CHAPTER IV. BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTIONCHAPTER IV. BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION\ARTICLE 3. PLUMBING AND GAS-FITTING CODE

The term plumbing as used in this article shall be construed to mean the installation of gas or water pipes, fixtures, apparatus and the necessary connections either for supplying gas or water to premises or for the removing of liquid and water-borne wastes from premises in the city, or both such purposes, and shall also denote installed fixtures, drainage and vent systems and gas or water distribution systems as the case may be.

(Code 1991)

There is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference, for the purpose of establishing rules and regulations for the practice of plumbing and gas-fitting, including the installation, maintenance, extension and alteration of all pipes, fixtures, appliances and appurtenances in connection with sanitary sewers and public and private water and fuel gas systems, the International Plumbing Code, 2009 Edition, as published by the International Code Council, such code being made as a part of the ordinances and code of the city as if the same had been set out in full herein, all as authorized and in the manner prescribed by K.S.A. 12-3009 through 12-3012 including any amendments thereto. No fewer than three copies of the uniform code shall be marked or stamped “Official Copy as Incorporated by the Code of the City of Benton,” and shall be filed with the city clerk to be open to inspection and available to the public at all reasonable hours of business.

(Code 2010)

The following sections of this article are in addition to the provisions of the standard code incorporated by reference in section 4-302.

(Code 1991)

The plumbing inspector shall have the following powers:

(a)   To enter any building or structure or premises at any reasonable hour, whether complete or in the process of erection, to perform the duties contained in this chapter;

(b)   To adopt and enforce all such prudent emergency measures as he or she may deem necessary and expedient for the public safety under the laws of the city;

(c)   May cause any work done in violation of this chapter to be discontinued until he or she shall have satisfactory evidence that the work will be done in accordance with the plumbing regulations of the city, subject to the right of any plumber, plumbing contractor or owner to appeal to the governing body.

(Code 1991)

(a)   The plumbing inspector, or his or her agent, upon proper identification, shall have authority to enter any building, structure or premises at any reasonable hour to perform his or her duties as set out in this chapter.

(b)   The authority granted to the plumbing inspector by subsection (a) of this section is subject to the following:

(1)   If the building, structure or premises is occupied, the inspector shall first present proper credentials, explain the purpose for which admittance is desired and demand entry.

(2)   If such property is unoccupied, the inspector shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the property, present proper credentials, explain the purpose for which admittance is desired and demand entry.

(3)   If the inspector is refused admission or cannot locate the owner or occupant, the public officer shall refrain from entering until authorized to do so by proper judicial authority.

(Code 2010)

(a)   The governing body shall be the final determiner of the scope and meaning of all provisions of the plumbing code which may be unclear, ambiguous, or requiring interpretation.

(b)   The plumbing inspector shall have power to modify any of the provisions of the plumbing code upon application in writing by the owner or lessee or his or her authorized agent, when there are practical difficulties in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the code. In approving modifications, the plumbing inspector shall see that the spirit of the code is observed, public safety secured and substantial justice done. The particulars of a modification when granted or allowed and the decision of the inspector thereon shall be entered upon the records of the plumbing inspector and a signed copy shall be furnished to the applicant.

(Code 1991)

(a)   It shall be unlawful to install, alter or reconstruct any plumbing or plumbing system, as defined by the plumbing code and section 4-301, in any building in the city without first making application to and receiving a permit therefore from the city clerk, after approval by the chief building official or his or her authorized assistant. The application for such permit shall be made and the permit obtained before any plumbing work is commenced.

(b)   No permit shall be required for making minor repairs of any plumbing including repair of leaks in water pipes, traps or cocks, opening up stoppage in waste or supply pipes, traps or drains, replacing fixtures when waste pipes are not disturbed, or replacing frozen pipes inside the building, and like repair work not involving original installation or reconstruction.

(Code 1991)

(a)   A plumbing permit shall be issued upon an application in writing to the office of city clerk on a form or forms provided for the purpose. This application shall, among other things, disclose the following:

(1)   The name of the owner of the lot or tract of ground;

(2)   The location of the building or structure;

(3)   The plumbing work proposed;

(4)   The class of occupancy;

(5)   The class of construction;

(6)   The kind of materials to be used;

(7)   The estimated cost of the work;

(8)   The date work will commence;

(9)   Expected date of completion;

(10) Name and address of plumber, plumbing contractor or contractors doing the work;

(11) Such other information as may be pertinent to the issuance of the required permit.

(b)   An application for a plumbing permit shall be signed by the owner or his or her duly authorized agent, or a plumber or plumbing contractor licensed by the city. If the application is made by the owner or his or her agent, it shall contain the name or names of the licensed plumber, plumbing contractor or contractors doing the work described, or a plumbing permit may be issued to the owner upon his or her application disclosing satisfactory evidence that the proposed work will be performed by the owner, himself or herself and not by a licensed plumber or plumbing contractor, and likewise subject to the final approval of the plumbing inspector for work performed.

(c)   Upon approval of the completed application and a determination that a permit should be issued, the chief building official or his or her assistant shall issue a permit to the owner or contractor authorizing the plumbing work covered by the application.

(d)   Any permit issued under this section shall be valid and subsisting for a period of not more than six months from the date of issuance unless the permittee shall have commenced, within the period so limited, the plumbing work authorized by such permit. Plumbing work commenced for the purpose of this section shall mean the beginning of plumbing work other than the preparation of plans or the letting of a plumbing contract.

(Code 1991)

Whenever an application for a plumbing permit is made, the chief building official or the plumbing inspector may, if he or she finds it necessary to determine whether work described in the application will comply with the laws pertaining to such work, require that the applicant file a written description or drawing of the proposed plumbing construction as may be prepared for the purpose. If such drawing or description is insufficient for the purposes of determining whether a permit should be issued, the chief building official or the plumbing inspector may require the applicant to file complete architectural and engineering plans and specifications for such building or construction, or any part thereof, as may be necessary for the inspector to determine compliance with this article. The filing of such plans and specifications and the approval thereof in connection with an application for a permit shall not in any way affect the authority of the city to deny or issue a permit, or to inspect any plumbing work for conformity with this article.

(Code 1991)

A copy of the plumbing permit shall be kept on the premises for public inspection during the performance of the work and until the completion of the same. The plumbing inspector may require a certified copy of the approved plans to be kept on the premises at all times from the commencement of the work to the completion thereof.

(Code 1991)

When it appears that the laying or repairing of any water or sewer pipes or the making of any connection therewith shall require excavation in any street, alley or public way of the city or the cutting or removal of any pavement, curb or gutter or any sidewalk, during the course of such work, the application for a permit shall so state and describe the location and extent of the excavation, cutting or removal. Before the city clerk shall issue any permit for such work, the applicant shall pay any fee required by this code. All excavations shall be barricaded and guarded as provided by the appropriate sections of this code. Before any such excavation shall be backfilled, new plumbing work therein shall be inspected and the bottom of the excavation holding any sewer, drain or water pipe shall be so filled, leveled and tamped as to properly support the pipe and permit proper drainage when carrying sewage, and the excavation shall be backfilled and all paving, curbing, guttering or sidewalks shall be restored as near as possible to their last condition, subject always to the approval of the plumbing inspector or the superintendent of streets.

(Code 1991)

Nothing herein contained shall prohibit any property owner from personally installing plumbing piping or equipment within and upon his or her own residence and intended for his or her personal use and permanent occupancy; provided, the owner shall satisfy the plumbing inspector as to his or her ability to install such piping or equipment, secure a permit, pay required fees, do work in accordance with this article, and apply for an inspection and receive approval. Personal installation by an owner under this section shall be by himself, herself, for himself or herself on his or her own residence, without compensation and no person shall be employed to assist him or her in any way on such work except a plumber or plumbing contractor licensed by the city.

(Code 1991)

No plumbing materials, appliances or equipment shall be installed in the city unless they are in conformity with the provisions of this article and with the approved standards of construction for safety to life and property. Conformity of materials for plumbing materials, appliances and equipment to the standards of the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. shall be prima fade evidence that the materials, devices, appliances and equipment comply with the requirements of this article.

(Code 1991)

This article shall not be construed to relieve from or lessen the responsibility or liability of any party owning, operating, controlling or performing any plumbing construction for damages to persons or property caused by any defect therein, nor shall the city be held as assuming any such liability, by reason of the inspection or reinspection authorized herein, or the certificate of approval of any work or equipment authorized herein or by reason of any permit or license granted herein.

(Code 1991)

If any section of the International plumbing Code or of this article shall be held unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, then such section shall be considered separate and apart from the remaining provisions of the International plumbing Code or of this article, the section is to be completely severable from the remaining provisions which shall continue in full force and effect.

(Code 1991)

(a)   A plumber or plumbing contractor shall mean:

(1)   Any person engaged in the business of installing, altering, maintaining, or repairing plumbing, which shall include all materials and plumbing fixtures, water pipes, portable water treatment equipment, traps, drainage and vent piping, and building drains, including their respective points, connections, devices, receptacles and appurtenances located within the property lines of any premises or in any building.

(2)   Any gas fitter or person engaged in the business of installing, altering, or repairing fuel gas piping, gas systems or fixtures.

(b)   A plumber or plumbing contractor as defined in subsection (a) of this section shall not mean or include the owner of a residence who personally installs plumbing piping or equipment within and upon his or her own residence and intended for his or her own personal use and permanent occupancy; provided, the owner shall satisfy the plumbing inspector as to his or her ability to install such piping or equipment, secure a permit, pay required fees, do work in accordance with this article, and apply for an inspection and receive approval. Personal installation by an owner under this section shall be himself, herself, for himself or herself on his or her own residence, without compensation and no person shall be employed to assist him or her in any way on such work except a plumber or plumbing contractor licensed by the city.

(Code 2010)

(a)   Each plumber or plumbing contractor shall before entering upon any plumbing work subject to regulation by city laws, apply to the city clerk for a plumber's or plumbing contractor's license and receive the same as hereinafter provided and have in his or her possession a valid license authorizing him, her or it to engage in the trade or occupation of a plumber or plumbing contractor in the city.

(b)   No permit for any plumbing work shall be issued for any such work to be performed by a plumber or plumbing contractor, as defined, who has not first obtained a license upon making a proper application and payment of the license fee as required.

(c)   It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, company, association or corporation to enter into a contract or agreement with another so as to bring himself, herself, or itself under the definition of a plumber or plumbing contractor herein, or to perform any work as a plumber or plumbing contractor or any work under a contract for any work involving plumbing construction, without first having obtained a plumber's or plumbing contractor's license issued by the city.

(Code 2010)

Application for a master plumber's or journeyman plumber license shall be made upon a form to be supplied by the city which shall disclose the name of the applicant, his or her place of business in the city (and home office if a nonresident), the kind of contracting work engaged in, the length of time engaged in such work and places where work has been performed within the past two years. The application shall be signed by the plumber or plumbing contractor or his or her authorized agent. The applications shall be subject to approval of the chief building official and thereafter referred to the governing body at its next meeting for action thereon. Such license shall be issued by the city clerk, upon payment of the fees hereinafter provided after approval of the governing body. All applications for a master plumber or a journeyman plumber license shall possess an equivalent license from a city of the first class or city of the second class in Kansas, an equivalent certificate or license from the State of Kansas, or shall have passed the appropriate examinations given by Block & Associates Construction Examination Services.

(Code 2010)

(a)   License fees shall be set forth in the City’s annual fee resolution for Plumber or Plumbing Contractor.

(b)   Each such license shall set forth the kind of plumbing construction work in which the licensee may engage. The licensee shall display his or her license at any place where he or she may be engaged in contract work or produce the same on demand of any city officer. All licenses shall be renewable annually as in the case of an original license on or before the first day of January of the year for which issued.

(c)   It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to contract for any kind of work covered by this article without having a valid license issued by the city to perform such contacts.

(Code 2010)

A plumber or plumbing contractor must procure and maintain a liability insurance policy in the amount of $100,000 for the death or injury of any one person and $300,000 for the death or injury of any number of persons in any one accident and $50,000 for property damage in any one accident. Such policies of insurance shall be issued by some insurance company authorized to do business in the State of Kansas. A plumber or plumbing contractor may qualify as to the insurance requirements by filing a certificate with the city clerk executed by the resident agent of such company stating that the required policy of insurance has been issued by such company for the purpose required by this article and that such insurer will not cancel the policy except upon giving 30 days notice in writing to the city; and that the certificate shall be filed for an annual period beginning January 1 and ending December 31 of such year.

(Code 2010)

(a)   The license of any plumber or plumbing contractor may be suspended temporarily, for a period of not to exceed 30 days at any one time, by the chief building official upon his or her own motion or upon a complaint of the city plumbing inspector. Notice shall be given in writing to such plumber or plumbing contractor giving reasonable notice of a time of hearing of the complaint or the matter alleged against such plumber or plumbing contractor involving any one or more of the following:

(1)   Misrepresentation of a material fact by applicant in obtaining a license;

(2)   Use of license to obtain a plumbing permit for another;

(3)   Failure or neglect to observe conditions of a permit authorizing encumbering of streets or sidewalks for safety of public;

(4)   Performance of any plumbing work without a permit where one is required by law; or

(5)   Willful disregard of any violation of the plumbing laws, or failure to comply with any lawful order of the city plumbing inspector.

(b)   Any licensee may within 15 days appeal in writing to the governing body from any order of the chief building official suspending his or her license for its final decision thereon. The governing body may upon such hearing terminate such suspension within not more than 30 days thereafter, or may revoke such license. If any license shall be revoked, the plumber or plumbing contractor shall not be eligible for a new license during a period of six months thereafter. No fee shall be refunded in event of the suspension or revocation of any plumber's or plumbing contractor's license.

(c)   It shall be unlawful to engage in the occupation or trade of plumber or plumbing contractor during the time any license of such plumber or plumbing contractor has been suspended or revoked.

(Code 2010)