7.8104.3 Piping

Water Heating
Desired Outcome: 
Provide safe and reliable hot water that meets the needs of the occupant/building management/building operations staff at the lowest possible life cycle cost
For supporting material, see Referenced Standards.
Hazardous material removal

Health concerns in the removal and replacement of equipment (e.g., asbestos) will be identified

Upon the discovery of hazardous material, written notification and contact information for regional EPA EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov asbestos coordinator will be provided to appropriate people (e.g., occupant/building operations staff/property manager)

Property manager will be asked to contract with an EPA EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov -certified asbestos contractor to conduct abatement before decommissioning and replacement (property manager is responsible for abatement or remediation)

Remediate health hazards using EPA EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov -certified contractors


Visible abandoned piping will be removed

Obsolete but inaccessible piping will be capped as close as possible to point of no access

Allow for proper future maintenance


Piping will be installed to minimize length

Hot water piping will be purposely located to allow for insulation of each individual pipe (e.g., no bundling)

Piping will be located with the following priority:

  • Within conditioned space
  • Within the building
  • Outdoor air
  • Below ground (insulated and sleeved)

Tracer lines will be installed and labeled when piping is installed below ground or when the pipe is hidden within the building

Piping will not be placed in locations prohibited by adopted buildings codes; such locations include, but are not limited to, exit stairs enclosures, exit passageways, and electrical equipment rooms

Piping will be installed to protect occupant/building management/building operations staff from hot water pipes

Ensure piping is safe, efficient, durable, and accessible


All piping and fittings will be insulated with fixed insulation to IECC IECC International Energy Conservation Code or ASHRAE ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, www.ashrae.org 90.1, at a minimum

Tanks will be insulated to a minimum of R-12.5

Insulation will be protected from damage (e.g., protected from underground water, contact, friction from pipe hangers, woodpeckers, ultraviolet radiation )

Prevent the pipe from freezing

Minimize heat loss from the pipes

Reduce the risk of moisture damage

Friction loss

Friction loss will be minimized using the following criteria:

  • Smooth piping
  • Minimized number of fittings
  • Sweeps will be selected instead of 90° elbows
  • Full port valves

Maximize effective delivery of water

Minimize the energy use of the pump

Minimize pipe damage

Dissimilar metals

Dissimilar metals shall be connected in a manner to prevent galvanic corrosion

When connecting nonferrous metal piping to existing ferrous piping, dielectric unions (dielectric insulator) will be installed in accordance with manufacturer specifications

Alternatively, if dielectric unions are not required by code, consider using a plastic-lined steel nipple a minimum of 4" long to connect the two piping systems to separate dissimilar metals

Minimize corrosion between dissimilar metals

Bracing and hangers

Piping, fixtures, appliances, and appurtenances shall be adequately supported in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions and in accordance with the authority having jurisdiction

Ensure the piping is safe and durable

Stray voltage protection

Piping will be bonded and grounded as required by NEC NEC National Electrical Code ( NFPA NFPA National Fire Protection Association, www.nfpa.org 70)

Eliminate stray voltage from piping


Piping will be charged and checked for leaks

Ensure the piping and fittings operate as designed