In This Issue:
Did You Know NSF Certifies Fire Sprinkler Piping?
New Lead-Free Definition and Regulations for Plumbing Products
NSF Addresses Dezincification and Stress Corrosion Cracking Issue in Brass
NSF now tests and certifies fire sprinkler pipes and fittings to UL 1821: Standard for Safety Thermoplastic Sprinkler Pipe and Fittings for Fire Protection Service. Fire sprinkler pipe and fittings certified by NSF bear the NSF mark and UL 1821 mark.
With the International Residential Code (IRC) mandating fire sprinklers for one and two family dwellings, more states may begin to adopt these new requirements. Here are the answers to some FAQs on certification requirements for residential fire sprinkler piping:
Q: What standards apply to residential fire sprinkler pipe and fittings?
Fire sprinkler pipe and fittings for light hazard applications are rated at 175 psi at 140°F while multi-purpose piping may have a 130 psi at 120°F rating.
Q: How do commercial and residential fire sprinkler pipe and fittings differ?
Q: Do all multi-purpose piping systems require protection?
Q: What is NSF’s process for certifying Fire Sprinkler Piping?
Q: I thought only UL could list and label fire sprinkler piping. Is that true?
On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed legislation revising the definition for “lead free” within the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as it pertains to “pipe, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures.” The changes are due to take effect 36 months after the date enacted, which is January 4, 2014. Click here for the enacted language. In brief, the revisions to the SDWA require that pipe, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures must meet a weighted average lead content of 0.25%.
Because NSF/ANSI Standard 61 requires that products comply with the lead-free requirements of the SDWA, all NSF 61 products falling into the scope of the legislation will be required to comply with the new 0.25% lead content by January 4th, 2014. In the meantime, evaluations to NSF/ANSI 61 including Annex G and NSF/ANSI 372: Drinking Water System Components -- Lead Content, provide evidence of compliance to the requirement.
The difference between the two NSF standards (Annex G and NSF 372) for Lead Leach Content NSF/ANSI 61 is the health effects standard dealing with leaching of all contaminants, and lead content requirements were originally added to Annex G of this standard following California’s adoption of 0.25% lead content. However, not all products are mandated to meet NSF/ANSI 61. Therefore, NSF/ANSI 372 was developed for products that require compliance with the lead content requirements.
NSF Standard Coverage
NSF Low Lead Marking
Two new requirements were added to NSF/ANSI Standard 14-2009, Plastics Piping System Components and Related Materials to address problems that have been occurring in the field with certain types of brasses. Under certain water quality conditions, fittings and valves made from copper alloys containing more than 15% zinc by weight may become susceptible to failure due to either dezincification or stress corrosion cracking.
To address this issue, NSF/ANSI Standard 14 now requires any copper alloy containing more than 15% zinc by weight in potable water systems to be tested according to ISO 6509: “Corrosion of metal and alloys–Determination of dezincification resistance of brass.” The method consists of exposing test pieces to copper (II) chloride solution followed by microscopic examination.
Stress corrosion cracking
To evaluate resistance to stress corrosion cracking, the test method defined in ASTM B858: Standard Test Method for Ammonia Vapor Test for Determining Susceptibility to Stress Corrosion Cracking in Copper Alloys is utilized. In this test, an ammonia atmosphere is used to rapidly corrode samples, which may lead to the development and propagation of cracks. The specimens are then examined with a low power microscope for any signs of cracking.
As of March 31, 2011, manufacturers of copper alloy fittings certified by NSF must comply with the new requirement.
For more information, visit NSF’s website.
Did You Know?
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