Which States and Provinces require flood testing your next shower renovation?
It seems the subject of flood testing showers is a very sensitive one online. Here in Vancouver, British Columbia all showers are required to be flood tested. That might be to general of a statement so to be more specific all showers that have a permit are required to be flood tested. So if you live in Vancouver and skip this step - is it wrong?
I say yes. If you need to flood test your showers in a new home or commercial project you need to insist that this get done in a simple renovation.
But what about other cities and in the states. I heard today that in Bridgton, Maine you are not required to preform them. I was called a "Lying Bastard" for even posting information about them. So who's right? Are flood tests required in Maine? Are they required in Vancouver.
I'd like to hear from as many regulars as possible and would ask each of you to call your local building department and ask the question as to what the required steps are. If a permit is not needed to renovate a room and keep it the same ask them if they recommend that this step be done. Also ask about new construction for me please.
Share your information here and perhaps we can get a state by state, province by province list going.
Thanks for any and all help!
Does Laticrete promote flood testing in Maine? The answer is yes.
If you are looking for more opinions on the subject of flood tests - perhaps consult the manufacture of the waterproofing products themselves.
A company like Laticrete based out of Maine is a classic example. In their newsletter they not only recommend flood tests they go on to explain how they are done. Take a quick peak at this news letter from Laticrete.
Flood Testing a Laticrete Hydro Ban installation.
Does the city of Portland require this step? Does the city of Bridgton require it? Not sure but the maker of the waterproofing product is recommending it - that should speak volumes to you.
I find it surprising the huge resistance that I'm faced in promoting this silly little step. The plumbers in the group here would laugh I'm sure at the concept of skipping this step with a traditional PVC liner and clamping drain. I've seen young plumbers flood out offices before trying to figure out how to seam their membranes. The last big flood out was 12 years ago on Beach Avenue here in Vancouver. That was the last time I let a plumber use a rubber liner on my projects. I work with plumbers every week - not one of them misses doing these shower pans. Not one.
I just emailed Dana and Bruce - both of which work for the government of Maine. I've asked fro some clarification to their plumbing codes and requirements. It seems that Maine follows the UPC and their most recent admendments do not remove the leak test from being preformed.
Kentucky plumbing Code - Shower leak tests or shower flood tests
A friend of mine online told me that Kentucky follows it's own plumbing code. I read through it quickly and the Kentucky Code book makes no reference to flood testing or leak testing it's showers.
It does make note that no seams are allowed in the shower. This would rule out many of the smaller rolls of waterproofing products I imagine.
Keep them coming!
Kentucky Plumbing Code PDF
Kansas Plumbing requirements for shower receptors
It appears that Kansas follows the IBC (International Plumbing Codes). The IBC requires that all shower receptors be built water tight and visually inspected.
A little more research needs to be done here. Can you call on your local inspector and ask what's up?
Florida requirements for flood testing or leak testing showers
Found this copy of the Florida plumbing code. Clear as day it requires that showers be flood or leak test and a visual inspection done for leaks.
Nashua, NH requires flood testing - IPC 312.9
Great work! A flood test is the easiest thing to do and shows your professionalism to this trade. I hope more people track you down.
Originally Posted by jadziedzic
The NTCA is working on getting certifications done so that installers can choose their favourite method of waterproofing and get certified. The first step is becoming a 5 Star NTCA contractor and then later courses on Kerdi waterproofing, Mapei liquid membranes, Laticrete systems etc will be added. With any luck in a 5-10 year window showers will need a ticketed installer.
I understand that Schluter Systems is working closely with the NTCA to develop the first course. I've already signed up for the 5 Star program and hope I make the grade! I'm not good at working under time line constraints and this 5 star NTCA program does have a time limit! That and I have to cut my own tile..... lol It will do me good to do a install start to finish on my own. I have grown accustomed to having my apprentice with me every day. I'm going to sign David up as well andwe are going to go head to head! I hope the student does not become the teacher.
2009 International Plumbing Code (312.9) Shower flood test or leak tests.
Now if your city follows the IPC or International Plumbing Code you are required to check that the shower is leak proof.
Whoops - Bethany not Portland, Maine
Thanks for that.
Originally Posted by Justadrip
I received and email from someone in office in Maine and was told that the legislation around building codes removed all chapters on plumbing. In Maine I'm told that the Plumbers Examiner Board governs all work. I was pointed to this link for more information.
If you view the link you can see that Maine follows the Universal Plumbing Code and even includes a power point reviewing Maine's changes to it. Now where in this review does it remove the leak or flood test described in the Universal Plumbing Code. So has the Universal Plumbing Code dropped this step in the new 2012 version? My new PDF format won't load but in the earlier printings it's there.
Any one have a current 2012 Universal Plumbing Code book?
Plumbing Inspection Process - 2012 Universal Plumbing Code (UPC)
INSPECTIONS AND TESTING
[A] 107.4 Testing. Plumbing work and systems shall be
tested as required in Section 312 and in accordance with Sections
107.4.1 through 107.4.3. Tests shall be made by the permit
holder and observed by the code official.
[A] 107.4.1 New, altered, extended or repaired systems.
New plumbing systems and parts of existing systems that
have been altered, extended or repaired shall be tested as
prescribed herein to disclose leaks and defects, except that
testing is not required in the following cases:
1 In any case that does not include addition to,
replacement, alteration or relocation of any water
supply, drainage or vent piping.
2. In any case where plumbing equipment is set up
temporarily for exhibition purposes.
[A] 107.4.2 Equipment, material and labor for tests. All
equipment, material and labor required for testing a
plumbing system or part thereof shall be furnished by the
312.9 Shower liner test. Where shower floors and receptors
are made water-tight by the application of materials required
by Section 417.5.2, the completed liner installation shall be
tested. The pipe from the shower drain shall be plugged water
tight for the test. The floor and receptor area shall be filled
with potable water to a depth of not less than 2 inches (51
mm) measured at the threshold. Where a threshold of at least
2 inches (51 mm) high does not exist, a temporary threshold
shall be constructed to retain the test water in the lined floor
or receptor area to a level not less than 2 inches (51 mm) deep
measured at the threshold. The water shall be retained for a
test period of not less than 15 minutes, and there shall not be
evidence of leakage
And so it seems that if you are building a shower in Maine you do require a leak test of your shower. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to test it and to call for this inspection.
I would go on to add a 15 minute test is worthless and would suggest you do a 24-72 hour flood test.
Flood testing requirements for Bridgton, Maine - From the town managers office
I received an email back from the mayor of Bridgton, Maine.
Here is what was written.
Good Morning Mr. Whipple,
The Town of Bridgton follows the 2009 Uniform Plumbing Code and does inspect shower pans. In discussing this with our CEO, we may have missed one but that is the exception since we try to inspect all. The plumber sets up the feed line, we do not check for pressure. Robbie does a flood test of the pans.
You will have to research construction elements in the codes or through manufacturers recommended installation manuals....
Mitchell A. Berkowitz
Bridgton, Maine 04009
Mitchell Berkowitz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Non City Official Names edited out of email
I was called a ______ Bastard for suggesting that this was required. It is staggering the amount of pros that have no clue how to do their job's properly. I hope this puts to bed the subject of flood testing showers in Maine for a while....
UPDATE, August 2, 2012
Good morning John,
All shower, either pre fab or built on site shall be tested per the 2009 Uniform Plumbing Code. There are no exceptions to this rule. Showers shall also meet a minimum size requirement and if built on site they shall be constructed per the requirements in chapter four of the UPC. Too many times if they are not test a leak occurs and creates an insanitary condition where mold and bacteria can grow unstopped.
The testing requirements are referenced in Chapter 4-411.8.1 and all other shower requirements are in 411.0 through 41.11.
If I can be of any other assistance please feel free to contact me @ 207-624-8639.
Dana C. Tuttle
Senior Plumbing Inspector