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  1. #1
    John Arnold's Avatar
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    Default dryer duct passes through garage

    Curious what others would have to say, if anything, about a clothes dryer duct that passes through, but does not discharge into, the garage.

    Same as a HVAC duct?

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Curious what others would have to say, if anything, about a clothes dryer duct that passes through, but does not discharge into, the garage.

    Same as a HVAC duct?
    I would give them an extra 50 points for discharging outside of the garage! I see nothing wrong with it.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I would give them an extra 50 points for discharging outside of the garage! I see nothing wrong with it.
    Thanks Scott. Would you then deduct those 50 points if you knew that the kitchen hood fan discharges into the garage?

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Somebody must think this is a hazard. No?
    Taped joints fall apart in fire and provide opening through wall into living space?

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Ducts

    The 2006 edition of the IRC states the following concerning ducts that penetrate garage walls*and ceilings:

    R309.1.1 Duct Penetration

    Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be constructed of a minimum No. 26 gauge (0.48 mm) steel sheet or other approved material, and shall have no openings in the garage.

    Dryer exhaust ducts that penetrate garage walls are serious fire hazards. These ducts are generally made from plastic and will easily melt during a fire, creating a large breach in the firewall.

    My question would be if the dryer duct is of approved material?


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Looks good to me ! You could disassemble it, break out the micrometer in your tool bag and check the gage of the metal and be sure to photo that mic result for future evidence. Also insure you have proof that your micrometer has been calibrated by a recognized source. Then before you produce your report, check local codes to make sure they do not differ from the IRC 26 gage mentioned. If is not compliant red tag that death trap. Or - - - if it looks reasonably safe and functional, save the band width for something that might matter.


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    Looks good to me ! You could disassemble it, break out the micrometer in your tool bag and check the gage of the metal and be sure to photo that mic result for future evidence. Also insure you have proof that your micrometer has been calibrated by a recognized source. Then before you produce your report, check local codes to make sure they do not differ from the IRC 26 gage mentioned. If is not compliant red tag that death trap. Or - - - if it looks reasonably safe and functional, save the band width for something that might matter.
    You take Carbon Monoxide poisoning rather lightly.
    I guess any old 1/4 inch drywall is fine with you also.

    We are paid to watch out for safety issues and our clients rely on that information so you need to learn rather than making up your own rules.
    I respect all who disagree with my facts but not those that simply ignore them.


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    John Arnold's Avatar
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Well, I recommended the duct be re-routed so it doesn't pass through the garage, and gave my reasons why. Somehow I doubt standard dryer duct is 26 gauge or better, anyway.

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    You take Carbon Monoxide poisoning rather lightly.
    I guess any old 1/4 inch drywall is fine with you also.

    We are paid to watch out for safety issues and our clients rely on that information so you need to learn rather than making up your own rules.
    I respect all who disagree with my facts but not those that simply ignore them.
    Your facts were not ignored and I made up no rules. Please explain to all what safety issues you would report about that photo. I see no openings, the penetrations are sealed, no plastic and no potential for CO poisoning. There was no mention I noticed about 1/4" drywall, I see no non-invasive way to verify it's presence and the question did not relate to that. Do you carry a certifyably calibrated micrometer and do you disassemble and mic duct work with it ? Does anybody ?


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    In Pennsylvania (Land of Giants), it is illegal for oil tank fill and vent pipes to be copper, because the joints can open in a fire, exposing the fuel.
    This is what I had in mind with the dryer duct. Since the sections are not allowed to be screwed together, I'm concerned that the tape would burn right off and the joints could then open up.

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    Cool Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Those 5 foot lengths of galvanized steel snaplock pipe are typically 30 gauge. There is some 24 ga. in 5 foot lengths around such as Ductmate union made pipe. It thuds when you tap it. For those familiar with vent connectors, you can feel the difference just by pushing in on the duct and denting it whereas 26 ga. is harder to dent or depress. For your info. you can buy a very accurate sheetmetal thickness gauge for less than $10 at many hardware stores.

    The tape should be imprinted as meeting UL 181 a/b-Fx, which is the best grade usually locally available. Have to use tape as no penetrating screws or rivets allowed.

    The firestop does not appear to be caulked but I can't tell from here. At least it has two straps within about 6 feet.

    John, I met with a State Boiler Inspector who agreed copper that was brazed was acceptable but not soft solder on oil tanks. Also depends on if phosphorous used in brazing rod per NFPA 31.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Garry what is this fascination with (certifyably calibrated micrometer)?

    Look at the picture and use simple common sense.(read the label)
    Please look at the nails and tell me that appears sealed.

    Not trying to give you a beat down but you seem to take safety of the inhabitants lightly.

    If I was there I would know more about the situation and make it my job to err on the side of safety.
    My reports are for clients/not Agents.

    Despite finding out today a listing Agent stole my report and uses it to pre certify homes but that is another story.

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    Last edited by Bob Elliott; 04-03-2012 at 06:09 PM.

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    For those of you who take issue with this duct what's your take on plastic cover plates on receptacle and switches? Do you recommend that they and any plastic junction boxes be replaced?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Below are tips for those not sure about garage concerns ,if anyone disagrees please feel free to tell me about it so we can make changes if needed.

    Building standards require that all ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the firewall be equipped with fire-dampers or constructed of a minimum of No. 26 gauge sheet steel or other approved material and shall have no openings in the garage. This condition compromises the garage firewall system.

    Attached Garage Fire Containment

    An attached garage is a garage that is physically attached to a house. Fires that begin in attached garages are more likely to spread to living areas*than fires that originate in detached garages. For this reason, combined with the multitude of flammable materials commonly found in garages, attached garages should be adequately sealed from living areas. A properly sealed attached garage will ideally restrict the potential spread of fire*long enough*to allow*the occupants time to escape the home or building.

    Why are garages (both attached and detached) fire hazards?
    Oil or gasoline can drip from cars. These fluids may collect unnoticed and eventually ignite.
    Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil and paint, are commonly stored in garages. Some other examples are brake fluid, degreaser, motor oil, varnish, lighter fluid, and fluids containing solvents, such as paint thinner. These chemicals are flammable in their fluid form, and some may create explosive vapors.
    Heaters and boilers, which are frequently installed in garages, create sparks that can ignite fumes or fluids. Car batteries, too, will spark under certain conditions.
    Mechanical or electrical building projects are often undertaken in the garage. Fires can easily start while a careless occupant is welding near flammable materials.
    Doors

    The 2006 edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) states the following concerning doors that separate garages from living areas:

    R309.1 Opening Penetration
    Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and the residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1-3/8” (35 mm) in thickness, solid- or honeycomb-core steel doors not less than 1-3/8” (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.
    In addition, InterNACHI inspectors can check for the following while inspecting doors that separate garages from living areas:

    While not required by the IRC, it is helpful if there is at least one step leading up to the door from the garage. Gasoline fumes and other explosive gases are heavier than air, and they will accumulate at ground level. Their entry beneath a door will be slowed by an elevation increase.
    Doors should have tight seals around their joints to prevent seepage of fumes into the living areas of the house. Carbon monoxide,*with the same approximate density as air (and often warmer than surrounding air), will easily rise above the base of an elevated door and leak through unsealed joints.
    Doors should be self-closing. Many homeowners find these doors inconvenient, but they are safer than doors that can be left ajar. While this requirement is no longer listed in the IRC, it is still a valuable recommendation.
    If doors have windows, the glass should be fire-rated.
    Pet doors should not be installed in fire-rated doors. Pet doors will violate the integrity of a fire barrier.*

    Walls and Ceilings

    The 2006 edition of the IRC states the following concerning garage walls and ceilings:

    ********* R309.2 Separation Required
    The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than ½-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the garage side. Garages beneath habitable rooms shall be separated from all habitable rooms above by not less than 5/8-inch (15.9 mm) Type X gypsum board or equivalent. Where the separation is a floor-ceiling assembly, the structure supporting the separation shall also be protected by not less than ½-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board or equivalent. Garages located less than 3 feet (914 mm) from a dwelling unit on the same lot shall be protected with not less than 1/2–inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the interior side of exterior walls that are within this area. Openings in these walls shall be regulated by Section 309.1. This provision does not apply to garage walls that are perpendicular to the adjacent dwelling unit wall.
    In addition, inspectors can check for the following while inspecting walls and ceilings:

    In garages that have access to the attic, a hatch cover made from an approved, fire-rated material should protect this access at all times. Missing or opened covers should be called out, as should covers made from flammable materials, such as thin plywood.*Garage attic door must be constructed such that the 45 minute rating*is maintained; any drywall edges on both the hatch and the surrounding*area exposed to physical damage are protected.*The cover or door is installed so that it is permanent (non removable)*with hardware to maintain it in a closed position with latching*hardware to maintain it in a closed position. This could be*accomplished by the use of spring loaded hinges, door closer, or*hardware that will not allow it to be left in an open position when not in*use. A single bolt type or hook and eye hardware does not provide a*positive closure since these would allow the door to be left open.*Likewise drywall screws are "fasteners" and not hardware so they*cannot be used as the only means of keeping access doors closed.
    The living space is separated from the garage by a firewall that extends from the floor to the roof. If the ceiling material is fire-rated, the firewall can terminate at the ceiling.
    Drywall joints*shall be taped or sealed.*Joints shall be fitted so that the gap is no more than 1/20-inch*with joints backed by either solid wood or another layer of drywall*such that the joints are staggered.*

    Ducts

    The 2006 edition of the IRC states the following concerning ducts that penetrate garage walls*and ceilings:

    R309.1.1 Duct Penetration

    Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be constructed of a minimum No. 26 gauge (0.48 mm) steel sheet or other approved material, and shall have no openings in the garage.

    Dryer exhaust ducts that penetrate garage walls are serious fire hazards. These ducts are generally made from plastic and will easily melt during a fire, creating a large breach in the firewall.

    Floors

    The 2006 edition of the IRC states the following concerning floors in garages:

    ********* R309.3 Floor Surface
    Garage floor surfaces shall be of approved, non-combustible material. The area of the floor used for parking of automobiles or other vehicles shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids to a drain or toward the main vehicle entry doorway.
    Inspectors should also check for the following:

    A curb is present along the perimeter of the garage floor. This curb is designed to prevent fluids from entering the living areas of the house. Curbs are often useful barriers for melted snow carried into the garage by automobiles, but curbs can also keep chemical spills contained in the garage.
    Water heaters should be elevated above the floor by at least 18 inches. A pilot light may ignite spilled fluid or floor-level flammable fumes if the water heater is placed at floor level.

    Concerning items placed on the floor, inspectors should check for the following:

    All flammable liquids are stored in clearly labeled, self-closing containers, and in small amounts. They should be stored away from heaters, appliances, pilot lights and other sources of heat*and flame.
    Propane tanks should never be stored indoors. If they catch fire, a serious explosion may result. Propane tanks are sturdy enough to be stored outdoors.
    The floor should be clear of clutter. Loose papers, matches, oily rags, and other flammable items are dangerous if they are strewn about the garage floor.

    General safety tips that inspectors can pass onto their clients:
    Use light bulbs with the proper wattage.
    Do not overload electrical outlets.
    Tape down all cords and wires so they are not twisted or accidentally yanked.

    In summary, attached garages should be sealed off from the living space so that fire may be contained.


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    The facination w/ certifiably calibrated is anytime you specify a number in a report, ( speeding ticket, CFM, voltage, gage thickness, PSI, etc ), and it ends up in litigation you must prove the reliability of your determination / instrument. In most instances that means a recognized, ( calibrated ), certification process or your "evidence" is thrown out. In this case the air comes from the house through the garage to the outdoors and it is the garage that would have a comparatively negative pressure in the event of a failure in this duct work. There are no openings. I do not know, if those flashings meet the applicable code for being adequately "sealed", but if you write up items like this, your report will be 200 pages. Assuming those flashings should be caulked, how do you determine that the caulk is fire rated to requiste standards ? Those nails should be what, screws ? Should we also verify that there is adequate backing for either the nails of the screws ? Are nails legal for the drywall ? How long will a vehicle be left running inside a closed garage ~ then how much of that CO will snake it's way around that one flashing ~ then how much will contine into the house ~ then what is the likelyhood someone could be negatively impacted by whatever found it's way though that maze. It's a very long reach that this could ever be a problem for the inhabitants and difficult to prove it is non-code compliant. We're debating a remotely possible, if, if, if, scenario that will never happen. Why give it band width ?


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Bob has been drinking the NACHI kool-aid for a long time. Check out his last post; the typical NACHI BS.

    He called Gary out about making things up as he goes, but the NACHI bs he posted made many rules up.


    "While not required by the IRC, it is helpful if there is at least one step leading up to the door from the garage."
    When you don't have a step-up do you recommend they lower the garage or raise the house?

    "Doors should be self-closing."
    Do you call that out as a safety issue? Really????

    "Garage attic door must be constructed such that the 45 minute rating is maintained"
    Can you supply this code source or is that a local issue?

    Bob, don't throw stones if you live in a glass house.

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    John Arnold's Avatar
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    ...
    John, I met with a State Boiler Inspector who agreed copper that was brazed was acceptable but not soft solder on oil tanks. Also depends on if phosphorous used in brazing rod per NFPA 31.
    I have a copy of a letter from the Director of the Boiler Section, dated 1998, so it may be out-dated, which says: "RE: MATERIALS FOR HEATING OIL TANK FILL AND VENT LINES ...In Pennsylvania, only steel or nodular iron pipe is approved for use in above-ground tank systems. Any installation containing plastic, copper, or other unapproved piping is in direct violation of Title 37, and could result in prosecution."

    I'm not arguing the point. That's just the document I've been relying on when I call out copper fill and vent lines.

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    Bob Harper's Avatar
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    Smile fuel oil tank piping

    I realize this is a thread jump but hopefully this is the last on it.

    First of all John, I wouldn't bat an eye having guys like you or Nick inspect my house or my daughter's because I hold you in very high regard.

    As to your letter, I'm pretty sure it references Act 85 the Pa. Boiler Code, which excludes residential up to 4 family units.

    Also, anything else was superceded 9April 2004 when the ICC codes became the Pa. Uniform Construction Code. Within those codes, fuel oil systems are referred directly to NFPA 31.

    Now, I found a 2001 edition of '31 which allowed for copper with soldered joints as long as the solder does not have a melting point less than 1,000F. Well, that was silly because all common solders melt at much lower temps than that. Therefore, in 2006 the same line was amended to read 'brazing' material, which makes more sense. Otherwise, you can use copper if it utilizes a threaded joint. You made a great point though about the prohibition was to take fire conditions into account. That's why oil fired equipment needs a fusible link shutoff such as a Firomatic valve, which closes at 165F.

    Take care my friend,

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    I would point out the dryer pipe and state it should be 26 gauge or moved. I would suggest they contact the professional to do so. I also recommend a self closing, self latching door. It has been said that a hole as small as a 1/4" can burn the house down if a fire happens. Also the house is usually under negative pressure so fumes from the garage will make their way into the house so keeping the two separated as much as possible is a good thing.

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Ernst View Post
    I would point out the dryer pipe and state it should be 26 gauge or moved. I would suggest they contact the professional to do so. I also recommend a self closing, self latching door. It has been said that a hole as small as a 1/4" can burn the house down if a fire happens. Also the house is usually under negative pressure so fumes from the garage will make their way into the house so keeping the two separated as much as possible is a good thing.
    It has been said ??? that if a fire happens a house could burn down with or without holes - - - that if a bullfrog had wings it would not bump it's ass every time it jumped. My reference to positive or negative pressure was incorrect. I meant to point out that the air is being drawn from the house and sent out; not being drawn from the garage into and through the house. No argument on keeping living areas separated from a garage.


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    It has been said ??? that if a fire happens a house could burn down with or without holes - - - that if a bullfrog had wings it would not bump it's ass every time it jumped. My reference to positive or negative pressure was incorrect. I meant to point out that the air is being drawn from the house and sent out; not being drawn from the garage into and through the house. No argument on keeping living areas separated from a garage.
    A car can emit CO for 20 min after the engine has been shut off. CO can and does make it's way inside the home. Some homes more than other. I could use my "Calibrated" manometer to tell how connected the house is to the garage. Here is an interesting article. Carbon Monoxide Hazards from Cars

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    Bob has been drinking the NACHI kool-aid for a long time. Check out his last post; the typical NACHI BS.

    He called Gary out about making things up as he goes, but the NACHI bs he posted made many rules up.


    "While not required by the IRC, it is helpful if there is at least one step leading up to the door from the garage."
    When you don't have a step-up do you recommend they lower the garage or raise the house?

    "Doors should be self-closing."
    Do you call that out as a safety issue? Really????

    "Garage attic door must be constructed such that the 45 minute rating is maintained"
    Can you supply this code source or is that a local issue?

    Bob, don't throw stones if you live in a glass house.
    Hi Mr code Inspector.
    You are in Jersey so I will forgive you.


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Hi Mr code Inspector.
    That's right Bob-

    New Jersey Uniform Construction code.

    ICS Building Inspector 009387
    Building Sub-Code Official 009387
    Construction Code Official 009387

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    What happens after you park your car in the garage? You open a large hole in the wall called a door and let in more gases than could leak around that dryer vent. As long as it meets this code section move on.



    R309.1.1 Duct Penetration

    Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be constructed of a minimum No. 26 gauge (0.48 mm) steel sheet or other approved material, and shall have no openings in the garage.


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    Question Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Ernst View Post
    A car can emit CO for 20 min after the engine has been shut off. CO can and does make it's way inside the home. Some homes more than other. I could use my "Calibrated" manometer to tell how connected the house is to the garage. Here is an interesting article. Carbon Monoxide Hazards from Cars
    Robert, that's an interesting statistic on the 20 min. Can you provide a link or source?

    Also, what model manometer do you use and what do you mean by "Calibrated"?

    Thanks in advance.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Thread pulls me back from email alert however please let me add something here guys.

    Code is minimal and if you are a minimal Inspector go with code only.
    Many buildings built to code are total cr-p so if you are in this to make make Agents happy rather than your actual client please continue doing code inspections.

    Just make sure when before a Judge you explain you are a code inspector and provide proof you are an AHJ.

    Hope everyone here is well versed in every county,state and local code to continue down this path.

    If simple code inspection is good enough why hire us?

    Reality check is we use code as a basis to back up issues in the report but you will be better served to leave code talk out of your report and also inspect for quality/safety as that is what you would do for yourself and your family.

    This is what my clients expect and what I expect for myself.

    Have a good day all and Happy Easter weekend.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Code is minimal and if you are a minimal Inspector go with code only.

    If simple code inspection is good enough why hire us?
    I don't know of, or recall, anyone here who has stated that code is good enough.

    Reality check is we use code as a basis to back up issues in the report but you will be better served to leave code talk out of your report and also inspect for quality/safety as that is what you would do for yourself and your family.
    Only for those who are afraid of code. There is nothing wrong with referring to code as, like you stated above, the code is minimum, the code establishes a 'got to be at least that good' point of reference. And that is not saying, or inferring, that code is good enough for home inspectors. On the other hand, as much as I dislike stating this, code *is* "good enough" ... er ... code is "THE" standard for AHJ inspectors - it is outside their job to inspect for, expect more than, "code" ... and I get sick every time I think of that ... (clean up on aisle 3, someone puked in front of the 'code is the minimum standard' display).

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  28. #28
    Bob Elliott's Avatar
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I don't know of, or recall, anyone here who has stated that code is good enough.



    Only for those who are afraid of code. There is nothing wrong with referring to code as, like you stated above, the code is minimum, the code establishes a 'got to be at least that good' point of reference. And that is not saying, or inferring, that code is good enough for home inspectors. On the other hand, as much as I dislike stating this, code *is* "good enough" ... er ... code is "THE" standard for AHJ inspectors - it is outside their job to inspect for, expect more than, "code" ... and I get sick every time I think of that ... (clean up on aisle 3, someone puked in front of the 'code is the minimum standard' display).
    As a former code Inspector (correct me if wrong) you of course would make the last statement.
    Code Inspectors and bad contractors keep me in business.

    Code is not quality and you may not get or understand this fact.

    I know if buying a home you would never even think of using a Home Inspector according to what you just stated as you would feel the AHJ did the job for free ,right?

    Go talk to the many inspectors working in Chicago where it is estimated up to 70% of all split block residential structures will be torn down even though built to code.

    I think many living in such places would either laugh at you or say you just made a foolish post.

    As I have stated in the past you are a great resource for codes but like many specialists fail to see past your educational level to look at subjects in a holistic fashion.

    There is a big picture and often time we have a situation with a good carpenter and a good plumber thinking the next guy will take care of something which never gets done because there is nobody to over see the job...OK maybe the Developers brother in law.


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    As a former code Inspector (correct me if wrong) you of course would make the last statement.
    Code Inspectors and bad contractors keep me in business.

    Code is not quality and you may not get or understand this fact.
    Apparently ... you either do not read my posts or you are unable to understand my posts.

    Otherwise you would know that I was a home inspector for over 17 years, and that I am NOW a code inspector.

    You would also know that I REPEATEDLY state that:
    - Code is the minimum standard, therefore code is the crappiest one is legally allowed to build something. Sometimes people take offense at the word "crappiest" thinking that it implies "workmanship" and start to point out that code does not address "workmanship" (code does not address workmanship), so I offer to reword that for those people to this: Code is the minimum standard, therefore code is the least safe (most unsafe if you prefer) one is legally allowed to build something.

    "Crappiest" is not so bad of a word is it? Better than "least safe"/"most unsafe".

    I know if buying a home you would never even think of using a Home Inspector according to what you just stated as you would feel the AHJ did the job for free ,right?
    If you did read my posts you would also know that I brought up a very good home inspector to inspect the house we (my wife and I) bought up here in Ormond Beach. AND that we paid him for the inspection and coming up here. You would also know that I do not feel the AHJ inspection replaces a home inspection - that the inspections the two do are completely different.

    I think many living in such places would either laugh at you or say you just made a foolish post.
    I can say one thing for sure: You sure did make a foolish post in that last post of yours.

    You last post shows how little you read or how little you comprehend, and neither is an indication of a positive nature for you.

    You really should know more about your subject when you post - you would not look so foolish then.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Oops busy with paperwork Jerry.
    Sorry about that as I thought you were stating code is enough.

    Not being paid to read all your posts but will bow on this one.

    This is a social forum for me so do not take it personal as you do a good job here as king of this particular forum..I am just passing through.


  31. #31
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    Post Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    FIRE STOPPING DAMPER IN THE WALL PENETRATION WILL SOLVE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS


  32. #32
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Guy,
    Although you will not find this in the IRC because there is very little requrements for fire walls in the IRC (mainly dealing with exterior walls and townhomes) the IMC does not allow any dampers in a clothes dryer exhaust based on that code by reference I would say that dampers would not be allowed.




    504.2 Exhaust penetrations.

    Ducts that exhaust clothes dryers shall not penetrate or be located within any fireblocking, draftstopping or any wall, floor/ceiling or other assembly required by the International Building Code to be fire-resistance rated, unless such duct is constructed of galvanized steel or aluminum of the thickness specified in Section 603.4 and the fire-resistance rating is maintained in accordance with the International Building Code. Fire dampers, combination fire/smoke dampers and any similar devices that will obstruct the exhaust flow, shall be prohibited in clothes dryer exhaust ducts.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through chase next to common wall in codo complex

    Dryer duct is located in a chase next to a wall between units in condominium complex. No fire protection at the wall inside the chase. A fire caused by the duct would pass into the neighboring unit. Exposed black board in this wall would cause toxic fumes. Duct is constructed of flexible metal.

    I have notified the local fire marshal in this issue. Any comments that help me present my case to the fire marshal would be helpful.

    Thank you.

    Dexter Varnell


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through chase next to common wall in codo complex

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Varnell View Post
    Dryer duct is located in a chase next to a wall between units in condominium complex.
    Not quite grasping what you are describing yet.

    The 'chase' you refer to is obviously not a "shaft" for the dryer duct riser to the exhaust fan on the roof (or elsewhere).

    Is the 'chase' fully enclosed?

    Is the 'chase' fully within one single condo unit?

    No fire protection at the wall inside the chase.
    If not a "shaft" then fire protection may not be required.

    A fire caused by the duct would pass into the neighboring unit.
    That is part of what I am not grasping yet - how would this occur?

    Exposed black board in this wall would cause toxic fumes.
    What 'black board', what is it made of, and why do you say it would be toxic?

    Duct is constructed of flexible metal.
    Flexible metal? Or flexible foil?

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  35. #35
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    Smile Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    [quote=Bob Elliott;194599]Below are tips for those not sure about garage concerns ,if anyone disagrees please feel free to tell me about it so we can make changes if needed.

    Building standards require that all ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the firewall be equipped with fire-dampers or constructed of a minimum of No. 26 gauge sheet steel or other approved material and shall have no openings in the garage. This condition compromises the garage firewall system.

    Attached Garage Fire Containment

    An attached garage is a garage that is physically attached to a house. Fires that begin in attached garages are more likely to spread to living areas*than fires that originate in detached garages. For this reason, combined with the multitude of flammable materials commonly found in garages, attached garages should be adequately sealed from living areas. A properly sealed attached garage will ideally restrict the potential spread of fire*long enough*to allow*the occupants time to escape the home or building.

    Why are garages (both attached and detached) fire hazards?
    Oil or gasoline can drip from cars. These fluids may collect unnoticed and eventually ignite.
    Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil and paint, are commonly stored in garages. Some other examples are brake fluid, degreaser, motor oil, varnish, lighter fluid, and fluids containing solvents, such as paint thinner. These chemicals are flammable in their fluid form, and some may create explosive vapors.
    Heaters and boilers, which are frequently installed in garages, create sparks that can ignite fumes or fluids. Car batteries, too, will spark under certain conditions.
    Mechanical or electrical building projects are often undertaken in the garage. Fires can easily start while a careless occupant is welding near flammable materials.
    Doors

    The 2006 edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) states the following concerning doors that separate garages from living areas:

    R309.1 Opening Penetration
    Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and the residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1-3/8” (35 mm) in thickness, solid- or honeycomb-core steel doors not less than 1-3/8” (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.
    In addition, InterNACHI inspectors can check for the following while inspecting doors that separate garages from living areas:

    While not required by the IRC, it is helpful if there is at least one step leading up to the door from the garage. Gasoline fumes and other explosive gases are heavier than air, and they will accumulate at ground level. Their entry beneath a door will be slowed by an elevation increase.
    Doors should have tight seals around their joints to prevent seepage of fumes into the living areas of the house. Carbon monoxide,*with the same approximate density as air (and often warmer than surrounding air), will easily rise above the base of an elevated door and leak through unsealed joints.
    Doors should be self-closing. Many homeowners find these doors inconvenient, but they are safer than doors that can be left ajar. While this requirement is no longer listed in the IRC, it is still a valuable recommendation.
    If doors have windows, the glass should be fire-rated.
    Pet doors should not be installed in fire-rated doors. Pet doors will violate the integrity of a fire barrier.*

    Walls and Ceilings

    The 2006 edition of the IRC states the following concerning garage walls and ceilings:

    ********* R309.2 Separation Required
    The garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than ½-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the garage side. Garages beneath habitable rooms shall be separated from all habitable rooms above by not less than 5/8-inch (15.9 mm) Type X gypsum board or equivalent. Where the separation is a floor-ceiling assembly, the structure supporting the separation shall also be protected by not less than ½-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board or equivalent. Garages located less than 3 feet (914 mm) from a dwelling unit on the same lot shall be protected with not less than 1/2–inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board applied to the interior side of exterior walls that are within this area. Openings in these walls shall be regulated by Section 309.1. This provision does not apply to garage walls that are perpendicular to the adjacent dwelling unit wall.
    In addition, inspectors can check for the following while inspecting walls and ceilings:

    In garages that have access to the attic, a hatch cover made from an approved, fire-rated material should protect this access at all times. Missing or opened covers should be called out, as should covers made from flammable materials, such as thin plywood.*Garage attic door must be constructed such that the 45 minute rating*is maintained; any drywall edges on both the hatch and the surrounding*area exposed to physical damage are protected.*The cover or door is installed so that it is permanent (non removable)*with hardware to maintain it in a closed position with latching*hardware to maintain it in a closed position. This could be*accomplished by the use of spring loaded hinges, door closer, or*hardware that will not allow it to be left in an open position when not in*use. A single bolt type or hook and eye hardware does not provide a*positive closure since these would allow the door to be left open.*Likewise drywall screws are "fasteners" and not hardware so they*cannot be used as the only means of keeping access doors closed.
    The living space is separated from the garage by a firewall that extends from the floor to the roof. If the ceiling material is fire-rated, the firewall can terminate at the ceiling.
    Drywall joints*shall be taped or sealed.*Joints shall be fitted so that the gap is no more than 1/20-inch*with joints backed by either solid wood or another layer of drywall*such that the joints are staggered.*

    Ducts

    The 2006 edition of the IRC states the following concerning ducts that penetrate garage walls*and ceilings:

    R309.1.1 Duct Penetration

    Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be constructed of a minimum No. 26 gauge (0.48 mm) steel sheet or other approved material, and shall have no openings in the garage.

    Dryer exhaust ducts that penetrate garage walls are serious fire hazards. These ducts are generally made from plastic and will easily melt during a fire, creating a large breach in the firewall.

    Floors

    The 2006 edition of the IRC states the following concerning floors in garages:

    ********* R309.3 Floor Surface
    Garage floor surfaces shall be of approved, non-combustible material. The area of the floor used for parking of automobiles or other vehicles shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids to a drain or toward the main vehicle entry doorway.
    Inspectors should also check for the following:

    A curb is present along the perimeter of the garage floor. This curb is designed to prevent fluids from entering the living areas of the house. Curbs are often useful barriers for melted snow carried into the garage by automobiles, but curbs can also keep chemical spills contained in the garage.
    Water heaters should be elevated above the floor by at least 18 inches. A pilot light may ignite spilled fluid or floor-level flammable fumes if the water heater is placed at floor level.

    Concerning items placed on the floor, inspectors should check for the following:

    All flammable liquids are stored in clearly labeled, self-closing containers, and in small amounts. They should be stored away from heaters, appliances, pilot lights and other sources of heat*and flame.
    Propane tanks should never be stored indoors. If they catch fire, a serious explosion may result. Propane tanks are sturdy enough to be stored outdoors.
    The floor should be clear of clutter. Loose papers, matches, oily rags, and other flammable items are dangerous if they are strewn about the garage floor.

    General safety tips that inspectors can pass onto their clients:
    Use light bulbs with the proper wattage.
    Do not overload electrical outlets.
    Tape down all cords and wires so they are not twisted or accidentally yanked.

    In summary, attached garages should be sealed off from the living space so that fire may be contained.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Horizontal chase located over the laundry closet and kitchen cabinets. Flexible corrugated metal duct extends horizontally from the dryer closet over the kitchen cabinets to an outside wall at the rear patio. Chase is located on one unit directly adjacent to a common wall between units.

    No sheetrock and therefore no fire protection at the interior of the case. Common wall is not continuous at the interior of the chase. No way that firerock could be installed at this wall. A fire caused by lint in the duct could easily spread thoughout the entire complex.

    Blackboard is an asphalt impregnated board designed for exterior wall sheathing only. Commonly used in the 1950's.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Varnell View Post
    Horizontal chase located over the laundry closet and kitchen cabinets. Flexible corrugated metal duct extends horizontally from the dryer closet over the kitchen cabinets to an outside wall at the rear patio. Chase is located on one unit directly adjacent to a common wall between units.
    Okay, now for some additional questions:
    - If you can see the flexible corrugated aluminum dryer duct, then it is not encased in a chase, correct? It is just above the cabinets and behind ... what?
    - That black asphalt impregnated fibrous board is that Homosote-type sheathing crapola, right? And that stuff is being used as separation between the two units? That is not good.
    - The dryer vent ducts (there should be two of them) are one for each adjacent unit, correct?
    - That flexible aluminum dryer duct material adds *a lot* to the effective length of the dryer duct run versus rigid metal dryer duct, and it is even questionable if that material is acceptable for use for the dryer duct as the code states: "504.6 Domestic clothes dryer ducts. Exhaust ducts for domestic clothes dryers shall be constructed of metal and shall have a smooth interior finish."
    - If there are two ducts, one for each unit, then they *should be* in a fire-resistance rated chase (probably 2 hours, maybe only 1 hour) and the ducts *should be* "Ducts that exhaust clothes dryers shall not penetrate or be located within any fireblocking, draftstopping or any wall, floor/ceiling or other assembly required by the International Building Code to be fire-resistance rated, unless such duct is constructed of galvanized steel or aluminum of the thickness specified in Section 603.4 and the fire-resistance rating is maintained in accordance with the International Building Code."

    No sheetrock and therefore no fire protection at the interior of the case. Common wall is not continuous at the interior of the chase.
    Still not quite understanding that part. If there is no drywall, there is no chase. If the common wall is covered with that asphalt impregnated sheathing material, that is not good.

    Regardless of the last part which I am still not quite visualizing, if I am correct on the other items, it is wrong anyway.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  38. #38
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Jerry:

    Dryer is located in a closet with bi-fold doors. Closet is located next to the common wall between condo units. Closet has a drop-down ceiling. Floor joists are parallel to the wall. Duct extends up through the drop down ceiling and makes a 90 degree bend. It extends across the ceiling cavity in the closet and through a furr down located above the kitchen cabinets. Horizontal measurement of the duct is approximately 20 feet.

    Duct runs parallel to the floor joists. Wood joists are the only separation between the units. Blackboard is located between double fire rated walls at the lower level.

    There is only one wall at the upper level. Wall therefore is not and cannot be made continuous as required by code.

    I appreciate your information on dryer ducts. That is an angle that I had not thought of.

    Dexter


  39. #39
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Garry what is this fascination with (certifyably calibrated micrometer)?

    Look at the picture and use simple common sense.(read the label)
    Please look at the nails and tell me that appears sealed.

    Not trying to give you a beat down but you seem to take safety of the inhabitants lightly.

    If I was there I would know more about the situation and make it my job to err on the side of safety.
    My reports are for clients/not Agents.

    Despite finding out today a listing Agent stole my report and uses it to pre certify homes but that is another story.

    I install dryer ducts for a living and I do follow the IRC. As a matter of fact I follow the 2009 IRC. The elbow should have been taped with aluminum tapearound the joints. I would have used screw inserts into the drywall then screws to hold the metal plate it in place. Then sealed the lip of the metal plate adjoining the elbow with aluminum tape. I would have not used those straps as shown. Just a personal issue there. I would have used hose clamps instead. Just looks cleaner. Please look at the 2009 IRC. Some items have changed. Including what the thickness of the stove pipe to be used. I use Aluminum by deflect-o. Now here is the kicker, The 2012 IRC that will be out soon will not allow bird guards over the dryer vent cover because it acts like a screen and will prevent the lint from exiting the cover. BTW please follow the current IMC also for dryer exhausts as the IRC~ and the IMC go hand in hand. I would give that dryer exhaust a yellow--needs attention.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Varnell View Post
    Dryer is located in a closet with bi-fold doors. Closet is located next to the common wall between condo units. Closet has a drop-down ceiling. Floor joists are parallel to the wall. Duct extends up through the drop down ceiling and makes a 90 degree bend. It extends across the ceiling cavity in the closet and through a furr down located above the kitchen cabinets. Horizontal measurement of the duct is approximately 20 feet.

    Duct runs parallel to the floor joists. Wood joists are the only separation between the units. Blackboard is located between double fire rated walls at the lower level.
    Dexter,

    More than the dryer ducts in that space is the fact that the space itself does not meet fire-separation requirements (the 'space' meaning from the drop-down ceiling to the floor above, including the floor joists and that common wall).

    It is possible (even "likely") that there was no requirements for fire-resistance separations back in the 1950s when that was constructed - regardless - yes, regardless of whether or not there were any requirements for it back then, the codes recognize the safety aspect of fire separation now and that the lack of fire separation is a definite fire risk for the entire structure.

    Also, being as those are condos, the ceiling could have been (if designed and installed properly) the fire separation between units as it could have been a fire-resistance rated floor-ceiling system (doubtful, but possible), in which case you should not/would not have been able to see into the floor system above.

    Now, the dryer duct simply adds another dimension to all that is not-right with that construction.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  41. #41
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    Cool flexible transition duct for dryers

    Flexible transition duct must be listed to UL 2158a. It is allowed to connect the dryer to the exhaust duct system. Flex is therefore NOT approved elsewhere in the duct system or in concealed spaces.

    It would be helpful to know the flame spread rating of that old black board. If it is greater than 50 I would think it would need to be protected.

    Funny thing about flex transition ducts: there is no way to make a male-downstream connection yet the code requires this joint. Therefore, unless a mfr. comes up with a listed duct with a factory male joint, you could make a case they are not legal.

    One substitute transition duct might be smoothwall stainless steel flex. It should exceed the performance of aluminum slinkies but you would technically have to get your AHJ to sign off on it. One thing I like about it is it is hard to crush, unlike ALL aluminum slinkies. If there is ever a fire, it will likely contain it.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  42. #42
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Dryer closet had a fire rock drop ceiling that the homeowner had removed. This exposed the defective construction that had been hidden.

    The original intent appears to have been that the fire barrier (fire rock) went around the outside of the drop ceiling and the chase over the kitchen cabinets. This ignored fire hazards (wiring and dryer duct) located inside of the enclosure.

    Thank you all for your input.

    Dexter


  43. #43
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Varnell View Post
    Dryer closet had a fire rock drop ceiling that the homeowner had removed.
    Ahh ... now I understand better.

    This exposed the defective construction that had been hidden.
    That construction may not be defective - it depends on what was allowed by code at the time of construction.

    Keep in mind that the homeowner VIOLATED THE SEPARATION and removed part of the common structure which the homeowner does not own and is not allowed to touch.

    THE HOMEOWNER is not legally liable for the work without a permit AND putting the separation back into the condition it was before they violated it.

    The original intent appears to have been that the fire barrier (fire rock) went around the outside of the drop ceiling and the chase over the kitchen cabinets. This ignored fire hazards (wiring and dryer duct) located inside of the enclosure.
    Not necessarily, and not necessarily at the time of construction.

    What the homeowner did, though, was to destroy the separation, and from the date they did that until the day they correct that ... THEY (the home owner) is liable for any damages caused by the spread of fire through the separation that they removed.

    Sounds to me like the homeowner needs to work with the building department to get a permit for their unpermitted work, and a permit to to restore the separation.

    Dexter, when doing condos you need to keep in mind that the structure is *one* common structure, that there are no fire walls or fire partitions within the *one* common structure (except for enclosed stairways, etc.), and that the separation between condo units is, at most, typically 1/2 hour rated.

    Now, the question is, if it is 1/2 hour rated, how is a 1/2 hour rated wall constructed? *IF* it is a 1/2 rated separation (that may not have been required 'back then'), then the 1/2 hour rated wall is constructed the same as a 1 hour rated wall. The difference, then, is in what the wall is called - the wall is called a 1/2 hour rated wall because doors and other openings through a 1 hour rated wall are more restrictive than doors and other openings through a 1/2 rated wall). I.e., a 1 hour rated wall may require a 45 minute or 60 minute rated door whereas a 1/2 hour rated wall only requires a 20 minute rated door. Fire dampers are less too.

    Keep in mind that, in a condo, the owner can only touch and work with what they own, which is typically "paint to paint", note that there may be some interior partitions which they own and can take down - depending on how the structure was constructed. From your description, the interior partitions may well be such that the owner does not own them and that the owner only owns "paint to paint".

    Sounds to me like the owner opened a can of worms ... then did not go fishing, but instead left that can of worms there to fester.

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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Dexter,

    A light finally went off in my head ... ... I think that what you have is the typical condo with the gypsum board on the walls and the ceiling serving as the required separation (the condo structure is, after all, one common structure, see my previous post) and the black board is nothing more than acoustical insulation between units to reduce the transmission of sound from one unit to the adjoining unit.

    In which case the only thing that is wrong is what the owner did - removing the gypsum board separation ceiling.

    And that the only repair needed is that the owner needs to address (see my previous post) the repair and installation of the proper gypsum board ceiling so the separation is back to its original construction.

    The black board (acoustical insulation) is there for a purpose and remains in place. Unless you want to get involved with finding out what the acoustical insulation material is, what the flame spread and smoke developed ratings are, I would leave that to others, but I do suspect that it is nothing more than acoustical insulation.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 04-08-2012 at 10:20 AM. Reason: speelin' - speeled 'acoustical' wong :-)
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  45. #45
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    There are a lot more things which come into play also, such as the wall stud cavities are to be firestopped at the ceiling level, which means that there should have been firestopping or a top plate on the stud wall at the ceiling level, which means that the acoustical insulation would need to be cut at the top plate and be in the wall stud cavity, then more acoustical insulation would need to be installed above the top plate so that it restricts the transmission of airborne noise through the open floor system; then there is draftstopping in that floor system.

    Those are just for starters, there are likely other items and aspects to this which we do not know about either.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  46. #46
    Dexter Varnell's Avatar
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Jerry:

    The purpose of fire walls as I understand it is to prevent the spread of fire between properties belonging to separate owners.

    This condo building consists of adjoining two story attached townhouse units. These adjoining units belong to separate owners. A fire wall should therefore be required between these town house units.

    Walls between the units are owned by the association and therefore could be considered common areas.

    I agree with you about the liability of the owner removing his fire rock ceiling.

    Thank you for your comments.

    Dexter


  47. #47
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Varnell View Post
    The purpose of fire walls as I understand it is to prevent the spread of fire between properties belonging to separate owners.
    That is the purpose for townhouses and attached two-family dwellings as each townhouse is its own structure and each is to be independent (should be able to stand and remain if the adjacent townhouse burns down) from the other townhouses.

    This condo building consists of adjoining two story attached townhouse units. These adjoining units belong to separate owners. A fire wall should therefore be required between these town house units.
    You have included two separate structure types in one statement, I will address them separately:
    - The condo structure is a single common structure with all the condo units.
    - The townhouse structures are separate (but attached) structures and need to be separated from each other by fire walls and the like so that each structure is not dependent on an adjacent structure for support.
    - The wall between the condo structure and the adjacent townhouse also needs to be a fire wall and needs to allow the condo structure to be independent of any townhouse structure.
    - The individual condos, on the other hand, are not structural at all, they are simply "spaces" within the common condo structure, and each "space" has separation from each other "space", and also has separation from an enclosed common "corridor" and/or enclosed "stairway" - those two common elements (the corridor and the stairway) need to be separated from the "spaces" for egress purposes.

    Walls between the units are owned by the association and therefore could be considered common areas.
    Correct for the walls and floor/ceiling systems (and ceiling/attic-roof system) between the condo units, not for the walls between the condo and adjacent townhouse or between two townhouses.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  48. #48
    Rich Sumen's Avatar
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    WOW!,
    You guys have too much free time!
    Potentially unsafe, is potentially unsafe!
    Document it and MOVE ON


  49. #49
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Jerry:

    In this case, the townhouse units are the condo units. Fire walls are required between these units to prevent the spread of fire and to prevent fire in one unit from causing structural collapse in the adjoining unit.

    A fire wall must have the following attributes as I understand it.
    1. Wall must be continuous from the bottom to the top of the structure.
    2. Wall design must be tested and must meet requirements of Underwriter Laboratories (UL) in order to be approved by the building codes.
    This wall meets neither of these attributes.

    How then can this wall be considered acceptable?

    Dexter


  50. #50
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Varnell View Post
    In this case, the townhouse units are the condo units.
    So the "townhouse" units are *not* "townhouse" units, they are simply two story condos - correct?

    "Townhouses" as specific types structures and are not to be confused with condos (condos are simply apartments which are sold and the owners form an association which owns the common structure, versus apartments where the structure is own by one individual, partnership, company, etc., and are then rented out on a long term basis - yes, I realize that is an oversimplification of condos and apartments). The point is, "townhouses" are not condos, but a condo could be constructed similar to a townhouse, albeit that the condo would not be a townhouse, but a condo.

    Fire walls are required between these units to prevent the spread of fire and to prevent fire in one unit from causing structural collapse in the adjoining unit.
    Not if they are condos.

    A fire wall must have the following attributes as I understand it.
    1. Wall must be continuous from the bottom to the top of the structure.
    2. Wall design must be tested and must meet requirements of Underwriter Laboratories (UL) in order to be approved by the building codes.
    This wall meets neither of these attributes.

    How then can this wall be considered acceptable?
    Because you are calling them "townhouses" and they are not, they are "condos" and condos go by a different set of rules.

    This is what you need to figure out to know if the units are "townhouses" or "condos": The "townhouse" structures, are they owned by the condo association? If so, they may well be condos. Are the "townhouse" structures setting on their own piece of land, owned by the owners of the townhouses? if so, then they are very likely townhouses.

    A "townhouse" is a separate structure on its own piece of earth.

    A two story condo is a common structure in which there are two story condos, and each "condo" is basically owned "paint-to-paint" and the owners do not own the structure individually, they own 'a share' of the common structure by being members of the association which owns the common structure.

    A "townhouse" is constructed under the IRC, a "condo" is constructed under the IBC (or whatever Residential and Building codes are adopted there).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  51. #51
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Jerry:

    I will find out.

    Thank you for your help.

    Dexter


  52. #52
    Bob Harper's Avatar
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    Default townhomes

    A townhome has an attached front and back yard.
    HTH

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  53. #53
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Jerry:

    Complex building consists of attached two story individually owned units that open to the exterior. Individual units have a patio and garage at the rear and a yard at the front.

    Homeowner deed states that he owns 1/64th of the entire development. Lot and the unit were appraised separately. The appraised value is the sum of the lot and the unit.

    Bylaws state that the association owns the foundation slab. Association maintains the exterior of the buildings.

    It appears that this unit would be classified as a townhouse.

    What is your opinion.

    Thank you.

    Dexter Varnell


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Varnell View Post
    Bylaws state that the association owns the foundation slab.
    Everything else points to it being a townhouse, but that part indicates that it is really just another part of the condo.

    With the townhouse, the owner would own the ground below the house, the slab, and the structure on the slab, all the way to the blue sky above.

    Being a condo, or some half-breed between them, but still ending up being a condo where the structure, or at least part of the structure, is owned by the association indicate "condo" and that the firewalls are not required.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  55. #55
    Dexter Varnell's Avatar
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Jerry:

    Thanks for the info.

    Would fire walls be required between units if it were an apartment building?

    Dexter


  56. #56
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by paul hardy View Post
    Guy,
    Although you will not find this in the IRC because there is very little requrements for fire walls in the IRC (mainly dealing with exterior walls and townhomes) the IMC does not allow any dampers in a clothes dryer exhaust based on that code by reference I would say that dampers would not be allowed.




    504.2 Exhaust penetrations.

    Ducts that exhaust clothes dryers shall not penetrate or be located within any fireblocking, draftstopping or any wall, floor/ceiling or other assembly required by the International Building Code to be fire-resistance rated, unless such duct is constructed of galvanized steel or aluminum of the thickness specified in Section 603.4 and the fire-resistance rating is maintained in accordance with the International Building Code. Fire dampers, combination fire/smoke dampers and any similar devices that will obstruct the exhaust flow, shall be prohibited in clothes dryer exhaust ducts.



    i agree, damper are not allowed for dryer cloth, i had in mind exhaust fan, sorry


  57. #57
    Dexter Varnell's Avatar
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Guy:

    Is the IMC the International Mechanical Code or the International Maintenance Code?

    Are dryer ducts or exhaust ducts or both prohibited.

    Appreciate your input.

    Dexter


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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Varnell View Post
    Guy:

    Is the IMC the International Mechanical Code or the International Maintenance Code?

    Are dryer ducts or exhaust ducts or both prohibited.

    Appreciate your input.

    Dexter
    Hi Dexter,

    Based on the ICC published codes,
    The IMC is the International Mechanical Code.
    The IPMC is the International Property Maintenance Code

    Dryer ducts or exhaust ducts cannot vent into the garage but the duct can pass through the garage on its way to vent to the exterior of the home.


    Sincerely,

    Corey


  59. #59
    Dexter Varnell's Avatar
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Two story attached units were constructed in phases and look similar.

    Fire walls in initial phases are in conformance with the building code. Fire walls in later phases are not in conformance with the building code.

    The only difference is a clever change of wording in the association bylaws of the later phases. Association owns the foundation slab in later phases.

    Units in initial phases are considered to be townhouses and must have fire walls. Units in later phases are considered to be condos and do not have to have fire walls.

    What a travesty

    Comments would be appreciated.

    Dexter


  60. #60
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Ducts

    The 2006 edition of the IRC states the following concerning ducts that penetrate garage walls*and ceilings:

    R309.1.1 Duct Penetration

    Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be constructed of a minimum No. 26 gauge (0.48 mm) steel sheet or other approved material, and shall have no openings in the garage.

    Dryer exhaust ducts that penetrate garage walls are serious fire hazards. These ducts are generally made from plastic and will easily melt during a fire, creating a large breach in the firewall.

    My question would be if the dryer duct is of approved material?
    I disagree. Plastic is not an acceptable material for a dryer vent due to static electricity+lint=fire hazard. If you are using a flexible vent anywhere other than from the dryer, to the connection to rigid at floor or wall, I would change it. Especially get rid of any plastic dryer vent pipe.


  61. #61
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Lots of comments here. I will say I respect the lot of all of you but it is as simple as the gauge size (you don't know). Whether it has a damper or not (I am sure you know but what is inside that wall?). It is also as simple as that exit point from the home does not appear to be sealed properly.

    Write it up as in need of repair. I can almost guarantee that it is not 26 or thicker. tapping or pushing on it as bob said will tell all.

    If some of you add all that as in lengthy lists of codes and articles for the buyer to read and research the hell out of every single item then you must spend days in every home you inspect along with the 100 page report (no offence JP).

    You folks are home inspectors. SOPs are the basis of which we inspect. Don't be afraid or alarmed at writing stuff up. Write it as your family member is buying it and befriend every client.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
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  62. #62
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Varnell View Post
    Jerry:

    Thanks for the info.

    Would fire walls be required between units if it were an apartment building?

    Dexter
    No.

    However, if the corridor and stairway are enclosed then they become the exit access, exit, and exit discharge at the bottom of the stairway, and then they would need to have a fire-resistance rating. The enclosed corridor would likely need to be a minimum 1/2 hour rated, possibly 1 hour rated; the enclosed stair would likely need to be 2 hour rated.

    The walls between the units would be constructed as a 1 hour rated wall but would be 1/2 hour rated.

    The walls between the units and the corridor would be 1/2 hour rated (most likely), but there is no design for a 1/2 hour rated wall, so a 1/2 hour rated wall is constructed the same as a 1 hour rated wall.

    The difference is in the doors - if a wall is constructed as a 1 hour rated and required to be a 1 hour rated wall, then the door would likely need to be 45 minute doors -however, if that same wall only needed to be a 1/2 rated, then a 20 minute door is all that is needed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  63. #63
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by John Benson View Post
    I disagree. Plastic is not an acceptable material for a dryer vent due to static electricity+lint=fire hazard.
    Plastic vent is not allowed, but not because of the static which will build up, plastic is not allowed because the plastic will melt in a dryer fire or dryer duct fire and the metal will not (not the galvanized steel, aluminum will melt at a lower temperature than the steel, but at a much higher temperature than the plastic).

    If you are using a flexible vent anywhere other than from the dryer, to the connection to rigid at floor or wall, I would change it. Especially get rid of any plastic dryer vent pipe.
    Even if using the plastic from the dryer to the wall - not allowed - needs to be changed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  64. #64
    Bob Harper's Avatar
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    Cool Re: dryer flex ducts

    Flex ducts are referred to as "transition ducts" in the code. They transition from the appliance to the main exhaust duct system. They must be listed to UL 2158a. They are NOT approved for use further down the line. One end of a flexible transition duct must be attached directly to the dyer or it is illegal-period.

    Still waiting for someone to tell me how to make a male-downstream connection with slinkies....... I still don't see how these ducts are technically legal.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  65. #65
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    Default Re: dryer duct passes through garage

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Plastic vent is not allowed, but not because of the static which will build up, plastic is not allowed because the plastic will melt in a dryer fire or dryer duct fire and the metal will not (not the galvanized steel, aluminum will melt at a lower temperature than the steel, but at a much higher temperature than the plastic).



    Even if using the plastic from the dryer to the wall - not allowed - needs to be changed.
    I hear ya. I think we are both right. However, the pipe is only going to be as fire resistant as its most flammable part of the vent assembly. (Which would be the (UL listed) flex vent (approved for temps up to 265 def F) from the dryer to the connection at the rigid pipe.) If there is a fire in the pipe it is going to burn through the flex. The pipe is not going to contain anything in the case of a fire. Also sch 40 PVC is generally tested for temps up to 212 deg F, (another reason not to use for a dryer vent.)


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