First condo Insp, have questions

Just completed my first inspection in Florida! It was on a condo which I have not had a lot of experience with. Have a question about this picture, specifically the TPR valve. A. its drained into a wall and B. it runs through 2 separate 90’s to get their. Im guessing draining to a wall drain is standard for a condo but the angle’s really kind of bug me. Im from the land of TPR’s run straight down with copper from gas water heaters with proper air gap. Any thoughts/advice? BTW, in Sarasota if that helps.


What material is the drain pipe? CPVC?
Also the pic looks as if the drain pipe doesn’t allow to drain by gravity. Maybe it’s just the pic.
Also, is the drain pipe 3/4 inch all the way?
Sorry can’t really see a lot in the pic on my phone.

Yes, it was Cpvc and it was 3/4. in terms of draining by gravity it frankly was hard to tell. The pipe really looked more level than anything going into the wall. My thought really is that it could be proper for those condo’s except the two 90’s. From what I remember the only 90’s allowed were one taking the pipe down the side of the WH towards the floor with an air gap. From everything I learned in the NACHI courses I should write up that it goes into a wall drain (so you cant see if it is leaking) and that it should be 90ed to the floor not twice to the side of the wall BUT i want to make sure I don’t show how green I am around the ears doing Florida condo inspections and call out what might be common practice.

The answer to your question is not a simple one, other than the degree of pitch for adequate drainage of the discharge line. In short, no, the drain line for the temperature and pressure valve discharge is neither installed nor designed of approved materials for use. I’ll explain:

The building code is basically written in a CYA format, in other words “this is what we say but it may not be right and we can change it at any time”. The discharge piping for the temperature and pressure valve is one of the better examples of this. In all cases you can find many different and approved methods of construction in the Building code.

When it comes to your question, a few issues arise. The most pressing is the use of unapproved piping material for the discharge line. The building code reference for this is pasted here:

2010 Florida Building Code, Residential P2803.6.1 Requirements for discharge pipe.
*The discharge piping serving a pressure-relief valve, temperature relief valve or combination valve shall: *
*1. Not be directly connected to the drainage system.
2. Discharge through an air gap located in the same room as the water heater.
3. Not be smaller than the diameter of the outlet of the valve served and shall discharge full size to the air gap.
4. Serve a single relief device and shall not connect to piping serving any other relief device or equipment.
5. Discharge to the floor, to the pan serving the water heater or storage tank, to a waste receptor or to the outdoors.
6. Discharge in a manner that does not cause personal injury or structural damage.
7. Discharge to a termination point that is readily observable by the building occupants.
8. Not be trapped.
9. Be installed to flow by gravity.
10. Not terminate more than 6 inches (152 mm) above the floor or waste receptor.
11. Not have a threaded connection at the end of the piping.
12. Not have valves or tee fittings.
13. Be constructed of those materials listed in Section P2904.5 or materials tested, rated and approved for such use in accordance with ASME A112.4.1.
I have underlines the section of the requirement we will focus on. While the code reference does seem to allow several different options, you need to remember that the code also references the manufacturer’s installation instruction. One other point of interest comes from chapter 1 of the Florida Building Code, the section that states where there are conflicts of requirements, the more stringent shall apply. Copied below:

2010 Florida Building code 102.1 General.*
Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall be applicable. Where, in any specific case, different sections of this code specify different materials, methods of construction or other requirements, the most restrictive shall govern.
As you can see, the FBC has pulled the old “CYA” trick. This relates directly to your situation in determining if the valve piping is code compliant, or as stated above, meets the manufacturer’s specifications. I have contacted Watts in the past and they have assured me the only materials for use with their valves are “polypropylene and copper”. The valve is set to discharge at temperature/pressure of 150psi/210 degrees.

CPVC is not rated for this application, and that shows in the first code reference which talks about ASME A112.4.1. This schedule is not a list of rated piping materials for temperature and pressure valves, but a list of temperature and pressure schedules for specific piping. It is to be used to determine the rated and approved materials for use in certain applications.

That being decided, there are more issues in your picture. That appears to be an Air Handler mounted above the water heater, that makes the closet a Mechanical Closet and subject to strict requirements for smoke and flame index relating to the wiring, pneumatic plumbing lines, and other components located within the plenum. They, including the water heater, must be rated for use within a mechanical closet.

But that’s a completely different topic of discussion. Hope this helps.

I don’t think the 90’s are an issue if they are allowing flow by gravity.
Im slowly working towards my GC License and I think I remember no more than 4 elbows on a TPR valve drainpipe. I don’t even think it specifies degree of elbow bend. I’m sure someone on here will set me right on that. (meeker?)
Your right about term’ in the wall.
Also, there’s no tag on the valve.

Did not even think about the tag, thank you sir for your help!

I believe you are correct on that sir, I remember reading into that a while back. No more than 4 elbows and the discharge pipe cant be longer than 30 feet.

Tha label is there, it’s on the rim topside of the valve.

[FONT=Arial][size=4][FONT=Arial][size=4]Important Drain Pipe Installation[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Arial][size=4]

[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Arial][size=2][FONT=Arial][size=2]To avoid water damage or scalding due to valve[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Arial][size=2]
[size=2][FONT=Arial]operation, a drain pipe must be connected to the
valve outlet and run to a safe place for water

[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Arial][size=2][FONT=Arial][size=2]The drain pipe must be a short as possible and be[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Arial][size=2]
[size=2][FONT=Arial]the same size as the valve discharge connection
throughout its entire length.

[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Arial][size=2][FONT=Arial][size=2]Excessive length, over 15’ long (4.57m), or the use[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Arial][size=2]
[size=2][FONT=Arial]of more than two elbows can cause a restriction
and reduce the discharge capacity of the valve.

[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Arial][size=2][FONT=Arial][size=2]The drain pipe must pitch down from the valve and[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Arial][size=2]
[size=2][FONT=Arial]terminate a maximum of 6” above the floor drain, or
outside ground level where any discharge will be
clearly visible.

The discharge piping should not be reduced either by fittings, kinks or in any other way. Watts® Regulator Company, a maker of numerous water safety devices, states that discharge piping in excess of 30 feet or the use of more than four 90° elbows will reduce the discharge capacity. Shorter is better.

That’s from 2008, what I posted was from the manufacturer of the water heater. Remember, code specifically says “where conflcits should arise, the most stringent application shall take precednce”.

***102.1 General. </B>
***Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall be applicable. Where, in any specific case, different sections of this code specify different materials, methods of construction or other requirements, the most restrictive shall govern.
Also, in this case, you have two different maunfacturer’s stating different installation procedures. If the valve manufacturer says 30’, and the water heater using the valve says 15’, it’s going to be the most stringent…15’.

Mr Todd,
My first question was what material was the pipe.
Robert put the head on the nail. ASME A112.4.1.
CPVC is only rated max 200 unless stamped on the material ‘suitable for TPR use’ or similar language.
The TPR valve is rated to 212. ‘I call it out’

BY the way congrats on your 1st condo😜