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The Plumbing Inspections Office within the Department of Permit & Inspection Services is responsible for inspection, permitting, plan review and enforcement for compliance with the New York State Plumbing & Building Codes and all applicable plumbing codes of the ordinances in the City of Buffalo.
[Added 7-20-2004, effective 8-2-2004]
A. All work, materials, parts, elements, components, finishes, equipment and/or fixtures, assemblies and systems shall comply with the requirements of the Plumbing Code of New York State irrespective of the requirement for a plumbing permit or payment of plumbing permit fees.
A Plumbing permit shall contain a statement directing that all work shall be performed in accordance with the construction documents submitted and accepted as part of the application. In addition, a permit shall include the directive that the government or agency responsible for enforcement of the code shall be notified immediately in the event of changes occurring during construction.
Permits shall be issued in duplicate, one copy to be given to the applicant and one copy to remain on record in the office of the Division of New Construction, upon the applicant's compliance with this article and upon the payment of the fees as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
PLUMBING PERMIT EXPIRATION DATE
REVOKED OR SUSPENDED PLUMBING PERMIT
Plumbing permits shall be visibly displayed at the work site and to remain visible until the project has been completed.
Permitted work shall be required to remain accessible and exposed until inspected and accepted by the City of Buffalo responsible for enforcing the Uniform Code. Permit holders shall be required to notify City of Buffalo Code Enforcement when construction work is ready for inspection.
Stop work orders shall be used to halt work that is determined to be contrary to provisions of the Uniform Code, or is being conducted in a dangerous or unsafe manner, or is being performed without obtaining a required permit. A stop work order shall state the reason for its issuance and the conditions which must be satisfied before work will be permitted to resume.
A. All new parking lots or other new paved and drained areas where the collected storm water load would surpass that of the sewer system into which it would discharge shall have a complete storm water retention system designed by an architect or engineer and approved by the Chief Plumbing Inspector and the Sewer Authority, as part of their construction.
B. In all cases where a change in the potential peak amount of storm water collected from a paved and drained parking lot, other paved and drained area, or drained collection area would create a new storm water load that would be larger than the load capacity of the storm drainage system through which, or the sewer system into which, it discharges, a complete storm water retention system designed and drawn by an architect or engineer and approved by the Chief Plumbing Inspector and the Sewer Authority shall be installed.
B. Duties; responsibilities.
INSPECTIONS AND TESTS
PAYMENT OF FEES
[Amended 7-20-2004, effective 8-2-2004]
B. Plans and specifications where required by the administrative authority in Subsection A shall include a plan view and a riser diagram showing the work. Such plans shall show the direction of flow, pipe size, grade of horizontal piping, elevations and drainage fixture unit loading of both stacks and drains on drain, waste and vents, and the supply fixture unit load for water system and any branch supplies which serve more than one plumbing fixture, appliance or hose outlet. Symbols used thereon shall be in accordance with accepted engineering practice. In addition, submissions shall conform to the following:
[Amended 7-20-2004, effective 8-2-2004]
(1) Site work. Plans shall show all water, sanitary, storm, and gas piping for any work on the building exterior or paved areas, and shall show any work on exterior and interior downspouts. All work must be shown on drawings labeled "site drawing."
(a) All roof, pavement, or storm piping must list the total square footage of drainage being picked up by each individual section of piping being run. The piping pitch, in inches per foot, for piping being installed shall be included.
(b) All catch basins for pavement drainage must be five feet by three feet exterior dimensions. If site conditions preclude this size (for example bedrock), prior permission must be received by the Plumbing Department. All catch basins must list the square footage of area collected. All catch basins must be piped off the main storm line. Piping may only exit a catch basin, not enter it. Prior approval from the Plumbing Department is required for any design with piping entering a catch basin. Catch basins shall be centrally located to the area being drained whenever possible, to prevent rainwater from having to run long distances. Catch basins shall be trapped internally according to catch basin details standards acceptable to the Plumbing Department.
(c) Conductor piping, when entering a City combination sewer, must be trapped, either individually or a single trap not to exceed 10 inches in diameter. These traps shall include a cleanout to grade. Single traps shall be installed, whenever possible, within five feet of the outside of exterior walls.
(d) Storm and sanitary piping shall not be combined without approval of the Buffalo Sewer Authority and the Plumbing Department. When combined, this shall occur on the building exterior, downstream of any traps.
(e) Plans and calculations for storm water retention must be submitted to the Buffalo Sewer Authority for approval. The Plumbing Department requires retention systems to be made via oversized piping or a piping field. Any alternate systems must first receive permission from the Buffalo Sewer Authority and the Plumbing Department.
(f) All site sanitary piping shall show the total fixture load being conveyed, as well as the pitch per foot of each run of piping. (Exception: Fixture counts are not required for one- or two-family dwellings). A house trap with fresh-air inlet shall be installed on all building sewers. Such trap shall be located five feet from the foundation wall. Slight distance variations will be permitted to keep the trap from being located under an undesirable area (for example in a sidewalk)
(g) All required cleanouts and manholes must be shown on the site drawing.
(h) Standard Buffalo Sewer Authority detail must be shown for any tie-ins to the sewer authority system.
(i) Water main location and size for potable water must be shown. Water fixture unit count for the incoming service shall be listed.
(j) Gas service piping, and size, for the building must be shown.
(k) Any utilization of existing services shall be noted on drawing, including the size. Utilization of existing services must be approved by the Plumbing Department. (Where applicable, approval by the Buffalo Sewer Authority or Buffalo Water Department for using existing services is required.) Existing services shall not be used for new one- or two-family homes, or for townhouses capable of being individually owned.
(2) Interior or building plumbing. All the following must be shown on listed P-drawings (but may also be shown on the architectural or floor plan drawings):
(a) A piping plan, with sizes, for all water, drainage, vent, and gas piping shall be shown. Additionally, a detailed isometric drawing for same shall be shown. The fixture unit count for all stacks, building drains and building drain branches shall be listed.
(b) All required shutoffs shall be shown.
(c) A detailed drawing of the mechanical room, with emphasis on the incoming water service, including meter and RPZ valve details, shall be shown. The hot water tank and recirculation system, where applicable, must be detailed. An access panel to service the bathroom or whirlpool waste and overflow, for any without easy basement access, shall be included and shown.
(e) All cleanouts as required shall be shown. Cleanouts shall not be installed in any overhead location. Cleanouts shall not be installed in a crawlspace with less than a four-foot clearance. Such clearance must be direct, with no floor height or overhead obstructions to impede transfer or rodding equipment. Excluding one- or two-family dwellings, cleanouts on horizontal runs shall be installed above the flood level of the highest fixture whenever possible.
(f) Floor drains subject to evaporation, or not designed to receive a sufficient flow of water to maintain their seals, shall be equipped with a trap primer device. Such device shall be accessible.
(g) Except for residential use, all plumbing drawings shall list the use/occupancy classification, including the anticipated number of patrons and employees expected during periods of peak use.
(h) All building serving food of any kind (which has not been purchased and sold prepackaged) with disposable eating utensils shall have a three-compartment sink and separate hand sink for employee use, in the kitchen area. An adequately sized grease trap shall be required for establishments serving any grease- or oil-containing foods, or such used in food preparation.
(i) Oil interceptors, where required, shall not tie into the sanitary system until downstream of the house trap.
(j) All elevator pits shall be drained. If sump pumps are installed, the discharge piping shall exit beneath the pit floor, and may then rise attached to the pit wall exterior. Oil interception devices shall not be required as long as acceptable maintenance is provided. The inclusion, as necessary, of interception devices shall be at the discretion of the design professional.
(k) Sump pumps shall be indirectly installed into a conductor line. Any other tie-in must receive prior permission from the Plumbing Department.
C. All plans and specifications required to be submitted shall be examined by the Commissioner for conformance with the provisions of this article.
Chief Building Inspector
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Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios