About this chapter: Chapter 31 regulates connection locations, various venting system arrangements and the sizing of piping for vent systems. The proper operation of a gravity flow drainage system (Chapter 30) depends on maintaining an air path throughout the system to prevent waste and odor "blow back" into fixtures and siphoning of the trap seal in fixture traps (Chapter 32).
Code development reminder: Code change proposals to this chapter will be considered by the IRC—Mechanical/Plumbing Code Development Committee during the 2021 (Group A) Code Development Cycle.
This chapter shall govern the selection and installation of piping, tubing and fittings for vent systems. This chapter shall control the minimum diameter of vent pipes, circuit vents, branch vents and individual vents, and the size and length of vents and various aspects of vent stacks and stack vents. Additionally, this chapter regulates vent grades and connections, height above fixtures and relief vents for stacks and fixture traps, and the venting of sumps and sewers.
The plumbing vent system shall not be used for purposes other than the venting of the plumbing system.
In climates where the 97.5-percent value for outside design temperature is 0°F (-18°C) or less (ASHRAE 97.5-percent column, winter, see Chapter 3), vent pipes installed on the exterior of the structure shall be protected against freezing by insulation, heat or both. Vent terminals shall be protected from frost closure in accordance with Section P3103.2.
In flood hazard areas as established by Table R301.2, vents shall be located at or above the elevation required in Section R322.1 (flood hazard areas including A Zones) or R322.2 (coastal high-hazard areas including V Zones).
The vent system serving each building drain shall have not less than one vent pipe that extends to the outdoors.
The required vent shall be a dry vent that connects to the building drain or an extension of a drain that connects to the building drain. Such vent shall not be an island fixture vent as permitted by Section P3112.
The required vent shall be sized in accordance with Section P3113.1 based on the required size of the building drain.
Open vent pipes that extend through a roof that do not meet the conditions of Section P3103.1.2 or P3103.1.3 shall terminate not less than 6 inches (150 mm) above the roof or 6 inches (150 mm) above the anticipated snow accumulation, whichever is greater.
Where a roof is to be used for assembly, as a promenade, observation deck or sunbathing deck, or for similar purposes, open vent pipes shall terminate not less than 7 feet (2134 mm) above the roof.
Where an open vent pipe terminates above a sloped roof and is covered by either a roof-mounted panel (such as a solar collector or photovoltaic panel mounted over the vent opening) or a roof element (such as an architectural feature or a decorative shroud), the vent pipe shall terminate not less than 2 inches (51 mm) above the roof surface. Such roof elements shall be designed to prevent the adverse effects of snow accumulation and wind on the function of the vent. The placement of a panel over a vent pipe and the design of a roof element covering the vent pipe shall provide for an open area for the vent pipe to the outdoors that is not less than the area of the pipe, as calculated from the inside diameter of the pipe. Such vent terminals shall be protected by a method that prevents birds and rodents from entering or blocking the vent pipe opening.
Vent terminals extending through the wall shall terminate not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from a lot line and not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) above the highest grade elevation within 10 feet (3048 mm) in any direction horizontally of the vent terminal. Vent pipes shall not terminate under the overhang of a structure where the overhang includes soffit vents. Such vent terminals shall be protected by a method that prevents birds and rodents from entering or blocking the vent pipe opening and that does not reduce the open area of the vent pipe.
Where the 97.5-percent value for outside design temperature is 0°F (-18°C) or less, vent extensions through a roof or wall shall be not less than 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter. Any increase in the size of the vent shall be made not less than 1 foot (304.8 mm) inside the thermal envelope of the building.
An open vent terminal from a drainage system shall not be located less than 4 feet (1219 mm) directly beneath any door, openable window, or other air intake opening of the building or of an adjacent building, nor shall any such vent terminal be within 10 feet (3048 mm) horizontally of such an opening unless it is not less than 3 feet (914 mm) above the top of such opening.
Individual branch and circuit vents shall connect to a vent stack, stack vent or extend to the open air.
Exception: Individual, branch and circuit vents shall be permitted to terminate at an air admittance valve in accordance with Section P3114.
A connection between a vent pipe and a vent stack or stack vent shall be made not less than 6 inches (152 mm) above the flood level rim of the highest fixture served by the vent. Horizontal vent pipes forming branch vents shall be not less than 6 inches (152 mm) above the flood level rim of the highest fixture served.
Where the drainage piping has been roughed-in for future fixtures, a rough-in connection for a vent, not less than one-half the diameter of the drain, shall be installed. The vent rough-in shall connect to the vent system or shall be vented by other means as provided in this chapter. The connection shall be identified to indicate that the connection is a vent.
Each fixture trap shall have a protecting vent located so that the slope and the developed length in the fixture drain from the trap weir to the vent fitting are within the limits indicated in Table P3105.1.
Exception: The developed length of the fixture drain from the trap weir to the vent fitting for self-siphoning fixtures, such as water closets, shall not be limited.
The total fall in a fixture drain resulting from pipe slope shall not exceed one pipe diameter, nor shall the vent pipe connection to a fixture drain, except for water closets, be below the weir of the trap.
Each trap and trapped fixture shall be permitted to be provided with an individual vent. The individual vent shall connect to the fixture drain of the trap or trapped fixture being vented.
An individual vent shall be permitted to vent two traps or trapped fixtures as a common vent. The traps or trapped fixtures being common vented shall be located on the same floor level.
Where the fixture drains being common vented connect at the same level, the vent connection shall be at the interconnection of the fixture drains or downstream of the interconnection.
Where the fixture drains connect at different levels, the vent shall connect as a vertical extension of the vertical drain. The vertical drain pipe connecting the two fixture drains shall be considered to be the vent for the lower fixture drain, and shall be sized in accordance with Table P3107.3. The upper fixture shall not be a water closet.
TABLE P3107.3COMMON VENT SIZES
|PIPE SIZE (inches)||MAXIMUM DISCHARGE FROM UPPER FIXTURE DRAIN (d.f.u.)|
|21/2 to 3||6|
For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm.
Any combination of fixtures within two bathroom groups located on the same floor level shall be permitted to be vented by a horizontal wet vent. The wet vent shall be considered to be the vent for the fixtures and shall extend from the connection of the dry vent along the direction of the flow in the drain pipe to the most downstream fixture drain connection. Each fixture drain shall connect horizontally to the horizontal branch being wet vented or shall have a dry vent. Each wet-vented fixture drain shall connect independently to the horizontal wet vent. Only the fixtures within the bathroom groups shall connect to the wet-vented horizontal branch drain. Any additional fixtures shall discharge downstream of the horizontal wet vent.
The dry-vent connection for a horizontal wet-vent system shall be an individual vent or a common vent for any bathroom group fixture, except an emergency floor drain. Where the dry vent connects to a water closet fixture drain, the drain shall connect horizontally to the horizontal wet-vent system. Not more than one wet-vented fixture drain shall discharge upstream of the dry-vented fixture drain connection.
The dry-vent connection for a vertical wet-vent system shall be an individual vent or common vent for the most upstream fixture drain.
Horizontal and vertical wet vents shall be not less than the size as specified in Table P3108.3, based on the fixture unit discharge to the wet vent. The dry vent serving the wet vent shall be sized based on the largest required diameter of pipe within the wet-vent system served by the dry vent.
A combination of fixtures located on the same floor level shall be permitted to be vented by a vertical wet vent. The vertical wet vent shall be considered to be the vent for the fixtures and shall extend from the connection of the dry vent down to the lowest fixture drain connection. Each wet-vented fixture shall connect independently to the vertical wet vent. All water closet drains shall connect at the same elevation. Other fixture drains shall connect above or at the same elevation as the water closet fixture drains. The dry-vent connection to the vertical wet vent shall be an individual or common vent serving one or two fixtures.
The maximum developed length of wet-vented fixture drains shall comply with Table P3105.1.
The waste stack shall be vertical, and both horizontal and vertical offsets shall be prohibited between the lowest fixture drain connection and the highest fixture drain connection to the stack. Every fixture drain shall connect separately to the waste stack. The stack shall not receive the discharge of water closets or urinals.
A stack vent shall be installed for the waste stack. The size of the stack vent shall be not less than the size of the waste stack. Offsets shall be permitted in the stack vent and shall be located not less than 6 inches (152 mm) above the flood level of the highest fixture, and shall be in accordance with Section P3104.5. The stack vent shall be permitted to connect with other stack vents and vent stacks in accordance with Section P3113.3.
The waste stack shall be sized based on the total discharge to the stack and the discharge within a branch interval in accordance with Table P3109.4. The waste stack shall be the same size throughout the length of the waste stack.
TABLE P3109.4WASTE STACK VENT SIZE
|STACK SIZE (inches)||MAXIMUM NUMBER OF FIXTURE UNITS (d.f.u.)|
|Total discharge into
one branch interval
|Total discharge for stack|
For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm.
Not greater than eight fixtures connected to a horizontal branch drain shall be permitted to be circuit vented. Each fixture drain shall connect horizontally to the horizontal branch being circuit vented. The horizontal branch drain shall be classified as a vent from the most downstream fixture drain connection to the most upstream fixture drain connection to the horizontal branch.
The circuit vent connection shall be located between the two most upstream fixture drains. The vent shall connect to the horizontal branch and shall be installed in accordance with Section P3104. The circuit vent pipe shall not receive the discharge of any soil or waste.
The slope of the vent section of the horizontal branch drain shall be not greater than 1 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (8-percent slope). The entire length of the vent section of the horizontal branch drain shall be sized for the total drainage discharge to the branch in accordance with Table P3005.4.1.
A combination waste and vent system shall only serve floor drains, sinks, lavatories and drinking fountains. A combination waste and vent system shall be considered to be the vent for those fixtures. The developed length of a fixture drain to the combination waste and vent system piping shall not exceed the limitations of Table P3105.1.
A horizontal fixture drain shall be considered to be a combination waste and vent system provided that the fixture drain size complies with Table P3111.3.
The only vertical pipe of a combination waste and vent system shall be the connection between a fixture drain and a horizontal combination waste and vent pipe. The length of the vertical pipe shall be not greater than 8 feet (2438 mm).
The slope of horizontal combination waste and vent piping shall be not greater than 1/2 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (4-percent slope) and shall be not less than that indicated in Section P3005.2.
A combination waste and vent system shall be provided with a dry vent connected at any point within the system, or the system shall connect to a horizontal drain or building drain that serves vented fixtures located on the same floor. Combination waste and vent systems connecting to building drains receiving only the discharge from one or more stacks shall be provided with a dry vent. The dry vent connected to the combination waste and vent pipe shall extend vertically to a point not less than 6 inches (152 mm) above the flood level rim of the highest fixture being vented by the combination waste and vent system before horizontal offsets in the dry vent piping are allowed.
The dry vent connected to the combination waste and vent system shall be sized for the total drainage fixture unit load in accordance with Section P3111.1.
The size of a combination drain and vent piping shall be not less than that specified in Table P3111.3. The horizontal length of a combination drain and vent system shall be unlimited.
The island fixture vent shall connect to the fixture drain as required for an individual or common vent. The vent shall rise vertically to above the drainage outlet of the fixture being vented before offsetting horizontally or vertically downward. The vent or branch vent for multiple island fixture vents shall extend not less than 6 inches (152 mm) above the highest island fixture being vented before connecting to the outside vent terminal.
The vent located below the flood level rim of the fixture being vented shall be installed as required for drainage piping in accordance with Chapter 30, except for sizing. The vent shall be sized in accordance with Section P3113.1. The lowest point of the island fixture vent shall connect full size to the drainage system. The connection shall be to a vertical drain pipe or to the top half of a horizontal drain pipe. Cleanouts shall be provided in the island fixture vent to permit rodding of all vent piping located below the flood level rim of the fixtures. Rodding in both directions shall be permitted through a cleanout.
The required diameter of individual vents, branch vents, circuit vents, vent stacks and stack vents shall be not less than one-half the required diameter of the drain served. The required size of the drain shall be determined in accordance with Chapter 30. Vent pipes shall be not less than 11/4 inches (32 mm) in diameter. Vents exceeding 40 feet (12 192 mm) in developed length shall be increased by one nominal pipe size for the entire developed length of the vent pipe.
The developed length of individual, branch and circuit vents shall be measured from the farthest point of vent connection to the drainage system, to the point of connection to the vent stack, stack vent or termination outside of the building.
Drainage piping below sewer level shall be vented in the same manner as that of a gravity system. Building sump vent sizes for sumps with sewage pumps or sewage ejectors, other than pneumatic, shall be determined in accordance with Table P3113.4.1.
TABLE P3113.4.1SIZE AND LENGTH OF SUMP VENTS
|DISCHARGE CAPACITY OF PUMP (gpm)||MAXIMUM DEVELOPED LENGTH OF VENT (feet)a|
|Diameter of vent (inches)|
|No limitb||No limit||No limit||No limit||No limit|
|270||No limit||No limit||No limit||No limit|
|72||160||No limit||No limit||No limit|
|31||75||270||No limit||No limit|
For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 gallon per minute (gpm) = 3.785 L/m.
- Developed length plus an appropriate allowance for entrance losses and friction caused by fittings, changes in direction and diameter. Suggested allowances shall be obtained from NBS Monograph 31 or other approved sources. An allowance of 50 percent of the developed length shall be assumed if a more precise value is not available.
- Actual values greater than 500 feet.
The air pressure relief pipe from a pneumatic sewage ejector shall be connected to an independent vent stack terminating as required for vent extensions through the roof. The relief pipe shall be sized to relieve air pressure inside the ejector to atmospheric pressure, but shall be not less than 11/4 inches (32 mm) in size.
Vent systems using air admittance valves shall comply with this section. Individual and branch-type air admittance valves shall conform to ASSE 1051. Stack-type air admittance valves shall conform to ASSE 1050.
The valves shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of this section and the manufacturer's instructions. Air admittance valves shall be installed after the DWV testing required by Section P2503.5.1 or P2503.5.2 has been performed.
Individual vents, branch vents, circuit vents and stack vents shall be permitted to terminate with a connection to an air admittance valve. Individual and branch-type air admittance valves shall vent only fixtures that are on the same floor level and connect to a horizontal branch drain.
Individual and branch air admittance valves shall be located not less than 4 inches (102 mm) above the horizontal branch drain or fixture drain being vented. Stack-type air admittance valves shall be located not less than 6 inches (152 mm) above the flood level rim of the highest fixture being vented. The air admittance valve shall be located within the maximum developed length permitted for the vent. The air admittance valve shall be installed not less than 6 inches (152 mm) above insulation materials where installed in attics.
Access shall be provided to air admittance valves. Such valves shall be installed in a location that allows air to enter the valve.
The air admittance valve shall be rated for the size of the vent to which the valve is connected.
Within each plumbing system, not less than one stack vent or a vent stack shall extend outdoors to the open air.
Air admittance valves shall not be used to vent sumps or tanks except where the vent system for the sump or tank has been designed by an engineer. Air admittance valves shall not be installed on outdoor vent terminals for the sole purpose of reducing clearances to gravity or mechanical air intakes.