Ground Water Canada

Standards Council of Canada publishes Canada-U.S. standard for plumbing and heating sector

January 3, 2017  By Ground Water Canada

Ottawa – The Standards Council of Canada has published the first joint Canada-U.S. standard for balloon-type ball backwater valves.

After several years of collaboration, ULC Standards, an SCC-accredited Standards Development Organization (SDO) together with Underwriters’ Laboratories Inc., an SDO accredited by both SCC and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), have developed ANSI/CAN/UL/ULC 1201:2016 Sensor Operated Backwater Prevention Systems. The joint national standard is the first of its kind in the plumbing and heating sector and will provide significant savings in cost and time in both Canadian and U.S. marketplaces, the SCC said in a news release.

“SCC is pleased to work with the North American plumbing industry to help provide standardization solutions that benefit Canadian industry and consumers,” said SCC chief executive officer, John Walter, in the release. “Our ultimate goal is ‘one standard, one test, accepted everywhere’ and joint Canada-U.S. standards like this are essential to meeting this goal and improving the lives of Canadians.”


This standard used a single joint development process and fulfilled all requirements for national standards in both countries. It was developed and approved by the joint UL/ULC Technical Committee on Prevention of Storm and Sanitary Backflow, composed of Canadian and American stakeholders.

A panel of Canada-U.S. industry representatives, including members of the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH), and several U.S. organizations, determined that standards development for sensor-operated backwater prevention systems would benefit the greatest number of Canadian and American stakeholders.

“This standard is based on the needs from both the Canadian and American industry and will benefit not only the industry but also consumers. This achievement also supports North American alignment of the standards development process, paving the way for future collaboration. Making the standards development process easier and more cost effective will benefit all stakeholders,” said Ralph Suppa, President and General Manager of CIPH.

Balloon-type ball backwater valves operate as an automated device. When the sensor detects a sewer backup, the balloon inflates to seal the sanitary waste pipe. This prevents sewage from potentially causing extensive flood damage to basements, saving homeowners thousands of dollars in damage. The standard also allows for a retrofit device to be installed in the existing sanitary waste piping without the time consuming and costly excavation of a home’s concrete floor, which is currently required.

ANSI/CAN/UL/ULC 1201:2016 Sensor Operated Backwater Prevention Systems is available as a “view access” and downloadable PDF for Canadian IP addresses in both official languages at no cost until Dec. 14, 2021.

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