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Building code question

Posted by veesubotee (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 16, 09 at 20:02

My son owns a small condo and wants to remodel his bathroom. The tub/shower needs to be replaced, but he wants a stall shower installed (no tub), as he is tall and there is no room for a larger tub.

Is anyone familiar with any building codes that require that a tub be installed? For the record, the condo is in NJ.

V


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Building code question

There should be no problem substituting a shower for a tub but there are usually minimum dimensions and a minimum area for a shower (30" and 900 sq. in. in the IRC) A hinged door must open out and there are requirements for the floor pan, slope to drain, drain, etc.


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RE: Building code question

Thanks for the response. Can you clarify what is meant by IRC?

V


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RE: Building code question

Your best bet is to go down to your local building dept. and get info there. The I.R.C. is recognized now by most all states, but there can still be variances within the state and even differences between city and county. The building dept. (or whatever it is called in your area), is a good source of info and is what they are there for.


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RE: Building code question

International Residential Code


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RE: Building code question

...which basically means the Building Code books. Your local library probably has a set in the reference section.


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RE: Building code question

He better check with the local inspection office. If this is a condo I doubt very seriously if the IRC (International Residential Code) apples to his structure.

The IRC is a simplified plumbing code that is extracted from the IPC (International Plumbing Code) and it only applies to single and multifamily residential structures.

Per code a Multifamily residential structure is defined as a residential structure having two or more individual living units but not more than 4 or not exceeding 3 stories in height.

If the structure has more than four living units or exceeds 3 stories in height it is classified as a "Commercial Residential Structure" and falls under the commercial code.

The IPC requires all living units to have a minimum of one bathroom group, tub(with or without shower) lavatory and water closet


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RE: Building code question

While the suggestions to consult with my local building inspector are good in principle, let me relate my recent experience with them.

I was contemplating replacing my heating/air conditioning system with a condensing furnace, and wanted to confirm information I had gotten regarding using the existing B-vent chimney for the water heater.

Went to the local office, asked to speak to the building inspector (who was out). The clerk asked what it was in reference to. I responded with the specific information and the answer I received was, "Everyone interprets the regulations differently."

PRECISELY WHY I WANTED THE OPINION OF THE BUILDING INSPECTOR.

I later found the information in the New Jersey Codes (online).

V


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re: RE: Building code question

Thanks everyone for your responses. We have decided to go with a tub/shower to eliminate any future problems.

V


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RE: Building code question

I don't know how many units are involved (a two-family building can be a condominium as well as a multi-family building) but the plumbing code for multi-family housing in New Jersey is the 2006 National Standard Plumbing Code which says:
"Each family dwelling unit shall have at least one water closet, one lavatory, one kitchen-type sink, and one bathtub or shower ..."

So, put in what you want, it's your choice. However, you will need permission from the condo association or it's trustees in order to modify plumbing that is shared with other units or to open structural cavities that are commonly owned.

For more information on Shower code requirements see section 7.10 of the National Standard Plumbing Code.

Here is a link that might be useful: National Standard Plumbing Code


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RE: Building code question

BTW, if you look in the plumbing codes, I think the drain line requirements for a shower is 2", versus 1 1/2" for a tub (or tub/shower). I guess because a shower has less capacity for storing water than a tub when it drains too slow.

You've skirted the issue by going with the tub, but it could have been an expensive proposition if you had to replace the drain line with a 2" drain line to meet the code.


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RE: Building code question

Make sure that whatever the government code is, there isn't a problem with some code of the condo association, if applicable. You don't want some pesky neighbor blowing any expensive whistles once you get started.


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