Legislative Report

Kook Dean
V.P. Legislative
July 2019


From the 2018 UPC Guide to Important Code Changes

What Changed

309.4 Installation Practices. Plumbing systems shall be installed in a workmanlike manner that which is in accordance with this code, applicable standards, and the manufacturer’s installation instructions. All materials shall be installed so as not to adversely affect the systems and equipment or the structure of the building, and in compliance with all laws and other provisions of this code. All plumbing systems shall be in accordance with construction documents approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

Why It Changed

This modified language provides additional language to clarify the intent of installation practices, direct the user to all applicable codes and standards and affirm as plans and specifications change they must be submitted to the AHJ. Additionally, there have been many disputes concerning construction installation practices. As a result, “workmanlike manner” has been defined in case law as “the quality of work that would be done by a worker of average skill and intelligence.”

What It Means to Me

In this section, there are three guidelines to use for proper installation of the plumbing system. If a conflict occurs between the standards, instructions, or code the most stringent of the three provisions must be used. The example used in the commentary for Section 301.2.2 concerning PEX-AL PEX pipe is a perfect one. The code requires a minimum of 18 inches from the water heater for installation of this piping but the standard does not. One must use the more stringent provision. In this case, the more stringent provision is contained in the code, which supersedes the standard. This section also ensures that all work installed shall not adversely affect the existing building system or structure even if it was installed to the code, standard, and manufacturer’s instruction. All changes to plans and specifications must be submitted to the Authority Having Jurisdiction. In addition, the term “workmanlike manner” is used to describe the quality of work that would be performed by a worker of average skill and ability or in a manner that is in line with other contractors in the same community.