North Central / Regional Reports

Inspectors Prefer Uniform Plumbing Code, Says Survey

December 1, 2008
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) is considered the most applicable plumbing code in the United States by a majority of plumbing inspectors in the nation’s most populous cities recently surveyed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The survey, titled “National Report on Plumbing Licensure, Codes and Quality of Workmanship” and commissioned by the Plumbing Industry Council (PIC), queried inspectors from 74 major metropolitan cities representing one-sixth of the nation’s population.

Inspectors found the UPC to be the most “efficient and least confusing” of codes, according to the survey, and more inspectors believe the UPC protects quality plumbing and workmanship “extremely well” on commercial (89.5 percent of those surveyed) and residential (90 percent) sites than do other codes.

Another aspect of the survey indicated a definitive preference (90.1 percent) among inspectors for the work of licensed plumbers over that of certified or non-certified/non-licensed plumbers. The results indicated a perceived connection between stricter license requirements and higher quality workmanship. More respondents indicated that the licensing standard protects quality workmanship “extremely well” when each journeyman was licensed than when one plumber was licensed or the contractor only was licensed.

“Plumbing licenses are important to our industry and inspectors recognize that a plumbing license is synonymous with the completion of a training program that incorporates both practical and theoretical skills,” said Gary Hamilton, UA director of plumbing services. “And those who are part of the code development process have more confidence in the work governed by that code. Who knows the industry better than those who install and maintain plumbing and mechanical systems? We believe that is why this survey revealed a preference for the Uniform Plumbing Code.”

Among survey participants, an overwhelming majority of respondents (65.8 percent) indicated they’d like to see the commercial and residential codes combined. Of those who stated a preference, nearly twice as many said they’d prefer that be done under the UPC compared to those who favored other codes.

Dr. Robert Bruno, director of the Labor Education Program at the Institute, conducted the survey, collecting data from September 2007 to November 2007 via an online questionnaire. For more information or to obtain a copy of the full report, contact Plumbing Industry Council Chairman Gary Hamilton at 202-628-5823.

Publication date: 12/01/2008

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