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Thread: fire breaks

  1. #1
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    Default fire breaks

    If you cut a hole in drywall about 1/2 sq ft for access to a shut off valve and don't put a access panel door on it, doest that create a fire break issue?

    If it is a fire break issue, can you put a cheap thin plastic cover panel over it to correct it?

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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    If you cut a hole in drywall about 1/2 sq ft for access to a shut off valve and don't put a access panel door on it, doest that create a fire break issue?

    If it is a fire break issue, can you put a cheap thin plastic cover panel over it to correct it?
    If it is in a firewall there are rated panels for just such a thing and no a little plastic access caover will not do at all.


  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    If you cut a hole in drywall about 1/2 sq ft for access to a shut off valve and don't put a access panel door on it, doest that create a fire break issue?

    If it is a fire break issue, can you put a cheap thin plastic cover panel over it to correct it?
    John: Yes it does represent a fire assembly or separation breach. No, unless the plastic cover can be proven through label and listing to be of the same fire rating as either 1/2" or 5/8" drywall, as the case may be.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    If you cut a hole in drywall about 1/2 sq ft for access to a shut off valve and don't put a access panel door on it, doest that create a fire break issue?

    If it is a fire break issue, can you put a cheap thin plastic cover panel over it to correct it?

    John,

    First is a question: What are you talking about cutting a hole in (what wall where)?

    In a dwelling unit?

    In a wall in a townhouse separating one townhouse from another townhouse?

    In a non-dwelling occupancy (such as a "store") in a wall separating one "store" from another "store"?

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    Most firewalls are allowed to be penetrated up to 100 sq inches of area. Or you used to be able too. Really haven't looked in a while! UBC


  6. #6
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Most firewalls are allowed to be penetrated up to 100 sq inches of area.

    Correct as far as you went.

    100 square inches in a 100 square foot area, provided listed electrical boxes are used, listed for use in a fire-rated wall (typically listed for use in 'up to' a 2 hour rated fire-rated assembly).

    Once you cross that threshold, or when boxes are within 24" horizontally of each other, then "opening protectives" are required to be used. The most common "opening protective" is the putty pad, and 80-90% of the time the putty pads are improperly installed (at least that I've seen).

    The first attached shows the inside of a Slater box, the second attached photo shows a zoom in to the rating in the upper right hand area in the back of the box.

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    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    Hey Jerry, I had to leave something for you to say! You know how quiet you are!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    For example, an interior wall in a closet that houses a gas fired water heater. See pic.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    That's not a fire wall so there is no "fire break" issue, however, it certainly could cause/create both an energy code issue and combustion issues, not to mention accessibility issues to that valve.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    John, Is that the combustion air intake port for the water heater? Seen that before, alot!!! IS there an attic above ?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: fire breaks

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    John, Is that the combustion air intake port for the water heater? Seen that before, alot!!! IS there an attic above ?

    No, the combustion intake is above the water heater on the back wall. That hole is access for a shut off valve.


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