Preparing Drain and Sewer Systems for House Inspections


Table of Contents

Building up to Code

Making sure that a home’s drain and sewer systems is ready for and will meet Ontario Building Code standards for its materials and construction is a complex task that requires professional expertise of the sort Master Drain can offer.


To meet these Code requirements, numerous construction materials and methods need to be inspected and approved. As well, certain tests need to be conducted. Finally, making sure that typical deficiencies are addressed is imperative. A successful inspection depends on these things.

Typical deficiencies

Drainage systems tend to fail to measure up to Code for reasons that recur from one inspection to another. Experience is the best way to navigate this minefield. Typical problems and considerations fall into certain areas:

Materials and equipment

• Avoid improper pipe fittings in the drainage or venting system


• Ensure that bends in the piping are not too tight

• Make sure that branches (Y- or T- junctions) are located on runs with sufficient slope


• See that materials used (such as piping materials) are selected and installed to meet Code requirements. Numerous complexities are involved, such as making sure that PVC, galvanized, and copper piping are used only as approved, or that lead-based solder is not used.

Testing of Sewer Systems and of Water Service Pipes

• These piping systems need to pass testing against leakage by being able to withstand either water or air pressurization without losing pressure.


Installation and protection of piping

• Piping needs to be installed to be protected against frost, to have adequate allowance to permit thermal expansion and contraction, and to have sufficient spatial separation between pipes. Piping must be continuously supported, and storm drain piping and sewers need to be colour-coded white, while sanitary piping can be any colour but white.

Traps, cleanouts, and venting

• Floor drains require trap seal primers and must be properly vented, and cleanouts need to be accessible and located at the base of the stacks.


• Vent piping of at least 1.5 inch diameter needs to be located on each story, the sewage ejector must be vented at the top, and vent pipes must be installed without sag and with no open or unused ends.

Slope and length drainage pipes

• To drain properly, drainage pipe less than three inches in diameter needs to have a slope of at least one inch over 50 feet.

Keeping all the balls in the air, and finishing the task

If all this seems like a lot to remember, it is. Moreover, it is just the tip of the iceberg: regulations are extensive. While many plumbing jobs can be done by amateurs, preparing a drainage system for Building Code compliance is not one of those simple tasks.

Once all these considerations have been met, Master Drain will arrange for an inspection of the work, citing the Building Permit, type of inspection required, and other logistical details. Our job is to keep the work on your home moving smoothly through the inspection and certification process, by anticipating and correcting any potential sticking points or deficiencies. Contact Master Drain with your drainage and sewer systems needs, particularly when looking for meeting Code compliance inspection.

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