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Thread: UPC Code question about water service sizing

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    DIY Junior Member mike mann's Avatar
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    Default UPC Code question about water service sizing

    we just had a new house built in utah and the plumbing is terrible and i don't think to code. we have a 3/4" water main line(copper) but as soon as it enters the house it's reduced to take 3/4" pex and then about 2' from that there is a "t" with a id of .538. the line contues across the ceiling where 3 elbows are used that have a id of .460. how does this meet the upc code which says that the minumin water supply line shall be 3/4". we have 21 water fixtures, static line pressure of 55psi at the meter, static house pressure of 47psi (only because we had the regulator turned up) and a working pressure of 35psi with 1 facuret open. with 1 hose on it takes 1minute and 15 seconds to fill a 5 gallon can. with 7 fixtures on it takes 3 minutes @ 10 psi. contractor and plumber refuse to do anything so i want to go to the city code people and present my case that the plumbing is not to code. asking for opinions from the experts as i don't know plumbing and etc. thanks for your help and advice-mike mann

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Welcome to Terry's Forum Mike.

    Sorry to hear your new house may not meet code.

    Maybe they did not know the correct code.


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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    ALL those parts are called 3/4", regardless of their actual size. Most plastic used inside homes is NOT the size that they call it. You got a fast and cheap installation based on the minimum code requirements. In the "real world" do you actually have seven fixtures running at the same time?
    1. WIth city pressure of 55 psi, you do NOT need a regulator
    2. Turn the regulator up to 55 psi if you keep it.
    3. The pressure should not drop that much when you open a faucet.
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    DIY Junior Member mike mann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    ALL those parts are called 3/4", regardless of their actual size. Most plastic used inside homes is NOT the size that they call it. You got a fast and cheap installation based on the minimum code requirements. In the "real world" do you actually have seven fixtures running at the same time?
    1. WIth city pressure of 55 psi, you do NOT need a regulator
    2. Turn the regulator up to 55 psi if you keep it.
    3. The pressure should not drop that much when you open a faucet.
    the way the house is plumbed the hose facuet is a 1/2" pex line with a "t" fitting that reduces the flow to .315 and is on the same line as the kitchen sink and dishwasher so that if either is on the hose has very little. the sprinkler system that i paid $7700 for doest cover the lawn at all and usually about 1/3 of ot is brown. contractor said to water by hand but with no volume/pressure it's hard to do. i was in hopes that i could use the tables in the upc code to prove that they did not comply with the code. worked almost 40 years with mil specs and we had to follow them or else. isn't it the same with the ups code or why bother to have it? thanks again and trying to understand-mike mann

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You are confusing "nominal" measurements with "actual" ones. Everything you have is 3/4" nominal size, which is what the code is referring to. The code does not address the "real world" where 3/4" copper pipe and fittings ARE 3/4", but 3/4" plastic pipe and fittings are NEVER 3/4". This is a reality, that conscientious plumbers address by using larger plastic pipes than they would if they used copper piping. Plumbers who use plastic pipes in order to give a low price and get the job almost always follow the code with the results you are having. The piping you have is probably what the city required and approved so they would not accept any liability by telling you it is inadequate.
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    DIY Junior Member mike mann's Avatar
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    thank you for the explanation. had a hard time understanding how a 5/8 dia pex tube could flow as much as a copper 3/4 line but when i learned that the iside is slicker and the raised the fps rate up from 5 to 8 it made sense. i'm still confused about the section of the code that says that nothing shall be inserted into the tube that restricts it's flow. the flow of pex is 12 gpm @8'ps while 1/2" is 5.8gpm @ 8'ps. not understanding very well but if that isn't a restriction then i don't know what is. thanks again as i'm stupid about this but after spending 350k to have a house built for us i'm not happy with the results and the contractor is walking away with my money leaving me with the results which aren't much to speak of. thank you for your help-mike mann

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    DIY Junior Member mike mann's Avatar
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    after all this time the west valley city inspection department has just sent a letter to the home builder telling him that the house is in non-compliance with the plumbing code and other things. not sure where it's going from here as one of the addendums they signed said that the house will meet all applicable building codes before we accepted it so we shall see what happens next. just wanted to say thanks for all your help and advice-mike mann

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mann View Post
    after all this time the west valley city inspection department has just sent a letter to the home builder telling him that the house is in non-compliance with the plumbing code and other things. not sure where it's going from here as one of the addendums they signed said that the house will meet all applicable building codes before we accepted it so we shall see what happens next. just wanted to say thanks for all your help and advice-mike mann

    They will make you bring it up to code and raise your taxes because of a improvement.

    It may have been to long to go after the builder, and the Inspector must have already passed it.

    Just my guess.
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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You may be in for a long legal process. The city, when they approve the plans for construction, ALWAYS inserts a CYA clause that says they are not responsible for any code violations even if they are approved on the plans. The builder and plumber, however, will assert that they installed it as per the city's approval, using the proper "nominal" pipe sizes, regardless of the actual i.d.s. They are NOT going to decontruct your house without a legal fight which could go on for years, because if they accede on yours, EVERYONE else will jump on board and want their houses "upgraded" also.
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    DIY Junior Member mike mann's Avatar
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    the chief building inspector sent a letter to the home builder saying that the house plumbing system has to meet the requirements of upc table p2903.1 period. at peak demand we have a trickle at the kitchen faucet and none at the west outside faucet. he's requiring the builder to have a independent plumber do the test with a city inspector watching. he also states that the builder is in violation of the irc which is going to be interesting as the builder signed a addendum stating that the house meets all the applicable building code requirements. i could very well bring my neighbors (whom have the same problems into it) and at the very least i think i have grounds for a civil suit against the builder. thanks again for everyones help-mike mann

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If the city approved the plumbing diagram and the pipe sizes on it, then even with their caveat they could have some, or a lot of, liability if the plumber installed it that way.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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