View Full Version : ABS in Highrise buildings

10-09-2009, 09:04 AM
I live in a condo with 15 floors and built in the 1970's. The drain piping from the roof that goes through the interior walls needs to be updated. Can it be changed from Cast Iron to ABS.
The uniform building code says at you cannot use ABS in buildings more than 4 stories in Zone 1. What does Zone 1 mean and what is recommended?


10-09-2009, 09:53 AM
My guess is no, but a call to the building inspector would settle it quickly.

Gary Swart
10-09-2009, 11:10 AM
Two things. Cast iron will last for many years. Surely your CI is not bad after less than 40 years. Secondly, ABS and PVC drains are very noisy. I would think that if you made the change, you would be swamped with angry condo owners. Even is allowed, I would urge you to get some more opinions.

10-09-2009, 11:29 AM
It is a noise and fire issue. Mostly fire though. Zone 1 is usually commerical which typically a 5 story condo building is.

10-09-2009, 11:31 AM
It is almost all a fire issue. Plastic pipes emit a toxic smoke when they burn, and that is not good to have on the upper levels of a high rise. 3 or 4 floors is marginal, but at least the occupants have a good chance of evacuating before the levels become critical.

10-09-2009, 03:17 PM
Thanks for all your help!

Wondering if Code says that all areas above a certain floor you cannot install abs piping or if it allows for a few pipes. Say there are two pipes every 20 feet.

10-09-2009, 04:04 PM
The code cannot anticipate every nuance you would like it to. It cannot say, for example, that you cannot use a lot of plastic above the stated floor, but if you want to stick a little piece in here and there it is okay. Therefore, it says once you reach the third or fourth floor, depending on the version, it cannot be used, period. And if the building is fire rated, plastic cannot be used ANYWHERE in the building.