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UPC v. IPC Codes & the Importance of Certification

UPC and IPC Codes
Provisions of the Uniform Plumbing Code® (UPC) protect more than half of the world’s population. The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) publishes and distributes the UPC model code. The UPC codes are revised every three years under IAPMO’s ANSI-accredited development process

The Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) has been adopted by 13 states statewide and/or locally by jurisdiction. States adopting UPC jurisdiction include Alaska, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Washington

The International Code Council (ICC) publishes the International Plumbing Code® (IPC) model code. Changes to the IPC codes may be proposed by any interested party. However, only code officials are permitted to vote at the code final development code hearings

The IPC codes are updated every three years. International Plumbing Code (IPC) has been adopted by 30 states statewide and/or locally by jurisdiction

Certification of Plumbing Products
Certification marks prominently exhibited on plumbing products indicate which certifying organization completed the certifying testing. Plumbing codes enforced by local authorities cannot require plumbing products to be certified by a particular certifying entity, and subsequently to bear a specific mark, as this would constitute an infringement of free trade. However, plumbing codes can and do require that products be “listed” or “labeled” to a specific standard by an accredited third-party certification body such as CSA Group or the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO). The codes endeavor to minimize public risk by specifying technical standards of design, materials, workmanship, and maintenance. The main purpose of the Uniform codes is:

  • to ensure that planners, administrators, and plumbers develop the required competency to ensure that the codes are applied and upheld.
  • to set standards to ensure that plumbing assemblies, materials, and technologies are safe and effective
  • to ensure that plumbing installations meet these standards.
  • to ensure safety and effectiveness continuously through the proper maintenance of these installations.

Recertified Products
A recertified product has been returned by a retailer as a customer returned, overstocked, or discontinued item. Each product is re-inspected to ensure that all parts are present and in good working order to recertify the product. The product contains no dents, scratches, or blemishes. However, the packaging may exhibit stickers and minor flaws, or the product may be completely repackaged. The product (most often Delta or Kohl faucets) carries a recertification label and is available at a discounted price.

For more information about The National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation (NITC) tests and UPC and IPC Code certification visit https://nationalitc.com/.

General Information