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Finance & Commerce > Print > New plumbing code for Minnesota? Them's fightin' words Page 1 of 3 <br />�4P_C-,V'e)dl 1-�t ,VV G tz- W[ -7 l )i <br />Finance & Commerce <br />http: / /finance - commerce.com <br />New plumbing code for Minnesota? Them's fightin' words <br />by Brian Johnson <br />Published: May 19th, 2011 <br />A plumbing war in Minnesota is pitting <br />contractors and unions against building <br />operators, owners and designers. <br />At issue is a proposal to replace <br />Minnesota's homegrown plumbing code <br />with one of two international codes - the <br />International Plumbing Code (IPC) or the <br />Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) - that have <br />gained acceptance across the country. <br />Debates over code - related issues - with <br />side issues that include things like <br />waterless urinals and air admittance valves <br />- may seem dry to most folks. But the <br />UPC - versus -IPC debate is overflowing with <br />conflict, with dollar signs attached. <br />Greg Johnson, a retired building inspector <br />and lobbyist for the International Code <br />Council, which backs the IPC, claims <br />plumbing contractors lean toward the UPC <br />because it requires more fixtures and labor. <br />Greg Johnson, a retired building inspector and <br />lobbyist for the International Code Council, which <br />backs the International Plumbing Code, says <br />plumbing contractors lean toward the Uniform <br />Plumbing Code because it requires more fixtures and <br />labor. (Staff photo: Bill Klotz) <br />"If you own a building, design a building or have to regulate a building, you are pretty much in <br />support of the IPC," Johnson said. "If you have to put plumbing into a building, you like the UPC, <br />because it sells more plumbing." <br />Johnson believes UPC backers have an ally in the Minnesota Plumbing Board because it is a <br />plumbing industry- dominated body. <br />John Parizek, chairman of the state Plumbing Board, dismisses the notion that the board favors <br />one code over another because it will create more work and argues that a lot of similarities exist <br />between the two international codes. <br />"No matter how this plays out in rulemaking, somebody is not going to be happy," Parizek said. <br />UPC supporters say there are legitimate reasons to back that code, which was developed by the <br />Ontario, Calif. -based International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO). <br />Plumbing contractors like the UPC because the code is user - friendly and self- contained, said <br />Kevin Campana, executive director of the Metro Association of Plumbing, Heating & Cooling <br />Contractors (PHCC) in Brooklyn Center. <br />"Our members find it more understandable, more process- oriented than result- oriented," <br />Campana said. "It not only tells you what you have to end up with, it tells you how to get there. <br />As a practical matter, that is important." <br />Moreover, he said, the Dakotas and Iowa have adopted the UPC, which means it has more <br />"transferability" for Minnesota contractors who work near those borders. (Wisconsin, like <br />Minnesota, has its own plumbing code.) <br />"I sent out emails to a lot of our members asking for feedback," he said. "Not one was in favor of <br />IPC." <br />http: // finance - commerce. com /wp- contentlpluginsldmc_ sociable toolbar /wp- print.php ?p =28... 6/7/2011 <br />