Geoff Bilau 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Swim in the Sunshine IAPMO develops of 2012 Solar, Swimming Pool Codes T he International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials in October concluded Technical Committee meetings toward the ANSI-accredited consensus development of the 2012 editions of the Uniform Solar Energy Code and Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code. The technical committees, consisting of a broad coalition of industry experts—installers, inspection officials, contractors, engineers and manufacturers—considered public proposals to amend the USEC and USPSHTC in advance of the release of the 2012 editions.Their actions to accept, modify or reject these proposals went to ballots mailed between Nov. 11 and Dec. 10 to each technical committee member for formal voting. The results of these votes will be published in the Report on Proposals to be published for review in February 2011 and opened for public comment in April 2011. The USPSHTC Technical Committee considered proposals seeking to amend the code in such areas as: • Public swimming pool and spa facilities; • Decks, diving boards and slides; • More in-depth water chemistry provisions; • Chemical storage and handling; • Safety requirements, including means of entry and exit, signage, barriers, life safety and rescue equipment, and lightning protection systems; • Indoor pool and spa HVAC and ventilation; and, • More in-depth design and material provisions for pools, spas and hot tubs. The USPSHTC governs the installation and inspection of both public and private swimming pools, spas and hot tubs to ensure the safety of their operation. Its provisions govern such aspects as structures, materials, equipment and appurtenances that encompass not only the plumbing of such systems, but all components, as well. The code further spells out clear protocol and equipment necessary to mitigate the threat of hair and body entrapment by suction drain fittings as detailed in laws such as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act and similar standards. The Uniform Solar Energy Code Technical Committee considered proposals seeking to amend the code in such areas as: • Regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program and the flood resistant provisions of ASCE 24; • Definition of “Essentially Nontoxic Transfer Fluid”; • Clarification on vacuum relief valve used in solar systems; • Freeze protection that correlates with other industry standards; • Classification of fluids recognized as safe as grade food by the Food and Drug Administration; • Prohibition of galvanized steel where in contact with glycol heat transfer fluid; • Plastic thermal storage (non-fiberglass storage tanks and fiber-reinforced storage tanks); • Thermal insulation in R-value; • Solar systems for swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs; • Solar photovoltaic installation guidelines; and, • Requirements for battery room—location and ventilation. The USEC is a model code developed by IAPMO to govern the installation and inspection of solar energy systems as a means of promoting public health, safety and welfare. Key provisions include: • Allows the installation of single wall heat exchangers; • Requires access to solar collector and its components for maintenance and repair purposes; • Provides protection requirements for freezing temperatures, water hammer, rodents, corrosion, ultraviolet radiation, decay and termites; and, • Waterproofing requirements when solar collector(s) is/are installed on a building structure to prevent of water leakage. These codes, acceptable in various jurisdictions, have long been recognized, prompting IAPMO to pass a resolution at its 1975 annual business conference that directed the president to form committees to develop basic solar energy and swimming pool documents. After months of concerted endeavor, these committees, composed of representatives from industry and public utility companies, inspectors, plumbers and engineers, successfully completed the first editions of the USEC and USPSHTC, which were officially adopted by IAPMO in September 1976. IAPMO urges its members and other interested parties to get involved in the code development process to ensure effectiveness in preserving the public health, safety and welfare through strict governance of the Uniform Codes. For questions about the USEC, contact Adam Muliawan at(909) 472-4111 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the USPSHTC, contact Matt Sigler by phone at(909) 230-5535 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Geoff Bilau is senior writer for marketing and communications for the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials. He is also editor of the association’s award-winning 52-year-old industry and membership magazine, Official. A veteran newspaper journalist previously, Bilau joined IAPMO and began covering the building industry in 2007.
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