Mechanical Test Lab (MTL)

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Do plumbing and mechanical equipment and fixtures require approval by LADBS-MTL?

No, provided the equipment or fixture is listed by an approved listing agency to meet the applicable standards listed in the code.

What are the different approvals I can get from LADBS-MTL?

One-time Approval. This approval is granted for fixtures and equipment that are custom made or installed at a specific job site. The evaluation and testing can often be performed at the location where the fixture/equipment is installed. Application for this type of approval may be filed by the building owner, installer, vendor, or manufacturer. The approval is for one time and for a specific location, and it cannot be used for another installation.

General Approval/Laboratory Approval. This approval is granted for fixtures and equipment to be used anytime and anywhere within the City. The testing and physical evaluation are usually done in an approved laboratory, unless a suitable site visit is prearranged. Application for this type of approval shall be filed by the manufacturer.

What is the process of obtaining an LADBS-MTL approval?

The process to obtain a Los Angeles City Mechanical Research Report consists of the following steps:

  1. Submit an “Application for Testing or Evaluating Mechanical Equipment” to the LADBS-MTL and pay the fees.
  2. Attach product literature that shows materials and dimensions, and describes the intended use, installation and maintenance instructions. Also, you may include pictures or other materials that will help to evaluate the product. A product sample or a field visit maybe required.
  3. Provide substantiating data such as test reports from an approved third party testing agency and/or engineering analysis in support of the requested approval.
  4. Attach a typed list of sizes and models, as applicable, of the product to be approved.
  5. After reviewing the submitted documents, an approval letter or a correction notice will be issued by an LADBS-MTL engineer and sent to the applicant.
  6. Upon approval of a Mechanical Research Report, the approval letter will be posted on the Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety web site. The approval letter will contain conditions of approval specifying the proper use and installation of the product.
  7. The application package (PC-MECH.App14) can be found here or on the "Mechanical Test Lab (MTL)" page.

How can I obtain an application for product approval?

The application form can be found on the website here or on our "Mechanical Test Lab (MTL)" page.

How long does it take to obtain LADBS-MTL approval for a product?

It depends on the backlog at the time the application is submitted. The backlog information is provided to applicants at the time of submittal. The backlog is the time it takes to assign an application and report to an LADBS-MTL engineer to be processed from the submittal date. If there are any corrections, it will be up to the applicant to address the corrections in a timely manner.

Who can apply for approval?

For a general approval/laboratory approval, a company who has the legal rights to the product's test reports being submitted and the legal rights to the product. Test reports being submitted shall bear the name of the applicant, unless documentation is provided authorizing the applicant to use such reports.

For One-Time approval, application may be filed by the building owner, installer, vendor, or manufacturer.

How long is the approval good for, and where do I find it?

A General Approval/Laboratory Approval is valid for one year from the approval date.

Can I expedite the review process?

Expedite fee pursuant to Section 98.0433 of the Los Angeles City Municipal Code may be paid by the applicant to reduce the time it takes to assign the application to an LADBS-MTL engineer. The amount of the expedite fee is, in addition to the regular application fee, equal to one-half of the regular application fee.

How can an approval be renewed?

Submit an “Application for Testing or Evaluating Mechanical Equipment” (found on the "Mechanical Test Lab (MTL)" page) to LADBS-MTL, check the box “renewal” and pay the fees. 

Additional information, tests, and/or engineering analysis may be required, in which case written comments will be sent to the applicant.