California Health and Safety Code

Sec. § 17921.9


The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:


The deterioration of copper piping has become a serious problem in various communities in the state.


Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) plastic piping has been successfully used for many years in other states and in nations around the globe, and has also been widely used, in accordance with federal regulations, in mobilehome construction.


The Department of Community Development of the City of Colton, acting pursuant to a good-faith belief that it was in compliance with state regulations, approved the use of CPVC piping as an alternative to copper piping in early 1993 when the department was confronted with widespread deterioration of copper piping systems in a tract in the western part of that city.


The retrofitting of homes in Colton with CPVC piping has been successful.


It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to allow the use of CPVC piping in building construction in California as an alternate material under specified conditions.


Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of the California Plumbing Code that do not authorize the use of CPVC piping within California shall not apply to any local government that permitted the use of CPVC piping for potable water systems within its jurisdiction prior to January 1, 1996. Any local government that permitted the use of CPVC piping for potable water systems within its jurisdiction prior to January 1, 1996, shall require both of the following:


That the CPVC piping to be used is listed as an approved material in, and is installed in accordance with, the 1994 edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code.


That all installations of CPVC strictly comply with the interim flushing procedures and worker safety measures set forth in subdivisions (d) and (e).


The following safe work practices shall be adhered to when installing both CPVC and copper plumbing pipe in California after the effective date of the act that adds this section:


(A)Employers shall provide education and training to inform plumbers of risks, provide equipment and techniques to help reduce exposures from plumbing pipe installation, foster safe work habits, and post signs to warn against the drinking of preoccupancy water.


For purposes of this paragraph, “training” shall include training in ladder safety, safe use of chain saws and wood-boring tools, hazards associated with other construction trades, hazards from molten solder and flux, and the potential hazards and safe use of soldering tools and materials.


Cleaners shall be renamed as primers, include strong warnings on the hazards of using primers as cleaners, and include dyes to discourage use as cleaners.


Applicators and daubers shall be limited to small sizes.


Enclosed spaces shall be ventilated with portable fans when installing CPVC pipe.


Protective impermeable gloves shall be utilized when installing CPVC pipe.


Employers shall provide onsite portable eyewash stations for all employees to allow for immediate flushing of eyes in the event of splashing of hot flux.


Employers using acetylene torches shall ensure that the acetylene tanks are regularly maintained and inspected in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements. Fire extinguishers shall be kept in close proximity to the workplace.


All of the following flushing procedures shall be adhered to when installing CPVC pipe in California after the effective date of the act that adds this section:


When plumbing is completed and ready for pressure testing, each cold water and hot water tap shall be flushed starting with the fixture (basin, sink, tub, or shower) closest to the water meter and continuing with each successive fixture, moving toward the end of the system. Flushing shall be continued for at least one minute or longer until water appears clear at each fixture. This step may be omitted if a jurisdiction requires the building inspector to test each water system.


The system shall be kept filled with water for at least one week and then flushed in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraph (1). The system shall be kept filled with water and not drained.


Before the premises are occupied, the hot water heater shall be turned on and the system shall be flushed once more. Commencing with the fixture closest to the hot water heater, the hot water tap shall be permitted to run until hot water is obtained. The time required to get hot water in a specific tap shall be determined and then the cold water tap at the same location shall be turned on for the same period of time. This procedure shall be repeated for each fixture in succession toward the end of the system.


Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the applicability of any existing law imposing liability on a manufacturer, distributor, retailer, installer, or any other person or entity under the laws of this state for liability.


This section shall not be operative after January 1, 1998.

Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016