Plumbing codes have become quite strict when it comes to controlling the temperature of hot water delivered to sinks and hand washing stations. Contractors and building owners alike must stay up to date to ensure their water heater set-up is free of violations. Not only must water heaters deliver water at a specific temperature, but the control device that ensures a consistent temperature must meet plumbing code requirements as well. Thankfully, several high-efficiency tankless models are available that are designed specifically to meet the latest plumbing code requirements.
Codes pertaining to hot water delivery
The American National Standard for plumbing codes is the Uniform Plumbing Code, which was designed to ensure that visitors to lavatories nationwide have access to clean water and safe temperatures. The code was developed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, an organization with over 80 years of experience advocating for public plumbing safely. Contractors looking to install a compliant water heater must review Uniform Plumbing Code 413.1, entitled "Limitation of Hot Water Temperature for Public Lavatories." The rule requires all buildings ensure that water delivered for public use does not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This rule protects the public, especially individuals with sensitive skin, from receiving painful burns from a bathroom sink.
Contractors and building owners must also pay close attention to ASSE 1070-2004. This standard is a supplement to UPC 413.1, noting what measures a contractor must take to guarantee hot water in public lavatories does not exceed 120 degrees. ASSE 1070-2004 states that a simple thermostat does not qualify as a sufficient temperature control device. Water heaters must be fit with a device that is able to both adjust temperature and be locked into single position. As a result, the right mixing device is necessary to meet UPC 413.1.
Solutions for meeting compliance
There are multiple ways that contractors can address both UPC 413.1 and ASSE 1070-2004 with minimum increases in cost. For projects in mid-construction or smaller buildings, it may be appropriate to integrate a third party mixing device into the existing water heating system. However, this strategy fraught with opportunities for error. A contractor with sufficient plumbing experience will be necessary to select and install a mixing device that meets the IAPMO's tough standards. Furthermore, increasing the complexity of a system always leads to greater maintenance and repair costs in the long term.
Contractors can sidestep these extra complications by investing in a tankless water heater that is pre-designed to mix and deliver hot water while adhering to IAPMO compliance. For example, The Wholesaler reports that manufacturer Eemax offers an entire line of UPC 413.1-compliant solutions. The company's AccuMix line is built with an integrated mixing valve that is guaranteed to meet ASSE 1070-2004's requirements. Investing in a compliance-ready model is a great way to reduce costs in the long run.