The ASA Advocacy team has been busy over the last quarter representing ASA membership. In addition, through our partnership with HARDI, we also represented HARDI members in codes and standards activities. The following provides updates on those activities.
IAPMO TECHNICAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
On September 13, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) held its Technical Membership Meeting at its Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC. The Membership Technical Committee meeting provides an opportunity for the IAPMO membership to consider positions taken by the IAPMO Technical Committees responsible for approving changes to the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) to be published in 2024.
During the meeting I presented the following two motions to the floor and successfully achieved a majority membership vote to overturn the position taken by the Technical Committees:
UPC, Metal and Plastic Insert Fittings — the UPC Technical Committee rejected the proposed inclusion of ASTM product standards covering metal and plastic insert fittings with factory-assembled stainless steel press sleeves for SDR9 cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing and SDR9 polyethylene of raised temperature (PE-RT) tubing. ASA submitted a motion at the Technical Membership Meeting to reverse the Technical Committee decision based on ASA’s support of the use of industry consensus standards and allowing access of products complying with those standards into the marketplace. ASA’s motion was approved by the membership.
UMC, Refrigeration Piping Joints and Seams — motion to reject the UMC Technical Committee proposed change to the UMC that if adopted, would only allow brazed joints in concealed locations. HARDI and other industry representatives opposed the proposed change due to the broad definition of “concealed” and the prohibition of using press-connect and other acceptable joining methods. In addition, if the proposal was adopted it would eliminate the use of acceptable refrigerant tubing materials that cannot be joined using brazing, such as aluminum. The membership voted in support of the HARDI motion.
In addition, we supported AHRI and other industry associations in support of a motion the membership voted to accept that further align the UMC with the 2019 edition of ASHRAE 15, including several key addenda. This update will allow low-GWP equipment for high-probability comfort cooling systems and update machinery room requirements for A2Ls to align with ASHRAE 15-2019. In addition, proposals to ban mechanical fittings for use with A2L refrigerants were rejected by the membership.
Following the Membership Technical Meeting the UPC and UMC Technical Committees reviewed the positions approved by the membership and supported the membership decision to include the ASTM standards for PEX and PE-RT which into the UPC which will increase the acceptability of these products in the market areas using the UPC.
Unfortunately, the IAPMO UMC Technical Committee reviewed the results of the IAPMO Membership Technical Meeting and did not support any of the positions presented by the refrigeration industry and approved by the membership. This is, of course, disappointing; however, I along with AHRI and other industry representatives plan to attend the Nov. 16-17, IAPMO Standards Council meeting where we will appeal the Technical Committee decision and continue to fight for sound and reasonable code requirements.
ICC CODE HEARING
On September 14, I attended the International Code Council (ICC) meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. I attended the meeting representing HARDI in support of an industry position related to the product standard UL 60335-3-40. The results of the meeting were successful, and the UL standard was updated to the fourth edition (2022) as part of the International Mechanical Code (IMC). The adoption of the fourth edition of the UL standard ensures that the IMC will incorporate, by reference, important requirements related to the safe use and detection of A2L refrigerants.
The next step in in the ICC process is for the Governmental Officials to conduct an online voting process on the positions taken at the hearings.
ASHRAE 514 – BUILDING WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
On September 23-25, I attended the ASHRAE 514 Building Water Management Committee meeting held in Atlanta. The draft new standard covers risk management for building water systems including physical, chemical, and microbial hazards. The focus of the meeting was to address public comments received as a result the public comment period held in March of this year. As a result of the meeting, the next draft was sent out for public review with a deadline of October 3. We will continue to participate in the process and keep the membership informed as the development of the new standard nears publication.
WATER EFFICIENCY AND LOW-FLUSH TOILETS
ASA brought together a working group of ASA distributor members and vendor members to develop a position on the potential of California further lowering the low-flush toilet requirements in the State below the US EPA nationally accepted Watersense Requirements. The working group developed a position based on the following principles:
Achieve the largest and most immediate impact on water savings by enforcing and incentivizing compliance with existing laws related to existing buildings;
Changes to existing regulations will lead to supply-chain disruption;
Use of nationally accepted standards; and
Allow for product innovation and market testing of new product designs.
The ASA Advocacy Council reviewed and approved the position developed by the Working Group at the Council’s September 29 meeting.
As always, please feel free to contact me at any time with questions related to this update or codes and standards in general. You can reach me through my email at email@example.com.