Are Fernco No-Hub Couplings Allowed in St. Louis County?

Author: Thomas Borcherding | Updated On:

Are Fernco No-Hub Couplings Allowed in St. Louis County?

Fernco, much like Band-Aid, has created a product so successful that the brand name is often used to describe off-brand products. Specifically, Fernco is known for the no-hub coupling, used to connect two pipes without hubs.

St. Louis County’s plumbing inspector has confirmed with us that no-hub shielded couplings are allowed for use above-ground within St. Louis County for wastewater.

However, unshielded couplings are not allowed for use above-ground.

Unshielded couplings are not allowed for above-ground use for two reasons:

1) They run the risk of sagging due to a lack of structural integrity, and

2) Unshielded couplings run the risk of being chewed through by rodents and other animals.

A Fernco no-hub shielded coupling, used for plumbing.

What Does Building Code Say About No-Hub Couplings?

It’s important to remember that there are no federally-mandated building codes. Under the U.S. Constitution, the regulation of construction is a state right.

Building code enforcement is a state task, with most states delegating the task even further to municipalities such as cities/counties.

However, these municipalities almost always adopt the International Residential Code, which itself adopts the International Plumbing Code. Below is what the IPC has to say about no-hub couplings, which are classified as mechanical joints.

Mechanical joints shall only be installed in underground systems, unless otherwise approved.

International Plumbing Code

As we can see, mechanical joints (no-hub couplings) are only allowed in underground, buried systems where there is no risk of sagging and minimal risk of animal gnawing, unless otherwise approved.

The exception to this rule is when the local municipality rules that they are allowed, which is more often than not.

A collection of Fernco no-hub shielded couplings, used for plumbing.

It’s Getting Late, Let’s Conclude

You should now know which Fernco couplings are allowed in St. Louis County, and in what scenarios. Shielded no-hub couplings are allowed for use in wastewater drainage systems above-ground. Meanwhile, unshielded no-hub couplings are able to be used underground. Fernco fittings are excellent products, and it’s important to install them according to building code!

Please note that this article is not intended to replace the pulling of permits and obtainment of local inspections!

I hope that this article has been enlightening, and if you would like to receive a free design consultation and complimentary quote from us, please don’t hesitate to reach out! You can contact us by clicking here!

About the Author

Thomas Borcherding is a professional kitchen & bath designer, and a member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). He is the second-generation owner of Homestar Design Remodel, and takes great joy in providing those in St. Louis with high-quality, affordable home remodeling.