WIN 2014/15

HVAC/P - HVAC and Plumbing Product News magazine - is the go-to resource for the latest products in the industry.

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B Y J A C Q U E S S T- D E N I S P lumbing products typically need to be tested and certified to industry standards before being brought to market in North America. Understanding the testing and certifi- cation process can help bring products to market in a timely fashion and keep building projects on schedule. STANDARDS AND TESTING Safety and performance standards exist for those plumbing products that pose compatibility, mechanical or water dam- age hazards. Performance and health requirements are assured by evaluating products such as pipes, fixtures, fittings and drains in accordance with standards sponsored by non-governmental organi- zations and the industry. For plumbing products, the relevant standard writing organizations are American National Standards Institute, International Association of Plumb- ing and Mechanical Officials, Ameri- can Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society for Testing and Materials, Canadian Standards Associa- tion, National Science Foundation and Underwriters Laboratory. These organizations develop stan- dards through a consensus process that takes into account the viewpoints of manufacturers, the insurance industry, private organizations and the general public. To keep up with changes in the marketplace, existing standards are continually revised and new standards are regularly introduced, ensuring that new product innovations and features are accounted for in the standards. As a sign of certification, a product successfully tested to a standard will bear some sort of certification mark. IAPMO, which is accredited by ANSI, establishes the minimal requirements and standards for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare through its Uniform Plumbing Code. Typically, the prerequisite for UPC certification involves product testing by an independent organization, and the true legal requirement is that the testing laboratory must be an ANSI-accredited Certification Body or an accredited Testing Organization and Certification Body by the Standards Council of Canada. Considering the hundreds of plumb- ing standards that apply to different products, the testing process is ordinar- ily product specific. Testing can range from cycling and corrosion tests for sink faucets to load and low-lead tests for sink pipes. Accredited testing organiza- tions have the capacity to test plumbing products and fixtures against a com- prehensive list of standards and model codes. Some examples of the types of tests used for plumbing products include: > Thermal Shock: Ensures a unit can withstand the typical changes in water temperature seen during everyday use by cycling hot and cold water for timed intervals. > Wear and Cleanability: Simulates years of cleaning by using a scrub ma- chine to pull a brush back and forth over a sample thousands of times and check it for wear and if the surface can still be cleaned. > Ball Impact: Tests the durability of a product by dropping a steel ball from varying heights to strike different parts of the unit, and then checking for chips or cracks in the product. > Colorfastness: Simulates exposing a product to sunlight by exposing the surface material to artificial daylight and checking for color change. > Hair Entanglement: Ensures that suction fittings in bathtubs do not pres- ent a drowning hazard. > Stain Resistance: Tests to see if common household items will stain a product's surface by placing them on the product for extended periods and then attempting to remove the stain with a series of prescribed typical consumer cleaning methods. > Burst Pressure: Tests the pressure resistance of the faucets, fitting and pipes by applying hydrostatic pressure to determine if it can resist exploding or cracking. Navigating the plumbing testing and certification process Understanding the basics plumbing All certifi ed plumbing products require regular inspections to ensure compliance with industry standards and local codes. Quality and safety requirements are ensured by evaluating products such as pipes, fi xtures, fi ttings and drains in accordance with industry standards. HVACPproducts.com HVAC & Plumbing Product News \ Winter 2014/15 22

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