Guide Specifications on Plumbing

This Guide Specification was developed to aid those involved in the writing of specifications and construction documents involving the use of copper and copper alloy piping system products. This Guide Specification contains basic information on the standards related to the manufacture of copper and copper alloy piping system products and materials, the sizes, tempers and configurations available in accordance with these standards, the most common technologies used in joining the tube/pipe and fittings outlined in the standards, system installation requirements, and minimum recommendations for all of the above in a variety of building piping systems.

This Guide Specification is organized into four sections and a brief overview of the contents of each section is given below. To view the complete section, click on Read More under each section. 

This Guide Specification is also available in Microsoft Word format and in Acrobat PDF format.

Part 1 - General

Information on the standards referenced throughout the Guide Specification, provisions for quality assurance for piping system installation and requirements for the delivery, storage and handling of materials referenced in the Guide Specification. The bulk of Part 1 is made up of Section 1.1, which is a list of the most common standards related to the manufacture of copper and copper alloy piping system products and materials. The standards included were written or published by the following:

  • ASTM International (ASTM - formerly American Society for Testing and Materials)
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • American Welding Society (AWS)
  • ASME International (ASME - formerly American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • Manufacturers' Standardization Society (MSS)
  • Compressed Gas Association (CGA)
  • ASSE International (ASSE - formerly American Society of Sanitary Engineering)

The contents of this section are useful in determining whether the materials/products proposed for use in the piping system are manufactured in accordance with a nationally recognized standard, or if a component with a nationally recognized standard can be generically specified in its place.

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Part 2 - Products

Specific information on the pipes/tubes, fittings, and joining materials allowed under this Guide Specification. The majority of this section is comprised of information regarding the composition and usage of the different joining materials allowed for joining copper and copper alloys under this Guide Specification.

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Part 3 - Execution

Installation methods and procedures allowed under this Guide Specification for the installation of copper and copper alloy piping systems. This includes information on alternate field-fabricated fittings/connections, requirements for piping joint construction, piping protection, and hanger and support spacing. This part also contains Section 3.3 - Pipe and Fitting Applications, which matches the common pipe/tube standards with the compatible fittings standards and options available for joining the two. The options outlined in this section are based on commercially available pipe/tube and fittings sizes and also consider the availability of components based on variables such as temper and schedule or type.

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Part 4 - Piping Systems Applications

Minimum recommendations on pipe/tube, fittings and joints allowed for specific piping system applications. This Part also includes specific installation requirements as necessary for each piping system application. Recommendations are included for the following piping system applications:

  • water distribution piping systems
    (above and below ground)
  • soil, waste and vent piping systems
    (above and below ground)
  • storm drainage piping systems
    (above and below ground)
  • hydronic heating piping systems
    (above and below ground)
  • air conditioning and refrigeration piping systems
  • fuel gas distribution piping systems
    (natural and LP gas)
  • fire sprinkler piping systems
  • non-flammable medical gas piping systems
  • medical vacuum piping systems

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This Guide Specification has been prepared for the use of professionals involved in the design, specification, installation and repair of copper and copper alloy piping systems in buildings. It has been compiled from information sources that the Copper Development Association Inc. (CDA) believes to be competent. However, CDA assumes no responsibility or liability of any kind in connection with this document or its use by any person or organization and makes no representations or warranties of any kind thereby.

The requirements contained in this Guide Specification are intended solely as a guide for the design professional and represent minimum recommendations and requirements. These should in no way be substituted for sound engineering practice and judgment. Local codes should be consulted and used to modify this Guide Specification to meet actual project requirements.