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Plumbing Code of Canada: Everything You Need To Know

The National Plumbing Code of Canada 2020 (NPC) is a generalized guideline to do plumbing tasks in Canada. It is basically formed in combination with other building and construction-related codes: CCBF, NBC, NECB, and NFC.

The NPC is a generalized code that tries to make plumbing rules the same within the areas of Canada. In this country, each province and territory can make its own laws about plumbing. They can choose to adopt the NPC as it is or make changes to it based on their specific needs.

However, if you work with plumbing, check the code that applies to where you are working. To assist you in the task of code-following while doing the plumbing task, we detail the plumbing code of Canada.

Basics of Plumbing Code of Canada

When it comes to plumbing, the NPC has four important objectives:

  1. Safety
  2. Health
  3. Protecting your building from water damage, and
  4. Taking care of the environment.

Your plan, design, and installation must incorporate the mentioned four objectives. This is from new piping system installation to extending or repairing the existing one.

However, it’s important to note that the code only addresses some aspects of your building’s plumbing related to these goals. The provisions outlined in the NPC represent the minimum requirements needed to achieve these objectives.

plumbing code of canada

And in this case, the local plumbing community is crucial in suggesting which aspects you need to cover for the respective area. Following this, it is essential that you take the help of a professional plumber who is equipped with the right education, training, and experience.

We want to mention another important thing here; the NPC doesn’t list any certain products but sets criteria they must meet. Some criteria are mentioned, while others are referred to as standards.

Suppose, you are constructing a new drainage system. In this case, in terms of criteria, the NPC can instruct you to use a PVC pipe due to the temperature issue. This criterion is applicable to areas in Canada with the same temperature range.

Again, for standard, it instructs you prescribed specifications, like for a 5-member house, the needed quantity of chambers is 8 if the main building is positioned 30 ft distance from the main sewer line. It also indicates each chamber’s dimensions and using materials.

Here, it is standard, you may adjust the chamber number and size as per the respective property’s area distribution.

Remember that only the parts aligned with the NPC’s objectives are mandatory.

At a Glance at the Canadian National Plumbing Code

In consideration of the Government’s rules related to plumbing, the whole NPC guideline is segregated into three segments. Here, we provide an overview of these NPC components.

Division A

The NPC’s Division A includes the elaboration of compliance, objectives, and functional statements. While defining the scope of the NPC, this division presents the code’s objectives in addressing plumbing-related issues.

Again, it also aligns the goals and functions of the plumbing system while detailing the must-serve purposes of the plumbing system. It directs the plumbing task to be within the frame of the mentioned objectives in the earlier section.

We must notify you that Division A cannot be used on its own as a basis for designing and installing a plumbing system. Most importantly, you cannot use the literature in Division A to evaluate a plumbing system’s compliance with the code.

Division B

Division B of the NPC contains the “acceptable solutions” for plumbing. These solutions are the technical requirements set by the code. The code aims to establish a level of risk or performance that is considered acceptable.

However, you must note that it cannot cover every possible design or installation option.

The acceptable solutions provided in Division B represent the minimum level of performance needed to meet the objectives of the NPC. These solutions are accepted by the authorities that adopt the NPC as a law or regulation.

We see that Division B establishes a link between the mentioned objectives and functional statements in Division A. These links are important because they allow objective-based codes to accommodate innovation and new ideas.

When using the code, it’s expected that you will mainly rely on the acceptable solutions provided in Division B. These solutions outline the technical requirements you should follow for your plumbing projects.

As an example, if the code directs you to install 5-inch dia main pipes for the water inlet, it ensures the fulfillment of the objects as per below.

  • By considering the living member number, the dia is suggested. It ensures an adequate supply of water.
  • The size is adequate enough to deal with temperature-related issues.
  • It is appropriate for the main line to ensure protective measures against the main line’s water force.
  • The given pipe criteria won’t damage, at standard consideration, saving your property.

Division C

You must have noticed that in the earlier discussion, we mentioned that the NPC is very generalized. It is subject to receive customization as per your province and territory.

In Division C of the code, you will find administrative provisions that explain how to apply the code. Each province or territory can customize these provisions to suit their specific needs.

Take the below example for a basic understanding.

Governing EntityDoc ReferenceHeading of the DocumentReference code
ASMEB16.12-2009Cast iron threaded drainage fittings2.2.6.3 (1)

This section is highly assistive for individuals like you as it coincides. Having all the administrative rules in one place makes customization easier.

This section also makes your life easy if your state does not provide its own administrative requirements. Division C permits you to follow “Administrative Requirements for Use with the National Building Code of Canada 1985” in that case.

Must-know Information to Incorporate the NPC

To apply the NPC for your property’s plumbing, you must know the key consideration below. These will help you to incorporate the huge list of codes effortlessly.

Key ConsiderationsDetailing
How to navigate the codesFollow this: 3.0 Part – 3.5. Section – 3.5.2. Subsection – Article – Sentence - Clause – (2)(a)(i) Subclause  
Clauses and subclauses containing “or” and “And” at the endConsider the sale term is applicable for the following clauses and subclauses within a single series
Identification of the changes between NPC 2015 and 2020You will see a vertical line indicating such changes
Used unitesImperial units have been used in the NPC

This YouTube video is helpful to master the Code book, providing guidelines to incorporate a code book:

People Also Ask

Here is some additional information regarding the Canadian NPC.

1. Is there any plumbing code in Canada for 2023?

The governmental entity is still relying on the 2020 version of NPC; no change has been made in 2023. However, the 2020 version is a moderation of the NPC of 2015.

2. Is the NPC of Canada similar to the International Plumbing Code?

Well, NPC is very based on IPC. But due to extremely cold weather, ambitious “Go-green” goals, etc. Many parts and provisions of the NPC differ from IPC.

3. Who regulates the Canadian NPC?

Canadian NPC is regulated by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes.

Final Words

We hope that our elaboration of the plumbing code of Canada will help you substantially. By understanding the roles of the NPC, you will be able to meet every national and state regulation regarding the plan, design, and piping installation on your property.

However, it is essential to consult the relevant province or territory to determine which plumbing code applies. And you need to adhere to local modifications or additional regulations.

The NPC is a valuable resource, but it is vital to consult professionals, reference manuals, and technical guides. By doing such, you are ensuring the best plumbing practices for specific needs.