HB 3360 Tankless Water Heater Rulemaking Advisory Committee Draft

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                               HB 3360 Tankless Water Heater
                               Rulemaking Advisory Committee
                                      Draft minutes

                                 Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Members present:      Jerry Arcari, City of Mollala Building Official; OBOA
                      J.L. Wilson, OAPHCC
                      Linda Lindsten, OAPHCC
                      Ron Murray, Local UA #290

Members absent:       Dennis Coplin, board member
                      Bruce Soihr, BOMA

Staff present:        Andrea Simmons, PTS Manager
                      Terry Swisher, Chief Plumbing Inspector
                      Mike Graham, Chief Boiler Inspector
                      Jim Denno, SWS SIS Manager
                      Casey Hoyer, Policy Analyst
                      Heidi Shamberger, Structural Paratechnical Specialist
                      Nicole Jantz, Executive Assistant

Guests present:       Tom Szvlarz, PacWest/Bosch
                      Alan Seymour, Oregon Department Of Energy
                      Terry Hurst, NW Natural

       1. Introductions
       Andrea Simmons, Manager, Policy & Technical Services, led the committee discussion.
       Committee and audience introduced themselves.

       2. Review draft concepts and rules:
       Committee reviewed HB 3360 (2007). At Ms. Simmons’ request, committee member
       J.L. Wilson who represents the Oregon Association of Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
       Contractors (OAPHCC), the industry stakeholder that requested the bill, briefly explained
       what the bill does. He stated that a tankless water heater is currently considered a boiler
       or pressure vessel under state law. Ms. Simmons explained that the purpose of the
      committee is to discuss the implementation of HB 3360 (i.e. define the term “domestic”
      as it relates to tankless water heaters, for purposes of the exemption from the boiler and
      pressure vessel law under HB 3360).

      Terry Swisher, chief plumbing inspector, advised that small instantaneous water heaters
      may also need to be included in this rulemaking. However, he observed that smaller
      versions of these water heaters are not currently required to have relief valves.

      Committee discussed the definition of the term “domestic” and whether tankless water
      heaters would be permitted and inspected to either the state mechanical or plumbing
      codes. Committee considered using the Low-Rise Residential Dwelling Code for this

      Committee discussed the definition of the term “water heater.” Chief Swisher advised
      that the plumbing code currently defines a “water heater” as a boiler, unless it falls under
      an exemption. Committee discussed whether it was the intent of the bill to set a BTU
      limit or remove the requirement that state boiler inspectors inspect every residence with a
      tankless water heater. The committee considered whether a closed-loop system is also
      considered a water heater under the mechanical code and whether an open-loop system
      falls under the plumbing code.

      Tom Szvlarz, with PacWest/Bosch, testified that at the local level, inspectors currently
      only inspect boilers over 399,000 BTUs.

      Chief Swisher stated that the board and division staff are working to develop code
      language in the proposed 2008 Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code that includes tankless
      water heaters. The committee requested to see the code language being developed by the
      plumbing code committee.

      Division proposed to create rules on the domestic pieces to include closed-loop heating
      systems and will provide the rule to the members by Monday, November 5, 2007, or as
      soon as possible. There is a proposed January 1, 2008 adoption date; therefore, the
      proposed rule filing date would be November 13, 2007.

Andrea Simmons adjourned the meeting at 2:13pm.