All major plumbing codes, including the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), now require that plastic piping products comply with NSF/ANSI Standard 14: Plastics Piping System Components and Related Materials.
For many years, the International Plumbing Code, International Residential Code, and National Standard Plumbing Code have required compliance with NSF/ANSI Standard 14, and now the UPC also requires NSF/ANSI 14 compliance for plastic pipe and fittings.
NSF International is an independent global organization that writes public health standards and protocols, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, and consumer goods industries.
The NSF Plastics Piping standard (NSF/ANSI Standard 14) has been in place for more than 45 years and is highly recognized by code and regulatory officials, manufacturers, and plumbers to verify the performance and safety of plastic piping system components and related materials. The standard contains physical, performance, and quality requirements and also requires ongoing monitoring for plastic piping system components and related materials. It addresses any material used in a plastic piping system, including PVC, CPVC, PE, PEX, ABS, NP, PP, as well as brass, copper, composites, and other materials. Additionally, the standard includes criteria for PVC ingredients.
NSF/ANSI 14 also includes requirements for dezincification (corrosion of brass) and stress corrosion cracking (cracking due to mechanical stress and exposure to a corrosive environment) of brass materials used in plastic piping systems. The standard also requires that products intended for use in drinking water applications comply with NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects, which includes requirements for all devices, components and materials that come in contact with drinking water.
NSF Standard 14 is the basis for the NSF Plastic Certification Program. The NSF Certification Mark on plastic products and materials confirms that NSF International has certified compliance with NSF/ANSI 14 requirements and has completed an audit of the manufacturing facility. All products that meet NSF/ANSI Standard 14 requirements can be found on the NSF website.
To ensure continued compliance with the requirements of NSF Standard 14, the NSF certification process requires annual audits of the production facility that include:
- Collection of samples for retesting at NSF laboratories to ensure continued compliance;
- Verification that only authorized materials are used in the product;
- Verification that quality assurance and quality control procedures are followed and that all NSF/ANSI Standard 14 requirements are met; and
- Reviewing the product marking and product literature to ensure they are accurate with respect to the NSF-listed products.