City of Phoenix

Special Inspections


As of November 2016, the City of Phoenix has begun enforcing the latest updates to the Special Inspections and Observations Manual, which can be found here:

Back in the fall of 2014, a discussion was had regarding this manual and what was required by the City to submit as a final document. On May 26, 2015, the City held an open forum that a few of the P.I.P.E. Med Gas Committee (PMGC) members attended. These committee members requested changing the wording “Special Inspector” to “Verification Report,” or to make the Special Inspector an ASSE 6020 in order to meet the intent of the Special Inspector’s duties and responsibilities.

The PMGC had reviewed the manual in 2015 and again this year, and found that several items needed further discussion and revisions. The City reviewed the revisions and agreed that something needed to be done. Next, the PMGC invited the City to attend the April 2015 meeting so they could listen to the committee’s comments.

The PMGC explained to the City that a Special Inspection is actually a Verifiers Final Report based on what the City has requested, and that the name should be changed to “Verifiers Final Report” or something similar. The name “Special Inspection” is misleading because it is not actually an inspection document.

The City and the PMGC agreed that the Special Inspection Certificate must be filled out by the engineer of record. It was also discussed that the engineers who design medical gas systems are typically not onsite often enough to review installations even though the Special Inspections Guide requires it.

The final revisions to the Special Inspections and Observations Manual were submitted earlier this year and they have been approved by the City. Among the updates is that the Special Inspector needs to be approved by the City and listed on its approved list here: (

The biggest change is the requirement for the Special Inspector to witness the seven functional tests below.
NEW REQUIREMENTS (a few of the biggest changes are in red below)

Medical Gas and Vacuum System

            Work Type 5, 2012 UPC 319.0, IPC 1202, IBC 1705.20

  1. Engineer or Architect:
  2. Visual Inspection
  3. Verify installation of medical gas and vacuum systems in each location shown on the approved plans.
  4. Identify each device by manufacturer, nameplate data, and listing marks.
  5. Inspect for installation in compliance with manufacturer's installation instructions and listing requirements.
  6. Functional Tests
  7. NFPA Section Initial Blow Down test
  8. NFPA 99 Section Initial Pressure Test.
  9. NFPA 99 Section Initial Cross Connection Test.
  10. NFPA 99 Section Initial Piping Purge Test.
  11. NFPA 99 Section 24-hour Standing Pressure test of positive pressure systems
  12. NFPA 99 Section 24-hour Standing pressure test of the Vacuum System.
  13. NFPA 99 Section System Verification. This section in its entirety by an ASSE 6030 Medical Gas System Verifier.
  14. Reports
  15. The Special Inspector shall furnish site visit inspection reports to the Building Official (Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector) the Registered Design Professional in Responsible Charge (RDPRC), and other designated persons. All discrepancies shall be brought to the immediate attention of the contractor for correction, then if uncorrected, to the proper design authority and to the city Plumbing / Mechanical Inspector.
  16. Final Report:
  17. Prior to final inspection, a final report prepared by the Special Inspector shall be provided to the city of Phoenix Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector and registered design professional in responsible charge of certifying that the Medical Gas Systems have been installed as per the approved plans and design and denote if the tested devices passed their inspection.  A copy of the completed original, or revised, Plumbing and Mechanical Inspections Certificate and the Special Inspector(s) ANSI/ASSE 6020 & 6030 certificate(s) shall be attached to the final report.
  18. The Special Inspection report shall be received and found to be acceptable by the city of Phoenix Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector and the Registered Design Professional in Responsible Charge (RDPRC) prior to the city issuance of the final inspection approval or occupancy approval, including conditional occupancy approval.

Please take the time to review the new requirements and understand what will be expected going forward. Also review the State Health Department’s checklist for the medical gas documents required for final submission. But remember that this is only a checklist to help you.  The general contractor will provide the required documents.

By John Gregory - HDR