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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    WA
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    1

    Default Location of Gas Valve for a Fireplace insert

    I've installed a fireplace insert and placed a gas shut off on the gas line going into the firebox. From there I've run gas flex line to the flared-end in the stove. Obviously the shut-off is within 6ft, and the fireplace itself weighs almost nothing and pulls out easily. Its as accessible as a cook-top stove, and I've never heard of a requirement for cook tops to have a key-shutoff located for immediate access.

    I was failed because the inspector is demanding I add another shut-off valve inside the stove. Also, slightly unrelated to valve location but same job, but I was also failed on not installing CO2 Detectors in both the basement and the main floor. From my understand of WA state code, the resident is responsible for detectors?

    In any case, am I mistaken and I'm completely wrong? The inspector refuses to pass me unless I do these things and the customer doesn't want to pay for the detectors OR the extra valve.

    I need guidance.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    27,366

    Default Re: Location of Gas Valve for a Fireplace insert

    Quote Originally Posted by Nate L View Post
    I've installed a fireplace insert and placed a gas shut off on the gas line going into the firebox. From there I've run gas flex line to the flared-end in the stove. Obviously the shut-off is within 6ft, and the fireplace itself weighs almost nothing and pulls out easily. Its as accessible as a cook-top stove, and I've never heard of a requirement for cook tops to have a key-shutoff located for immediate access.

    I was failed because the inspector is demanding I add another shut-off valve inside the stove.
    Yes, different rules apply to different appliances (to some extent) - while I do not know the WA code, the service shut off valve, which is what that is, for the gas fireplace is likely allowed to be located in even another room (the 6 foot does not apply to gas fireplace in the IFGC), however, and with that said, the cost to install another valve at another location will likely be the same, or greater, than to install another valve which is accessible without moving the gas fireplace to access the service shut off valve ... so you might as well 'keep the inspector happy' and add that valve where the inspector would like to see it (which would also be allowed by the IFGC).

    The other issue is less complicated ... but likely has a similar ending (for you).

    Also, slightly unrelated to valve location but same job, but I was also failed on not installing CO2 Detectors in both the basement and the main floor. From my understand of WA state code, the resident is responsible for detectors?

    The inspector refuses to pass me unless I do these things and the customer doesn't want to pay for the detectors OR the extra valve.
    Again, I don't know the wording of the WA code, but ... even if the code states that the occupant is responsible for the detectors (which I doubt, but does not really matter), the 'need' for the detectors was created by the gas fireplace you installed ... and, regardless of who "is responsible" for the detectors, as the contractor, you should know the requirements of the code and have had that addressed in your contract/installation order for the gas fireplace, because ... ultimately ... you pulled the permit and the permit is not going to get signed off and approved until ... "someone" ... installs the detectors ... and you will likely not get paid for the job until the job is completed, which likely depends on an approved and signed off final inspection.

    I am sure that is not the answer you were looking for, but I am also sure that you may have suspected that would be the answer.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Asotin, WA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Location of Gas Valve for a Fireplace insert

    Quote Originally Posted by Nate L View Post
    I've installed a fireplace insert and placed a gas shut off on the gas line going into the firebox. From there I've run gas flex line to the flared-end in the stove. Obviously the shut-off is within 6ft, and the fireplace itself weighs almost nothing and pulls out easily. Its as accessible as a cook-top stove, and I've never heard of a requirement for cook tops to have a key-shutoff located for immediate access.

    I was failed because the inspector is demanding I add another shut-off valve inside the stove. Also, slightly unrelated to valve location but same job, but I was also failed on not installing CO2 Detectors in both the basement and the main floor. From my understand of WA state code, the resident is responsible for detectors?

    In any case, am I mistaken and I'm completely wrong? The inspector refuses to pass me unless I do these things and the customer doesn't want to pay for the detectors OR the extra valve.

    I need guidance.
    Nate, Washington law does require the seller of a property to install carbon monoxide detectors in all existing homes when ownership is transferred. This includes homes that do not have any combustion devices. See RCW 19.27.530


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Location of Gas Valve for a Fireplace insert

    A couple things for Nate and one for Jerry. First a fireplace insert, no matter the weight or how easily moveable is generally considered a fixed appliance. A gas range or dryer is considered moveable. The difference comes as most people won't know it can be easily moved and could be easily modified to be immovable. Actually the IFGC does state, sec. 409.5.1 and 409.5.2 states 2 scenarios. First a shut off shall be in the same room and within 6' of the appliance, and a fireplace with the shut off in the fire box shall be installed in accordance to the manufactures specifications. Second decorative room heaters and fireplaces can have a remote shut off, permanently identified, serving no other appliance AND within 6' of said appliance. And they have to be readily accessible. Actually I'm surprised the inspector didn't ding you if you have anything other than hard-pipe going through the cabinet of the fireplace, it sounds from your post you have a flex connector or CSST going through the cabinet. If that's the case (I would) you should have 2 valves, the first upstream where the line comes into the original fireplace. Then your flexible line to the hard-pipe into the unit and then one to meet code (and inspector) in the firebox. Seems like overkill but the first place you'll get a leak is on the flex lines.
    An aside, we are seeing a ton of newer style fireplaces with what I call zero clearance or with hidden access panels. Because these don't meet the readily accessible part of code our local jurisdictions are requiring an external valve such as the old key type wall mounted valves.
    I can't speak to the detector issue other than our code also states the homeowner or landlord is the responsible party. If that's the case ask him to show you the code.
    Hope that sheds a little light on this.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    27,366

    Default Re: Location of Gas Valve for a Fireplace insert

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Niemi View Post
    Actually the IFGC does state, sec. 409.5.1 and 409.5.2 states 2 scenarios. First a shut off shall be in the same room and within 6' of the appliance, and a fireplace with the shut off in the fire box shall be installed in accordance to the manufactures specifications. Second decorative room heaters and fireplaces can have a remote shut off, permanently identified, serving no other appliance AND within 6' of said appliance. And they have to be readily accessible. Actually I'm surprised the inspector didn't ding you if you have anything other than hard-pipe going through the cabinet of the fireplace, it sounds from your post you have a flex connector or CSST going through the cabinet.
    One thing for Mark:

    From the IRC (this question is about a residence, presumably under the IRC, not the IFGC, which likely says the same thing for dwellings, I didn't look it up to verify if it does or not*).

    (bold and underlining are mine)

    G2420.5 (409.5) Appliance shutoff valve.
    - Each appliance shall be provided with a shutoff valve in accordance with Section G2420.5.1, G2420.5.2 or G2420.5.3.

    That is an "or", not an "and"



    G2420.5.1 (409.5.1) Located within same room.
    - The shutoff valve shall be located in the same room as the appliance. The shutoff valve shall be within 6 feet (1829 mm) of the appliance, and shall be installed upstream of the union, connector or quick disconnect device it serves. Such shutoff valves shall be provided with access. Shutoff valves serving movable appliances, such as cooking appliances and clothes dryers, shall be considered to be provided with access where installed behind such appliances. Appliance shutoff valves located in the firebox of a fireplace shall be installed in accordance with the appliance manufacturer?s instructions.


    G2420.5.2 (409.5.2*) Vented decorative appliances and room heaters.
    - Shutoff valves for vented decorative appliances, room heaters and decorative appliances for installation in vented fireplaces shall be permitted to be installed in an area remote from the appliances where such valves are provided with ready access. Such valves shall be permanently identified and shall not serve another appliance. The piping from the shutoff valve to within 6 feet (1829 mm) of the appliance shall be designed, sized and installed in accordance with Sections G2412 through G2419.

    "The piping ... within 6 feet ... " ... NOT "the valve" within 6 feet. "The valve" is permitted to be installed "remote from the appliance" in G2420.5.2 (409.5.2*).

    *That "(409.5.2)" is the IFGC section number which IRC G2420.5.2 matches, which tells me, without looking it up, that IFGC 409.5.2 ... says the same thing ... just for the record, in case you did not know what those numbers in () indicates.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Location of Gas Valve for a Fireplace insert

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    One thing for Mark:

    From the IRC (this question is about a residence, presumably under the IRC, not the IFGC, which likely says the same thing for dwellings, I didn't look it up to verify if it does or not*).

    (bold and underlining are mine)

    G2420.5 (409.5) Appliance shutoff valve.
    - Each appliance shall be provided with a shutoff valve in accordance with Section G2420.5.1, G2420.5.2 or G2420.5.3.

    That is an "or", not an "and"



    G2420.5.1 (409.5.1) Located within same room.
    - The shutoff valve shall be located in the same room as the appliance. The shutoff valve shall be within 6 feet (1829 mm) of the appliance, and shall be installed upstream of the union, connector or quick disconnect device it serves. Such shutoff valves shall be provided with access. Shutoff valves serving movable appliances, such as cooking appliances and clothes dryers, shall be considered to be provided with access where installed behind such appliances. Appliance shutoff valves located in the firebox of a fireplace shall be installed in accordance with the appliance manufacturer?s instructions.


    G2420.5.2 (409.5.2*) Vented decorative appliances and room heaters.
    - Shutoff valves for vented decorative appliances, room heaters and decorative appliances for installation in vented fireplaces shall be permitted to be installed in an area remote from the appliances where such valves are provided with ready access. Such valves shall be permanently identified and shall not serve another appliance. The piping from the shutoff valve to within 6 feet (1829 mm) of the appliance shall be designed, sized and installed in accordance with Sections G2412 through G2419.

    "The piping ... within 6 feet ... " ... NOT "the valve" within 6 feet. "The valve" is permitted to be installed "remote from the appliance" in G2420.5.2 (409.5.2*).

    *That "(409.5.2)" is the IFGC section number which IRC G2420.5.2 matches, which tells me, without looking it up, that IFGC 409.5.2 ... says the same thing ... just for the record, in case you did not know what those numbers in () indicates.
    Not arguing the codes as many overlap and say 2 things at once. Falling back on common sense, we don't set a gas meter and do the final gas turn on if the gas valve isn't in the same room and within 6'. We use the IFGC as our final authority not the residential code. Being the gas utility we can go above the code and in a couple instances do. Unfortunately in residential we've had to go to the lowest common denominator to save the general public from themselves.
    I have seen and know of several installations that have remote valving, typically these are more in the commercial and industrial realm.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    27,366

    Default Re: Location of Gas Valve for a Fireplace insert

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Niemi View Post
    We use the IFGC as our final authority not the residential code.
    That section is also from the IFGC, as shown by the section number in the "( )".

    Let's do it this way: post the code you are referring to so we can read it.

    Reading the codes does not always end up with the codes saying what we thought the codes said, sometimes it is quite the opposite. Happens to all of us, myself included - we start out reading the codes as we were taught, then revise that understanding as we are re-taught otherwise, then realize that the wording of the code doesn't actually say what we thought it said.

    Humans have a tendency to read what they want into what they are reading - codes are not only 'not an exception' to this, codes are a perfect example of this.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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