BCAB #1347 - Protection of Water Piping from Freezing, Sentence 3.5.4.(1), B.C. Plumbing Code

April 18, 1994

BCAB #1347

Re: Protection of Water Piping from Freezing, Sentence 3.5.4.(1), B.C. Plumbing Code

Project Description

The project in question consists of 3 separate townhouse buildings over a common underground parking garage. The buildings share a common domestic hot water system with the water mains located in the underground parking. All the water pipes in the garage are insulated.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.5.4.(1) requires that "...piping in...unheated spaces shall be adequately protected against freezing by insulation and the application of heat or the application of heat only."

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the pipes containing continuously circulating hot water do not require heat tracing because the circulating hot water meets the intent for "application of heat" in Sentence 3.5.4.(1). In response to the concern that a power failure will stop the circulation the appellant points out that heat tracing would also fail as both the pump and heat tracing are electric.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Sentence 3.5.4.(1) applies to both cold and hot water pipes and that the intent is to provide adequate protection from freezing. In the official's view a recirculating pump does not offer the same level of protection as electrical heat tracing.

Appeal Board Decision #1347

It is the determination of the Board that the continuous circulation of hot water in the insulated water supply piping meets the intent of the Code for the "application of heat" to protect against freezing and heat tracing is not required.

George R. Humphrey, Chair