Is your plumbing up to code? Jim and Sherry Preston love to remodel. After fixing up one home, they sold it and moved into a house down the street that needed a lot of work. But this house was not as easy to spruce up as the other. Fast-forward two years later and they are still working hard to complete their new home.
“We have run into a lot of problems with the electrical and plumbing work because this house has not been updated in ages,” said Sherry Preston. “After we thought everything was fixed we called the inspector, but he noticed an old valve on our gas fireplace that was not up to current code standards and needed to be replaced, so we didn’t pass.”
Texas Plumbing Codes
When it comes to gas appliances and fixtures in the home, it is important that everything is up to code. If not, there is no guarantee that the different components will work, and this creates a dangerous situation for anyone inside the home. And with winter right around the corner, those of us with a gas furnace or fireplace need to be extra careful.
“This is the deal when it comes to gas, years ago there were components that were used as shut-off valves that the plumbing board and manufacturers have come to realize are ineffective and not safe,” said John Moore Services Senior Operations Manager Joe Bany. “These devices are now obsolete and illegal, which means as a plumber I can’t go in a store and buy one to replace in your house. Just because it is illegal doesn’t mean it is not working or functioning, it just means that there is a greater chance it will malfunction and with it, your home plumbing up to code or will not pass inspection.”
The Preston’s had what is called a spring-loaded valve, and that particular type of valve was commonly used years ago.
“When you look at the top of the spring-loaded valve, you will see a wing handle that can be turned on and off,” said Bany. “It may work but the problem is that when they are in the on or off position the spring often gets loose over time and will allow gas to seep through it and leak externally into the home.”
Natural gas that leaks into your home is primarily composed of methane, which is a highly flammable compound. Naturally it has no color or smell, but gas-manufacturing companies add an odor to it before it enters your home that acts as a warning sign in case you develop a leak. According to the National Library of Medicine, if a gas leak has occurred oxygen is reduced causing dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headache, and irregular breathing. It is also a fire hazard.
“Many times I have been at a customer’s home doing some work and noticed that there is an old style valve that has been outlawed,” said Bany. “In that instance, I have to thoroughly inspect the whole house and change out all the older valves. If I don’t, when the inspector comes out to look at the completed work he will find the old style valve and the house will fail inspection.”
Anytime there is work done on the water heater, furnace, or any other gas powered system the gas inside the home must be shut off. And any time the gas is shut off, a city inspector must come and check the completed work before the gas can be turned on again. Gas is a very serious issue, and it is the inspector’s job to make sure all work is up to code and can handle the service that it is designed for… specifically that there’s no leaky galvanized pipes and the plumbing up to code.
“After we failed inspection we decided to call John Moore and they sent out a group of guys to come work on our home,” said Preston. “The found all the old style valves and replaced them. They even had a checklist of everything that needed to be completed that the inspector was going to check, and made sure each item was taken care of. And when the inspector came back out, everything was perfect and we passed.”
When it comes to gas-run systems inside the home, it is important that each part is up to code and properly maintained. If not, serious problems can occur. John Moore Services has experienced plumbers who are trained to make sure each job is up to code. If you live in an older home or simply have a plumbing concern, call the experts at John Moore Services.