Building Codes and Inspections/bathroom venting


I have completly gutted my bathroom. My plumber says we should use an "Autovent" instead of running new pvc to connect to roof roof vent, for the exhaust gases of toilet and sink. It would be placed under the sink. Is this a good Idea? Is an Autovent code in Town of Hempstead, NY?

I'm sorry that this totally outside my realm of expertise, which is the ADA. The best way to find out is to ask your city building department. Someone at the counter should be able to answer your question. Another possibility is to google up the Autovent, and then contact those selling it to find out where it fits in the code. Actually, I just did that and found that it is probably questionable that an autovent wold be allowed for the entire bathroom. I think your city permit desk is your best bet. It differs from place to place, and unfortunately, you will find different inspectors even interpreting the code differently.

The other question to ask is if your plumber is licensed. Although it costs more, it's always best, in my opinion, to work with a licensed contractor for anything that is more than a "handyman" type of project unless you are capable of performing the work yourself.

Sharon Toji

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Sharon Toji


I have special expertise in the subject of accessibility codes and guidelines (ADA), and most specifically in the field of signage. If you have a question that is not about the ADA or about signs, I suggest you try the following excellent site: Naffa International BCDG (Building Code Discussion Group). The website address is You do have to register, but it's free. You will find discussions here on all kinds of Building Code Q & A topics. You go to the forum that sounds as if it's close to your topic, check out some of the posts and see if it sounds like a fit. Then pose your question. With luck, you may get some really good answers. You can email some of the experts individually by clicking on the headings of their posts. When you ask a question, of me, or of someone on the above site, tell them your state, and maybe your city if it's a large city. That is crucial for answering code questions. Sharon Toji


I am a voting delegate to the American National Standards Institute that writes accessiblity standards used by the International Building Code and are the basis for the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). I am also a member of the Access Advisory Committee to the California State Building Standards Commission, among other positions.

Signs and the ADA (a manual I have written that is used across the country), and articles in many trade journals.

BA, Reed College Graduate work, University of Munich (Germany) and University of California, Irvine

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