Drainage

SANS 10400-Part P, Drainage, Plumbing,

Sanitation and Water Disposal

Waste pipework on the exterior of a house.

Drainage and plumbing is not only what you see above ground. All water, waste disposal, soils and stormwater have to be drained away and treated to maintain safety and health. In many instances these pipes cannot be seen as they are buried underground and have to be installed by a qualified plumber using the correct pipework.

We get a number of requests asking us for the number of toilets, urinals, wash-hand basins and baths that have to be installed in buildings. This depends on how many people will live or work in a particular building. Part A20 states that:

“The occupancy of any building shall be classified and designated according to the appropriate occupancy class given in column 1 of table 1 and such classification shall reflect the primary function of such building: Provided that, in any building divided into two or more areas not having the same primary function, the occupancy of each such area shall be separately classified.”

There are two tables below Table 5 for residential accommodation and Table 6 for personnel in the workplace these are extracted fron the SANS 10400 Part P – Drainage.

Provision of Sanitary Fixtures

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Non-Water-Borne Sanitary Disposal

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131 comments

  1. HI There, I am currently builing a laundry room in my yard and I plan to have plumbing for the washing machine and sink. Please can you kindly tell me if I need to have this inspected by the council?

    many thanks
    Sam

  2. You are not permitted to start building before plans have been passed by your local council. They will then inspect at various times, the first being once you have dug your foundations. All plumbing would need to be signed off by a registered plumber.

  3. To Whom it May concern

    I am seeking information regrding unit standars or guidelines for stormwater drainage, my problem is as follows, I live on an estate with over 250 Units, 55 of these units have a single 110mm PVC pipe running through the back of there properties for the drainage of storm water, these are fed from the gutters of each home. Surely this is insufficient, the reason why I am upset is when it rains my property floods as I am the second last house of the 55 houses thus I am at the bottom of the hill, I bought one year ago and have had 3 floods which have destroyed my garden and blown a pool pump. Where can I get help and information so I can have clarity on who’s responsibility it is to manage the flooding!

  4. Barry the building regulations and other SANS (of which there are several) that relate to plumbing are VERY strict. If your home is being flooded as a result of bad drainage, I am sure that you have a claim of some sort. The question is against whom. And as you say, whose responsibility is it to manage the flooding. You say you have bought in “an estate”, but it isn’t clear what sort. e.g. Do you have a body corporate? Also did you buy a new home?
    I would start with your local authority. Query the drainage issues with them first. And/or, contact the Plumbing Institute of SA, IOPSA. You will their contact details on their website: http://www.iopsa.org.za/
    I do know that IOPSA has tables that indicate how much rain different sized gutters can channel off roofs when a certain quantity or rain falls per hour. This is intended to assist plumbers fit the current outlets etc. They will also be able to tie you info about the specs for drainage pipe.
    Please let me know what happens. Good luck.

  5. Dear Penny,

    Could you kindly advise what type of pipe and size is the SABS approved for water drainage? This would be for our upstairs shower. Where could I possibly find this information?

    Many thanks
    Wendy

  6. Wendy there is no one type of pipe or size pipe that is suitable for water drainage. But all plumbing jobs MUST be undertaken by a qualified and registered plumber who will know which is the best for your job. The SANS are lengthy and there are several of them. If you want to wade through them yourself you can go to your nearest SABS library and ask them to give you anything that relates to water drainage.

  7. Hello,
    I’m looking for some info on South african building regualtions would you be able to answer some questions for me?
    1. what rainfall runoff method is reccommended to use?
    2. what return period do the regulations reccommend that you design for?
    3. is there a minimum pipe diameter that can be specified?
    4. What is the minimum velocity reccommended a self cleaning flow?
    5. what is the minimum distance between access chambers?

    Thanks

  8. Good day. I am currently renting a flat where I have found that all my drainage is flowing into the same line, as result if the drain bloks up the over flow goes directly into my shower. At previous residanses this was not the case. There was atleast a split in the line like an open drain witch seperated my water from he sinks and shower from the tiolet. I would like to know if this is according to standard or not

  9. Hi Penny
    I have neighbours in the unit above mine, who have added on an extra bathroom. The new single stack 110mm pipe runs down the wall and connects to the main existing sewer via a manhole, situated at least 10 meter away, outside my kitchen, but on land belonging to the Body Corporate. The neighbour has completed this alteration without submitting any building plans to the local authorities, or the Body Corp. for approval and is contending that no building plans are needed. This problem has been compounded by a building inspector who has agreed that the national building regulations have not been violated. I believe it is necessary to obtain permissions prior to building These plans, I believe, need to be lodged and approval granted in writing, which would become a permanent record for all present and future owners. My question is: Are plans needed to be submitted to the local council for approval for this alteration from a drainage perspective?
    Many thanks
    Lindsay

  10. Contact the Plumbing Association for assistance. They will be able to tell you EXACTLY what should have been done. I do know that if an extra bathroom was added, plans would definitely have been required. Please let me know what happens either way.

  11. Are you saying that the overflow from your toilet flows into your shower? If so it sounds as if your plumbing installation is illegal. Ask other tenants in the building if they have the same problem, and call in a registered plumber for a quotation to rectify the situation. Once you have this, contact your landlord and demand that the fault is fixed. If you still have problems, you might want to contact the Plumbing Association of SA for further advice.

  12. Are you trying to answer some sort of test? The questions are not specific enough. e.g. Rainfall runoff method for what/where? Return period for what? Minimum pipe diameter for what?

  13. Are there regulations regarding either having gutters on a house or the minimum width of paving around a house?

  14. There aren’t any regulations that require you to lay paving. The regulations relate to adequate drainage rather than specifically gutters, paving or anything else. Generally though you will need gutters to channel rainwater from the roof. Sometimes architects design other ways – e.g. using hi-tech chains – but these aren’t common and need to be correctly designed.

  15. Thanks

  16. Hester Basson

    Hello.
    My husband and I went to Parys in the freestate for a breakaway weekend, what was meant to be an enjoyable weekand was soon destroyed by the stench of urine and feaces in the room we booked at the river bush lodge parys which was very clearly just an old house which they rhinowalled into seperate rooms. We soon dicovered that the drain pipe for the washbasin is connected to the drainage pipe for the toilet. Is this in anyway according to any south african building code?
    Thank you

  17. Hester that it totally illegal. I suggest that you contact the health inspector for the Parys municipality and report the establishment immediately. You will probably find that the building work they have undertaken is illegal too. Furthermore, there are laws that govern buildings that cater for visitors, as well as local authority by-laws that require lodges etc to have a permit to operate. You might also call one of the local newspapers in Parys and tell them about your experience.

  18. Jackie Semper

    We have just built a garage on the side of the house (all permit and permission has been granted by the Municipality and the Body Corporat) The unit is a cluster hom. We have a down pipe put in at the side of the garage to drain the excess wast away. The water goes onto common property.which is a pan handle to two other units. They are complaining that we are flooding their property, which never happend before the garages was built. (Which I know for a fact they did have a problem) Could you please advise what we can do to elevate this problem for all concerned.

  19. YOu do have a responsibility to drain the water away from the building – and not onto someone else’s property. My first thought is that perhaps digging a soakaway on the common land would help to alleviate the problem. I have no idea what type of soil you have, but for example if it is clay, then it won’t drain easily. Alternatively you may have to build a drain that will channel the water to a municipal stormwater drain.
    If you believe that your neighbour had a problem prior to construction of your garage, you need to ascertain where THAT water was coming from.

  20. I live in a sectional title complex and we have an issue with the drainage of rain water off the roofs and into the gutters to be drained away via the downpipes (when they are not blocked by leaves and/or bird droppings). The problem I see is that the gutter has been placed directly on the outside wall and does not hang from the roof away from the wall. The back upright bit (the bit under the edge of the last tile) of the gutter trough is lower than the front bit facing the property. When a heavy downpour occurs and there is a blockage in the side downpipes, the water has no other option but to run over the back bit under the tile and then into the house and onto the ceilings inside. It seems the gutters are installed the wrong way round.

    I’d like to know if there is an official building standard available that I can show the trustees, who are dragging their heels and hesitant to repair this and finding excuses why not to repair it.

    Just this last December I incurred severe losses in my personal possessions due to water damage that could have been avoided had the gutter issue been sorted out many years ago. This debate in the complex has gone on for years now, without remedy.

    Any help would really be appreciated.

  21. The rules and regulations as they apply to plumbing are extremely strict. I do have SANS that I can look at (starting with the NBR Part P: Drainage), and will get back to you asap. Perhaps I will write a blog post and include some of the drawings to show how the guttering etc should be done. I can tell you one thing though, if the water is draining into the building the drainage has not been done correctly and is therefore illegal!

  22. Good day,

    We have a common building garage with a the neighbours. We always had the same gutters and there was no block between in the gutters between the garages. No the neighbours had changed their gutters, but they put a block between in the gutters between the two garages. My question is can they do it?

    Regards
    Petra

  23. Do I understand this? You have a gutter that runs across a building that forms two garages – yours and your neighbors, and they are preventing the flow of water through the gutter? If this is the case NO THEY ARE NOT permitted to do so.

  24. Good morning
    I run an office block and would like to know the ratio of number of toilet cubicles per person – floor space is 2667m2
    Thank you
    Michele

  25. Occupancy/building classification is covered in SANS 10400, Part A: General Principles and Requirements. It doesn’t specify offices as such, but I assume your block would fit into category B3: “Low risk commercial service
    Occupancy where a non-industrial process is carried out and where neither the material handled nor the process carried out falls into the high or moderate risk category.” Floor space is only relevant to how many people may work in such a space, viz. ”1 person per 15 m2″.
    The provision of sanitary fixtures is covered in Part P: Drainage, and is based on the population for which the building is designed.
    Where “separate sanitary facilities are provided for each sex, the number of sanitary fixtures installed for them shall be based on the population of that particular sex for which such facilities are intended and, if the number of persons of each sex cannot be determined, it shall be assumed that they are in equal proportions”.
    “Where fixtures are to be situated in separate groups, the number of fixtures in any group shall be based on the calculation of that portion of the total population for which the group is intended”.
    If there are less than 15 people working in the office space, you must have at least one toilet pan, one urinal and one wash-hand basin if they are all men; and two toilets and a basin if they are all women women. The toilet facilities required increase according to the number of people “populating” the building. Technically you could have well over a hundred people working in that space, in which case you will need three toilets, six urinals and five basins if they were all men; and nine toilets and five basins if they were all women. And there are figures in-between for less than 30, 60 and 90 people. You would need to work out ratios from these figures.
    If members of the public are able to access the toilet facilities, you don’t need more – but if they cannot access them, you’ll need an additional toilet and basin for visitors.

  26. Good day

    I am adding a full bathroom as well as a guest bathroom (toilet and basin) to my house. I am told according to the new green laws I have to put in a solar geyser / heat pump. However after phoning Eskom, they told me that with alterations or extentions, they do not force people to install a solar geyser unless its a new house you’re building?

    Please advise
    Thanks

  27. The amended National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act (the legislation) states as of 2011, “XA2 At least 50% (volume fraction) of the annual average hot water heating requirement shall be provided by means other than electrical resistance heating including but not limited to solar heating, heat pumps, heat recovery from other systems or processes and renewable combustible fuel.”
    Also, SANS 151 for Storage Water Heaters changed in 2012, and geysers must now be labelled according to efficiency.
    In terms of retrofitting buildings, if plans are submitted to council, they may tell you to install energy efficient equipment. It’s not up to Eskom. If you were not required to submit plans (though if it’s an extension you should have been), then the whole matter becomes irrelevant.

  28. Is it allowed that the neighbour may build a shack with toilet right
    against the boundary wall?

  29. Rowan – no it is not legal. Plumbing requirements are very strict, and unless you are in the local authority governed by the City of Cape Town, neighbour’s consent is required to build up against a boundary wall. Wherever in the country you are, plans are required for building, unless it is minor building work – and a toilet would NOT be classified as this.

  30. Hi

    We wanna build an Extra room, but before drawing plans and getting them approved,
    I need to know if it’s possible to build over the sewer line running behind the house, the line is in an awkward position and I can’t see any other way of extending

    Thanks

  31. Mohammd, You can build over a pipe that has been laid for sewage, provided it is done correctly. e.g. You may have to encase it in concrete and provide additional inspection eyes. You will need approval. If it is the Council sewer line you will also need approval. So step number one: contact your local authority health inspector for advice.

  32. Hi I need to move the current drainage pipe (40mm for sink) and reroute it. it will have to have 3 90deg bends in it and can only fall a total of 500mm over approximately 19m is this OK

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards

    Dale Hellmann

  33. Dale you need to talk to a qualified, registered plumber. We are not qualified to advise on plumbing installations. In any case you should be using a plumber to do the work for you.

  34. Please could you tell me how many toilets and showers are required for 75 employee’s.

  35. Debbie, According to Part P of SANS 10400, “The number of sanitary fixtures to be provided in a building shall be based on the population for which such building is designed, and such population shall be calculated in terms of Regulation A21” – So to be able to answer your question I need to know what type of building this is. It also depends on the ratio of men to women – “if the number of persons of each sex cannot be determined, it shall be assumed that they are in equal proportions”.
    If the building is designed as an office [G1 – Occupancy comprising offices, banks, consulting rooms and other similar usage.] you will require only toilets and basins (not showers) … If all male you will need 3 toilets, 5 urinals and 4 basins; if all female you will need 7 toilets and 4 basins. Some occupancies do required showers.

  36. Thank you for your response Penny. We are a foundry based in Phoenix Industrial Park. We have 75 employee’s working in the foundry itself, 1 of which is a female (this number excludes our 15 office/admin staff who have seperate facilites). We are looking to refurbish our current change rooms and just want to clarify that we are above board when it comes to the requirements. I have read that 1 toilet and shower per 20 staff, not sure if this is correct…?

  37. Debbie, Your “per 20” is NOT correct.
    I assume then that the building would be categorized either D1 High risk industrial: Occupancy where an industrial process is carried out and where either the material handled or the process carried out is liable, in the event of fire, to cause combustion with extreme rapidity or give rise to poisonous fumes, or cause explosions. OR
    D2 Moderate risk industrial: Occupancy where an industrial process is carried out and where either the material handled or the process carried out is liable, in the event of fire, to cause combustion with moderate rapidity but is not likely to give rise to poisonous fumes, or cause explosions.
    …but they both have the same requirements (as does Low risk industrial D3).
    Showers are not specified. For more than 60 but less than 90 males, you need 3 toilets, 5 urinals and 4 basins. For less than 15 women, you need 2 toilets and one basin – but I guess if there’s only one woman, you could get away with one loo.
    I can only see showers specified for sporting participants. For 60-80, 5 showers are required.
    But the regulations do say “In any occupancy where personnel are exposed to high-risk substances, dirt, filth, dust, soot, oil, grease or any similar substance, exposure to which is such that showers are necessary, at least 1 shower per 15 persons shall be provided separately for each sex and such showers shall be located in, or have direct access to, a change room.” I assume you would need a shower for the woman.

  38. Andre Landsberg

    I have open drains in my house. the owner extended the house but did not move the drains, Toilet, washbasin, shower and bath. It is not even covered. Is this a: a health hazard and b: not in building regulations

  39. Andre this does sound very dodgy. I suggest you get in a qualified plumber who is registered with your local authority to have a look. Alternatively ask the local authority to send out a health inspector to check. The National Building Regulations relating to drains are VERY strict.

  40. Hi,

    I am planning to buy a house, but on the building plans I got, a part of the building is build over the sewage line (About 5 meters is covered). On the plans it says that the pipe is encased in concrete. I dont see any stamp from the city council that the plan has been approved.
    Can I get trouble if I want to build on the property and need to approve the new plans?

    Thanks

  41. Yes Riaan you can get into “trouble”. Perhaps you should take the plans you have to your municipal offices and check with them before you start building.

  42. Hi,
    I bought a stand from a Developer in a Walled Estate in 2010. The Developer then built me a hous on the stand which was completed in March 2011 and i moved in in December 2011. We had very little rain in the Overberg until July this year when I found that a large part of the stand bounded by my Boundry Walls was flooded. When i spoke to the Developer hs said it was due to the heavy rain that had saturated the ground and he could not help. Over this past weekend we had very heavy rains in the Western Cape and once again the same area of my property was flooded to the extent of +/- 180mm of water was traped on my stands side of the wall. Obviously the Developer has made No Provision for Stormwater Drainage/Disposal. In Terms of the National Building Regulations I would have thought that a Developer needs to make “Adequate” Provision for Disposal of Storm Water. Would you think that the Developer is “Responsible” to Rectify my situation. Thanks Ron Klass

  43. Ron, regarding the unusually heavy rains in the Cape last weekend, even properties that have 100% compliant stormwater disposal systems experienced flooding. So I doubt very much that you’ll have any success trying to get the developer to “rectify” your situation. My advice to you is to wait until the ground water has dissipated, and then call in an independent plumbing professional and ask for an assessment of the situation. All stormwater disposal systems must comply with Part R of SANS 10400, including the way they connect to stormwater sewers or street surface drainage systems. However, this section of the new regulations were only published on 31/8/2012, which could give your developer an “out”.

  44. Le Roux Visser

    Subject:
    SABS VS JASWIC APPROVE

    Message:
    Hi

    I need somebody to contact me.
    We are suppliers of Bathroom Products and is looking at new products
    for Next Year.

    I was informed by a Retailer that the Building Inspectors accept
    JASWIC Approved Products as well.

    Can someone please confirm this for me.

    Regards
    Le Roux

  45. We are in no way linked to any local authorities or governing bodies so are unable to help you Le Roux.

  46. Hi, could you tell me about the requirement for water drainage from one neighbor to another. I live in a cul de sac in the South Suburbs of Cape Town. I have a number of neighbors on either side of me as well as on the other side of me. Their properties would be slightly above me. The neighbor on my right constantly has problem with rain water running through his garage and has asked me to open a whole in his wall that will allow the water from his property to run through my property. What does the law say about this? Am I obliged to do this?

  47. Leslie Marthinussen

    Just a note to say thank you for your website. Just browsing through the discussions helped me.

    Leslie

  48. Thanks Leslie, notes like this really are appreciated 😀

  49. Hi Sebastian, I can’t locate the Cape Town bye-law at the moment but the Gauteng bye-law should be a good indication of most bye-laws in SA.

    “14. GENERAL CONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO ALL ERVEN

    2. Where, in the opinion of the Council, it is impracticable for stormwater to
    be drained from higher lying erven direct to a road, the owner of the
    lower lying erf shall be obliged to accept and/or permit the passage over
    the erf of such stormwater: Provided that the owners of any higher lying
    erven, the stormwater from which is discharged over any lower lying erf,
    shall be liable to pay a proportionate share of the cost of any pipe line or
    drain which the owner of such lower lying erf may find necessary to lay or
    construct for the purpose of conducting the water so discharged over
    the erf.
    d. The owner of the erf must make the necessary arrangements to the
    satisfaction of the Council to ensure that drain pipes convey water
    away from the foundations of buildings;
    e. Water shall not be permitted to collect on the erf and the erf shall
    be drained to the satisfaction of the Council.”

    If you are still unsure contact the local council planning department.

  50. Is it possible and lawfull to have water outlet pipes (normal WHB water pipes) run into an existing storm water drain?

    Thanks

  51. Danique it is only allowed if there is a specific reason and the council gives permission. Generally waste water systems must be designed according to the relevant SANS with water discharging into a gully that in turn discharges into an underground drain. Detailed plans are required by council when the building plans are submitted.

  52. Subject:
    RATIOS OF TOILET IN THE WORK PLACE

    Message:
    Can you please advice me as to how many employees are to use one toilet in any working environment

  53. Skhumbuzo, there are several issues to take into account including the type and size of work place. Generally it will be up to 30 people as you can see from Table 6 on this page.

  54. I am currently renting a property with a flat attached to the back of the house. The on-suite bathroom and the main bathroom windows have been blocked off as this looks into the flat. The drains from both bathrooms (toilet and baths) run into the flat. They are not covered or sealed at all. Is this legal?

  55. Jeannene it all sounds totally illegal. Call your local authority and ask them to send a building and/or health inspector to investigate.

  56. Calvin Naidoo

    Subject:
    Moving a storm drain

    Message:
    Good day,
    I have recently built my new home, only to have my drive in line with a storm drain.
    Please can you provide me with some advice on how I can have this storm drain moved such that it no longer obstructs my drive way

  57. Charlie Roestroff

    I want to know how many ventvalves and where it is needed on a sewerline?
    Please assist me.

  58. Calvin you will need to consult a registered, qualified plumber for this.

  59. From your email Charlie it looks as if you are in the plumbing business. If so you should be a qualified and registered plumber – which I am not. You should then also know which SANS to look at. Perhaps you could call IOPSA and ask them.

  60. Hi, I have a neighbour of whom has placed a large jojo tank, of which is higher than the boundary wall, of which is a six foot wall, right against the wall, with out any consent. What should the distance of a jojo tank be from a neighbours boundary wall?

  61. Yolande the NBR do not have specifications that relate to these tanks. You need to contact the local authority and find out what their requirements are in terms of the location of this.

  62. HELLO
    IS IT VALID TO HAVE A ATTENUATION TANK INSTALLLED ON A RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY.TOTAL 625M SQ AND HARD SURFACES IS ONLY 170 SQ M.? I WAS THINKING OF HAVING GRIDS TO ALLOW FOR SEEPAGE?
    NEEL

  63. I honestly don’t know Neel, though I think they are using them more and more. You should consult with a registered plumber or the local authority.

  64. What is the standard for plumbing pipes used on the outside of a building that lead from a geyser to a water connection? Can plastic tubing be used or does it need to be copper piping?

  65. Neil you can use Polycop pipe. It is a popular type of polypropylene (which is a type of plastic) pipe and it can be used for pressure pipes that can carry hot water, and for pipes that supply cold water.

  66. Hi, can a plumber extend onto the origanal copper cold water supply pipe of my house with polycop pipe, to create a new supply line. Bearing in mind that this will run under the concreate floor of the house.
    and is there a standard size for a shower enclosure?

  67. Toyer you should be using a qualified, registered plumber who will know exactly what is permitted in terms of the various SANS. There are numerous plumbing regulations that fall outside of the National Building Regulations.
    In terms of shower enclosures, there is no one standard size. Here’s a link to shower enclosures provided by just one South African company. You will see that there are a myriad of options. Choose the enclosure you want before you build. Of course you can also have a shower that does not have a solid enclosure – that is either open or has shower curtains.

  68. Neil using “Polycop” pipe on hot water is a bad idea. The pipe is not made to take hot water. In my yrs as a qualified plumber I have had to replace Polycop pipe more often on hot water systems due to failure. as far as I understand Polycop pipe does not have SABS to carry hot water, you will need to check SABS standards on that yourself to make sure. All hot water systems need min of 1m metal pipe (copper or galvanised) at the inlet side and outlet side of your hot water cylinder.

  69. The stand behind me is much higher than my own. Water keeps coming through underneath the boundary wall. who is responsible for making provision for the excess water. What methods can be used to drain the water.

  70. The property owner of the plot where the water is coming from needs to have adequate drainage. A qualified plumber will be able to assess what should be done.

  71. I recently brought a property in Pretoria West and the bath does not have an access point for the trap. What does the building regulation says about the provision of the acess point on the bath

  72. Baths must have traps … I suggest you ask a registered plumber to have a look at what you have and then take the appropriate action. Plumbing Standards are extremely high and include a number of Standards in addition to the National Building Regulations SANS 10400 sections that relate to plumbing and drainage. You could also contact IOPSA – the Institute of Plumbing in SA and ask them for their advice.

  73. sharon walker

    Hi, I hope you can help me. I am trying to find out what the minimum/maximum distance allowed between two manhole covers (for sewerage) on a residential single-building dwelling.
    Thanks,
    Sharon

  74. What pipe must be inside the house from the toilet and what pipe outside? I know there are standards on the uv effects on the pipe?

  75. Hi there. Can you have a sewer pipe which connects to a septic tank, underneath the slab of a new garage? We want to build a garage over the place where there is an existing pipe which runs to the septic tank.

  76. What are the laws regarding building over a sewerage pipe? I would like to extend a room but the pipes are very close to the walls

  77. Hi. A number of things can be done. First problem I see is a perched water table – meaning that the plot at higher level is watering his garden and the water seeps thru to the lower plot. The only way to take it away is by sub surface drain. Preferably before the water gets to the retaining wall, but can also be done on the lower plot. Be careful not to excavate before assessing the foundation design of the retaining wall. Consult a civil engineer to design your subsurface drain and to ensure that the retaining wall is still doing what it is supposed to do – holding the earth back

  78. Mike you are absolutely correct that “polycop” is not a good idea as it has never been approved for hot water. The new PPR pipes that are approved for hot and cold water is the way to go. Thanks for spotting that Mike.

  79. Coen thanks for the comments, we appreciate them 🙂

  80. Just another correction. No galvanised pipes are permitted anymore,not on the water supply & not even on the TP discharge of a hot water cylynder.

  81. Yup, you are right as well galvanised is out.

  82. So long as there are no inspection covers/eyes or any bends then you can build over them so long as you encase the pipes in concrete.

  83. You can get permission from the council for this but you will have to encase the pipe in concrete and it should not have any bends or inspection eyes along the way. The “competent person” who does your plans for approval should know this and will do drawings for the council.

  84. You must box your sewer pipe min 250mm all around pipe meaning 360 deg….according to building regulations.

  85. Yes you can extend from copper to poly pipe just make sure that the poly pipe is SABS approved and if there is to much rocks and stone where the poly pipe is laying……buried the poly pipe in nice building,plaster or river sand to protect pipe…

  86. Copper pipe stays the best for the job and it looks so much more professional to…..just get a good plumber to do the soldering work properly…

  87. Is there a specification that requires a step between the floor height and external paving ? The height difference between the interior floor (kitchen) and the external paving is approx ,<20mm and the developer says that this is in order. Please advise urgently

  88. Is it legal to connect a kitchen sink drain pipe to the sewerage drain pipe?

  89. Yes that is how the effluent is taken away from the house, all grey water and sewage pipes are linked then go to the council mains.

  90. Here are the heights from the regulations:
    Foundation heights

  91. Good day
    I am on a project which is a SANS compliant.
    We have done an ablution block Male/Females three toilets 2 basins and 1 urinal.
    All drains joining into 110mm pvc pipe. i have installed two breather pipes one for each Room.
    I have installed the new two way breather cap on them with a 500m long and 50mm diametre pipe on both
    Is this in regulations?
    Can you guide me to the proper referances in the SANS compliancy so i can send it to my client for clarity

  92. If you are doing this kind of job I assume you are a registered plumber – in which case you should have copies of all the relevant SANS. I am not a plumber and would have to read realms of paperwork to try and find and interpret this information.

  93. Good day

    My neighbor has build a stand on top of underground pipes, then the nuisance is coming out of my house drain and he is not willing to fix it. where can I report this I am in Cape Town

  94. what sort of pipe should be used from the municipal mains (by the meter) to the house. is it 22mm copper?

  95. Hi, is there any regulation stating that ALL sewerage piping should be encased in concrete, not referring to pipework underneath concrete flooring?

  96. Hi Guys
    My Landlord owns a bar above my store and we have had lots of leaks in the last year from his plumbing drip and leak through our ceiling sometimes ruining product in our store. I have withheld rent on a few occasions until it has been fixed but every couple of weeks there is a new leak and a new hole that he has to cut in my ceiling to try find the problem.

    In terms of the National Building Regulations Act is there a authority I can get to come and check if he has Plumbing compliance?
    Thanks

  97. All plumbing must be done by a qualified plumber who is also registered. But it is not only the NBR that is important. There are many other SANS that relate to plumbing. Perhaps you should call the Plumbing Institute of SA and ask their advice.

  98. Willy, the National Building Regulations on their own don’t tell us very much about how to build or how to install plumbing. SANS 10252-1 of 2004 deals with water supply installations for buildings, and SANS 10252-2 which deals with drainage installations for buildings.
    The regs are particularly strict about protecting all types of drainpipes laid under buildings. Pipes that are made of a rigid material must be encased in concrete that is at least as wide as the pipe. Flexible pipe must be protected by a concrete slab that is laid over the pipe. I think the specs are in SANS 10252-2. This would be below the level of the floor slab.

  99. To the City of Cape Town

  100. Jab please consult a registered plumber for this information – or your local authority.

  101. Sharon you should be working with a qualified plumber who is registered. If this a problem regarding an already built line then contact the plumbing institute of SA.

  102. Mike I suggest you talk to a qualified registered plumber. Alternatively contact the SABS directly to find out what the specs are.

  103. Yvonne Grobler

    Hi, I’m renting on a farm. I would like to know how far away from your residence is your sewage drain suppose to be. The sewage drain at our flat is directly next to my bathroom and bedroom walls. It is basically just a hole in the ground filled with stones en covered with a steel plate. Is this legal?

  104. That sounds like a cess pit to me Yvonne – and no it is not legal. We had the same when we rented a house near Malmesbury. You can read about our plumbing sagas here. The cess pit (outside the kitchen) was for sewage from a guest loo. It was covered with a piece of ply – which had rotted – and collapsed when I stood on it. Fortunately I didn’t fall inside. The owner of the farm also did an alteration to an outbuilding and didn’t have a septic tank or any other form of tank for the sewage. I suggest you alert the local authority … ask for a health inspection to do an investigation.

  105. Hi im busy with a little office on a farm. In indicating the septic tank 3meters away from the building. Is that adequate enough or could i move it closer perhaps 1.5meters from the building? Your help will definitely be appreciated.

  106. Hello All
    I’m interested to know the regulations around the use of and prohibition of Polycop Piping in residential homes and would greatly appreciate if anyone can refer me specifically to a SANS STD.

  107. Contact the SABS, they will tell you which SANS have information about Polycop piping.

  108. You need plans!

  109. Good day, we are busy updating the living arrangements for our farm workers. My architect is not sure about the exact number of toilets necessary for the workers and whether the above table applies as it is informal and with only a few permanent workers and seasonal temporary workers.

  110. Hi,
    I have an existing building and i do not have a storm water drainage in front of my house. My house is below road level and i have been relying on my neighbours who were good people, they allowed me to bore a hole through the side wall into their yard for the past ten years. My neighbours semi-detached house is now sold and I am afraid that the new neighbours will not allow us to use their yard as our storm water drain.
    Please advice…

  111. Hi

    I’ve just had a plot and plan home built and noticed a lot of pooling in certain areas around the house. Is it reasonable to expect the builder to take steps to improve the drainage at his cost. It was his plot and architect. The soil is “clayey” and both the builder and architect have built several times in the area.

  112. Hi, I want to remove the grass patch that doesn’t get any sun around my pool and lay a thin concrete slab around it and then tile it all… there is a portion of sewer line a meter before the boundary wall… this portion of sewer line (connects the two main lines running from either side of my house), and would be under the very edge of the slab (the inspection eye will be protruding the top of the edge of the slab)…
    Seeing as the other main lines are under paving, can I lay the concrete slab over the sewer line?
    Can I then also continue with building a low 40cm high planter/ waterfeature with seating over a section of this edge of slab?

  113. From my understanding, the minimum distance of septic tank from house is 6m!

  114. Hi there!

    I have a question relating to the plumbing vents that need to be installed on a property. I live in a complex, and there is a horrible smell and noise that comes from our shower drain when the neighbours shower. A plumber who regularly services our complex said that the reason is that the complex has no vents. He says he has brought it up with the body corporate a few times but they ignore him.
    Is there a legal requirement (what are they?) to have vents installed and can I force my body corporate to do something about it?

    Many thanks!

  115. Hi

    I did plumbing installation on a block of flats , Now everything is installed and they want me to do a test. Which test can l use and how do l go about doing it?

  116. We are leasing a building with insufficient access to toilettes. There about 40+ people in the building. 2 Female toilettes, 1 urinal, 1 male toilette and 1 disabled toilette. The landlord wants to close of the disbaled toilette as a unisex toilette for another tenant. I dont think this is correct or legal. Some advice would be appreciated.

  117. This is contained in Part P of SANS 10400, Drainage. You will find the relevant tables here.

  118. If you are asking us this question, you are clearly not a qualified, registered plumber. This will also mean that the installation is illegal. You could check with one of the FET Colleges, a plumbing textbook I wrote for them a few years ago detailed all the tests.

  119. Vents would normally be required – and the plumbing installation should have been done in accordance with approved plans. So the first thing to do is source the plans and see if plumbing was done correctly, according to plan.
    Also, someone at IOPSA might be able to help.

  120. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as the inspection eye is accessible.

  121. Yes it is reasonable!

  122. Your neighbours have no reason to allow you to drain stormwater onto their property. Please read this article for clarification.

  123. This very basic information is freely available in the NBR – your architect ought to be checking the regulations and not expecting his/her client to find the answers!
    Please note that we do not replicate the NBR on our site, but simply give useful guidelines. There are a number of other tables in SANS 10400-P, Drainage. I suggest your architect buys a copy.

  124. Good day.
    Help needed pls.

    My sewerage line coming from the back of the house is running at an angle across the yard to the connection in front to join main sewerage line in the street.

    I am planning on building a garage accross this area. My question now is. Can you leave sewerage line (owner side) as is and built over it or do I have to relocate pipes?

    If I need to relocate pipes can I do this myself as I am a good diy person?

  125. You will need plans drawn by a competent person before you can build the garage. Chances are you will be able to build over the line as long as you don’t cover manholes or inspection eyes. You cannot relocate pipes or drains … this must be done by a qualified, registered plumber (or under direction of same).

  126. Hi
    I walled an area in my courtyard that had an existing shelter, making the sheltered area into a tiny room. Problem is that there is a toilet outlet and it is now considered to be “under-roof”, so part of the pipe coming from the wall is above concrete. I put a melamine box around the pipe with a granite lid, for easy access to the sewer pipe. Apparently it is not right. How do I fix this?

  127. Hi Penny.I recently moved into my new property & discovered that my new neighbors connected his sewer pipe onto my pipe on my property the very same day I moved in.Ironically they were living on my property before they were legally evicted & unfortunately moved next door which was a vacant plot.I’m not even sure if they are squatting but he insist its his property.
    Anyway when I confronted him about the sewerage connection he claims 2 properties shares a sewerage connection which then obviously runs to the mains outside.I then ask him to show me papers to confirm his claims or who gave him permission to dug trenches on my property without my consent.
    He only showed me an areal template of the 2 properties with red arrows indicating the layout of the sewer pipes but it clearly does’nt indicate it being connected to my drainage pipe.
    I not an expert on plumbing but this doesn’t sound right.What if there were a concrete fence in place & my drainage system gets blocked .I did inform the municipality regarding this matter & they informed me they will send out a building inspector but its been a while now & I’m still waiting for someone to assist me.

  128. You need to rattle cages very loudly. Phone the council every day – or better still go there and insist they send a building inspector to investigate. If you can identify the erf that the neighbour is living on, you should be able to find out who owns the property. Maybe a local estate agent can help you.

  129. For starters, if you have converted the courtyard into a room then the council likely would have required plans. A registered plumber would need to be involved when it comes to sewers and any other drains.

  130. Hi, I am about to rent a new industrial unit. the unit is at the end of the sewerage run before it reaches the road and had 8 other units deeper into the park along the run.

    There is a manhole inside the unit which is a standard manhole, not double skin or screw down. the landlord says it is seal but it is just some car grease in the joint.

    I am concerned that if there was a blockage, the sewage would pop off the cover. Should this not be a screwed down double skin?

    The original cover from when the area was outside was a heavy round cast iron with a hinge. it looks like the rectangular one was just laid over the top of the hole in its pre-cast surround.

  131. Contact the plumbing department at your municipality and ask them to do a site visit to inspect. They are qualified to make a decision. I am not!

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