Basic Principles of Sanitation and Safety
Plumbing codes determine the types of fixtures and faucets that are allowed in an area.
Always follow all applicable codes when installing fixtures and faucets. While the details of plumbing construction may vary among different plumbing codes, all codes are based on the same basic principles of sanitation and safety.
Basic Principles of Sanitation and Safety
The following is a list of basic principles as stated in the National Standard Plumbing Codes. Click on each principle to know more:
Principle 1: All occupied premises shall have potable water.
All premises intended for human habitation, occupancy, or use shall be provided with a supply of potable water. Such a water supply shall not be connected with unsafe water sources, nor shall it be subject to the hazards of backflow.
Principle 2: Adequate water required.
Plumbing fixtures, devices, and appurtenances shall be supplied with water in sufficient volume and at adequate pressures to enable them to function properly and without undue noise under normal conditions of use.
Principle 3: Hot water required.
Hot water shall be supplied to all plumbing fixtures that normally need or require hot water for their proper use and function.
Principle 4: Water Conservation.
Plumbing shall be designed and adjusted to use the minimum quantity of water consistent with proper performance and cleaning.
Principle 5: Safety devices.
Devices for heating and storing water shall be so designed and installed as to guard against dangers from explosion and overheating.
Principle 6: Use public sewer where available.
Every building with installed plumbing fixtures and intended for human habitation, occupancy, or use, and located on premises where a public sewer is on or passes the said premises within a reasonable distance, shall be connected to the sewer.
Principle 7: Required plumbing fixtures.
Each family dwelling unit shall have at least one water closet, one lavatory, one kitchen-type sink, and one bathtub or shower to meet the basic requirements of sanitation and personal hygiene.
All other structures for human habitation shall be equipped with sufficient sanitary facilities. Plumbing fixtures shall be made of durable, smooth, non-absorbent and corrosion-resistant material and shall be free from concealed fouling surfaces.
Principle 8: Drainage system.
The drainage system shall be designed, constructed, and maintained to guard against fouling, deposit of solids, and clogging, and with adequate cleanouts arranged so that the pipes may be readily cleaned.
Principle 9: Durable materials and good workmanship.
The piping of the plumbing system shall be of durable material, free from defective workmanship and so designed and constructed as to give satisfactory service for its reasonable expected life.
Principle 10: Fixture traps.
Each fixture directly connected to the drainage system shall be equipped with a liquid seal trap.
Principle 11: Trap seals shall be protected.
The drainage system shall be designed to provide an adequate circulation of air in all pipes with no danger of siphonage, aspiration, or forcing of trap seals under condition of ordinary use.
Principle 12: Exhaust foul air to outside.
Each vent terminal shall extend to the outer air and be so installed as to minimize the possibilities of clogging and the return of foul air to the building.
Principle 13: Test the plumbing system
The plumbing system shall be subjected to such tests as will effectively disclose all leaks and defects in the work or the material.
Principle 14: Exclude certain substances from the plumbing system.
No substance that will clog or accentuate clogging of pipes, produce explosive mixtures, destroy the pipes or their joints, or interfere unduly with the sewage-disposal process shall be allowed to enter the building drainage system.
Principle 15: Prevent contamination.
Proper protection shall be provided to prevent contamination of food, water, sterile goods, and similar materials by backflow of sewage. When necessary, the fixture, device, or appliance shall be connected indirectly with the building drainage system.
Principle 16: Light and ventilation.
No water closet or similar fixture shall be located in a room or compartment that is not properly lighted and ventilated.
Principle 17: Individual sewage disposal systems.
If water closets or other plumbing fixtures are installed in buildings where there is no sewer within a reasonable distance, suitable provision shall be made for disposing of the sewage by some accepted method of sewage treatment and disposal.
Principle 18: Prevent sewer flooding.
Where a plumbing drainage system is subject to backflow of sewage from the public sewer or private disposal system, suitable provision shall be made to prevent its overflow in the building.
Principle 19: Proper maintenance.
Plumbing system shall be maintained in a safe and serviceable condition from the standpoint of both mechanics and health.
Principle 20: Fixtures shall be accessible.
All plumbing fixtures shall be so installed with regard to spacing as to be accessible for their intended use and for cleaning.
Principle 21: Structural safety.
Plumbing shall be installed with due regard to preservation of the strength of structural members and prevention of damage to walls and other surfaces through fixture usage.
Principle 22: Protect ground and surface water.
Sewage and other waste shall not be discharged into surface or sub-surface water unless it has first been subjected to some acceptable form of treatment.