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  1. #1
    Ed Melo's Avatar
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    Default Code requirements for new powder room

    I am looking to add a powder room to a house in Pennsylvania and I wanted to see what the code says about needing to add a heat register. The PR will be quite small (about 3' x 6'). I have been searching the 2006 PA building code (2006 IBC) and I can't find anything that requires a heat source in a bathroom and given the size I wonder if it is needed.

    Also, just for my understanding, the only reference to ventilation requirements for bathrooms that I find in this code is in section 1203.4.2.1 which says that bathrooms WITH bathtubs, showersand similar bathing fixtures shall be mechanically ventilated. Since the powder room will have only a toilet and sink do we need to add a fan per code (please provide a reference)? Should it be installed even if not required?

    Can anyone confirm that the 2006 IBC code the currently used code in PA? If not, is there a copy of the current code available on line?

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Here is the code in NC...not sure about PA.



    R303.3 Bathrooms.
    Bathrooms, water closet compartments
    and other similar rooms shall be provided with aggregate glazing

    area in windows of not less than 3 square feet (0.3 m
    2),
    one-half of which must be openable.

    Exception:
    The glazed areas shall not be required where artificiallight
    and a mechanical ventilation system are provided.

    The minimum ventilation rates shall be 50 cubic feet per minute
    (24 Lis) for intermittent ventilation or 20 cubic feet per
    minute (10 Lis) for continuous ventilation. Ventilation air
    from the space shall be exhausted directly to the outside.

    R303.8 Required heating.




    When the winter design temperature
    in Table R301.2(1) is below 60F (16C), every dwelling

    unit shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining
    a minimum room temperature of 68 OF (20C) at a point
    3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from exterior
    walls in all habitable rooms at the design temperature. The
    installation of one or more portable space heaters shall not be
    used to achieve compliance with this section.





    Last edited by James Duffin; 04-18-2010 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Sorry for the small type size..not sure how to make it bigger.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    This sounds like one of those situations where focusing on what the Code requires shouldn't be your primary concern at this stage. Code compliance is important and should be addressed at some point. The Code is the minimum and your questions seem to focus on not going beyond the minimum. My question to you would be, do you actually want to build something that brings value to your home and daily life, or just some crappy space that will suffice?
    - PA is cold in the winter right? Where is this room located, does it have an exterior door, exterior walls, or is it an internal room? Why wouldn't you want a heat source? Do you want to sit in the cold? What about your plumbing pipes, what will keep them from freezing?
    - In terms of air quality, air changes and overall comfort, one should have a window or X fan. Sure you can get by without one but why would you want to. If there's a toilet it could get stinky in there. Without any air changes except for the door opening conditions in that room will probably get funky.
    If you are looking to build the minimum crappiest construction allowed the Code will be your friend. I would suggest you consider building something better. The Plumber protects the health of the nation, in this case will you protect the health of your family?

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  4. #4
    Ed Melo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    James,
    The heating requirement is for "dwelling unit". Is a powder room considered a dwelling unit?

    Markus,
    The room is an internal one hence my question for the need for heating.

    As to ventilation, I'm trying to get more familiar with the code and wanted to see where it specifies the need for ventilation.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    I've always been under the impression that unless there is an openable window of some minimum dimension a ventilation fan that vents to the outside is required, even if it's just a toilet room.
    I don't believe a source of heat is required.I've certainly seen a lot of powder rooms without heat, but of course that doesn't mean much.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  6. #6
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Melo View Post
    James,
    The heating requirement is for "dwelling unit". Is a powder room considered a dwelling unit?

    Markus,
    The room is an internal one hence my question for the need for heating.

    As to ventilation, I'm trying to get more familiar with the code and wanted to see where it specifies the need for ventilation.
    In NC you have to have a HVAC vent in the bathroom and if it has a separate toilet room you have to have a vent in there also. The HVAC guy sometimes have to install manual dampers so the air flow to the small toilet room can be throttled back and not over-condition the space. Just shutting the register damper makes the vent whistle sometimes.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    While I do not have the PA code, the heating requirement is for "habitable space" and bathrooms (i.e., including powder rooms) are 'not' habitable space.

    Regardless whether or not that is an interior room, I would think it would be better ... again, as stated by others above, not code but 'better' ... to have heat in every room.

    Regarding ventilation, the IRC (International Residential Code) specifies that "Bathrooms - Toilet Rooms" (meaning no tub or shower is needed to trigger this requirement) require a minimum of 50 cfm intermittent (turned on by the user) or 20 cfm continuous (runs 24/7/365). Not sure what the PA code requires, but if it is based on the IRC then it too likely has a similar requirement.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
    erika krieger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    You'll also find bathroom and toilet room heating requirements in the Property Maintenance Code. Not sure if it's part of PA code. This is from the 2006 IPMC:


    602.2 Residential occupancies.
    Dwellings shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of 68F (20C) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms based on the winter outdoor design temperature for the locality indicated in Appendix D of the International Plumbing Code. Cooking appliances shall not be used to provide space heating to meet the requirements of this section. Exception: In areas where the average monthly temperature is above 30F (-1C), a minimum temperature of 65F (18C) shall be maintained.

    If you're going to argue that the IPMC is for "existing" structures, that's true, but your new house is "existing" the minute the C/O is issued.

    Here's the scoping section: 101.2


    The provisions of this code shall apply to all existing residential and nonresidential structures and all existing premises and constitute minimum requirements and standards for premises, structures, equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, protection from the elements, life safety, safety from fire and other hazards, and for safe and sanitary maintenance; the responsibility of owners, operators and occupants; the occupancy of existing structures and premises, and for administration, enforcement and penalties.




  9. #9
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    You'll also find bathroom and toilet room heating requirements in the Property Maintenance Code.

    If you're going to argue that the IPMC is for "existing" structures, that's true, but your new house is "existing" the minute the C/O is issued.

    You are missing one of the biggest things that many people who use the Property MAINTENANCE code miss ... the word MAINTENANCE ... i.e., one cannot MAINTAIN something which was not originally required or installed, therefore the MAINTENANCE code does not apply - the MAINTENANCE code DOES NOT require anything to be added above and beyond what met code at the time of construction ... no matter how one tries to misconstrue it.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Sorry, Jerry, but I have to disagree. The PMC provisions absolutely are retroactive. Take a look at the SCOPE and INTENT sections right in the first chapter: [I only have the 2003 available]


    101.2 Scope.
    The provisions of this code shall apply to all existing residential and nonresidential structures and all existing premises and constitute minimum requirements and standards for premises, structures, equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, protection from the elements, life safety, safety from fire and other hazards, and for safe and sanitary maintenance;
    101.3 Intent.


    This code shall be construed to secure its expressed intent, which is to ensure public health, safety and welfare insofar as they are affected by the continued occupancy and maintenance of structures and premises. Existing structures and premises that do not comply with these provisions shall be altered or repaired to provide a minimum level of health and safety as required herein. Repairs, alterations, additions to and change of occupancy in existing buildings shall comply with the
    International Existing Building Code.
    From the PMC Commentary: The code is intended to provide requirements addressing the public health, safety and welfare as they relate to the use and maintenance of existing structures and premises. The code requires existing structures and premises that are not in compliance with the code to be altered or repaired to meet the code. The code requirements are intended to represent the minimum acceptable level of public health and safety. The International Existing Building Code (IEBC) is listed as the required code for all repairs, alterations, additions and change of occupancies to existing structures.



    And from Chapter 6, where the bathroom heating requirements are:
    601.2 Responsibility.


    The owner of the structure shall provide and maintain mechanical and electrical facilities and equipment in compliance with these requirements. A person shall not occupy as owner-occupant or permit another person to occupy any premises which does not comply with the requirements of this chapter.



    Again from the Commentary:It is the responsibility of the owner of the structure to provide and maintain the required electrical and mechanical facilities. An owner must not occupy or allow any other person to occupy a structure that is not in compliance with this chapter; thus, the requirements of this chapter are the minimum necessary to make a
    structure occupiable.

    And, regarding bathroom heating from my earlier quote:

    Commentary:This section establishes the following minimum requirements for space heating in residential structures. Adequate heat is required for human health and comfort. The elderly, infirm and very young are most susceptible to illness and death from inadequate space heating. Heating equipment must be provided and maintained by the owner and must be able to heat all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms to at least 68F (20C) based on the outside design temperature established for each locality adopting the code. 68F (20C) is believed to be the minimum indoor temperature at which people can be reasonably comfortable and can maintain healthy living. This is intended as an absolute minimum since most dwelling occupants will seek indoor temperatures 5F to 10F (-15C to -12C) higher than this.




    There are states that have altered the retroactive provisions [in NY for instance we exempt owner-occupied one-family dwellings from certain plumbing and electrical requirements] and some sections are purely maintenance and housekeeping, but by and large these provisions are minimum standards and mandated in every structure.









  11. #11
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    Sorry, Jerry, but I have to disagree. The PMC provisions absolutely are retroactive.


    Erika,

    If you were the AHJ and trying to enforce the IPMC on any given dwelling and were challenged and sued as the EXISTING structure MET the code it was constructed under, I would hope that: a) your governmental body backing you had VERY DEEP POCKETS; b) was willing to end up with very shallow pockets; c) that you yourself had a very good and very well protected Golden Parachute; d) that the governmental body did not cut the strings to your Golden Parachute when you lost the legal action, as you would.

    Trying to FORCE that on ONE dwelling means you are now obligated to FORCE ALL dwellings to meet the IPMC, and that, of course, means a Class Action lawsuit with EVERY SINGLE HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY as being in that Class, and EVERY SINGLE ATTORNEY standing in line to take a piece of that action, and you, as part of the AHJ and governmental body and personally, would be defended by your Town Attorney and whatever legal team they could find from any remaining attorneys not already aligned with the other side.



    Did you read that part in the IPMC about:
    - 101.4 Severability. If a section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this code is, for any reason, held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this code.

    (There is a reason that section is in there.)

    That is the only thing which, after very great expense, may help save the town/city from totally abandoning the IPMC.

    I repeat my stance that you cannot force the IPMC to be retroactive on EXISTING dwelling when no work is being done.

    Now, the code you SHOULD be working with is the EXISTING BUILDING CODE as that applies to EXISTING buildings and tells what is allowed to be changed and under what conditions, but ... the trigger is that some work is being done - the Existing Building Code does not come into effect until and unless something is being done to the building.

    Oh, and one document which would be used to show the Judge and Jury that no heat is required in a bathroom is ... (drum roll) ... the CURRENT IRC DOES NOT REQUIRE heat in the bathrooms, and if it is not a CURRENT REQUIREMENT and the CURRENT IRC states: (pardon me if I pound this in a little more so it will be remembered)
    - R101.3 Purpose. The purpose of this code is to provide minimum requirements to safeguard the public safety, health and general welfare through affordability, structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, light and ventilation, energy conservation and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment.

    And if the CURRENT CODE CONSIDERS NO HEAT IN BATHROOMS as providing for those minimum requirements, then the IPMC is, quite obviously ... flawed ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    This discussion about the Property Maintenance Code should probably move to another thread, but .... please indulge one last response.

    The Property Maintenance Code -in New York- is retroactive; says so right in the Scoping section; and it's enforced that way all the time. The state may have budget issues, but not because of this. Anyway, the PMC is where we find all manner of retroactive minimum standards; for example, swimming pool barriers for existing pools, smoke detectors, overcrowding standards, maintenance provisions, overgrown grass and junk car provisions, and that pesky bathroom heating section. Can't meet these retroactive requirements? There's an appeal process for the PMC as there is for all of the other codes - see PMC109.3 for the NY variance procedure, or the NYS Dept of State website.

    Now back to that heating question, which was for a new toilet room in an existing house. The Residential Code DOES require heat in a bathroom, because it requires heat in a dwelling unit and the bathroom is part of the dwelling unit. The method for measuring that heat is described with respect to habitable space. It doesn't mean that other spaces don't get heated.
    Here is the Commentary:
    Minimum heating requirements are for health reasons. In areas where the design temperature is based on Table R301.2(1) and is below 60F (16C), dwelling units are required to be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68F (20C). The primary need here is that of human comfort.
    The minimum temperature is measured at 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from the exterior walls of all habitable rooms. See Commentary Figure R303.8. Portable space heaters cannot be used to achieve compliance with this section.

    In NY, we use Appendix J of the Residential Code for alterations to existing one- and two-family dwellings, NOT the Existing Building Code. The latter is for commercial and multi-family occupancy groups, and for those residential uses that aren't eligible to use the Res. Code. You'll want to check with your code official as to what code to use in PA for this alteration.


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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    Anyway, the PMC is where we find all manner of retroactive minimum standards;

    And, as I explained, anything in the PMC which is NOT in the new building code would be defeated as soon as challenged, even before the ink on the paperwork was dry.

    There is no defensible position in a MAINTENANCE code REQUIRING MORE than the new construction code DEEMS AS SUITABLE AND SUBSTANTIAL for the very same states purposes (public health, safety, welfare, etc.).

    A first year law student who is totally lost and in over their heads could stumble down to the Plaintiffs table before the judge and quash an order based on the PMC (requiring more than is required by the code for new construction).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Jerry, nobody's saying that the PMC is more restrictive than the IRC or IBC. With respect to the original question of heat in a toilet room, that requirement is in the Residential Code. And it also happens to be a retroactive PMC requirement.


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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    erica,
    no requirement for heat in a powder room in the code i enforce. it is not a habitable room! it is cut and dried simple to follow for code enforcement people. i would never attempt to tell people that they have to retroactively add heat in bathrooms ,it would be career suicide here jerry is right here!


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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    With respect to the original question of heat in a toilet room, that requirement is in the Residential Code.
    Okay, I must be blind ... show me where that requirement is in the IRC.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Here's the code path: the heating requirement is for a dwelling unit >>the bathroom is part of the dwelling unit>> therefore the bathroom requires heat.

    Looking at the actual language in the code:

    When the winter design temperature in Table R301.2(1) is below 60F (16C), every dwelling unit shall be provided with heating facilities..... OK so the dwelling unit gets heat

    capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68 OF (20C) at a point 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from exterior walls in all habitable rooms at the design temperature. and then they tell you how much and where to measure it. If you're happy with heat from the adjoining rooms providing the heat to the bathroom, go for it.
    ================================================== ===
    In NY, the heating section applies only to dwellings intended to be occupied Sept 15 to May 15, and owner-occupied 1 family dwellings may be exempted with the approval of the CEO, [in fact they can be exempted from even having a bathroom] which is why I also wrote earlier: "You'll want to check with your code official as to what code to use in PA for this alteration."


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    Here's the code path: the heating requirement is for a dwelling unit >>the bathroom is part of the dwelling unit>> therefore the bathroom requires heat.
    That is like saying: It is a car, and cars run on gas, so that car needs gas to run (even though it is a diesel).

    Yes, follow the code path, and "dwelling unit" is only one SMALL part of the process, HABITABLE spaces/habitable rooms is the key part of that code section.


    Looking at the actual language in the code:
    Yes, look at that code section:
    - R303.8 Required heating. When the winter design temperature in Table R301.2(1) is below 60F (16C), every dwelling unit shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68F (20C) at a point 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from exterior walls in all habitable rooms at the design temperature. The installation of one or more portable space heaters shall not be used to achieve compliance with this section.

    What part of "IN ALL HABITABLE ROOMS" do you not get?
    - HABITABLE SPACE. A space in a building for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Jerry-Typing in all caps doesn't make you right, just loud. Now I know why some folks are telling me to put you on an "'ignore" list like they did.

    To everyone else, when you're in NY, unless you have an exemption approved by the CEO, make sure the dwelling unit- the entire dwelling unit- has heat. How much, you ask? If you measure in a habitable room, and it's at least 68F at a point 3 feet above the floor and 2 feet from exterior walls, you'll do fine.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    Jerry-Typing in all caps doesn't make you right, just loud. Now I know why some folks are telling me to put you on an "'ignore" list like they did.

    Like some others, maybe you should try reading posts before responding.

    If you would, please show me where I *TYPE IN ALL CAPS* other than, quite naturally, using all caps for highlighting and accentuation, which, apparently, you do not get anyway.

    You have been refusing to read what has been posted, we (I am not the only one doing so) have been TRYING to point out to YOU that a bathroom is not habitable space and only habitable space is required to be heated.

    You insist on continuing with your own ignorance to the point that I may have to do what some folks have told me ... that you will never learn as you have closed your mind and that I should stop wasting my time trying to get this across to you.

    Tell you what - you quite wasting your time repeating the same wrong thing over and over and over and I will be able to quit wasting my time point out that you are repeating the same wrong thing over and over and over ...

    Put me on your ignore list, it would be my gain and your loss - so be it.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Basic internet etiquette. Caps is shouting. You highlight text with bold, underline, and italics or any combination of the three. As I have stated in my posts, I'm talking about NY; I'm sure I'm not the only NY subscriber on this site. So I will repeat, the NY take is that, based on the language in the code, the dwelling unit requires heat; you only have to measure it in habitable rooms. Everyone else, I repeat, check with your own code official for your municipality's take.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    Basic internet etiquette. Caps is shouting.

    USING ALL CAPS IS SHOUTING, using all CAPS for highlighting is no different than highlighting with bold, underlining, italics, color, or font size.

    So I will repeat, the NY take is that, based on the language in the code, the dwelling unit requires heat;
    So far, as best as I can tell (and I may have MISSED IT) YOU have not yet posted the code where THE CURRENT code requires heating in bathrooms. Not the PMC, the CURRENT new construction code - post that and show us that the CURRENT new construction code requires heat in bathrooms in NY.

    By the way, I will remind you the the QUESTION was not from NY, the question was from PA, and you have spent all of your posts stating that answers to the PA code are wrong because the NY PMC says something different.

    So, cut to the chase, post the CURRENT new construction code for NY which requires heat in bathrooms.

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Never did I say that the answers to the PA question were wrong; like others I've repeatedly [at least 6 times] stated that my response is my state's take, and to ask your own DOB for the interpretation in your jurisdiction. And my last several posts have referenced the Residential code, not the PMC.

    The current NY code is based on the 2003 I-codes. I didn't post the text because as you can see, it's almost identical to the IRC text that has been posted already by others, with the addition of some dates, and the exception for owner occupied 1-family dwellings subject to CEO approval.

    19 NYCRR Part 1220 RR303.8 Required heating. When the winter design temperature in Table RR301.2(1) is below 60F (16C), every dwelling unit intended to be occupied between September 15 and May 15 shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68F (20C) at a point 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from exterior walls in all habitable rooms at the design temperature. The use of one or more portable space heaters shall not be used to achieve compliance with this section. Exception: Owner-occupied one-family dwellings subject to the approval of the code enforcement official.
    ================================================== =====
    Once again, in NY this is interpreted as: the dwelling unit, all of it, requires heating facilites capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature... and that the minimum temperature is to be measured at 3 feet above the floor ...etc.... in all habitable rooms...
    ================================================== ============
    That Jerry and I have such differing views on this seemingly simple code section reinforces the importance of checking with your municipality.



  24. #24
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    (red, underlining, and size are mine)
    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    The current NY code is based on the 2003 I-codes. I didn't post the text because as you can see, it's almost identical to the IRC text that has been posted already by others, with the addition of some dates, and the exception for owner occupied 1-family dwellings subject to CEO approval.

    19 NYCRR Part 1220 RR303.8 Required heating. When the winter design temperature in Table RR301.2(1) is below 60F (16C), every dwelling unit intended to be occupied between September 15 and May 15 shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68F (20C) at a point 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from exterior walls in all habitable rooms at the design temperature. The use of one or more portable space heaters shall not be used to achieve compliance with this section. Exception: Owner-occupied one-family dwellings subject to the approval of the code enforcement official.
    ================================================== =====
    Once again, in NY this is interpreted as: the dwelling unit, all of it, requires heating facilites capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature... and that the minimum temperature is to be measured at 3 feet above the floor ...etc.... in all habitable rooms...
    ================================================== ============
    That Jerry and I have such differing views on this seemingly simple code section reinforces the importance of checking with your municipality.

    "That Jerry and I have such differing views on this seemingly simple code section reinforces the importance of checking with your municipality."

    That shows that you are not reading what is SPECIFICALLY stated and written in the code, as shown by your posting of the code and my highlighting the SPECIFICALLY stated and written wording in that code section.

    What part of the following do you not understand? "in all habitable rooms"

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Cool Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    How are we defining "all Habitable rooms"? I think the argument would be that the bathroom/powder room is not habitable.

    From the 2009IRC definitions:
    Dwelling unit: A single unit providing complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating cooking, and sanitation.

    Habitable space: Space in a building for living, sleeping, eating, or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces, and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces.

    The heat is required in the dwelling unit yes, but only in habitable spaces

    So for my limited understanding of the argument, the dwelling unit has many spaces, not all of them are habitable by the 2009IRC definitions, nor I would say by any other definition. So the argument is about defining what these specific areas are in a dwelling unit.

    Erica,
    I do not believe it has anything to do with municipalities. Any argument to be had with documentation, especially the building code comes down to LANGUAGE. We must agree on the terminology of an argument and thereby the defining of those words. It just so happens that the Building Code Gods have graciously defined those words and phrases for us so that we can have a fruitful argument.

    If there is a disagreement to the definitions above, please make note of them and post them accordingly.

    XOXOXOXO

    David D. Whitt
    1st Steps Home Inspections

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    You have to look at the entire paragraph, starting with the words that come before "in all habitable rooms." Read the whole section. It does not say "provide heat in all habitable rooms." If it did, I would understand why everyone's got their knickers in a twist.
    It starts out by saying that every dwelling unit, which Mr Whitt so kindly defined as including living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation, shall be provided with heating facilities --- and then goes on to state --- that the heating facilities need to put out enough heat to maintain 68 in all habitable rooms, measured in a particular way, when it's at the design temperature outside. No word on where to put registers, or how warm the spaces that are not habitable such as bathrooms or hallways or closets have to be, or even how much less than 68 it can be in habitable rooms when it's really cold outside, i.e. below the design temp outside; after all the code is a minimum standard. But we start with the dwelling unit getting heating facilities; as a code official, that's all I've been saying.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    only works while the kids are little ( ! )

    Last edited by erika krieger; 05-02-2010 at 09:13 AM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    You have to look at the entire paragraph, starting with the words that come before "in all habitable rooms." Read the whole section. It does not say "provide heat in all habitable rooms." If it did, I would understand why everyone's got their knickers in a twist.
    It starts out by saying that every dwelling unit,

    Erika,

    I cannot believe you still do not get this ...

    Okay, let's go back to the 3rd grade and learning to read, and read, as YOU pointed out, what it actually says:

    19 NYCRR Part 1220 RR303.8 Required heating. When the winter design temperature in Table RR301.2(1) is below 60F (16C), every dwelling unit intended to be occupied between September 15 and May 15 shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68F (20C) at a point 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from exterior walls in all habitable rooms at the design temperature. The use of one or more portable space heaters shall not be used to achieve compliance with this section. Exception: Owner-occupied one-family dwellings subject to the approval of the code enforcement official.

    Okay, now start at the beginning:
    - What is required to have heating facilities? "every dwelling unit"
    - What PART of "every dwelling unit" is required to have heat? "in all habitable rooms"
    - How much heat is required in those parts which are required to have heat? "all habitable rooms" are required to have heat "capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68F"
    - Where do you measure the temperature at? "at a point 3 feet ... above the floor and 2 feet ... from the exterior walls"

    To review:
    - Is THE ENTIRE dwelling unit required to have heat? NO.
    - What parts of the dwelling unit is required to have heat? ALL HABITABLE SPACES.
    - Does the code state the temperature which must be able to be maintained in those habitable spaces? YES.
    - Does the code also state where to measure the temperature in those habitable spaces? YES.

    Do you now understand what the code is requiring and what is not required by the code?

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

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Read the whole section including the words between "heating facility" and "in all habitable rooms". Take the section for what it is; a modifier of the phrase "heating facility." Heck, the word "heat" isn't even there.

    Part III of the Residential code is entitled Building Planning and Construction. This particular section of Part III, is simply telling the builder / design professional /ceo that the dwelling unit shall be provided with "heating facilities" ---not "heat" -- it doesn't say "heat" --- and those heating facilities shall be "capable of maintaining 68 in all habitable rooms..."

    What about closets and hallways and bathrooms? As the Commentary states, the primary concern that this section is addressing is human comfort, so we're not too concerned about the level of heat in non-habitable spaces where we don't spend much time. As long as the living spaces can be maintained at the minimum, the other spaces will be reasonably comfortable enough for the amount of time that we spend in them.
    Like James Risley suggests, keep the door open. Or use louvers, or put a register or radiator in there.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Yep, steppin into it.

    1. doubt Ed Melo is still following, if you are, check with your authority having jurisdiction for a complete list of applicable building codes and local ammendments. Work from there. Ask the B.I.s which of these codes are applicable to your "house.

    I note in your opening post you inquired relative to the IBC (International Building Code).

    2. The two engaged in the battle of the sexes are both wrong, partially right in some points, but still both wrong. "Occupiable Space" IS defined in the IBC, it includes bathrooms/powder rooms and toilet rooms. The IMC (Int'l Mechanical Code) doesn't IIRC define "Occupiable Space" in that regard the hierachy of the I-Codes, it then defers to the IBC for the definition.

    3. It is clear from your posts that you are INDEED looking to CHANGE THE OCCUPANCY TYPE of a portion of an EXISTING OCCUPANCY (assuming the "house" or property has not been condemed or lost its Certificate of Occupancy). Whether you are adapting previously non-habital and non-occupiable space and making it occupied space; OR you are converting previously habital space to occupied space; OR you are re-classing one form of non-habital but occupied space to another specified type of occupied space. Apparently you are creating a powder (bathroom/toilet room) room where there was none before. If this space was formerly non-occupiable and non-habital space, or if you are creating a non-habital but occupiable space from a formerly habital space, you are seeking to create a powder room. A Powder room/bathroom is not "habital space", but "OCCUPIABLE SPACE". Unlike a mechanical room, closet, etc. an "OCCUPIABLE SPACE" (which you won't find defined in the IMC but the IMC defers to the IBC for such definitions) you will find defined in the IBC.

    5. Occupiable space (includes habital space, includes toilet rooms, powder rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, but not strictly mechanical rooms) unlike strict mechanical rooms and non-walk in closets, occupied spaces ARE designed to HOST HUMANS for activites therein. Occupiable spaces must provide ventillation, warmth, lighting, etc.

    Therefore, if the proposed "powder room" has no natural ventillation (i.e. an operable window) you will need "mechanical ventillation". An in-line "fan" will work to ventillate/exhaust but you will require "make up" air - that cannot be via the HVAC so you'll need louvered door, an undercut door, transom, or similar source for your make-up air. Yes you will likewise require a form of heat for the room, as you are in PA, where you do have design temps that are based on a WINTER SEASON, but you will not require a cold air return (door likely undercut) if you have FA. If you have central air - you'd want to incorporate that to the space as well ("conditioned space").

    Occupied/occupiable spaces vs. blinders on and misuse of the term "habital space/s" for the points given. The toilet room/bathroom is not habital space, but it IS (or in this case "will be") OCCUPIABLE SPACE.

    Yes Ed, you do have a winter, and yes, occupiable spaces require a means to assure minimum temperatures are maintained for human "occupation" activites during the winter (yes, humans still need to use the "throne" even in the winter) - this includes insulation of exterior exposures, and protection of the plumbing from freezing, in addition to natural ventillation or a means for mechanical ventillation in lieu, and natural lighting, and a means for artifical lighting in lieu. If this is a "space" that will be "occupied" in the winter - you will need a means to assure temps are maintained at that time.

    After reading all the blather, can't recall if you specified if this interior new powder room is over a conditioned space, over an unconditioned crawl or basement, or on a slab, or even if this is a single family home, or for that matter a residential occupancy of any type.

    6. Although you refered to the property as a "house" at no time did you indicate it was a "dwelling". Since you did reference the IBC, I take note that not all (even former residences) "houses" are many times originally dwellings, and often re-"zoned" to other than residential use and new occupancy status is established (often legal offices, doctor offices, beauty shops, other commercial activies, etc. and the properties are no longer after transfer IRC applicable, since no longer legal "residental occupancies"! Therefore, I choose to NOT ASSUME that the unammended IRC of any edition would even apply (and I don't know that any ed. unammended or in its original entirety would apply in PA).

    Name your county/city location and you'd get even more precise responses, leave that up to you to determine where in the commonwealth you are, and just who your jurisdictional authority is to inquire of for ALL the enforcable codes and ammendments applicable to your plan, performance-based as well as prescriptive-based as they may be.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-02-2010 at 07:08 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    Read the whole section including the words between "heating facility" and "in all habitable rooms". Take the section for what it is; a modifier of the phrase "heating facility." Heck, the word "heat" isn't even there.

    Part III of the Residential code is entitled Building Planning and Construction. This particular section of Part III, is simply telling the builder / design professional /ceo that the dwelling unit shall be provided with "heating facilities" ---not "heat" -- it doesn't say "heat" --- and those heating facilities shall be "capable of maintaining 68 in all habitable rooms..."

    What about closets and hallways and bathrooms? As the Commentary states, the primary concern that this section is addressing is human comfort, so we're not too concerned about the level of heat in non-habitable spaces where we don't spend much time. As long as the living spaces can be maintained at the minimum, the other spaces will be reasonably comfortable enough for the amount of time that we spend in them.
    Like James Risley suggests, keep the door open. Or use louvers, or put a register or radiator in there.

    Go back and read those same words over again ... now show us where it says the ENTIRE dwelling unit, including ALL spaces, requires heat.

    Note that "heating facilities" is not a requirement for all spaces to have heat, that "heating facilities" means provisions for providing heat, i.e., a 'heating source' of some type, not that all rooms and spaces must have "heating facilities", but that "the dwelling unit" much have "heating facilities" capable of ... get this ... providing sufficient heat that the temperature in habitable rooms and spaces can be maintained at the stated temperature at the stated location to measure that temperature, and that such requirement applies to, and only applies to, "habitable" rooms and spaces - and bathrooms are specifically stated as NOT being a habitable space.

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

  32. #32
    erika krieger's Avatar
    erika krieger Guest

    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Jerry- I think you almost agreed with me. And that's as much as I can ask for.

    note to H.G.:
    The exchange that Jerry and I have been having is not a debate about whether a bathroom is habitable or nonhabitable space. That's probably the one thing upon which we both agree [that it's not habitable, right Jerry?]

    BTW, for reference, the PA codes are available on the PA L&I website. PA uses the 2009 "I" codes as the basis for their UCC; for 1- and 2-family dwellings they use the 2009IRC, with App G for pools, and a few modifications. [Act 13 of 2004 stipulates that the following stairway tread and riser requirements will apply in all buildings that fall within the scope of the International Residential Code, in all occupancies in Use Group R-3 and within dwelling units in occupancies in Use Group R-2: The maximum stairway riser height shall be 8 inches (210 mm), the minimum tread depth shall be 9 inches (229 mm); and, a 1-inch (25 mm) nosing must be provided on stairways with solid risers.]


    Also, at the risk of starting another debate, occupiable space is NOT for residential occupancies. it doesn't even appear in the Res code. For that we have habitable space.
    OCCUPIABLE SPACE. A room or enclosed space designed for human occupancy in which individuals congregate for amusement, educational or similar purposes or in which occupants are engaged at labor, and which is equipped with means of egress and light and ventilation facilities meeting the requirements of this code.
    HABITABLE SPACE. A space in a building for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces.



  33. #33
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    Jerry- I think you almost agreed with me. And that's as much as I can ask for.
    If you are agreeing that only habitable spaces require heat and that bathrooms do not require heat, then I guess we do agree, and it is not I who has changed what I've been saying but you ... so I guess that means you now understand what the code is saying?

    note to H.G.:
    The exchange that Jerry and I have been having is not a debate about whether a bathroom is habitable or nonhabitable space.
    The debate was not about whether bathrooms were habitable space or not, not sure where you are getting that from.

    That's probably the one thing upon which we both agree [that it's not habitable, right Jerry?]
    Bathrooms are not habitable space - correct.

    Now that you have agreed or acknowledged that, and being as you are now apparently (by your statements above) agreeing with me, then you know understand that not every space in a dwelling unit requires heat, that only habitable spaces require heat, and that bathrooms are not habitable space and therefore bathrooms do not require heat.

    Are you now saying that you agree with that?

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

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    The OP has NOT said this is a DWELLING or a RESIDENTIAL OCCUPANCY.

    He said only that it was a "house" and he DID make reference to the 2006 IBC.

    "House" type structures are oftentimes re-zoned as Business locations only, and LOSE their "dwelling" status and residential zoning.

    The OP (Ed Melo) may be absolutely correct for his "house" question circumstances (referencing the IBC).

    Point being - if you review HIS actual original post and his subsequent contribution, you'll find that the "occupiable space" not "habital space" issue is or may be exactly on point.

    Human activites include washing of hands, and the ordinary use of a toilet. For some, at least on certain occassions, said "activities" may take some time, even if they are "on the job" or "visiting a place of business".

    Furthermore said "house" may be broken up/sub-divided to multiple rental units/condo units - we just don't know; and I for one chose not to Ass-U-Me, and give the OP the benefit of the doubt of referencing the correct I-code base (inquiring of edition). For that matter, and for all we know, he's working on a B&B.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 05-03-2010 at 07:55 PM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    The OP has NOT said this is a DWELLING or a RESIDENTIAL OCCUPANCY.

    He said only that it was a "house" and he DID make reference to the 2006 IBC.

    "House" type structures are oftentimes re-zoned as Business locations only, and LOSE their "dwelling" status and residential zoning.

    The OP (Ed Melo) may be absolutely correct for his "house" question circumstances (referencing the IBC).
    Big strong stance based on no more information than the rest of us have - you do not know that it is not a "house" meaning "dwelling unit" ... MOST PEOPLE call "dwelling units" "HOUSES" and call "houses turned into businesses" as "businesses".

    I would like Ed to confirm what he meant, and I suspect Ed will confirm that "house" means "dwelling unit" as Ed said "I am looking to add a powder room ... ", which to me says Ed is talking about a dwelling unit.

    Point being - if you review HIS actual original post and his subsequent contribution, you'll find that the "occupiable space" not "habital space" issue is or may be exactly on point.
    I went back through and reviewed Ed's posts and information and I think you are way off base on this one - I suspect that Ed is indeed referring to a "dwelling unit".

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

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Speaking of "powder rooms" in PA... you might find this NY Times article about some Amish having problems with Code Officials in PA (Amish in jail):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/us...q=amish&st=cse


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    I agreed with Jerry's first post, as this is what I tell my clients when they are concerned that the bathroom lacks a source of heat.

    It is not a "habitable Space."

    I skimmed most of his following retorts as I did not want to exercise my brain today. His logic is almost always unassailable and is imPECKable.

    I am not one of his SYCOPHANTS but do admire the guy for being a contibutor and educator of other inspectors.

    If I were an alien body snatcher I would snatch Jerry because of his brain.

    He has a good brain. Lucky guy. Look at all the good advice we get for free.

    Kitchens do require heat and yet I find that about half of my Boston rehab properties don't have a radiator or register after remodeling renovations. And the curious thing is that most clients can barely boil water and just use a microwave. (no heat from a stove used to cook and bake) What would Harry Truman say today?


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Just remember, the OP was asking a code question about a new toilet room in an existing dwelling. The best answer remains to verify with your local code enforcement official. You'll need a building permit anyway, so this would be covered during plan review. In NY, bathrooms are considered part of the du and must have heat [unless exempted by the ceo.] BTW, no one's disagreeing about bathrooms being nonhabitable space.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Quote Originally Posted by erika krieger View Post
    Just remember, the OP was asking a code question about a new toilet room in an existing dwelling.
    Correct ... it was asking a CODE question, and the CODE answer is "No, a heat register is NOT required.

    The best answer remains to verify with your local code enforcement official.

    Just because the CODE does not require it does not mean the AHJ will not require it ... it SHOULD mean that, but it does not.

    Thus the two questions are different (code versus AHJ) and the two answers may be different ... or the same ... depending on if the AHJ is actually going by the CODE or making their own rules.

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

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    I would expect that a powder room would be small enough it would stay the same temp as the rest of the house - in most cases. I do not see the need for an air duct. I have seen plenty of new home without a vent in a powder room too.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Code requirements for new powder room

    Code or no code, I would expect that depending on the location of the bathroom in the home, It may or may not need heat.
    If on an outside wall, UH? yes, heat
    If centered in the home, NO heat
    Most people keep their 1/2 bath doors closed. This means ambient heat would not be flowing into the bathroom at all times.
    Measuring the temp in the room is a good idea to determine practically, just common sense, outside of what the code states, since the code is meant to be a minimum requirement.
    So outside of this code fighting going on
    I would say, build the bathroom and add heat. Just because it's probably a good idea.
    Even a small electric baseboard that may never need to be turned on would prevent you from beating your head against the wall trying to make heads or tails out of this " who has a bigger code" issue
    Can girls have bigger codes?


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