Pipe sleeves in grade beams (pre-pour)

On a recent pre-pour foundation inspection, it was noted that the plumbing pipes going through grade beams were not “sleeved”. I am aware that the 2003 IRC does call for sleeving, however, the builder replied that he was operating under the 2000 IRC which did not require sleeving.

Could anyone advise as to whether or not this is, in fact, true?

In any case, does a builder have the option to decide which code regulations he wishes to operate under. Please note that this incident took place in Texas.



Typically, the code in effect at the time the permit was applied for is the standard followed/required.

Eugene…are you an inspector?


Not yet - Will be taking my Inspectors exam in about 2 weeks


OK, that will make it easier to respond to you. If you were a ‘civilian’ then words and phrases might be different. So, first of all, part of the answer depends upon where the home is located. If it is in the county, outside of a city or municipality that has an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) then the builder may be correct. The state has adopted the 2000 IRC. On the other hand, if the home is in an area with an AHJ then that AHJ may have adopted a later code. If the home is in Spring, your hometown, then it may very well be under the City of Houston code which I believe is the 2000 IRC with local amendments. But in any case, the builder does not have an option, he must build to whichever code the AHJ, if applicable, or the state has adopted.

Oh…and by the way…it is my personal opinion that no inspector should be doing phase inspections unless he is extremely familiar with the construction process or is ICC Residential Combo certified. But that’s just me.