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Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Seek Updated Codes for Flue Gas Venting

Oct 2018

Plastic pipe manufacturers are calling for an update to the U.S. flue gas codes to help improve the safety of gas-fired appliances.  The issue stems from concerns over the use of plumbing grade pipe in flue gas applications.  U.S. codes currently permit the use of plastic pipe in venting applications for gas-fired appliances.  However, most plastic pipe used in these applications is not designed to withstand the high temperatures.

IPEX USA LLC is the latest pipe manufacturer to call for updating the codes to meet the Underwriters Laboratories Inc. standard called UL-1738.  Although the standard has been around since 1980, it is not mandated.  IPEX plans to introduce a new line of UL-1738 certified PVC pipe by January 2019.  The new line of products represents some of the latest innovations in PVC pipe manufacturing and materials science. 

According to IPEX product manager, Gaetano Altomare, "There's no consistency in the American industry today.  UL-1738 will help create consistency and through that you build awareness.  It brings attention to the overall purpose and objectives."

"Instead of identifying unsuitable materials as a result of failures, let's move away from plumbing products and go to products certified to a venting standard," Altomare added.  "The industry turned to plumbing products because of a lack of awareness of UL-1738, and plastics weren't capable of meeting it.  But things have evolved.  Technologies have emerged.  We're capable of engineering and sourcing plastics today that meet the standard.  We need to go out and educate the industry."

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