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CIPH’s Ontario meeting focuses on low lead changes, coordinating Canada-U.S. standards


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October 28, 2013

CIPH president Ralph Suppa looks on as low lead panelists, from left: Kevin Ernst, Joseph Rogers, Thomas Husebye and Al Hook, outline what the industry can expect.
CIPH president Ralph Suppa looks on as low lead panelists, from left: Kevin Ernst, Joseph Rogers, Thomas Husebye and Al Hook, outline what the industry can expect.

With changes to low lead plumbing requirements taking effect in 2014, the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) provided an update and some clarification of the situation at its Ontario Region Business Meeting on October 25 at the Mississauga Convention Centre.

Ninety people attended the low lead industry forum panel featuring Kevin Ernst, general manager at Oakville Stamping & Bending Ltd. and CSA B125 technical committee chair, Joseph Rogers, senior codes advisor, Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Thomas Husebye, vice-president of marketing for Dahl Brothers Canada Ltd. and Al Hook, senior category manager with Wolseley Canada.

The panel discussed what impact The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (coming into effect in the U.S. on January 4, 2014) and changes to low lead requirements in Canada will have across the heating and plumbing industry.

All manufacturers certified to ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1 or CSA B125.3 will have to be recertified by December 31, 2013. As of January 1, 2014 they will not be allowed to produce certified products that do not meet the low lead requirements.

This will affect drinking fountain supply fitting; kitchen, sink and lavatory fittings, supply stops, supply line stops, wall-mounted showering systems and temperature-actuated in-line mixing valves. 

What also came out of the panel forum is that any building project that applied for a permit before January 1, 2014 is still subject to the 2006 Building Code. However, construction will have to start within six months from when the permit is issued.

For those who apply for a permit after January 1, 2014, they will be have to comply with the updated 2012 code for low lead requirements.

A CIPH poll showed that all provinces will adopt low lead requirements by June 2014. It also indicated that 30 per cent of manufacturers and wholesalers plan to carry double inventory of regular and lead free brass products during the six-month transition phase.

While the low lead forum was taking place, about 25 members of CIPH’s Young Executive Society (YES) gathered for the Juggling Multiple Projects workshop led by Michael Stefanovic, senior consultant for World Class Productivity.

The YES program, which represents the interests of people aged 40 and under in the plumbing, industrial PVF, waterworks and hydronic heating industry, was also recognized as CIPH’s program of the year during the meeting.

The meeting’s main speaker – John Walter, CEO of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) – discussed what is being done to coordinate standards between Canada and the U.S.

The total cost of product testing and certification compliance for the North American plumbing and heating industry is between $3.2 to $4.5 billion per year. And since only about 10 per cent of referenced standards are currently bilaterally harmonized, duplicate testing and certification ends up costing Canadian consumers from $120 to $150 million each year.

To address this issue, CIPH and Electro-Federation Canada took a leading role by developing value propositions to quantify costs of duplicative requirements, and then organized two consultation sessions earlier this year (one in the U.S. and one in Canada) to raise awareness about the findings.

These efforts have led to the creation of pilot projects between the SCC and the American National Standards Institute to facilitate joint Canada-U.S standards in the electro-technical and plumbing/heating sectors. The projects are expected to begin in 2014.

CIPH’s next Ontario Region meeting will be held on January 16, 2014. It will focus on the economic outlook for Canada, featuring a presentation from personal finance expert Preet Banerjee. Banerjee is host of the television show Million Dollar Neighbourhood on the Oprah Winfrey Network. For more information, visit www.ciph.com.


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