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  1. #1
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    May 2009
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    Default Gas fireplace termination

    The black vent is for a master bedroom gas fireplace. Right below the gutters are two operable windows and soffit vents.
    One of the pictures is the vent pipe tag.
    Is this not to close to the structure?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Gas fireplace termination

    Should be 2 feet higher than that wall and roof to the right (because that wall is within 8 feet of the vent).

    At that higher height, the vent termination would likely be high enough and far enough from the windows (because of its height above that wall and roof).

    Of course, though, then the vent will likely need support/guy wires due to its height above where it exits the lower roof.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gas fireplace termination

    As with all appliances, get the make, model and serial number (and mfg date code where available) and get the listed instructions. Those will provide all your vent termination clearances. It appears the pipe does not have a 1" clearance to the combustible roof deck nor combustible felt paper.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
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    91

    Default Re: Gas fireplace termination

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    As with all appliances, get the make, model and serial number (and mfg date code where available) and get the listed instructions. Those will provide all your vent termination clearances. It appears the pipe does not have a 1" clearance to the combustible roof deck nor combustible felt paper.
    Not trying to be rude, but you do this with all appliances? Or did you just mean gas or wood heating appliances? I admit I have looked up the manufacturers specs when I saw something that could be an immediate safety concern. But looking up the specs for every water heater, range, etc. would take a long time. A pre-purchase home inspection is a limited visual inspection. That's what I'm getting paid for. If I can't read the data label on the woodburning stove to check the manufacturers recommended clearances, I'm taking a photo of the label (to show why I could not read it) and recommending my client ask for the installation manual and/or contact the manufacturer/website. I don't feel I'm providing an inferior inspection or service to my clients. I have alerted them of a condition that needs to be investigated or verified.

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    San Luis Obispo
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    26

    Default Re: Gas fireplace termination

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy West View Post
    but you do this with all appliances? Or did you just mean gas or wood heating appliances? .
    A first look, both pictures seem to show the venting too close to the roof and sheathing. Advising the customer that it requires investigation is the right move.

    However let's say it (picture 2) has the 1" clearance to wood Bob mentioned, how would someone know that 1" is the requirement? Some fireplaces require 1 1/2" or more using the same brand vent as a fireplace that needs 1" clearance. Only the specific manual can tell me what it needs to be or if it is wrong.

    That said I am a fireplace installer/remover not a home inspector. I get the "what clearance" question every day, unless I have memorized that brand/fireplace's clearance I have to look it up.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Gas fireplace termination

    It was stated that it was a gas fireplace, and the vent looks to small to be otherwise, that would make the (most likely) a type B gas vent ... which, to my knowledge, requires 1 inch clearance.

    Chimneys, on the other hand, typically require greater clearance ... so I can understand the question about clearances for chimneys.

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

  7. #7
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    Cool Re: Gas fireplace termination

    There are some gas fireplaces that are "decorative gas appliances" as noted by their listing to ANSI Z21.50. These typically use B-vent but all direct vents prior to 1998 are included, too. Starting in '98 you had the rise of "vented gas fireplace heaters" listed to Z21.88. These almost always used direct vent pipe (co-axial). This includes most gas inserts switching to the heater rating even though these typically use co-lineal liners to a co-axial termination. Now, just to make it more fun, there are some units, such as the Heat & Glo Crescent and Everest, that are power vented using direct vent pipe but listed under Z21.88. Now, the clearance from the vent terminations of these units can vary. Heck, even with one series of units, such as the certain Heatilator and H&G direct vents of the same model line, the clearances varied as the size increased.

    I learned early on never to ASSume anything about the specs. on combustion appliances. Those specs. in the code are general specs. if the unit cannot be identified nor the listed instructions located. Here's an example using woodstoves of how codes and standards may get you in trouble: the clearance from an unlisted woodstove to combustibles is 36". You'd think that's the max you would ever see and with listed stoves, we TYPICALLY see reduced clearances. I wanted to install a Quadrafire woodstove into a colonial walk-in fireplace that had a wood beam lintel about 4 feet above the surface of the stove. I asked the engineer at the factory (who I knew) if I protected the lintel with a ventilated sheetmetal heat shield spaced 1" per NFPA 211, would this be an acceptable application? He shot it down because the alcove clearance for that stove was 64"!

    Back to those power vented units. They had an increased stated clearance and could not be used with listed shrouds or terminated too close to another direct vent appliance because the flue gases could get entrained into the makeup air intake and recirculate.

    As for clearances off the vent pipe, see the listing sticker or manual. Some do vary so don't assume.

    If a termination looks really close per the gas code and you were unable to locate a copy of the listed instructions for that unit either at the scene or online after a brief search, I'd recommend they not use it until such information was made available and these specs. confirmed. Also, if the unit had not be serviced and inspected by a qualified agency in the last year now would be a good time since that is recommended in their manuals by most mfrs.

    With regards to the question about all combustion appliances all I can say is I photograph every rating plate of every combustion appliance I inspect or service and I take multiple shots with varying lighting to ensure I can read all the relevant information. I also take a bunch of pics to document it in situ, any pre-existing damage or improper placement of logs or accessories, the visible exterior venting with several shots of the termination and surrounding structures, and the presence of any manuals, documents or service tags. I shoot the combustion chamber many views,the glass and surround noting any heat tracks or possible soot trails or missing/ loose latches. I shoot the valve compartment noting position and condition of everything including wiring, the presence of dust ( I wipe a finger to demonstrate how deep the dust is) and any signs of damage, foreign objects, tampering, or product failure. If it is operable, I take several shots of it firing from close ups at various angles of the combustion chamber then perspective views of the appliance in the Combustion Appliance Zone. I do this was fireplaces, boilers, water heaters, gas dryers, pool heaters, fire pits--anything I'm there to inspect or service.

    Don't assume that because the pipe has a listing sticker that it is approved for that unit or properly installed. Let me illustrate: I inspected a condo with a Heatilator Mark 123 woodburning factory built fireplace and chimney. The chimney pipe was correct for this unit. The pipe rose up into the attic, elbowed over 90 degrees using four 15 ells to horizontal for 8 feet then four more ells to vertical. This had passed inspection upon installation by the fire marshal 22 years previously and by a local certified chimney sweep for at least the preceding 10 yrs. That fireplace is listed for one offset of 15 from vertical MAXIMUM! Now, most factory built woodburners allow for two offsets of 30 from vertical once over a certain minimum vent height (usually around two stories). Now, the mfr. and NFPA 211 clearly do not allow an offset greater than 30 from vertical whether one pair of 30s or two 15s, it doesn't matter. You can NOT route a masonry or factory chimney in the United States at greater than 30 from vertical, much less with an 8 foot horizontal run. Much less with securing the mechanical joints with ROOFING NAILS! Yes, two 1.5" galv. roofing nails hammered into each pipe joint from the sides! The best part is there were only 220 units like this in this development. Yes, the fire marshal and HOA got certified letters from me.

    You cannot assume anything with venting in my book.

    HTH

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Gas fireplace termination

    Why is the label upside down?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Gas fireplace termination

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Why is the label upside down?
    Good pick up Eric because most stickers go on right side-up. Perhaps this vent was also installed upside-down.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    117

    Default Re: Gas fireplace termination

    I hate you Bob Harper! Everytime you post something on here it reminds me of how little I know. Drat!

    Dan Cullen
    www.domicileconsulting.com
    Chicago IL

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