Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

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Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

Postby RDavidson » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:13 am

On March 14, 2011, the Minnesota Plumbing Board issued the following "final interpretation".

"Question: Is the discharge piping from a sump pump to its point of discharge
plumbing work as defined by the Minnesota Plumbing Code (the “Code”)?
Answer: Yes, the installation of a discharge piping from a sump pump to its point
of discharge is plumbing pursuant to the Code. Because the Code
specifically addresses sumps and the discharge line, and the definition of
plumbing includes drainage systems, our conclusion is that the installation
of a sump pump and drainage piping is plumbing."

Do you require a separate permit be obtained by a licensed master plumber or the homeowner (if the homeowner does the work) whenever a sump pump and/or discharge piping are installed? Do you permit firms specializing in foundation water issues to install sump pumps and/or discharge piping?
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Re: Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

Postby JimW » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:56 am

Rick here are my answers to your questions.
Do you require a separate permit be obtained by a licensed master plumber or the homeowner (if the homeowner does the work) whenever a sump pump and/or discharge piping are installed?

Do you permit firms specializing in foundation water issues to install sump pumps and/or discharge piping?

I know I give away the farm but it is only clear water and it is going outside on the ground. :wink:
Jim W
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Re: Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

Postby Paul Heimkes » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:21 am

OK,... What about condensate drains - or other equipment discharge drains (indirect)? :evil:
(Someone had to ask!)
Paul Heimkes
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Re: Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

Postby Johnstop » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:26 pm

Why wouldn't the sump pump installation be under the original permit. I bet I could find a few empty sump pits in every municipality! I would venture to say that if it was missed on the final inspection somebody didn't do their job. :(
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Re: Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

Postby Roger Axel » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:12 am

On 11/21/11 the Plumbing posted this Final Interpretation to Inquiry PB0067:
Question: Is a gutter or downspout installed completely on the outside of a building or structure discharging to grade governed by the Minn. Plumbing Code, Minn. R. ch. 4715?
Answer: No. Therefore, a licensed plumber is not required.
Commentary: The Committee decided that the installation of the gutters and downspouts specified in the question are not plumbing within the meaning of the Code. Therefore, a licensed plumber is not needed
for these installations.
My comments:
Rain water collected and discharged from a roof, or collected as ground water in a sump basket, still falls into the definition of a drainage system (4715.0100 Subp.42) "...includes all the piping which conveys...rain water, a legal point of disposal." If the rain water is captured and conveyed to the ground at the roof level a plumber is not required to install the downspout "piping" system (Interior storm drains are not part of this discussion). Now when that same rain water is allowed to soak into the ground and is then captured in a sump and discharged (piped) to the exterior of the building a plumber is required. Hmmmmm. Different water?

We issue building permits to firms specializing in foundation water issues to install sump pumps and/or discharge piping. The point of discharge for a condensate drain must be provided by the plumber. The tubing/piping for the condensate drain can then be terminated at that designated point of discharge, which would be verified at the time of the final inspection for the mechanical equipment.

Although highly recommended, I can't require the sump pump to be installed, so not all sump baskets have a pump installed at the time of final inspection. Sump basket may have been installed as a precautionary measure for possible future groundwater collection. A pump could then be installed later or maybe the homeowner chooses to bail the small amount of water collected instead. Don't know......................
Roger Axel, C.B.O.
Building Official
City of New Hope, MN
Roger Axel
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Re: Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

Postby TD-O » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:06 pm

I'm glad we're discussing this topic because I believe we could have future issues in regards to storm water/ground water collection/distribution.

If you would indulge me for a moment I would like to go back a century to cite a case that is presenting itself again.

In 1911 the Mayowood Mansion was built outside of Rochester Mn. and a storm water collection system was integrated into the design of the house. Water from the gutters was piped underground to a collection tank (cistern) under the terrace of the house for later use. The house, terrace and 10,000+ gal. Cistern are all built on a hillside on class 4, clayey soil. The underground piping was red clay tile. It all worked just fine until movement in the soil separated and broke the tile releasing the collected storm water under the foundation of the house and terrace. The end result was the predictable structural damage to the front corner of the house still visible today.

I relate this story because I am seeing - in the "green" movement - a resurgence of interest in collecting and reusing storm/ground water. The TCF Bank Stadium is a great example. They collect and reuse storm water in an ENGINEERED system. The point of concern, as many of you know from experience, is when the homeowner with assistance from the "Gutter Guy" decides to engineer his own system. His intensions are good but need to be monitored; hence the very reason for our Permit/Inspection system. With proper design, materials and workmanship these systems will save. But, it is one more area that we will have to be aware of with the "greening" of society and the introduction of new systems and the reinventing of old ideas.
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Re: Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

Postby johnedberg » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:08 pm

The City of Chaska does require the sump basket to be discharged to the exterior. I believe we use Section R405.2.3 Drainage System. The sump "shall be capable of positive gravity or mechanical drainage to remove any accumulated water". "The drainage system shall discharge into an approved sewer system or to daylight".

John Edberg
City of Chaska
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Re: Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

Postby Armand » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:27 am

Discharge pump piping from ground water sump pits is a part of the plumbing code,
see 4715.2440. subpart 2 regulates the discharge piping and subpart 7 regulates clear water sumps.
I have been told by the Plumbing unit at the State that the installation of ground water sumps themselves has been historically allowed to be done by the foundation/floor contractor. They did not feel it neccessary to have the plumber called in to install the drain tile around the footing and the sump itself.
With that logic, why would the discharge of the sump be required to be done by plumbers, as long as the discharge is not connected to the sanitary sewer, which isn't allowed in most jurisdictions anyway.

On the other hand, I have been requested by licensed plumbers to stop basement drying contractors from installing sump discharge piping.

Seems some of us plumbers don't want to root around in the ground getting muddy, but want to retain for themselves the part of the job that's easy............
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Re: Plumbing and Sump Pumps/Piping

Postby Greg Johnson » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:47 pm

Other than the homowner installation provisions, I don't think there is any work defined as plumbing by the state plumbing code that doesn't require a licensed plumber to do. In other words, if it's plumbing it needs a licensed plumber.

I'm also unaware of any provision that gives a municipal building official or city the authority to waive the state's plumbing licensing requirements. I'm not usre that I'd 'fess up to that in writing.

I understand how ridiculous it is to require a licensed plumber to install clearwater sump piping since it isn't connected to potable supplies or the sanitary system, but that's not what we've been given by the the chief authority on these matters; i.e. the state plumbing board.

It's an example of what's wrong with this piece of our construction regulatory systems.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
Greg Johnson
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