DES PLAINES, ILL. and ONTARIO, CALIF. — The increased use of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, fixture fittings and appliances — and the subsequently decreased demand for water in our nation’s commercial buildings and residences — has resulted in the need to revise the methodology for properly sizing plumbing systems. In response, the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers have convened a special task force of industry representatives that has been reviewing this matter and is working toward recommendations for the reduction of pipe diameters in certain applications.
Oversized pipes in plumbing systems waste water and energy and may present a potential health and safety concern, as low velocities inside water pipes reduce scouring on the interior pipe walls, which can lead to biofilm buildup. However, under-sizing plumbing systems will result in serious performance consequences, as well, so this complex project must be approached cautiously.
To assist in the mathematical and statistical portion of this work, ASPE has appointed three high-profile members to work with Dan Cole, IAPMO’s technical services supervisor and also an ASPE member.
"I enthusiastically welcome the American Society of Plumbing Engineers to IAPMO’s Pipe Sizing Task Group to help advance the project of revising Hunter’s curve in response to the need for a more accurate codified water-demand estimate for plumbing systems using high-efficiency fixtures," Cole said.
The three ASPE members who will work with Cole on this project are Jason Hewitt, PE, CPD, LEED AP, of CB Engineering; Tim Wolfe, PE, of BSA Life Structures; and Thomas Poerio, Ph.D., PE, LEED AP, of Univesco LLC. All three are experts in advanced mathematics and will be invaluable assets in this effort.
“ASPE is a strong proponent of evaluating and, where appropriate, revising current pipe sizing requirements in model codes to ensure system efficiency while protecting public health and safety,” said Jim Kendzel, executive director of ASPE. “We look forward to working with IAPMO’s members to address this increasingly important need for our industry.”
Sponsor of the Uniform Plumbing Code and Uniform Mechanical Code, IAPMO works in concert with government and industry for safe, sanitary plumbing and mechanical systems Additional information is available at www.iapmo.org.
ASPE is the international organization for professionals skilled in the design, specification and inspection of plumbing systems. ASPE is dedicated to the advancement of the science of plumbing engineering, to the professional growth and advancement of its members and the health, welfare and safety of the public. Additional information is available at www.aspe.org.