All Ideas

Plumbing Code and PVC Updates

2021 0929 Ideas Post
Sep 29, 2021
Ed Feibel

Good news! Chicago's Department of Buildings (DOB) has released the proposed changes to the Chicago Plumbing Code and they have been introduced this month to the City Council for review.

The proposal is not all that the real estate community was hoping for, but it is a step in the right direction. It is a hybrid between the previous pilot program and the stricter requirements of the previous plumbing code. The use of PVC has been expanded for residential and mixed-use buildings. Once passed, these changes will be optional until March 1, 2022, and mandatory after that date.

PVC will be permitted to be used in Residential and Mixed Use buildings up to 60’-0” in height as measured per building code, however where the pipes are within the non-residential area of the building, they must be non-combustible materials approved by the code.

Underground PVC for drainage and vent is also approved, however, must be kept within 60” of the foundation.

If you have a project that would like to utilize this change before this code update is approved formally, DOB has released a new Alternative Code Approval Request form, for the interim period while the changes are reviewed.

In addition to the changes to the use of PVC, some other changes were made to the code. We have summarized them below:

  • Some general adjustments were made to the minimum sizes of drainage and vent pipes, generally reducing the required size of the pipes. With that, changes and updates were made to the drainage fixture unit schedule to bring it in line with current standards.
  • New standards were introduced for commercial kitchens, spaces, and equipment, specifically noting and updating where grease traps and waste interceptors are required.
  • Public pools now have specific requirements for toilet facilities beyond what is required by the Illinois Pool Code.

We hope that these changes will be approved at the next city council meeting. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions regarding the scope of the changes or if you need assistance in applying to use PVC in your project before the ordinance is approved.