When inspecting a building’s plumbing, including the sewer, drain and clean out, a video inspection may be recommended because of the age of the building or the following factors:
- If the building has cast iron DWV (Drain Waste Vent) piping
- If there has been or is a restaurant tenant. (Restaurant floor cleaning uses harsh chemicals that can cause serious damage to cast iron piping.)
- If tree roots are close to the sewer line
- If a blockage has been reported or discovered during the inspection
It is important to understand that the building drain and building sewer are defined in the California Plumbing Code. The building drain piping is under and inside the building, and the sewer piping starts two feet outside of the building’s foundation line. At the two-foot demarcation point, a clean out is required.
When requesting a video inspection, it is important to clearly tell the video inspection company whether you want just the building drain and/or the building sewer. If you want the building drain, it will be necessary to determine if the clean out is a two-way clean out. If not, then an end-of-line clean out will need to be located for the inspector. Usually the inspector will know where to find the end-of-line clean out. If neither clean out allows access for his camera, then this is a code violation. A toilet may need to be removed to provide access to the main building drain line.
California Plumbing Code (CPC) can be found online here.
- Building drain and building sewer are defined in CPC Chapter 2 section 204.0
- Clean out requirements are covered in CPC Chapter 7 Section 707.0
If you have additional questions about the building drain, building sewer and clean out requirements under CPC, feel free to give us a call at 916-606-5457 or contact us.
Commercial buildings most commonly have low slope roofs at 2 percent slope minimum with parapet walls on all edges. These types of roof structures rely on piped roof drains. A primary drain and secondary drain are required.
The secondary drain is higher than the primary drain. If the primary drain gets plugged then the secondary drain prevents water build up. If water is coming out of the secondary roof drain pipe termination then immediate action is required. It is critical that the drains be cleaned before and after every rain. If both drains get plugged, the roof structure could collapse. This happens more often than you might think.
Older buildings are especially suspect for not having secondary drains. This is a very important inspection item that almost always is a problem. If this is not addressed by the inspector, it could result in a roof collapse.
• Roof drains required – CBC Chapter 15 section 1503.4 and the installation and sizing per Chapter 11 of the CPC
• Secondary roof drain required – CBC Chapter 15 section 1503.4.1 and the installation and sizing per Chapter 11 of the CPC
If you have additional questions about roof drainage for commercial buildings, give us a call at 916-606-5457 or contact us.
Welcome to the blog for CapCity Building Inspection. We are proud to serve the greater Sacramento area with professional home and commercial building inspections. With more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry, we can handle any type of residential or commercial inspection you need done.
We will work with your schedule, offering evening and weekend appointments for your convenience. Whether you are looking at a home to purchase or want to check the structural soundness of a possible commercial site, we can assist you.
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