connections in ground (plumbing a floor sink drain - and in a bind, no less!), copper pipe up against galv electrical flex, etc. I'm no plumber, but most of these things I know as a layman and others were quite clear within CPC.

thanks again for the info to my question.

Dunbar Plumbing
06-23-2007, 09:07 PM
If that 3 compartment sink takes on food waste, it should be piped into a grease trap with a vented flow control, 3 vents total heading to the stack.

06-23-2007, 09:23 PM
If that 3 compartment sink takes on food waste, it should be piped into a grease trap with a vented flow control, 3 vents total heading to the stack.

Ditto...2" vents, but in my state a removable trap or cleanout is ok in residences.
By the way Rugged...waddaya think of my icon?

Dunbar Plumbing
06-23-2007, 09:42 PM
Looks fine......that guy was great in grumpy old men...

I'd be fighting mad over sophia lorenz as well if I looked that old and she was that good looking, at that age.

06-24-2007, 04:28 AM
using plastic in that situation is a fairly common practice. Commercial jobs usually spec out exactly what is to be used. The 2 story limitation is primarily because of its lack of fire rating and the fact it is toxic while burning. It is not allowed underground in multiple story buildings because it will collapse under less pressure than cast iron, although practically speaking will outlast cast iron.

06-24-2007, 06:48 AM
I have seen ABS going in the trenches on an 8 story hospital building. Also see it all the time on the internal roof drains in warehouse buildings/

06-24-2007, 07:47 AM
The only restrictions on ABS and PVC DWV are in sections 701.1.2, 701., and 701.1.2.2. (CPC 2001) Otherwise, no restrictions be it commercial or residential.

Kelley G
06-24-2007, 08:28 AM
3 comp sink is not for food, per se. no kitchen on site. very little grease, if any. Contractor did not install cleanouts per CA code #707.4
( 1 ) Cleanouts may be omitted on a horizontal drain line less than five (5) feet (1524 mm) in length unless such line is serving sinks or urinals."
I know it may be me being overly picky and that a cable could probably be run up the indirect waste outlet. but that will make the repairing contractor work harder and longer. and with the no hubs, they could become loose and leak, with all that wiggling going on trying to feed the cable.
I don't think they met code #311.1
"No double hub fitting, single or double tee branch, single or double tapped tee branch, side inlet quarter bend, running thread, band, or saddle shall be used as a drainage fitting, except that a double hub sanitary tapped tee may be used on a vertical line as a fixture connection"
I think this means that a no hub STT can be used as a connection from the vent stack to a fixture and that's it. Am I reading that right? I'm not sure what a 'tapped tee' looks like...
the guy who only does installs rarely thinks about the guy who has to come out and make repairs. Seeing my department ends up paying for repairs, such things are important to me and why I desire to learn more about the code because of these remodels.
Sure, it's probably o.k. and there probably want be any large issues. but if it's not to code, it's not correct. As a customer, I should expect the install to be correct (i.e., to code), not o.k.

your thoughts?

thank you.

06-24-2007, 02:39 PM
None of the fittings listed in 311.1 are in your picture.

Strictly speaking, there are no "horizontal drain lines less than 5 feet" in your picture. This is a contiuous waste assembly on a sink, and no code section requires a cleanout for that assembly. If something clogs there, you simply drop that assembly off the sink and hose it out!

I think you are grasping at straws. If you want this done in cast brass fittings and copper pipe, just ask them to do that, and pony up some more money.

The only time this likely would need repair is if someone chucks a five gallon can of floor cleaner at it!

06-24-2007, 04:11 PM
None of the fittings shown in your picture fall under the catagory of fittings prohibited by 311.1. However, you could argue that the elbows should be combos w/cleanouts, since these lines serve a sink. 707.4 (1) On the other hand, if any of these branches were to clog it would be a simple procedure to disconnect all three NH couplings, remove the manifold and clean it.

Kelley G
06-25-2007, 08:18 AM
hi Jimbo,
if the assembly in question meets code, then I am good with it. Based on how these installs are different from our new sites being built and then the quality of the work I've seen so far (that I mentioned earlier), I don't have much trust in the contractors doing the remodels.
some of the code that applies to me is easy to understand, some of it is kinda confusing! if nothing else, I've learned some new stuff - both from the code book and this forum