What You Need To Know About Texas Residential Plumbing Codes

Posted by in Article, on October 17, 2018

Without rules and regulations to govern the construction of buildings, the occurrence of pre and post construction accidents is likely to happen. Therefore, most states have construction rules, regulations, and codes that need to be adhered to in order to reduce the number of times that construction accidents are likely to happen. Texas is no exception to this when it comes to plumbing as it has its own set of do’s and don’ts that defining how plumbers should conduct work on properties. Here are some of the top things that you ought to know regarding Texas plumbing laws;


According to Texas law, you are required to seek a construction permit if you intend to construct, enlarge, alter, covert or even repair any plumbing system. In order for you to begin any type of work, you must first make an application that could either be granted or rejected by the state. The code, however, allows for the repair of leaks in pipes, valves, and fixtures as long as the repairs do not involve the replacement or rearrangement of the said valves and fixtures or pipes, and the homeowner has his legal residence there, and is not assisted by any other person for remuneration. Repairs and maintenance can be undertaken provided that the owner files with the building inspection department adequate plans and specifications that satisfy the building official as to his ability to install plumbing systems.


It is a requirement of the Texan laws that the workers involved in any official plumbing work be state licensed individuals. This code ensures that the plumbers working have sufficient knowledge as well as experience to conduct their work correctly and efficiently. It also means that the plumbers can be trusted with the job that they have been tasked with and you know that they’ll avoid plumbing code violations at all cost. However, while most of the plumbers may claim to be licensed, not all of them are actually licensed under the Texas state law.

It is therefore unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to represent himself or themselves as a registered and licensed plumber, or to use the words “plumbing contractor,” “master plumber,” “journeyman plumber,” or “plumber,” or words of similar meaning falsely. The right to be registered as a Texan plumber is reserved for the state as they can decline your application of registration. Similarly, the state can also revoke or suspend a plumber’s registration if they were knowingly committing outstanding violations of the state’s plumbing codes or requirements,

Test and Inspection

As part of the construction process, the plumbing codes require that all plumbing work and plumbing systems are taken through a number of tests to ensure structural suitability and functionality. The permit holder is required to give reasonable notice to the code official once the plumbing work is ready for inspection. A few of the test that are conducted on the plumbing work include; drainage and water vent test, drainage and water vent air test, water supply system test, gravity sewer test, forced sewer test, storm drainage system test. Inspection of the plumbing work is also done on the plumbing work and repeated annually to ensure the backflow prevention assemblies are functional and comply with the necessary requirements.

Drain pipe materials, quality, and sizes

According to Texas law, there are specific components and measurements of the plumbing system. For example, all the components of the systems shall be cast iron, galvanized steel, copper, cross-linked polyethylene, polybutylene, polyethylene, ABS, CPVC or PVC pipe or tubing. They are also expected to be selected for the pressure, temperature, and exposure rating of the installation. The measurement as well as the materials of the system are input to reduce water hazards such as flooding, stagnated water or even structural damage that may occur on properties. Finally, the quality of the materials should be the best, free from defects and resistant to quick wear and tear, for example, the pipes and fixtures should be acid resistant.


As per the construction laws in Texas, the installation of the plumbing work fixtures needs to be set in proper alignment with reference to adjacent walls and the supply lines and fittings should be installed in a way that can prevent backflow. The installation of the fixtures should also be done in a way that affords easy access for cleaning of both the features and the surrounding areas.

Hot Water Supply System

It is mandatory that buildings created for occupancy have a hot water supply system and the water must be delivered from accessible hand washing facilities. The hot water supply fixtures shut, i.e. faucets are meant to be installed on the left side regardless of the building you are in. This ensures that no one is accidentally scaled by the hot water because they confused the faucets. A couple of plumbers do not double check to make sure the left handle delivers hot water, and the right handle delivers cold water, this is a common occurrence. The hot water supply feature should also be provided with maintenance for the developed length of hot water piping to ensure several things such as the hot water retains its heat if the furthest fixture is 100 feet away.

Sanitary Drainage

In Texas, any building that has a plumbing fixture installed must be connected to a public sewer where available or an approved private waste disposal system that is in accordance with the International Private Sewage Disposal Code. The waste from the plumbing system cannot be discharged onto the ground or any other waterway unless it has been treated and rendered harmless. It is your responsibility as the homeowner to ensure that the treatment of the said waste is done, and the waste discharged from the building should not exceed 140o Fahrenheit (60o Celsius). Every building should have its own separate sewer connection to the public sewer unless they are buildings on the same lot.

Solar System

If your plumbing system requires the use of solar energy for space heating or cooling, domestic hot water heating, swimming pool heating or process heating, the solar system should be installed in accordance with the International Mechanical Code.

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