2016 California Plumbing Code Change Summary

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The following changes are not inclusive of all code changes.  They are a brief summary of changes that may have an impact on your project.





Coordination with the UMC, USEC, NFPA 54, Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement. Add definitions for terms previously not defined. Incorporate standards into the code sections, Standards moved to Chapter 17, sections list.


Freeze protection required in attics and crawl spaces


PVC exposed to sunlight: either latex paint or wrap with tape.


No trenches under a line 45 degrees from bottom exterior edge of footing.


Thermoplastic pipe trench width OD + 16" or 1.25 x OD + 12", 4" granular fill bed.


Epoxy pipe relining per ASTM F2831.


Lavatories section rewritten similar to other fixtures, add standards

CA 407, 408, 411, 412, 417, 420- fixture maximum flow rates.


Nonwater urinals: require 1 WSFU fixture upstream (and water supply).


Flushing devices: add clinical sinks and standards.


Drinking fountains: bottle filling stations can substitute for 50% of required number.


Floor drain required in boiler rooms (toilet rooms, laundry rooms, commercial kitchens).


Floor sinks, strainers required, added standards.


Fixture count now based on occupant load as calculated in the California Building Code.

Table 501.1(2)

Added water heater standards.


Single wall heat exchanger, heat transfer fluid FDA food grade, not to exceed maximum operating pressure of potable water supply.


Water heater pan minimum 1 1/2" deep.

CA 601.2, ex (3)

Recycled water and on-site treated nonpotable gray water allowed.

CA 601.2, ex (4)

Recycled water may be required by a public agency for flushing of water closets and urinals.


Yellow brass fittings in plastic piping systems containing >15% zinc requires NSF 14 testing, added standards.

CA 604.1

CPVC shall follow manufacturer's installation instructions.


Lead content per Safe Drinking Water Act and SB3874, 0.25%, 0.2% in solder and flux.


Separate shutoff valve required at fixture or appliance if manifold not readily accessible.


Residential fire sprinklers: incorporate IRC and NFPA 13D requirements, installers ASSE/IAPMO Series 7000 certified.

CA 612.3.1, ex (4)

Residential fire sprinklers not required in detached garages and carports with no habitable space above (see CA 612.5.1.2).

CA 612.3.8

Backflow preventer shall not be required to separate a sprinkler system from the water distribution system.

CA 612.5.2

Add 5 gpm. demand where the water supply serves both domestic and fire sprinkler systems.

CA 612.5.2.2

The area of attached garages, carports, porches, balconies, and patios not included in the dwelling area to determine 7 or 10- minute duration of fire sprinkler flow.

CA 705.1.2, 705.5.2, 705.8.4

HCD requires the use of low VOC primers (if required) and cements.



Cleanout required above fixture connection for each urinal.


Cleanout clearance 18" (vs 12") on piping 2" diameter or less, 24" (vs 18") on piping exceeding 2" diameter, maximum 5' (vs 20') from crawl space access.

CA 710.3.1

HCD minimum 2" diameter discharge piping from sump serving a water closet

710.4- Discharge piping from ejectors/pumps shall be pressure rated piping (some cellular core pipe is listed for non-pressure only).


Condensate waste, correlate with UMC.


Vents minimum 7' above roof if used for assembly purposes or parking.


Horizontal wet venting limited to a bathroom group, revised wording.


Circuit venting moved from Appendix C, deleted requirement that system be designed by a registered engineer.


Gas piping provisions correlate with NFPA 54.

CA 1211.7

Earthquake-actuated gas shutoff valves, if required by a local ordinance, shall be DSA certified.


Sediment trap before (upstream) gas flex connector (if used) to appliance.


Hospitals required to have two potable water sources.

Chapter 15

Alternate water source, correlate with Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code.

CA 1501.7

On-site nonpotable gray water systems, NSF 350.

CA Table 1501.5

Alternate water source testing, inspection, and maintenance frequency.

Chapter 16

Rainwater catchment systems, correlate with Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement.

CA 1601.6

Nonpotable rainwater systems water quality per CA Table 1602.9.4. Water treatment not required for use in surface, subsurface, or drip irrigation systems.

CA 1602.9.5.8

Storage tank vent size based on the size of the influent pipe and shall not be connected to the sanitary system vent.

Appendix I

Installation standards removed except for PEX tubing systems.