Virginia Plumbing Code - A Contractor’s Guide

Virginia plumbers, you have it pretty good. The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR)’s tradesmen program has pretty straightforward requirements, provided you have the necessary industry experience. And once you pass the plumbing exam, maintaining your license doesn’t require much from you, either. With just three CE hours required each renewal cycle, you’re much better off than tradesmen in a lot of other states.

All this said, you don’t want to get lax about your industry knowledge. To that end, it’s important that you stay informed about the latest in relevant statewide plumbing regulations. We can help. We’ve gathered up answers to several of the most frequently asked Virginia plumbing code questions. Read on to make sure you’re up to speed. 

What plumbing code is current in Virginia? 

At the moment, the most current iteration of plumbing code for Virginia plumbers is from 2015. It’s based on code from the International Code Council (ICC) — more specifically, their International Plumbing Code (IPC)

The code that governs plumbing professionals in Virginia is part of the Virginia Uniform Building Code. While it might seem like this code is getting pretty outdated since it’s from 2015, it’s actually only a few years old. Even though it’s the 2015 Virginia Uniform Building Code, it wasn’t adopted until September of 2018. 

What’s covered in the Virginia plumbing code?

The code itself is pretty expansive (as you’d probably imagine). In it, you’ll find regulation pertaining to:

  • Fixtures (including faucets) and fixture fittings (Chapter 4)
  • Water heaters (Chapter 5)
  • Water supply and distribution (Chapter 6)
  • Sanitary drainage (Chapter 7)
  • Indirect and special waste (Chapter 8)
  • Vents (Chapter 9)
  • Traps, interceptors, and separators (Chapter 10)
  • Storm drainage (Chapter 11)
  • Special piping and storage systems (Chapter 12)
  • Nonpotable water systems (Chapter 13)
  • Subsurface landscape irrigation systems (Chapter 14)

The code also has some helpful appendixes on things like the average rainfall for certain cities and water piping system sizing. 

How do I access the Virginia plumbing code?

Fortunately, you don’t have to pay to access the most current Virginia plumbing code. The ICC makes a digital version of the code available on their website. 

The website can be a little confusing. The code won’t pull up right away. Instead, you’ll need to choose the chapter you want to read from the menu on the left-hand column of the page. 

The ICC also offers search functionality within the code. If you ever have a question about something specific, you can quickly pull up any mentions in the code by typing it into the search bar (labeled “Search within this title”). 

What’s the easiest way to stay up to date on Virginia plumbing code?

Because the state updates its plumbing code periodically, you’ll want a way to stay in the know. Fortunately, you don’t have to go out of your way to do this. Instead, you can use the three hours of continuing education you already need to brush up on the latest.

Take a CE course (such as the one linked here) that focuses on VA plumbing code and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: you’ll stay informed and you’ll get your CE hours done.