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  1. #1
    phil kaznowski's Avatar
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    Default Breach in Firewall

    Would a stand pipe for a clothes washer in a garage qualifiy as a breach in the firewall? For those of you from Calif., where in the building code would one find the requirements for a firewall in a townhome or condo vs. a single family residence?

    Thank you,

    Phil K.
    Clio, CA

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    That question first needs a question for clarification, and that clarification leads to the answer to the original question:

    - Does California require a true fire-resistance rated wall between the garage and the living space?

    - - If yes, then any penetration through it would require a proper firestopping device, which would be different for different types of penetrations.

    - - If no, then it does not matter as the wall is a separation wall and not a fire wall, thus it would only need to be sealed around where the pipe penetrates through the wall.

    Possibly WC Jerry can clarify the requirement for a separation wall or fire wall.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    Our 2007 California Building Code has extensive sections on fire wall, fire protection under; Penetrations 712, Through Penetrations 712.4.1.1 and Fire Partitions 712.4.1.2 and 708, (be sure and see the errata)

    The good news is that the new CBC 2010 published around July 1 of this year and required to be adopted by all jurisdictions 180 days after publication (Jan. 1, 2011) will mirror most of the 2009 IBC – and IRC. If you’re a California Home Inspector and if you don’t have a 2007 CBC in your code library then it follows you’re not a very serious home inspector. Unlike EC Jerry, who is far more generous with his time than I am I will not spend the time and effort to post our state’s building codes word for word.…...

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  4. #4
    phil kaznowski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    Thanks for the info. and will look at those articles.


  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    If you’re a California Home Inspector and if you don’t have a 2007 CBC in your code library then it follows you’re not a very serious home inspector.
    JM: And that applies to any inspector in the nation who does not have copies of the IRC, NEC, and whatever local standards may apply.

    Unlike EC Jerry, who is far more generous with his time than I am I will not spend the time and effort to post our state’s building codes word for word.…...
    JM: Only because you have ready access to the wine . . . Flahdah has to import it . . .


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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    wc jerry,
    the 2007 cal bldg code" 406.1.4 Seperation" is really generic and fails to address requirements regarding membrane penetrations and thru penetrations for wiring and plumbing. chapter 7 is specific to fire assemblies and rated walls etc and in my opinion does not apply to 406.1.4. ducts penetrating the walls and ceilings are the only item mentioned in this section. this leaves the requirements wide open for interpretation by ahj's. what is your opinion?


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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    the 2007 cal bldg code" 406.1.4 Seperation" is really generic and fails to address requirements regarding membrane penetrations and thru penetrations for wiring and plumbing.
    That is because you are referring to it as, and thinking of it as, "a fire wall" and it is not.

    It is simply a "separation" wall between the garage and the living space.

    When you stop calling it a "firewall" and thinking of it as a separation wall, then it will make sense.

    I see that, in California, even though it is only a "separation" wall that the door is required to be self-closing and self-latching.

    chapter 7 is specific to fire assemblies and rated walls etc
    That is because that chapter deals with fire rated assemblies and a separation wall is not a fire rated assembly.

    this leaves the requirements wide open for interpretation by ahj's. what is your opinion?
    Really does not leave much open to interpretation: it is a separation wall and as such has fewer and less restrictive requirements than a fire wall (because it is not a fire wall).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    Phil

    In answer to your question.... No.
    Not even if it was ABS plastic DWV.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Phil

    In answer to your question.... No.
    Not even if it was ABS plastic DWV.
    I disagree ... based on his question:
    Quote Originally Posted by phil kaznowski View Post
    Would a stand pipe for a clothes washer in a garage qualifiy as a breach in the firewall?
    I agree as to a "separation wall" ... which is why I clarified (at least tried to) the difference between the two walls.

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

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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    FWIW:
    The use of plastic piping in fire rated walls or with branch connections that pass through the membranes has been investigated in the United States and Canada. Since the fire ratings of walls are based on the ASTM E-119 tests, this test was also used in these investigations. A series of one-hour and two-hour rated walls with wood studs and gypsum board coverings were plumbed with plastic DWV piping having trap connections through both sides. Some of the walls were tested under load bearing conditions and others were tested as non-load bearing walls. This test work was done at the Ohio State University Building Research Laboratory and led to the conclusion that plastic DWV piping with fixture connections can be installed in a fire-rated, wood stud and gypsum board wall so that the wall assembly will maintain its original fire rating. In doing these tests it was found to be necessary to seal the openings where the branches pass through the gypsum board. These tests also showed that the piping within the wall is not involved in the early stages of a fire and that the plastic has some tendency to soften and close off openings as the fire progresses. (For more complete details, see the PPI report entitled "Fire Testing Plastics DWV Systems".)

    Subsequently, additional E-119 fire tests were performed at the University of California, Berkeley, to investigate different techniques or devices that could be used in place of, or as a supplement to the sealing of the branch connection penetration. These tests also showed that plastic DWV piping can be installed in fire rated walls without reducing the fire rating. The California tests were also initiated to investigate the effects of a different plumbing arrangement (waste and vent stack in same stud space).

    On the basis of all this evidence and the test data, PPFA believes one must conclude that plastic DWV piping can be used in both fire rated and non-fire rated buildings without any significant increase in hazard, even though plastic is a combustible material.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    In doing these tests it was found to be necessary to seal the openings where the branches pass through the gypsum board.

    Good information, however, if I recall correctly *all* penetrations through firewalls are required to be firestopped with a proper firestop system. There are T ratings and F ratings, plastics do not get T ratings, metal piping does, and even metal piping requires firestopping around the penetration, just a different design and type.

    The reason all penetrations require firestopping is that it breaches the protective membranes (there are "through" penetrations and "membrane" penetrations - typically, pipes, ducts and wiring are "through" penetrations while electrical outlet boxes, recessed washer boxes, and the like are "membrane" penetrations.

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

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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That is because you are referring to it as, and thinking of it as, "a fire wall" and it is not.

    It is simply a "separation" wall between the garage and the living space.

    When you stop calling it a "firewall" and thinking of it as a separation wall, then it will make sense.

    I see that, in California, even though it is only a "separation" wall that the door is required to be self-closing and self-latching.



    That is because that chapter deals with fire rated assemblies and a separation wall is not a fire rated assembly.



    Really does not leave much open to interpretation: it is a separation wall and as such has fewer and less restrictive requirements than a fire wall (because it is not a fire wall).
    jerry,
    i totally agree with you and my post implied that. i said chapter # 7 does not apply to 406.1.4 due to the fact that the SEPERATION is not a fire wall! think old man .think


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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    think old man .think
    Quote Originally Posted by phil kaznowski View Post
    Would a stand pipe for a clothes washer in a garage qualifiy as a breach in the firewall?

    I did think, and I thought of you calling it a firewall ...

    So I was thinking that I should point out to you that it was not a firewall and get you to thinking along the same lines.

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

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    Default Re: Breach in Firewall

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I did think, and I thought of you calling it a firewall ...

    So I was thinking that I should point out to you that it was not a firewall and get you to thinking along the same lines.
    jp,
    pay attention when i'm talking to you son! i called it a seperation! never mind!


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