Building Codes Division
1535 Edgewater Street NW
PO Box 14470
Salem, OR 97309-0404
FAX (503) 378-2322
TTY (503) 373-1358
HB 3360 Tankless Water Heater
Rulemaking Advisory Committee
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
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.