How does someone become a Residential Plumbing Inspector?
ICC certifications are essential for building inspectors, plans examiners, and building officials. Certifications demonstrate that the inspector or plans examiner is properly trained in their field of expertise and can effectively apply the code to construction projects. Becoming a certified residential plumbing inspector requires passing an International Code Council (ICC) certification exam. The entire process requires three basic steps:
1. Learn what the ICC requires for Residential Plumbing Inspectors
The ICC residential plumbing inspector exam requires the applicant to be knowledgeable in the International Residential Code (IRC). The IRC is the most commonly adopted code for residential buildings that creates minimum regulations for one- and two-family dwellings of three stories or less. It brings together all building, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas, energy and electrical provisions for one- and two-family residences into a single book. From this code, an examinee must be able to answer questions from the following categories:
General Requirements 13%
Determine when permits are required and issue permits.
Piping System Protection 3%
Inspect all piping systems to insure protection as required from corrosion, stress and strain, freezing, and physical damage.
Piping System Installation 3%
Inspect all piping systems for proper installation, support, sleeving, penetrations, and waterproofing of exterior openings.
Building Component Damage 3%
Inspect building components for damage due to installation of the plumbing systems.
Verify that all required tests of installed piping systems are conducted.
Locations and Required Fixtures 2%
Inspect for proper location and the minimum required fixtures.
Materials and Fixture Approvals 1%
Inspect for approved materials and fixture approvals.
Installation of Fixtures 2%
Inspect for proper installation of fixtures, waste receptors, appliances, and appurtenances, including clearances, access, and sealing.
Flow Rates and Temperatures 2%
Inspect for maximum and minimum flow rates and temperature control valves.
Installation of Faucets, Fixture Fittings, and Accessories 1%
Inspect for proper installation of faucets, fixture fittings, and accessories.
Water Heaters 12%
Use and Installation of Materials and Appliances 2%
Inspect for proper use and installation of materials and check for appliance approval.
Service and Distribution and Piping 3%
Inspect for clearances, locations, protection, pans, and seismic restraint.
Valving, Discharge Piping, and Thermal Expansion 4%
Inspect for required valving, T&P valve and discharge piping installation, thermal expansion requirements, and pipe sizing.
Fuel Gas Piping, Combustion Air, and Venting 3%
Inspect for proper sizing of fuel gas piping, combustion air requirements, and required venting.
Water Supply and Distribution 22%
Materials Joints and Connections 3%
Inspect for approved materials, joints, and connections.
Service and Distribution Piping 5%
Inspect the service and distribution piping for proper installation of cold and hot water delivery, identification, sizing, and valving.
Potable Water Supply and Protection 7%
Inspect the potable water supply and distribution piping for proper protection against contamination.
Nonpotable Water Supply and Protection 2%
Inspect the nonpotable water reuse distribution system for proper installation
Pressure and Volume 3%
Verify the minimum and maximum pressure and volume requirements.
Potable Water and Water Treatment 2%
Verify the requirements for potable water and installation of water treatment.
Sanitary Drainage 23%
Materials, Fittings, Joints, and Connections 4%
Inspect for approved materials and use of proper fittings, joints, and connections.
Building Drains, Sewers, Branches, and Stacks 8%
Inspect for proper sizing and installation of the building drain, building sewer, branches, and stacks.
Backwater Valves, Sumps, Ejectors, and Cleanouts 3%
Inspect for the proper installation of backwater valves, sumps, ejectors, and required cleanouts.
Inspect for the correct type, size, design, location, and installation of traps.
Indirect Waste Systems 3%
Inspect indirect waste systems for air breaks or air gaps.
Materials, Joints, Connections, and Grades 5%
Inspect for approved materials, joints, connections, and proper grades.
Inspect for the proper sizing of the venting system.
Requirements, Methods, and Installation 11%
Inspect for the minimum venting requirements, methods, and installation.
2. How to study for the Residential Plumbing Inspector (P1) exam
Knowing how to tackle answering questions from all of the required sections is a daunting task. Practicing answering residential plumbing code questions is essential for an inspector or someone about to take an exam. In the field, an inspector should be able to answer general questions about fixtures, drains, vents and water heater installations. During an exam, test takers must be able to navigate the International Residential Code fast enough to answer all of the questions within the allowed time of 2 hours. Building Code Masters has several practice exams for plumbing inspectors to test their skills and learn the most essential questions and scenarios they will be presented with. Practice exams for residential plumbing inspectors can be found through the provided links below:
3. How to take the ICC Residential Plumbing Inspector exam
When taking a plumbing code examination, it is essential to be able to navigate the code fast enough to find all of the answers. Most ICC examinations are open book and because of this, obscure and hard to memorize material will be included in all of the examinations i.e. large tables and mathematical formulas. The 2018 residential plumbing inspector exam requires applicants to be able to answer the following questions in the allocated time:
Number of questions: 60
Time limit: 2 hours
This means that examinees will have roughly two minutes per question. It may appear as a generous amount of time but some questions will be longer and more in depth than others which requires an inspector to be able to have section locations of the book memorized. Having chapter locations memorized and pacing oneself will lead to passing the exam. Practice exams from Building Code Masters prepare test takers for the time crunch and memorization of the most important sections of the code. Whether the exam be focused on building, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing, Building Code Masters has all of the study materials available to help test takers learn how to become better educated building inspectors, plans examiners, and building officials.
For a complete list of practice exams and study materials, CLICK HERE.