HPH Item Codes

The HPH Item Code is a coding system that uniquely identifies each item supported in the master HPH database. This coding structure was introduced to the industry in 1965. At that time, HPH and the industry realized that computer technology was going to significantly impact the business operations of the trade. HPH continues to use and maintain this coding system. It allows HPH to 100% positively identify items. Because HPH does not change codes, the HPH Item Code structure avoids many of the shortcomings and problems associated with other coding systems.

Unique Key

A complete HPH Code is unique. No two HPH database items will have the same Code. The fact that the HPH Code can be used as a stable database unique key allows HPH to develop, distribute, and maintain the industry’s most reliable databases.

Code Components

The HPH Item Code is a 10-character alpha-numeric string comprised of four components. An example code is shown below:

012 – Group Number

NI – Manufacturer Code

0570 – Item Number

D – Suffix

Group Number

The first of the code components, the Group Number, is three characters and is used to define the type of commodity or general classification for the items. The materials/parts in the Plumbing/Mechanical trade were logically classified and assigned a Group Number. For example, all Wrot Copper Fittings are in Group 012.

Manufacturer Code

The Manufacturer Code is a two character designation identifying the producer of the items.

NOTE: To preserve the integrity of the coding system, the original Manufacturer Codes assigned to items are not changed when manufacturers are purchased or consolidated. For example, George Fischer purchased Sloane, but the HPH Codes for the Sloane items maintain the SL (Sloane) Manufacturer Code.

Item Number

This code component is a four-digit number assigned to individual parts within a group.


The final component is a one letter suffix. Although the Suffix is rarely used and is normally a blank space, it is included as part of the code to provide additional space for the addition of future items.

Benefits of using the HPH Item Codes

Logical Structure

The coding system is based on a commodity classification system that places similar items together.

Independent of Manufacturers

The codes do not require an effort, information, or financial support from manufacturers

Controlled by a Single Source

HPH is the sole entity responsible for the codes.

Codes Never Change

Once assigned, a code never changes.

Codes not Reused

Codes are never reused.

Widespread Use

The HPH Item Code has been deployed in the plumbing and mechanical databases for many decades. Software developers often use the codes for their databases because of its stability and reliability.