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  1. #1
    Gary Anglin's Avatar
    Gary Anglin Guest

    Default Fire Block Material - OK?

    Decided it might be a good touch to finally fire block the openings in the basement. Obviously wasn't required in my community 20 years ago - not sure if it even is today.

    Typical set up of PVC, wires, copper and the combined furnace/water heater flue. Also, the floor vents that will be a bear to get to fully.

    Furnace flue has a metal plate at the floor but has an opening of about an eighth around the edge and a sixteenth between the inner circle of the plate and the flue.

    Purchased 3M 1C 15WB+ caulk for the smaller openings - rated 2 hours.

    Larger openings I'm using a product called Abesco FP200 - fire rated expanding foam.

    Any thoughts on these products? Any problem using fiberglass insulation as a "backing rod" in some of larger openings around the PVC as a base for the foam.

    Thanks....

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  2. #2
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
    Jeff Remas Guest

    Default Re: Fire Block Material - OK?

    If this is a single family residence then you should be fine depending on local ordinances and what code applies if any.

    Why are you asking and under what context are you applying this?


  3. #3
    Richard Pultar's Avatar
    Richard Pultar Guest

    Default Re: Fire Block Material - OK?

    doing a gap around a larger pvc pipe the way you describe is not fire blocking.. you are only sealing a opening.
    If you think you want to truly create a fire stop you would use a intumesant ring that seals the hole left when the pipe melts away.
    Your floor will probably be burned away first. I can't see any logic in in using rated materials in a unrated assembly.

    I would spend the effort in installing residential sprinkler heads on any available water lines .
    These heads have a proven life safety record versus a property protection record.
    Installing them in a limited area while not qualifying as a complete system would eliminate the source of any issues you are imagining.
    These heads are intended to be installed in your normal water supply system. No different than adding a hose bib in the line.
    The only thing to remember is Not to put them too close together. Counter intuitive to me .


  4. #4
    Gary Anglin's Avatar
    Gary Anglin Guest

    Default Re: Fire Block Material - OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    If this is a single family residence then you should be fine depending on local ordinances and what code applies if any.

    Why are you asking and under what context are you applying this?
    Everything I'm doing is focused on getting a 20 year old home ready to sell with as few issues for a HI to write up as possible. I'm also an Insurance Underwriter (but Commercial accounts only) - heavily into DIY and well, kind of a perfectionist. So that's where I'm starting from.

    Fire stops were not obviously not required when the house was built. But having an opening from the basement to the next floor and one that runs from the basement into the attic is not good. I've looked at these for years knowing something should be done - so if not for me at least for
    the new owner. If I had the same openings in a commercial account inspection - I'd issue a rec. that they be blocked by a qualified contractor.

    I don't know - maybe you wouldn't even write this up in this situation. I'm just thinking the more I can do in terms of little things the better the HI will go - and the easier my life will be. Probably should post you some photos...


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Northeast
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    Default Re: Fire Block Material - OK?

    Usually, we use a material called mineral wool (or rock wool) as the base for the fire caulking around larger holes. We use the 3M product, but its part number is 25WB+. The best bet is to obviously follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Good luck.


  6. #6
    Gary Anglin's Avatar
    Gary Anglin Guest

    Default Re: Fire Block Material - OK?

    Site wouldn't let me post multiple photos so here is one of the largest openings. These dump into a 2' x 4' utility wall on the first floor.
    Went ahead and used the 3M with the smaller holes - will foam the larger openings. Don, I saw the 25WB - it was 4 hour rated and figured it was overkill - the 15WB is 2 hour.

    Should have just asked if you would have made note of this in a residential inspection - rather than all the sordid details - sorry. Appreciate the help....

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  7. #7
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
    Mitchell Toelle Guest

    Wink Re: Fire Block Material - OK?

    Gary,

    I would be more concerned, regarding the last photo you posted, as to clearance of the vent piping to combustibles. If that vent pipe is from a gas fired appliance it is too close to combustibles. Perhaps you would be wise, considering your goal, to hire a HI prior to putting the home on the market. Have them note all conditions, then take care of the most serious conditions, dealing with health and safety issues first. Small amount of money well spent.

    Good luck!

    Mitch Toelle


  8. #8
    Chuck Ryan's Avatar
    Chuck Ryan Guest

    Default Re: Fire Block Material - OK?

    Gary,

    Just did similar work @ my two flat. As long as you follow local code fire rating requirements. If you don't have a specific requirements, at least your proactive being health/safety conscious.


  9. #9
    Gary Anglin's Avatar
    Gary Anglin Guest

    Default Re: Fire Block Material

    Just a clarifying photo. This is the vent in the original picture. It's the one in front in this pic. It's a heat vent that feeds the upstairs master bath only. The furnace/WH flue is the one in the rear. I'm not going to do anything with it. Appreciate the thought about getting my own HI - seems like a reasonable thing to do. It will be a while - way more work to do - but open to any suggestions in the Columbus Ohio area. Thanks again.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Fire Block Material - OK?

    First some presumptions (because we do not know what that pipe is for):

    - *IF* that is for a clothes dryer duct, then it may safely be insulated around with fiberglass batt or mineral wool, I would then install a piece of sheet metal with a hole cut in it to allow for that to pass through. Cut a slice in through one side of the hole to allow the sheet metal to be flexed enough to fit around that clothes dryer duct. That will hold the insulation in place and restrict the passage of fire. Being as that is a otherwise non-rated wall, not much else to do there.

    - *IF* that is a single wall vent for a gas appliance, that should not be there now, it is a fire hazard. Besides not being allowed in there, single wall requires 6" clearance to combustible material.

    - *IF* that is Type B gas vent (which it does not look like), then that is allowed in there, but requires a minimum of 1" clearance to combustible materials AND insulation. That means the only thing which could be installed is a metal plate with a hole cut to fit around that pipe - but, I doubt that is a Type B gas vent from a gas appliance anyway, so ...

    - *IF* that pipe is for combustion air, then I would treat it as for the clothes dryer above.

    Regarding the holes around the wires and cables, yes, those should be sealed around.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    Gary Anglin's Avatar
    Gary Anglin Guest

    Default Re: Fire Block Material - OK?

    Look OK.....

    Thanks....

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