Significant changes to tracer wire for buried nonmetallic water service piping in the 2021 International Plumbing Code
The 2021 Significant Changes guides are available for the International Building, Residential, Fire, Energy Conservation, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes. This valuable series can help any code user save time by zeroing in on the most critical changes in the 2021 International Codes. The Code Council’s technical experts provide summaries, analysis and graphics for these changes making them clear and easy to understand.
2021 International Plumbing Code
An addition to Section 609.2.1 (Tracer Wire for Buried Nonmetallic Water Service Piping) states that the addition of a tracer wire on buried hospital water service piping allows for easier locating to avoid piping damage that would disrupt water service.
A tracer wire is now required for underground nonmetallic water service piping serving Group I-2, Condition 2 facilities (hospitals). Although the installation of tracer products for buried nonmetallic piping and conduit is common in the utility industry, this section is specific as to the minimum size of the wire, access to the wire at each end of the piping and the insulation on the wire needing to be listed for direct burial service. Typical building wiring is not likely to be listed (by a third-party certification agency) for tracer wire service. Note that as AWG wire size number designations become larger, the wire diameters become smaller. Sizes less than 18 AWG are products having smaller wire diameters.
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