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  1. #1
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    Default No water at residence

    If this is the wrong forum for this question forgive me guys, but with the large variety of types of inspectors here maybe someone could help.
    Could someone post any code that states that if someone is occupying a property that there must be water supplied to the house. The house has everything there the residence just simply have no water account and have been living there for months.

    Any help is appreciated. Again if this is not the place for this type of question forgive me.

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    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    If this is the wrong forum for this question forgive me guys, but with the large variety of types of inspectors here maybe someone could help.
    Could someone post any code that states that if someone is occupying a property that there must be water supplied to the house. The house has everything there the residence just simply have no water account and have been living there for months.

    Any help is appreciated. Again if this is not the place for this type of question forgive me.
    Isn't that something to do with health and welfare. Wait a minute. Aren't you the city inspector???????

    Anyway, when you do a certificate of occupancy/final inspection doesnt the home have to have running water and heat at the least?????

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    If this is the wrong forum for this question forgive me guys, but with the large variety of types of inspectors here maybe someone could help.
    Could someone post any code that states that if someone is occupying a property that there must be water supplied to the house. The house has everything there the residence just simply have no water account and have been living there for months.

    Any help is appreciated. Again if this is not the place for this type of question forgive me.
    I would think that that would be more of a city, town, county and or even a state health requirement. HUD requires all residences to have running water in them, that it about the only requirement that I'm aware of.

    Was the water cut off for non payment?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    I am the city inspector and I have been asked what we have that states anything that regards this. This residence is an older duplex. So as far as the c/o goes like I said it has all the required hook ups just no service. I have to get with our water dept. to find out some more details. I was just asking to see if there were anything spelled out in the code books.

    Thanks for the responses guys. I know this is out of scope of this forum but this is a great resource and figured I'd give it a shot.

    Dylan Whitehead

  5. #5
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    If they have had no water service for a few months, what have they been doing with their human waste?

    Now you probably got a violation that the city could get involved about.

    I inspected a home a few months ago that the seller had not had electricity on for over 4 months and he'd been living in the home. The agent had to pay out of pocket for the electricity to be turned on so the buyer could have inspections. Tough times you think?

    rick


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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    If this is the wrong forum for this question forgive me guys, but with the large variety of types of inspectors here maybe someone could help.
    Could someone post any code that states that if someone is occupying a property that there must be water supplied to the house. The house has everything there the residence just simply have no water account and have been living there for months.

    Any help is appreciated. Again if this is not the place for this type of question forgive me.
    I would expect this to be in the International Property Maintenance Code. While I do not have the reference, this code is specifically geared towards health, safety and sanitation.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    IRC 2003. R306. Sanitation.
    R306.1 Toilet facilities. Every dwelling unit shall be provided with water closet, lavatory, and a bathtub or shower.
    306.2 Kitchen.......
    306.3 Sewage disposal.....
    306.4 Water supply to fixtures.....


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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    IRC 2003. R306. Sanitation.
    R306.1 Toilet facilities. Every dwelling unit shall be provided with water closet, lavatory, and a bathtub or shower.
    306.2 Kitchen.......
    306.3 Sewage disposal.....
    306.4 Water supply to fixtures.....
    .
    I think Dylan is saying They Have All of That ( Just No Water Turned On . )
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    I think Dylan is saying They Have All of That ( Just No Water Turned On . )
    .

    306.4 Water supply to fixtures. All plumbing fixtures shall be connected to an approved water supply. Kitchens sinks,lavatory's, bathtubs, showers, bidets., laundry tubs and washing machines outlets shall be provided with hot and cold water.


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    Default Re: No water at residence

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - SECTION P2602
    - - INDIVIDUAL WATER SUPPLY AND SEWAGE DISPOSAL
    - - - P2602.1 General. The water-distribution and drainage system of any building or premises where plumbing fixtures are installed shall be connected to a public water supply or sewer system, respectively, if available. When either a public water-supply or sewer system, or both, are not available, or connection to them is not feasible, an individual water supply or individual (private) sewage-disposal system, or both, shall be provided.


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  11. #11
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Shall be provide.

    The water is just not on. I read the code as it must be provided. I also read that as they are provide. The water is just not on. I don't see it saying that the water has to be on to be habitable. I just read it that it has to be provided.

    Or the term connected to. It still does not say turned on.

    304.6 still says

    306.4 Water supply to fixtures. All plumbing fixtures shall be connected to an approved water supply. Kitchens sinks,lavatory's, bathtubs, showers, bidets., laundry tubs and washing machines outlets shall be provided with hot and cold water.

    Is that really saying that the water must be on or just that hot and cold lines are provided

    I know for an FHA loan says that the home must be habitable. They do not say specifically that water must be turned on at all times.

    I think it is a health department municipal code where for health reasons for washing and waste removal.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Ted,

    On the FHA loans I've seen they do require.

    1. Heat for the home.
    2. A range for cooking.
    3. Heated water.
    4. No broken windows.
    So therefore the water must be on to obtain the loan. Doesn't mean the city doesn't come by and turn it off after someone doesn't pay their bill.

    I seen a home last year over in Garland where the city had padlocked the meter. The homeowner had took a torch and cut the meter off the lines and had fit a pipe in betweent the 2 lines and was therefore stealing water from the city.

    The city then refused any water service to the home I believe for 3 months or more.

    rick


  13. #13
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Try this link.
    http://www.iccsafe.org/e/prodshow.html?prodid=3500S06&stateInfo=kllQjyIndlW bZgsb9911|7

    CREIA CCI & Evil Genius
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Shall be provide.

    The water is just not on.

    Which means the house is considered "not habitable".

    And, "not habitable" buildings are "not to be occupied".

    Thus, with no water, the building "should not be occupied", which means the city/county/whatever has the authority to cause the forcible removal of the occupants and even declare the structure as "not habitable".

    And, yes, the "not habitable" building would become habitable again as soon as water was supplied to the building ... provided, of course, ... that there were no other related problems affecting the habitability of the house.

    Yes, it is a shame to remove people from a house without water when doing so may make them homeless, which in turn could end up being worse than living in a building without water, but, the city/county/whatever is charged with protecting the public, which includes sanitation and habitable structures.

    In my opinion, instead of removing the occupants and then having the city/county/whatever spend *even more money* on finding shelter for the occupants, the city/county/whatever could provide minimum water supply to the building to achieve minimum sanitation levels. If need be, the water provided is levied against the buildings as a lien, so when the building is sold, the city either collects the money then, or, has the option of writing that cost off in exchange for putting a habitable building back on the tax roles.

    But, of course, there are those who feel that government is too big and the thought of using big government to actually help its citizens is ... well ... outrageous.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    All the building codes seem to specify how a dwelling is built... not how it's lived in. Of course, the natural intent of all the codes is to have an energized or operational plumbing system but they seem to get right to that point and then stop short.

    I think it's more of a habitability issue, likley handled by a different agency than the building department in most areas.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Of course, the natural intent of all the codes is to have an energized or operational plumbing system but they seem to get right to that point and then stop short.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)

    - SECTION P2602
    - - INDIVIDUAL WATER SUPPLY AND SEWAGE DISPOSAL

    - - - P2602.1 General. The water-distribution and drainage system of any building or premises where plumbing fixtures are installed shall be connected to a public water supply or sewer system, respectively, if available. When either a public water-supply or sewer system, or both, are not available, or connection to them is not feasible, an individual water supply or individual (private) sewage-disposal system, or both, shall be provided.


    "where plumbing fixtures are installed shall be connected to"

    That is not stopping short.

    If there is no meter, or the valve is off at the meter, the "water-distribution and drainage system" *is not connected to* the water supply.

    Think of it this way: You have the same structure supplied electrically by an overhead service, which connects to a meter enclosure, which connects to the service equipment, which connects to the distribution panels, branch circuits and all the appliances and devices.

    The meter is pulled.

    IS the house now "connected to" the electric utility power?

    Of course not, is your answer, and rightly so.

    Now, go back to the water question: if the meter has been pulled, is the building "connected to" the water utility system?

    Of course not, is the only answer you can give, the building has been "disconnected from" the water utility system by either the removal of the water meter or by the utility turning the water off. JUST LIKE WITH THE ELECTRICAL power.


    Okay, let's go to the 2006 IRC for this section. (underlining is mine)
    - R111.3 Authority to disconnect service utilities.
    The building official shall have the authority to authorize disconnection of utility service to the building, structure or system regulated by this code and the referenced codes and standards set forth in Section R102.4 in case of emergency where necessary to eliminate an immediate hazard to life or property or when such utility connection has been made without the approval required by Section R111.1 or R111.2. The building official shall notify the serving utility and whenever possible the owner and occupant of the building, structure or service system of the decision to disconnect prior to taking such action if not notified prior to disconnection. The owner or occupant of the building, structure or service system shall be notified in writing as soon as practical thereafter.

    Right there it is. The water *is not connected* if it is *disconnected*. Sure, the water lines are still there, and when the building official uses his authority to disconnect the water or electric, does he then remove the water piping or the electrical wiring?

    No, of course not, he simply "disconnects" the service by having the meter pulled (or in some other manner, as applicable).



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  17. #17
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    [/font]

    "where plumbing fixtures are installed shall be connected to"

    That is not stopping short.

    If there is no meter, or the valve is off at the meter, the "water-distribution and drainage system" *is not connected to* the water supply.

    Think of it this way: You have the same structure supplied electrically by an overhead service, which connects to a meter enclosure, which connects to the service equipment, which connects to the distribution panels, branch circuits and all the appliances and devices.

    The meter is pulled.

    IS the house now "connected to" the electric utility power?

    Of course not, is your answer, and rightly so.

    Now, go back to the water question: if the meter has been pulled, is the building "connected to" the water utility system?

    Of course not, is the only answer you can give, the building has been "disconnected from" the water utility system by either the removal of the water meter or by the utility turning the water off. JUST LIKE WITH THE ELECTRICAL power.[/left]


    Okay, let's go to the 2006 IRC for this section. (underlining is mine)

    - R111.3 Authority to disconnect service utilities.
    The building official shall have the authority to authorize disconnection of utility service to the building, structure or system regulated by this code and the referenced codes and standards set forth in Section R102.4 in case of emergency where necessary to eliminate an immediate hazard to life or property or when such utility connection has been made without the approval required by Section R111.1 or R111.2. The building official shall notify the serving utility and whenever possible the owner and occupant of the building, structure or service system of the decision to disconnect prior to taking such action if not notified prior to disconnection. The owner or occupant of the building, structure or service system shall be notified in writing as soon as practical thereafter.

    Right there it is. The water *is not connected* if it is *disconnected*. Sure, the water lines are still there, and when the building official uses his authority to disconnect the water or electric, does he then remove the water piping or the electrical wiring?

    No, of course not, he simply "disconnects" the service by having the meter pulled (or in some other manner, as applicable).


    I think we all understand the meaning Jerry but don't you think it would be better to come out and say it directly in the code instead of like a politician wrote the code and you have to detect the meaning. That is one of the things I do not like many codes.

    How about saying that a building is not habitable unless there is *running water*, both hot and cold, to all fixtures and a working toilet, meaning water running to it so you can use those fixtures and flush the toilet.

    My belief is they stop short of being direct because it is a matter for the city health department for the health and safety of it citizens.

    The code in so many places has to be discussed and thought out to figure the true meaning.

    99% of the time you have to say "what it is saying is" "what this pertains to" "what their intent really is"

    Kinda like in Maine "You just can't get there from Hea"


    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    It's ambiguous at best... connected is connected, energized is energized. Two different things meaning two different things in different contexts. You can easily be connected to water and electricity but have neither functional or serving the house.

    I'm not sure where the idea of tearing out water meters and such comes from. There was no question about that by the OP. He didn't say the water meter has been removed. It's just that the water service is off. The plumbing is still connected to the hosue... it's just not 'ON' - Building codes are satisfied. It's CONNECTED..... code inspectors get in your trucks and go have coffee..... your work is done here..... nothing to see.... nothing to write up... nothing to recommend.... nothing to require.... it's somebody else's issue/concern/problem... you can require the building be constructed your way... once it's done.... you're done.... go home... let us all live.

    Amazingly enough, there are some facets of life that the code doesn't have authority over.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    I think the big Q, Is who or where is the owner to the property?

    And why is the county inspector out on this property?

    Are they paying rent ? Or do they even have the keys to this property?

    has any one paid the water bill?

    Is it safe to turn on the water?

    How long has it been off?

    who shut it off?

    And so on Q.?

    Best

    Ron


  20. #20
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Ron to answer your questions.
    It is actually a duplex.
    Someone is renting. (I can only assume they are paying rent)

    I was notified by our water department that they have been residing there for months without a water account.

    I am not sure if the meter has been pulled or not.

    I personally do not believe this is a building issue more on the code compliance and health department side.

    I was just trying to some thoughts and to see if anyone knew of any referance to a specific code because I could not recall it specifically stating that there must be active water. All required fixtures are there, all supply lines are there, just simply now water. I do not know if they have been bypassing the meter to "steal water".

    Dylan Whitehead

  21. #21
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    I have seen the stealing water and electricity thing more often than I would like to admit. I had one man boasting and actually telling me exactly how to do it. He said I should probably not be telling you this but I am moving tomorrow and have already corrected the fix so no one will ever be able to prove it

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  22. #22
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    How about saying that a building is not habitable unless there is *running water*, both hot and cold, to all fixtures and a working toilet, meaning water running to it so you can use those fixtures and flush the toilet.
    First, water does not "run", thus you cannot have "running water".

    Second, if you stated that, the way you stated it, that would mean the water "had to be running" *all the time*.

    The better way, to me, is they way they stated it: it has to be "connected to" the water supply service. Now, it might help if they defined "connected to" in a manner which stated something to the effect of:

    Connected to - Means that a utility system, such as electrical, plumbing supply, plumbing waste water, an like systems, have those systems connected to their respective supply/discharge utility, public or private, with their respective disconnect/shut off in the 'ON' position such that the respective utility system provides the means for the building systems to function.

    Gets kind of complicated, doesn't it?

    Simpler to state "connected to" and look up "connected" in the dictionary. And, in fact, that is also in the code.

    R201.4 Terms not defined.
    Where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this section, such terms shall have ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies.


    But, if we look up "connected" we find:

    Main Entry: connected Function: adjective Date: 1712 1: joined or linked together
    2: having the parts or elements logically linked together <presented a thoroughly connected view of the problem>
    3: related by blood or marriage
    4: having social, professional, or commercial relationships <a well-connected lawyer>
    5: of a set : having the property that any two of its points can be joined by a line completely contained in the set ; also : incapable of being separated into two or more closed disjoint subsets
    Ś conĚnectĚedĚly adverb
    Ś conĚnectĚedĚness noun

    Seems pretty clear to me, but ... I have this weird logic sequence where strange things can appear logical while other seemingly similar things can appear illogical.

    Illogical.

    Just call me Spock.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    See the International Property Maintenance Code Chapter 5 Section 502 'Required Facilities' and Section 505 'Water System'. You should be able to use this if your jurisdiction has adopted it. Also see the 1997 Uniform Housing Code Section 505-Sanitation. As others have stated with this and and the Cities Municipal Code definition of "Habitability" you should be able to enforce it. Hope this helps.


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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Oh Mr Jerry

    Everyone on this planet (exception of maybe you ) knows the term running water. As in don't leave the water running in the sink.

    I gotta love ya Jerry. You will find the web to weave to out technocrat (is that even a word) the other.

    Anyways

    Gene

    Thank you for that post. I new I saw that somewhere as many have said.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Ted, no problem.

    Dylan,
    We had a simular case here and if they allow you to enter the home for inspection and there is no sanitation issue or habitability problem then there probably is nothing you can do. They can or may be bringing water in from the outside for cooking, cleaning, flushing, etc.. highly unlikely but I've seen some pretty weird things.


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    Default Re: No water at residence

    My comments in the thread were based upon the code references provided... by JP, of course

    I was talking with a friend today who's a county inspector and does plumbing... he says there's a requirement for a dwelling to have a minimum of 15 psi water service.

    That would seem to settle this debate and make me.... dare I say.... wrong, which I'm happy to admit every once in awhile in the name of education.

    Is there a psi requirement? I can inquire further for a section number, etc.


  27. #27
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    Question Re: No water at residence

    A couple of questions here....

    1 Is the home connected to city water?

    2 if so, 1a Is the meter locked?

    I do not believe it is correct the city would lock out the meter unless there was a leak in the main and the owner was not doing anything about it. Then there would be bigger issues underlying, no pun intended....If so, it would be a violation of sanitation which the city would not want to face, in that case, the city would make the repair and charge the homeowner.

    Big land slide in SW PDX recently due to either water or sewer line broken. Didn't help that the house was on a steep incline either. Too many homes here like that.



    Hmmm, well, there's my 1-1/2 cents...


  28. #28
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Martinez View Post
    A couple of questions here....

    1 Is the home connected to city water?

    2 if so, 1a Is the meter locked?

    I do not believe it is correct the city would lock out the meter unless there was a leak in the main and the owner was not doing anything about it. Then there would be bigger issues underlying, no pun intended....If so, it would be a violation of sanitation which the city would not want to face, in that case, the city would make the repair and charge the homeowner.
    Where I live, the city will and can lock out your meter if you are (5) days late on your water bill alone.

    rick


  29. #29
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Where I live, the city will and can lock out your meter if you are (5) days late on your water bill alone.

    rick

    I have lived in 3 states and a serious amount of towns and city's. Every single one of them will do exactly what any utility provider will do,,,,,,, turn your water off if you don't pay your bill and will not turn it back on until paid and a new deposit put down.

    *no, before the wise guy asks, I have not had my water turned off*

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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    Default Re: No water at residence

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I was talking with a friend today who's a county inspector and does plumbing... he says there's a requirement for a dwelling to have a minimum of 15 psi water service.

    Is there a psi requirement? I can inquire further for a section number, etc.
    Yes, 40 psi.

    From the 2006 IRC.

    - P2903.3 Minimum pressure. Minimum static pressure (as determined by the local water authority) at the building entrance for either public or private water service shall be 40 psi (276 kPa).

    - - P2903.3.1 Maximum pressure. Maximum static pressure shall be 80 psi (551 kPa).When main pressure exceeds 80 psi (551 kPa), an approved pressure-reducing valve conforming to ASSE 1003 shall be installed on the domestic water branch main or riser at the connection to the water-service pipe.



    Regarding the other issue:

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - SECTION P2901
    - - GENERAL
    - - - P2901.1 Potable water required. Dwelling units shall be supplied with potable water in the amounts and pressures specified in this chapter. In a building where both a potable and nonpotable water-distribution system are installed, each system shall be identified by color marking, metal tag or other appropriate method. Any nonpotable outlet that could inadvertently be used for drinking or domestic purposes shall be posted.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  31. #31
    Tom Edwards's Avatar
    Tom Edwards is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    High Point, NC
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    97

    Default Re: No water at residence

    Dylan,
    For reasons of sanitation, a water supply must be present in the home for toilets.
    As a former building code and minimum housing inspector for the City of High Point, NC I participated in evicting homeowners from their own home. The greatest triggering event was that the homeowner did not have water pressure on any fixture in the dwelling and therefore there was no working toilet. High Point has an ordinance that requires all habitable structures to have water pressure and a working toilet. There were normally other mitigating issues but that one was a hard and fast rule.
    If your municipality has no ordinance ruling on this it would be quite surprising.


  32. #32
    William Brady's Avatar
    William Brady Guest

    Default Re: No water at residence

    Lots of reply's and I didn't read all of them but my question is, Are there any kids living in this house" You know the rest.


  33. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,863

    Default Re: No water at residence

    Around here, no running water means a vacate order. Usually 2 weeks to 30 days to give an opportunity to remedy. If kids present within 7 days or sooner depending on conditions and time of year.

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