Marking for Plumbing Products

Approved September 1997
, Updated and Approved January 2012

Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) believes that any mandated permanent markings on plumbing products should be limited to a traceable identification. Any other marking requirement shall be at the manufacturers’ discretion consistent with its trademark rights or as may be specified in applicable consensus standards.

As manufacturers promote their products for sale in the far reaches of the world, the demand for additional marks on their products becomes a greater reality. For products with limited space to place marks, or with decorative finishes that are not conducive to any type of marking, there is an added need for a different approach to marking.

Excellent alternatives to marking of plumbing products exist. They could include printing all relevant compliance information on a maintenance and installation sheet, websites, printed materials, on a tag attached to the product, an imbedded bar code, or similar less obtrusive means. Such methods would provide adequate space to accurately document the various requirements with which the product complies and, if appropriate, its recommended application and use, as well as the name and date of the standard(s) to which the product has been tested, product identification, such as a model number, grade, or classification of product or material, and the agencies who have confirmed compliance and have listed the product (if applicable).

This expanded information should be left for the home/building owner, as well as providing the code official with sufficient detail about the product for them to be assured of code compliance. Included could be specific details on backflow protection, scald protection, or other devices, that have a direct influence on the health and safety of the building occupants and the potable water system. Documentation containing replacement part information and assembly instructions is valuable information for any home/building owner. If the plumbing contractor must keep this information to show the code official, it is more likely that the documentation will be left behind for the home/building owner.

Position Statement: PMI reaffirms its longstanding position that various methods of indicating compliance with standards and other requirements specified by model plumbing code are the equivalent of, and may be superior to, product marking. These methods include, among others, maintenance and instruction sheets, websites, printed materials, tags attached to products, and embedded bar codes. PMI and its members will promote the acceptance of such alternatives to product marking through the use of educational tools with plumbing contractors and others in the plumbing industry, and will seek to amend plumbing codes and standards, that require permanent markings on plumbing products to demonstrate compliance with them.