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Does this seem OK?

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Tim P._2
Tim P._2 Member Posts: 47
NFPA is not a national standard, it's an association. Just like the NRA :)

States and localities may choose to adopt the standard, but are not obligated to do so.

NFPA has many standards, and most states adopt the most common ones, eg NFPA 70 (National Electric Code), NFPA 72 (Fire Alarm), NFPA 13 (Fire sprinkler). In the state code it says "Shall be installed in accordance with NFPA ##", which is how inspectors get the right to enfore the NFPA code.

However, everything you need to build a house is in th e Residential Code of NY. There are no references to the NEC. There are chapters in the residential code that cover the requirements for wiring. An inspector cannot go to the house and say "you need arc fault breakers because NEC says so", because the NEC is not referenced in the Residential code.

Tim
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Comments

  • Unknown
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    I was at this

    restaurant beside a newly renovated government building and had a friend snap this pic,,does this look right for mod/con boiler venting? These stairs are completely recessed within a hydro transformer and the building itself. The cooks at the restaurant beside said it was a great place to stand and smoke during the winter if you didn`t slip on the ice.

    Dave
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
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    I sure wouldn't do that!

    The exhaust is way too close to the door. If something goes wrong, carbon monoxide might get into the building.

    The ice is another issue. Many manufacturers specify a minimum height of 7 feet above a walkway for this reason.

    My guess is whoever did this used the installation instruction envelope for a knee pad.

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  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,291
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    Nope!

    That violates every venting table and manufacturers instruction sheet that I've ever laid eyes on. The moisture will build up on the steps, you can't vent below an entry opening and the exhaust is in a semi confined area which will allow it to recirc in the intake. That one's going to be trouble for someone. I just hope that someone doesn't pay with their life or a debilitating injury.
  • Unknown
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    Frank,

    Typical of what I have told you before!! If I even thought of anything like this,,,,,,,

    (Edit)-I have also seen them come-up through asphalt driveways(beside the house) from 2` below grade, then cold patched tight up-to the piping, no grilling to keep back the grade. I always thought if this had to be done, some kind of "well" had to be constructed that was not to be filled-in! What do you guys think?

    Dave
  • Unknown
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    if its in goverment's bldg

    Where are the so-called goverment inspectors that "suppose" to know these things? Can't believe its done that way in no matter what bldgs!
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    Actually,...

    They don't violate anything. Not that I am supporting this installation, but the Munch "water heater" has 12" min which this looks like it is! And this install is in code compliance according to most all of the exsisting manuf. instructions. One of my many concerns is that the manuf's got many code relaxations as far as distances for these many mod/cons I find it ironic that so many support particular brands and then jump on a picture of an install and mention CO poisioning as justification for your reasoning...You can't have it both ways!
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    I would like to see the majority of codes indicate all vents from all appliances be at least seven feet. But your way off as far as that distance try more like 7 inches and sometimes much to my consternation less than that in some locations. I certainly don't agree with some of the numbers some of these manufacturers come up with but when they show up with their lawyers at the various plumbing and code regulatory agencies they leave little choice because these same agencies must then hire outside representation to fight this which most don't have the resources to do. Once again I find it ironic that when the subject of lawyers is mentioned so many go running to the defense of particular manufacturers, that you all know I am so opinionated about but no one seems to care that this same manufacturer has assaulted the local pluming board on multiple occasions and as a law firm as part of its business plan. But considering we only say good things about manufacturers here...

    I also want to point out as far as our industry one of the reasons I appreciate the unions so much is that they have been the ONLY ones to voice concerns with these distance relaxations when private concerns or companies have voiced an opinion it has only been to support the manuf. position, bought and paid for I say!
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
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    No violations???

    Chris...you ARE joking, right? The ONLY thing that MAY pass code is the height, as 12" above determined snow depth.

    All I've seen want 3' from a corner....and that's just the beginning!

    The other Chris
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
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    That installation is in complete conflict with the spirit (if not the letter) of EVERY venting diagram I've ever seen.

  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    No, unfortunately I am not joking, and I don't agree with the picture But No code violations here. Having moisture build up is not a code issue. Nor is the idea of a confined space, I would be hard pressed to justify that area as a confined space and additionally there are no provisions for "confined space" in most codes as far as venting a "sealed combustion, water heater" they have a great deal of leeway to do what they want regardless of what stories you have heard about various inspectors and various states, unless we can prove occupancy or prove a real and immediate public health issue. Please tell me with a degree of reasonable certainty that I can use in a hearing “what exactly violates any code” here? If this job was inspected? I would imagine great pressure upon the inspector to allow the venting wherever possible. You could argue that to install a mod/con in a building that the 3" inch can only travel 20' max was a bad decision, but that is not the local inspectors call. Personally I would have made them install it elsewhere, it appears the exhaust outlets are actually set off from the wall and the inlet t's are close to the wall this is another way most scum get around the code and at the same time comply with the manual! It was installed per the HTP manual with the correct min. distances observed from door and window openings. And for those of you that haven’t read the install manual it is 12”. And because it is in a protected enclave, snow heights, depending upon just where in the country is this located anyways, can be at ground level if the existing terrain slopes away from any vent opening? Disgusting isn't it!

    On many occasions, any variances or questionable installs had to be pre-approved, very similar to the pre-approvals required by both the plumbing code and the various DEP mandated local agencies that approve the installation of any testable backflow preventer. You can't imagine the number of backflow installs that we refused to inspect because the contractor refused to comply with the installation process. And or just plain installed the things backwards or without any access for maintenance. Imagine the look of surprise when we would tell them their 14" pipe size unit needed to be moved and rather than comply they hired lawyers to fight the code. The same thing happens every time we introduce legislature to force pre-approvals before you start. Why so many fight this I will never understand because it is at no cost and generally if an inspector informally suggests you do something at no cost to the job in materials or time, I have to ask why wouldn't you take advantage if offered? Inspectors generally, I have found look for any excuse to increase the size of their departments; we want to look at jobs where local laws permit, thus it saves headaches for everyone! Additionally we tend to approve jobs that in cases where we have suggested how to do it in the first place.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
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    Some local Codes

    default to the manufacturer's instructions for situations they don't cover directly. So the next question is, what Code is in force here, and what does it say about this type of venting?

    Was this actually an HTP unit? What would the HTP people say about this if it was?

    I still say that install looks like an accident waiting to happen.

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  • Unknown
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    I TOTALLY AGREE Steamhead,

    in my "neck of the woods" that is exactly what happens, or is supposed to happen! I`m not sure who the manufacturer of these units is, but I`ll sure try to find out.

    Dave
  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80
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    hmmm

    HTP's most obvious stance would be that it's not 4' from an inside corner. Could be a bit of an optical illusion, but I don't think that’s 12" separation from termination of exhaust to the face of the Tee either. Nothing specific to a "below the doorway" installation is referenced in the manual.

    From personal experience I would say that this installation WILL recirculate flue gasses. With the deck grid overhead, air movement through the slits will be severely limited. I can see the exhaust plume rolling outwards with a slight downward pitch (from the weight of the humidity, and the staircase) once it nears or hits ground it will continue to swirl backwards towards the intakes. Any winds there may not be ablt to reach inside the corner and that may keep that corner isolated even further.

    While I agree with the upper posts about jurisdiction and that many municipalities fall back to manufacturer specifications, I would think that an inspector could nail them because of the potential freezing hazard onto a stair/walkway.
  • Dave_4
    Dave_4 Member Posts: 1,405
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    503.2.3 Direct-vent equipment. Listed direct-vent equipment shall be considered properly vented where installed in accordance with the terms of its listing, the manufacturer's instructions, and Section 503.8(3).

    503.8(3)The vent terminal of a direct-vent appliance with an input... over 50,000 Btu/hr shall have at least a 12 inch vent termination clearance. The bottom of the vent terminal and the air intake shall be located at least 12 inches above grade.

    And there you have it.. in NY at least.

    Tim
  • Unknown
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    They don`t mention alot of things Frank,

    and this (I feel) is very dumb! Anyone who considers this install "kosher", had better go back to school. No offence Chris,,but you may need a reality lesson!

    Dave
  • Uni R_3
    Uni R_3 Member Posts: 299
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    Another angle

  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    As I thought,...

    I wasn't exactly sure about the 12" extension from the wall from the other pictures. But there you have it, an installation that is in compliance with every plumbing code in the country. I wonder if HTP approves? You need to be very specific when quoting plumbing codes, rather than jumping up and down "spouting wind and fury, meaning nothing." You might be able to get somewhere by quoting the install manual that says 3' from a corner, but frequently this is highly debatable in the field because the NFGC and the Can FGC do not explicitly define "Outside Wall," of course astute readers should point out, esp. since our resident HTP expert is unable to correctly quote his own installation manual, that the provision for "no other vents"..."in any direction" is clearly not being followed. Of course once again the existing codes don’t address this issue. And since WI-Dan has also pointed out the glaring inconsistency on page twelve of the latest install manual which points out and I quote HTP's manual here not me:

    "9) Very important! The inlet air connection must be connected to outside air and should be located no closer than 8" to the exhaust and no further than 36."

    Or is that another typo in the manual? Which undoubtedly leads to another instance of installer error? Of course astute readers will notice the multiple disclaimers in HTP's manuals which clearly state that:

    "Compliance to these requirements doesn't insure a satisfactory installation."

    Of course I hope you notice this statement is quickly followed by the recommended distance of 8" and no further that 36." (Page 12.) So I guess I was wrong when I said the 12" minimum was what was required, SORRY, I stand corrected it is Eight Inches. Of course it is a bad install if the flue gasses recirculat so if according to the manual the minimum is 8" and the installer is ultimately responsible.....anyone notice they want their cake and...Well you get the idea...the manual is basically not worth toilet paper cause in every instance they are correct and the installer is to blame! So when you mention to follow the manufacturers recommended instructions versus following the code it is very difficult for an inspector to follow anything other than what is explicitly written in the local authorities’ documentation never mind the silly inconsistencies of a manufacturer that has carefully crafted an installation manual so that the manufacturer wins in every instance. You should really take a hard look at the install manual Dan and I am surprised that this information was not already mentioned, there are a large number of inconsistencies here, and a few that I haven’t mentioned? You can't have it both ways and to all of the installers out there you should take careful notice of this!
  • Unknown
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    Plumbing code??

    Not familiar with the content of your codebook, but up here venting heating equipment and vents for plumbing are two different subjects altogether.(different books)

    Dave
  • don_185
    don_185 Member Posts: 312
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    The key word

    here is govererment building.The only people that have any say so is the COE.If that where they said to put it then that where you put it.

    Not often will you get them to reframe the building to suit one needs.

    Other then the libility of someone slipping on the ice then
    no foul.We tax payers will cover that as well.

  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    (actually they do mention snow, HTP uses more restrictive language than most codes do.)
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    I really don't understand your confusion here, the HTP manual is explicit when it comes to distances from ANY vent or air appliance, or chimminy and that distance is 4 feet. Regardless of your confusion between building codes, plumbing codes, backflow preventer codes, architectural barrier access codes, health codes, local codes or ordinances, city codes, and any other code I missed and there are many. So if your hanging your hat, so to speak on just one code that tells me your not exercising “due diligence” That’s the language used when the local authority takes your license when we catch up with you. So you need to be very explicit in you language and meaning this is why their, HTP’s manual, isn’t worth very much to anyone come court time. And you will also notice I am defending HTP, indirectly as well, while concurrently taking exception to their poorly written manual.
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    Don I understand your plight,...

    Don, this isn't really directed at you, it is for everyone that thinks they are stuck doing something one way which frequently indicates their reasoning is cost driven. This seperate issue comes up all the time, about reframing or we had to put it here because of this or that...these are excuses and not allowed. Frequently cost is given as an example for poor installations or code deviations. But once again this indicates an ignorance of health and safety issues and the only justification here is your digging a deeper hole for yourself. What your really saying is "I know better than most codes, I can save time or money, make my install eaiser for me, and I don't care about any code." You will find your self alone in your self justifications for deviating from codes. What it tells me is that you didn't avail yourself of the multitude of options that are avalable, or you would rather take someone's money at the cost of their safety or health. Do it the right way the first time and if you don't know...ask!
  • Uni R_3
    Uni R_3 Member Posts: 299
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    Chris...

    I think everyone is on the same side on this. It's a stupid and dangerous way to vent whatever is being vented here.

    It may or may not be 2 large Munchkins - hopefully Dave can find out, because I'm pretty sure that others are just as curious to see what the rest of the install looks like from the other side of the wall.
  • don_192
    don_192 Member Posts: 45
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    You miss my point.

    I was saying that state or city code does not apply on goverment lands.There no permit to pulled and all spec are stamp by the Core Of Engineers.Which over see all issues.

    How can anyone of us make claim this is a unsafe install from pictures alone? Would you not have to be there with test equipment in hand to make that assumption.

    Personally if I'm drafting 100 ppm or less to the great outdoors I find it mighty hard to belive without my nose stuck in the stack that it would cause any harm.

    Its so easy to throw a brother or a manufacturer under the bus when it deos not fix ones agenda.
  • Uni R_3
    Uni R_3 Member Posts: 299
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    Ummm...

    "How can anyone of us make claim this is a unsafe install from pictures alone?"

    I saw it. You're talking 2 condensing burners big enough to use 4" here. We were told that it gets heavily iced in the winter. I would think that everyone here would agree than steel decking and steps caked with ice is totally unsafe.

    What you can't see in the picture is that there is a wall very close on the right hand side as well. The way the leaves swirl around in there, I'd bet the exhaust does too. Sucking back in its own contaminants on a regular basis can't to be too healthy for the equipment.

    Who cares if it might pass code or adhere to mfr venting specs when it clearly fails the common sense test. That's a major lawsuit waiting to happen, even in a low-litigation country like Canukistan here...

    Thanks for pointing it to us Dave.
  • Unknown
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    Thanks Uni R,

    and you bet I WILL FIND OUT just who the manufacturer is.(I`ll ask for a tour of the facility hehe). Not too sure how the "guess" turned to HTP, but as you said,,this misses the "common-sense" test completely.

    Dave
  • Unknown
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    Thanks Uni R,

    and you bet I WILL FIND OUT just who the manufacturer is.(I`ll ask for a tour of the facility hehe). Not too sure how the "guess" turned to HTP, but as you said,,this misses the "common-sense" test completely.
    BTW- Uni R is the photographer, I simply pointed it out, I had the pleasure of meeting him a few weeks back.

    Dave
  • don_192
    don_192 Member Posts: 45
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    So

    Which one of you lost the job?
  • Unknown
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    don,

    don`t know how you can consider anyone of us losing the job, read my original post, having lunch next door and we just happened to see-it.

    Dave
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
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    NFPA 54

    Vents onto walkways are to be 7 feet above walkway.

    I'll bet the liability insurance carrier of that building would make them change it, if not OSHA. It's a workplace hazard.

    Slathera$5 at it's finest....
  • Unknown
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    Careful Tony,

    that may be a "grey-area" and Chris will be all over ya! LOL.

    Dave
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
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    10.8.4

    NFPA 54-02, 10.8.4 .

    If anybody wants to split hairs over the fact that it's installed under the open steel steps instead of over them, they need a "check-up from the neck up" :)

    I stand by my previous statement as to the quality of that install.

    If you want to see some real scary installs, come look at some rice coal units put in by stove dealers who started out selling lawnmowers......
  • Tim P._2
    Tim P._2 Member Posts: 47
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    Stae code most definitely applies to all municipalities. A local municipality may exempt themselves from their local codes (eg zoning).

    However, a municipality may not exempt themselves from the state code no more than they could the federal ADA laws.

    Of course, I speak for NY. Maybe other states have enacted, at the state level, provisions for local exemption.

    Tim
  • Tim P._2
    Tim P._2 Member Posts: 47
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    In NY NFPA 54 wouldn't be applicable, as the fuel gas code of NY specifically states that the installation complies if it has 12" clearance and complies with the manufacturer's instructions.

    An inspector could cite 54 as a referenced standard and most likely get a ocntractor to fix it (heck it could just be failed until a blaringly obvious problem is corrected)-- but I doubt it would hold water in court.

    Yes, a lot of the time the code allows you to reach out to the NFPA standards. However, with the presence of that very clear statement "SHALL be considered properly vented", I don't think NFPA 54 is any more enforceable in this instance than NFPA 5000 is when you frame the house.

    It comes down to how you want the code to be enforced. There's the "you can't make me do that because its not in the code" people, and the "I can't believe the inspector let him do that" people. Can't have it both ways.

    Tim
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
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    How do you figure that ?

    How can the state have LESS stringent a code than NATIONAL ? That is what the "N" stands for. Or doesn't NYS recognize NFPA 54 ? It's certainly abided by as to other aspects of gas code, why not this one ?

    One rule I learned early on is that municipalities, et al. at lower levels can't "loosen" a code, only tighten it.
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
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    Well

    That's funny, EVERY electrical inspector in my part of NYS carries a copy of NEC and uses it.

    The various fuel gas companies also reference NFPA 54.

    If something gets done w/o an inspection, it had better adhere to the applicable one referenced above or utilities get shut off when found to be in non-compliance.

    I've never heard of such a thing as not following national code, at least. :)
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
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    My opinion

    I would never install any Mod/Con like this. I would like to see the manufacturers manual and see what they stated as "per installation instructions". Corners of buildings make for some funky wind patterns and the open door strikes as not correct, not to mention the slip hazard of the iron rail. Glad My name isn't on the job,....I just couldn't sleep at night. No Offense to anyone.

    My .02

    Mike T.
  • Dave_4
    Dave_4 Member Posts: 1,405
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    From the NYS Residential Code, page 411

    "The provisions of Chapter 33 through 42 shall establish the general scope of the electrical system and equipment requirements of this code. Chapters 33 through 42 cover those wiring methods and materials most commonly encountered in the construction of one- and two-family dwellings and structures regulated by this code. Other wiring methods, materials, and subject matter covered in NFPA 70 are also allowed by this Code."

    Don't see any mention of requiring use if the NEC there. It says you are allowed to, and once you go outside the scope of ch 33-42 the NEC can be used to enforce whatever it is that you are wiring. The residential code is a one-stop shop. As long as you stay within the prescriptive methods in the book, the RCNYS is the _only_ book you need to build a house.

    NEC is applicable to commercial spaces or anything built under the NYS Building Code (nb: not residential code).

    Utility companies have their own standards (eg lipa redbook,) and can adopt whatever standards they want. You won't get service until you comply.

    Again, NFPA is an association, a very good one. Their published standards are not mandatory in any state unless adopted by that state.

    NFPA 5000 is a building code. Is it the national building code? I hope not, because every residential home built would have to include fire sprinklers.

    The state code will defer to NFPA standards in a lot of circumstances. But an inspector can't enforce something that isn't referenced.

    Tim
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
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    Sounds to me,

    like you just made my point :)

    Anything outside (beyond) the scope of NYS code is covered by NFPA 70 or NEC. I'm betting that anything within the NYS code is more restrictive than NEC, not less. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a NYS code, only national.

    If my town published a three page code book, would that be the only one I needed in this town ? Of course not, they can't loosen requirements to suit themselves.

    One more point. That picture is definitely not residential, so I guess the res code requirements are moot :)
This discussion has been closed.