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  1. #1
    Mike Black's Avatar
    Mike Black Guest

    Default Pvc for dmv drain pipe in Chicago

    Sorry if this has been answered before. I have been searching. I was under the impression that in Chicago, they only allowed for pvc in residential use, 3 stories or less, and that copper, galvanized, and cast iron had to be used above grade and only cast iron below grade for non-residential use.

    I just came across a post on the web stating that pvc can now be used for ALL drain above and below grade, but cast iron still must be used under ground. Hopefully a licensed plumber can confirm this? Is this a recent code change(when?) and does it in fact apply to commercial properties?

    The plumbing union has had strong clout in Chicago and has been against pvc vs other cities, mostly due to the ease of use, less cost, and loss of business, so I am surprised if this is true. I was about to pay a very steep price to replace a very long run of drain cast iron pipes that run above basement ground, so I am praying this is true!

    Thanks!!!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
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    548

    Default Re: Pvc for dmv drain pipe in Chicago

    Not true. Homes that are more than three stories, or more than six unit buildings can not use PVC. Commercial units can not use PVC. Chicago does not allow No Hub cast iron, and they do not allow the rubber push gaskets on the hubs of the cast iron.

    Chicago plumbing union has nothing to do with it. It is more in the line with Chicago fire codes and such. They do not want the DWV system to be a fire pathway.


  3. #3
    Mike Black's Avatar
    Mike Black Guest

    Default Re: Pvc for dmv drain pipe in Chicago + Hair Salons

    Thanks Ron, I believe you would know judging by your knowledgeable replies here and on Terry's plumbing forum. I suspected it was incorrect info being passed on the net and not clarifying the residential restrictions that has been approved and in place, I believe, for a few years now.

    I did not think of the City's position with regards to fires. So, it is a tough code city that still demands lead and oakum joints for commercial and mixed use or large residential buildings. BTW, our property has 3 inch copper from 2nd and 3rd floor condos coming down to the horizontal basement cast iron. It looks like pretty good work from previous plumbers. That copper must have been expensive even back 15 years ago ( still probably 2-3x less than what it is currently). I guess it was easier to work with than installing vertical stacks of 4" cast iron.

    While I got your attention, a couple more questions please:

    Is the cast iron pipe at Depot, the same as code or is it weaker thinner walled? Another plumber says it isn't as thick or code compliant but I question that. I had a feeling he was trying to profit on the materials.

    I got a headache trying to go through the Chicago Plumbing code to try to find out if a Hair Salon say with 3 shampoo sinks (also used for color chemicals) requires special plumbing in Chicago? Do you have any experience or knowledge here or can you point me in the right direction? I think vacuum breakers are required on each one and I know there are pvc like hair traps for hair salon sinks, but I'm not sure these are to code in Chicago or if they must go to a cast iron hair trap? Also if it can drain afterwards into a 2 inch copper drain line from 2 kitchen sinks from 2 condos above the planned commercial space that then go through a grease trap and then into the main service city sewage line. Or must it enter the main separate and away from the condo kitchen sink lines?

    Thanks a bunch Ron, we may need your services down the road if I can win another arm wrestle with my bank

    - Mike


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Pvc for dmv drain pipe in Chicago + Hair Salons

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Black View Post
    Thanks Ron, I believe you would know judging by your knowledgeable replies here and on Terry's plumbing forum. I suspected it was incorrect info being passed on the net and not clarifying the residential restrictions that has been approved and in place, I believe, for a few years now.

    I did not think of the City's position with regards to fires. So, it is a tough code city that still demands lead and oakum joints for commercial and mixed use or large residential buildings. BTW, our property has 3 inch copper from 2nd and 3rd floor condos coming down to the horizontal basement cast iron. It looks like pretty good work from previous plumbers. That copper must have been expensive even back 15 years ago ( still probably 2-3x less than what it is currently). I guess it was easier to work with than installing vertical stacks of 4" cast iron.

    While I got your attention, a couple more questions please:

    Is the cast iron pipe at Depot, the same as code or is it weaker thinner walled? Another plumber says it isn't as thick or code compliant but I question that. I had a feeling he was trying to profit on the materials.

    I got a headache trying to go through the Chicago Plumbing code to try to find out if a Hair Salon say with 3 shampoo sinks (also used for color chemicals) requires special plumbing in Chicago? Do you have any experience or knowledge here or can you point me in the right direction? I think vacuum breakers are required on each one and I know there are pvc like hair traps for hair salon sinks, but I'm not sure these are to code in Chicago or if they must go to a cast iron hair trap? Also if it can drain afterwards into a 2 inch copper drain line from 2 kitchen sinks from 2 condos above the planned commercial space that then go through a grease trap and then into the main service city sewage line. Or must it enter the main separate and away from the condo kitchen sink lines?

    Thanks a bunch Ron, we may need your services down the road if I can win another arm wrestle with my bank

    - Mike
    If the cast iron is service weight then it will meet the code. But be carefully if its made in China I would not use it due to it being inferior. I have removed a lot of cast iron that was installed only for a few years that turned out to be made in China. They developed leaks along the seams and such.

    The hair wash sinks can not go to the grease trap, they will have to tie in further down the line. Zurn makes a cast iron hair trap that can be used on these sinks. If you have a lunch room sink that has to tie into the line leading to the grease traps.

    As for the copper for the DWV I would specify Type L copper for the hair sinks since there is chemicals draining down them. The normal DWV and even Type M copper will be like swiss cheese in a few years.

    If you really want to know what needs to be done to meet the codes you can go to City hall and talk to a plumbing inspector in the building department. They will be more than happy to help you with any questions.


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