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Talk with any plumbing Orange County inspector and the one gray area in which there seems to be no contract is when pipes become procedure piping. Naturally, this is a crucial difference. One part is regulated by the plumbing code; the other is controlled by engineering style. There are exceptions to that, such as particular hydronic systems controlled by the mechanical code. But I am not speaking about a building’s cooling or heating systems. 

Let me offer you an example. If you have a soda dispenser, is that pipes or procedure piping? The answer is procedure piping. When the water goes through the backflow preventer, it is not piped. It is water used for a soft drink. 

If you want to take a simple method, that water is now going to be seasoned and carbonated. Thus, it is far from safe and clean water. However, it is drinkable for anyone who takes pleasure in a soft drink. 

You may be wondering exactly what distinction this makes. In one jurisdiction, a large football arena was under construction. The city had stringent requirements in its pipes code needing all water lines to be piped in the copper tube. No other materials were permitted. 

Numerous areas have actually centralized plumbing systems, which is exactly what was being installed in this arena. The sodas are piped from numerous central places to specific dispensers. The pipes inspector desired all those lines piped in the copper pipe tube. 

The issue is when a carbonated beverage can be found in contact with the copper tube, it picks up an extreme amount of copper from the tubing. The excess copper in the carbonated beverage is understood to cause vomiting. Not something you want from a soda. 

While the inspector was determined about piping the lines in a copper tube, the only legal solution was to show the system was not pipes, it was procedure piping. The outcome: PEX tube went in and no one vomited from drinking sodas. Any vomiting most likely came from extreme beer drinking. 

This very first example seems to imply that, once you install a backflow preventer, it is no longer plumbing and the system becomes procedure piping. To a particular degree, that is true. However, it is not true in every scenario. 

An example of an exception would be a pipes fixture with a submerged inlet. Many business food waste disposers have a water system that is connected below the flood level rim of the unit. Vacuum breakers are installed on the water system. The food waste disposer links to the drainage system. For this example, the food waste disposer and all the associated piping is pipes. The pipes code would control the setup. 

A pulper receives food waste, combines it with water and carries it for further usage, frequently to a storage tank. Some units dewater the food waste and discharge that water to the drainage system. 

A pulper is not a plumbing appliance. It likewise is not a part of the pipes system. This is process piping used for a procedure. In this case, the procedure is food waste. While there may be a drain on the pulper, that drain pipes is similar to other process devices that have a water discharge of some sort. 

The plumbing code manages that discharge, needing either a flooring drain or an indirect waste receptor. The pulper and associated piping are not regulated by the pipes code. 

Pipes is associated with pipes fixtures. If plumbing components are not included, it most likely is processed piping, not pipes. If you are wondering what is the big deal, all of it boils down to money. 

If the plumbing code manages it, you are required to take out an authorization, pay an authorization cost and have an evaluation. You also are needed to fulfill all the material requirements of the plumbing code. 

If it is processed piping, the only permit fee and inspection are for the backflow preventer. After that, the engineer of record regulates the setup. 

This is essential for any modifications to the piping or system. In a procedure piping system, you can make whatever changes you want to the system without needing to contact the pipes inspections department. You can do significant adjustments or complete change-outs without going through city hall. 

I have a buddy who operates at a refinery. Piping is changed at his center every day. New systems are being added and old systems are being eliminated. All this work is done without the need for an authorization. 

Another benefit of being classified as a procedure system is you can use whatever piping product, fittings and valves are appropriate for the system. Many systems utilize piping that is not noted as acceptable material in the pipes code. That’s OK. It just needs to be acceptable for the processing system. In most cases, the plumbing inspector is not going to even understand the procedure system. Thus, how could he check it? 

Going back to that soft beverage system, the piping used to carry the carbonated drink is not plumbing PEX nor is it CPVC. They have a different issue than the plumbing code. 

Do not get stuck needing to pay greater fees or having systems examined that are not pipes. Know where the separation line is between plumbing and process piping. In many setups, the line is made use of the outlet of the backflow preventer. 

When in doubt, just look up the meaning of pipes in the pipes code or get help from Scott Harrison Plumbing and Heating, Inc. irvine plumber. Do not be scared to say, “This is not pipes, it is procedure piping.”