ASME, ASSE, CSA sign harmonization agreement requirements for plumbing components

WESTLAKE, OHIO — Three North American standards development organizations, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE), and CSA Standards have signed an agreement to harmonize five standards concerning automatic compensating valves, anti-siphon fill valves, trap seal primers, pressurized flushing devices (flushometers) and water temperature limiting devices.

This harmonization agreement is designed to help bring clarity to the plumbing community; especially to the manufacturers of devices covered by the harmonized standards.

The agreement between the three organizations states that the purpose of the harmonized standards is to assist U.S. and Canadian manufacturers by eliminating duplicate efforts of writing standards for the same products in different countries. This will allow each product to be designed, manufactured, and tested to a common standard. This will help provide assurance of consistent, high quality products, help reduce costs (for producers and consumers), and also help to provide a common basis for product comparisons.

The first harmonized standard, for Performance Requirements for Automatic Compensating Valves for Individual Showers and Tub/Shower Combinations, is expected to be completed and ready for distribution later this year.

Each of the ASME / ASSE / CSA harmonized standards will allow comparable testing of products for the U.S. and Canadian markets. The harmonized standards have an ultimate goal of requiring compliance to one standard and one test, providing a fair process for assessment for manufacturers and buyers in different countries, and helping maintain or improve on the current level of product performance.

The harmonized standards will be maintained on an ongoing basis to address new technologies, allow for regional or regulatory differences, and move towards performance based requirements and standards where it is practical and possible.

The signed harmonization agreement between CSA, ASME, and ASSE went into effect Dec. 1, 2009. The initial effort to develop joint standards began in October of 1991 when CSA and ASSE signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

After several years of collaboration, a Joint Harmonization Task Group was formed in 2007 to harmonize the requirements of ASME A112.18.1-2005 / CSA B125.1-05, Plumbing Supply Fittings, and ASSE 1016, Performance Requirements for Automatic Compensating Valves for Individual Showers and Tub/Shower Combinations. During these meetings, it became evident that an agreement between CSA, ASME, and ASSE would be necessary to lay the ground rules for harmonizing documents.

On April 22, 2009, representatives of the three organizations held a meeting to set the agreement in motion and begin the harmonization process which ultimately led to the joint agreement.

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