Photo Courtesy of Reliance Worldwide Corporation

In the plumbing trade, it’s known as a no-hub fitting restraint. For multifamily owners and operators, this part is the difference between “just a big rainstorm” and water damage that could cause severe financial losses, force immediate resident relocation, and do untold harm to the asset’s marketability for months to come.

And the part is only $100 or so.

Plumbers know that no-hub fitting restraints for cast iron pipes play a critical role in ensuring the structural integrity of rainwater drainage systems in larger multifamily structures. These properties are often required to have a rainwater drainage system made of iron pipes because heavy-gauge metal resists fire better than plastic piping such as Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS).

The Damage Potential of a Choking Cascade of Water

Today, extreme rain events are on the rise. Rooftop runoff can exert crushing pressure on the drainage system. Any point along the horizontal portion of the rainwater escape path that is even slightly diverted becomes an instant bottleneck with blowout potential. If the cast iron pipe isn’t supported with a proper fitting restraint, the pipe can separate with explosive force.

Photo Courtesy of Reliance Worldwide Corporation

Just ask the owners of Lucas Oil Stadium and the University of Pennsylvania’s Smilow Center for Translational Research facility in Philadelphia. Owners of both high-profile structures suffered catastrophic losses after torrential rains caused the cast iron drainage system to fail.

How Codes and Standards Are Adjusting

Industry veteran Jim LeStage has seen these types of blowouts repeated far too often in multifamily properties and other building types.

“It’s increasingly common to restrain cast iron pipes in accordance with Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute’s (CISPI’s) recommendation 301-12, along with other codes and standards,” says LeStage, a Reliance Worldwide Corp. (RWC) business development manager. RWC is a leading manufacturer of residential and commercial plumbing parts. “CISPI 301-12 says the rainwater drainage system must use braces, blocks, rodding, or other suitable method to prevent pipe separation.”

Securing Projects with Engineered Solutions

Compliance with CISPI 301-12, LeStage says, isn’t usually the issue. Plumbing contractors know pipe restraints are required. Things go off the rails when makeshift methods are used to field-construct the fitting restraint. A once on-time project may be severely delayed due to these impromptu methods.

Going with an engineered restraining solution “… saves pros an average of 30 to 60 minutes per brace,” LeStage adds. “It beats a makeshift solution for time and labor.” What’s more, it safeguards the rainwater escape path with 50 feet of tested head pressure resistance. Unrestrained systems redline at 10 feet of head pressure. Multifamily owners and operators also gain

  • Third-party-tested peace of mind. With so much at stake, why risk the asset on untested, cobbled-together fitting restraints?
  • No riser clamp uncertainty. Riser clamps were never engineered to restrain horizontal thrust forces. Yet some well-intentioned plumbers expect them to do exactly that.
  • No special tools or field cutting required for installation.

“Without a tested restraint, what do you have?” LeStage asks. “Across 10 years and thousands of projects, we’ve never had a system failure.” To minimize risk and worry, multifamily property owners and operators should consider safeguarding their current and upcoming projects with HoldRite No-Hub Fitting Restraints.

To learn more about this critical loss prevention component, LeStage welcomes direct inquiries at [email protected].