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20th October 2017
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California Building Standards Commission reinforces importance of NSF International Plumbing Standard
The California Building Standards Commission now references NSF International's plumbing standard in the latest version of the California Plumbing Code for water piping systems. NSF/ANSI Standard 14: Plastics Piping System Components and Related Materials is recognised by code and regulatory officials, manufacturers and plumbers to verify the performance and safety of plastics piping system components and related materials.
As announced in a recent Building Standards Bulletin, the California Building Standards Commission removed the state's amendment that excludes the use of cross linked polyethylene (PEX) for water piping systems from the California Plumbing Code. PEX is now permitted for use in all occupancies, including commercial, residential and institutional building construction, rehabilitation and repair under the jurisdiction of the California Building Standards Commission and responsible agencies in all areas of California.
Another significant change in the California Plumbing Code includes requiring all brass fittings used with PEX tubing to meet NSF/ANSI Standard 14 - 2009: Plastics Piping System Components and Related Materials requirements. The effective date to comply was 18th August 2010 for the 2007 California Plumbing Code and is 1st January 2011 for the 2010 California Plumbing Code.
The regulations include mitigation measures identified in the commission's Second Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report and compliance with NSF/ANSI Standard 14, which defines health and performance requirements for plumbing system products, materials, and ingredients. All PEX tubing installed in California must provide at least 30-day UV protection and brass fittings used with PEX tubing must meet NSF/ANSI Standard 14 requirements to prevent dezincification (corrosion of brass) and stress corrosion cracking (cracking due to mechanical stress and exposure to a corrosive environment).
NSF/ANSI Standard 14 also requires any copper alloy containing more than 15% zinc by weight in potable water systems to be tested according to ISO 6509: Corrosion of metal and alloys - Determination of dezincification resistance of brass. To evaluate resistance to stress corrosion cracking, the test method defined in ASTM B858: Standard Test Method for Ammonia Vapor Test for Determining Susceptibility to Stress Corrosion Cracking in Copper Alloys is utilised.
NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components-Health Effects is already required in the California Plumbing Code for drinking water products and was heavily relied upon in the SRDEIR to address health concerns. NSF/ANSI Standard 61 is the nationally recognized health effects standard for all devices, components and materials, which contact drinking water, and is referenced in NSF/ANSI Standard 14.
"The recent adoption of regulations related to the use of PEX represents a statewide regulatory change," says California Building Standards Commission Executive Director Dave Walls. "We believe that we have developed responsible standards that incorporate the California Environmental Quality Act measures while integrating additional provisions that we believe will not only satisfy the court's ruling but all parties involved."
Nasrin Kashefi, General Manager of NSF International's Plumbing Programs is backing the move, saying: "We are happy that NSF standards are once again accepted as the solution to issues brought before the California Building Standards Commission."
NSF International, an independent not-for-profit organisation, certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods to minimise adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, the organisation is committed to protecting public health & safety worldwide and operates in more than 120 countries. NSF is a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Food & Water Safety and Indoor Environment.
NSF International offers conformity assessment programmes for water distribution and plumbing components, which includes performance and health effects testing, certification, and production facility inspections to verify compliance. NSF developed NSF/ANSI Standard 14: Plastics Piping System Components and Related Materials, which establishes minimum physical, performance, health effects, quality assurance, marking, and record keeping requirements for plastic piping components and related materials. NSF also developed NSF/ANSI Standard 61, the American national health effects standard for all devices, components and materials which contact drinking water.
Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, dietary and nutritional supplement certification, and management systems registrations (e.g. ISO 14001) delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd.
24th September 2010