Plumbing Standards and Certifications

Standards provide people and organizations with a basis for mutual understanding and are used as tools to facilitate communication, measurement, commerce, and manufacturing. For industries where there is very little room for mistakes, such standards bring consistency to the processes and products. That’s why, when it comes to plumbing parts, several standards exist so all players involved – from production to installation – have expectations to fulfill.

 

Standards are written by committees made up of industry experts with knowledge and expertise in a particular field. The committees typically consist of manufacturers, end users, and general interest groups. Below are some widely used organizations setting the standard:

  • ANSI: American National Standards Institute
  • ASME: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • ASTM: American Society of Testing and Materials
  • ASSE: American Society of Sanitary Engineering
  • CSA Group: Canadian Standards Association

 

A standard itself can be defined as a set of technical definitions, performance requirements, and guidelines. They give instructions to designers, fabricators, and operators. Below are common plumbing standards and the products that they cover:

  • NSF/ANSI/CAN 372: No-Lead Standard
    • Specifies that all potable water products must conform to the “lead free” definition of no more than 0.25% weighted average of lead for fittings, pipe, and fixtures and no more than 0.20% lead in solder and flux
  • ANSI B1.20.1: NPT Thread Standard, Pipe Threads
    • Covers and sets the dimensions and gaging of pipe threads for general purpose, primarily taper and straight applications
  • ANSI/ASME B16.18: Cast Copper Alloy Solder Joint Pressure Fittings
    • Covers cast copper alloy solder joint pressure fittings designed for use with copper water tube and establishes requirements for pressure temperature, sizes, material, and testing
  • ASME A112.18.6/CSA B125.6: No-Lead Flexible Water Connectors
    • Includes pressure and temperature requirements for hot and cold applications of flexible water connectors, push-fit fittings, and water heater flexible connectors
  • ASME B16.51/CSA TIL-MSE-13/IAPMO PS-117: Copper and Copper Alloy Press Connect Fittings
    • Covers press connect fittings and establishes requirements for sizes, materials, pressure, temperature, and markings
  • ASSE 1003/ANSI A112.26.2/CSA B356: No-Lead Pressure Reducing Valves
    • Covers water pressure reducing valves and water hammer arrestors and establishes requirements for pressure, temperature, parameters for repairability, sizes, and design criteria
  • ASTM F1960: Specification for Expansion PEX Fitting Ends
    • Covers requirements for PEX fittings. Common intended uses include sealed central heating, under-floor-heating, and residential and commercial hot and cold potable water distribution systems. Requirements for this standard include temperature and pressure.
  • ASTM F1807, ASTM 876, ASTM 877: Specification for PEX Fitting Ends
    • Covers PEX fitting ends and establishes requirements for materials, crimp joints, crimping procedure, and insert fitting and crimp ring dimensional requirements

 

In order to verify a plumbing product meets the requirements of a specific standard, a certification can be provided. Certification is done to show compliance with established codes and standards as they demonstrate that a product has been rigorously tested to applicable standards and ensures the products being installed are safe and appropriate for the application. A manufacturer may certify their own product (self-certification). However, there are accredited third party organizations for certification. Code specifications may determine if a self-certification is sufficient or if a third-party certification is required. Third-party organizations include but are not limited to:

  • IAPMO: International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
  • ASSE: American Society of Sanitary Engineering
  • UL: Underwriters’ Laboratories
  • CSA Group: Canadian Standards Association
  • ALS Truesdail: Australian Laboratory Services

 

Standards promote safety, productivity, and efficiency in almost every industry that relies on engineering components or equipment. They are a vehicle of communication for producers and users and serve as a common language defining design and safety criteria. To learn more about how the plumbing industry utilizes standards and certifications, take the AYU course called ‘Plumbing Standards and Certifications’, call our customer service department at 1-800-292-2737, or fill out a Contact Us form on our aymcdonald.com website.