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  1. #1
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    Default Valve too far from fireplace?

    This can't be okay.... I thought I remember this being discussed once before. The picture is kind of small..... which pretty much makes my point. The valve is probably 10 feet away from the FP in cabinet that's opened.

    So, either you can't have fires while alone.... or you'd better be really quick.

    Is there a spec/code on how far it can be?

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  2. #2
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    Question Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    I can't see: is this a gas log lighter or a vented decorative appliance? Is this under NFPA 54 or IRC?
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    I think that's the one where you turn on the gas, and then have your wife go over and light a match.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    It's ceramic logs with a gas 'burner' underneath. The valve is the type that is typically mounted flush with the floor and turns on with a key. It's a vented appliance I believe... or, at least if it weren't I'd have posted about that long before the valve location


  5. #5
    David Argabright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    I saw a wood burning masonry fireplace with a gas log lighter last year that I thought didn't have a valve anywhere in the room. I finally located it 16' away on the opposite wall behind a flower pot. I guess they started a small fire in the box with a match before running across the room to turn the gas on to light the logs.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    As I recall within 6 feet and readily accessible...no step ladder, no crawl space, no around the corner in hall or another room...basicly line of sight installation...I can feel the heat comin' my way

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    I don't remember the exact distance either. I also think it was within 4-6' range. What I definitely remember though is 'clearly accessible' and in plain view. No obstacles, ladders, etc.
    Who is going to find that valve inside of a cabinet in an emergency?

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    4 feet max from the hearth opening, a very old code requirement. However, the 2006 IRC under G2420.5.1 states; equipment shut-off valves located in the firebox of a fireplace to be installed in accordance with the appliance manufacturer's instructions. Go figure?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  9. #9
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    Cool Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    Uniform Mechanical Code, such as Calif. was 4 ft.

    NFPA 54 requires within 6 feet and "accessible"
    IRC requires "accessible" within 6 feet. If over 6 feet, must meet 3 criteria:
    readily accessible
    serve only that one appliance
    be labeled what it serves.

    These shutoffs are for service convenience and are not emergency shutoffs.

    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  10. #10
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    Post Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    Within 6 feet, readily accessible. Behind a cabinet door is not readily accessible. Reminds me of the retrofit of a masonry fireplace near Lake Macatawa. "All done to "Code"" by a local HVAC firm. The ONLY shutoff was in the basement, below the fireplace. That gave the gas time to get to the fireplace while the user would walk over to the stairway (20 feet), walk up the stairs (13), and over to the fireplace (20 feet).

    Funny thing is, the AHJ never looked at it. No record of it. When this came to light (no pun intended), the "local HVAC contractor" promptly made it right. Now THAT's service!

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    Depends on what that gas fireplace is.

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - G2420.5 (409.5) Equipment shutoff valve. Each appliance shall be provided with a shutoff valve separate from the appliance. The shutoff valve shall be located in the same room as the appliance, not further than 6 feet (1829 mm) from the appliance, and shall be installed upstream from the union, connector or quick disconnect device it serves. Such shutoff valves shall be provided with access.
    - - Exception: Shutoff valves for vented decorative appliances and decorative appliances for installation in vented fireplaces shall not be prohibited from being installed in an area remote from the appliance where such valves are provided with ready access. Such valves shall be permanently identified and shall serve no other equipment.
    - - G2420.5.1 (409.5.1) Shutoff valve in fireplace. Equipment shutoff valves located in the firebox of a fireplace shall be installed in accordance with the appliance manufacturer’s instructions.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Cool Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    Randy, I guess I'm missing your point.

    First of all, if it is within 6 feet, it only needs "access" and Jerry quoted---not "readily accessible".

    When describing the scenario with the shutoff in the basement, are you talking about a log lighter or a listed appliance? AS you can see from the code, if the shutoff meets all three criteria, and serves gas logs or a vented gas appliance, there is no problem.

    Log lighters must have a separate metering valve within 6 feet and readily accessible.

    HTH
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  13. #13
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    Post Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    Bob;

    "Ready Access" IRC 2420.1.3. Shutoff valves are not something one wants to have to hunt for. Ready access means visible, not having to hunt for it, able to get to it quickly in an emergency. It is a safety issue, not a workmanship or service issue.

    As for the shutoff in the basement, that was a listed appliance, a "vented decorative appliance" to be more descriptive. Note the exception in the code Jerry quoted. The installation did not meet code requirements. There was definitely a problem: it was illegal, improper, and unsafe.

    In short, my point is, regarding Matt's original question; it's not OK. Not only is it not OK, but it is a litigation magnet.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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  14. #14
    Don Sweet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    I don't have the "good book" with me, but I do not think the word, "readily," is used with accessibility in the current Code, however, the six (6) foot rule applies.

    Comments on "access" panels?

    How about valves under a built-in, kitchen, gas range that as large drawers under the range top?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    It's ceramic logs with a gas 'burner' underneath.
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    As for the shutoff in the basement, that was a listed appliance, a "vented decorative appliance" to be more descriptive. Note the exception in the code Jerry quoted. The installation did not meet code requirements. There was definitely a problem: it was illegal, improper, and unsafe.

    In short, my point is, regarding Matt's original question; it's not OK. Not only is it not OK, but it is a litigation magnet.
    Randy,

    See Matt's quote above, that *is* a listed appliance and fits within the exception, thus it does not need to be with 6 feet, nor does it even need to be in that same room, provided, as Bob stated earlier, that the valve is for only that one appliance.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
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    Post Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    What is the working definition of "remote", and is 7 feet above floor level considered "ready access"?

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
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  17. #17
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    Question Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    Randy, the code does NOT require 'ready access' for these shutoffs in either G2420.1.3 or in G2420.5. Just "access".

    Also, from the 2006 IRC Commentary:"equipment shutoff valves are not considered to be emergency valves but rather are considered service valves..."

    And then,"The code does not require the equipment shutoff to be provided with "ready access" because such a valve is not an emergency valve and there is no reason to require ready access..."

    As far as being "remote" from the appliance, that means further than 6 feet away. If you are within 6 feet, it only needs access. Once it is further than 6 feet, it needs ready access per the IRC. NFPA 54 does not allow it to be remote from the appliance. Local ordinances may vary as well.
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  18. #18
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    Post Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    2006 IRC.
    - G2420.5 (409.5) Equipment shutoff valve. Each appliance shall be provided with a shutoff valve separate from the appliance. The shutoff valve shall be located in the same room as the appliance, not further than 6 feet (1829 mm) from the appliance, and shall be installed upstream from the union, connector or quick disconnect device it serves. Such shutoff valves shall be provided with access.

    - Exception: Shutoff valves for vented decorative appliances and decorative appliances for installation in vented fireplaces shall not be prohibited from being installed in an area remote from the appliance where such valves are provided with ready access. Such valves shall be permanently identified and shall serve no other equipment.

    Now, tell me what I am missing. Either the shutoff valve will be in the same room, no more than 6 feet away, and accessible; or it will be farther than 6 feet away, be permanently marked, and have ready access.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  19. #19
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    Wink Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    Randy, you were talking as though ALL shutoffs required "ready access". See your 4-19 & 4-22 posts where you claimed ready access under G2420.1.3, which was incorrect. I was clarifying ( I thought) what you posted here. I have posted this same info. on this site about a dozen times now. I don't understand the controversy. Now, it appears you have it correctly.

    As for the OP, I never said this valve, which we are told is 10 feet away and inside a cabinet, is acceptable as this would not be readily accessible.

    I think we have beat this one to death. I'm done,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    2006 IRC.
    - G2420.5 (409.5) Equipment shutoff valve. Each appliance shall be provided with a shutoff valve separate from the appliance. The shutoff valve shall be located in the same room as the appliance, not further than 6 feet (1829 mm) from the appliance, and shall be installed upstream from the union, connector or quick disconnect device it serves. Such shutoff valves shall be provided with access.

    - Exception: Shutoff valves for vented decorative appliances and decorative appliances for installation in vented fireplaces shall not be prohibited from being installed in an area remote from the appliance where such valves are provided with ready access. Such valves shall be permanently identified and shall serve no other equipment.

    Now, tell me what I am missing. Either the shutoff valve will be in the same room, no more than 6 feet away, and accessible; or it will be farther than 6 feet away, be permanently marked, and have ready access.
    Randy,

    What you are missing is that, like most things, there are exceptions to the rules, and that has that exception.

    We have a gas fireplace with the service shut off valve (they are mistakenly thought of as emergency shut off valves) *NOT* located within 6 feet of the fireplace.

    It is remotely located, but has ready access, and is labeled for what it operates, and it *only* operates that gas fireplace (vented log set).

    It fulfills the requirements within the exception, therefore it does not need to be "within 6 feet" of the fireplace.

    Think of it this way:

    You have a #10 AWG circuit to an a/c condenser unit, that #10 AWG conductor is rated for 30 amps and requires 30 amp maximum overcurrent protection - right?

    Yes.

    Except ... it the nameplate on the a/c condenser unit states that the circuit must be at least 29 amps (it is - it is 30 amps) and the maximum size HACR breaker is 40 amps - that's okay too, right?

    Yes.

    It is not 'either or', it is 'this way unless it meets the requirements for an exception', and that gas valve location has an exception ... it is "within 6 feet" ... unless it meets that exception.

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

  21. #21
    Kevin Stewart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Valve too far from fireplace?

    I have read this with interest, there are too many unknowns, how old is the install, all that is being quoted here is IRC, I have seen so many crazy installs of these valves that the common practice is obviously not to any known code, however if installed many years ago, what was the requirement when it was installed.
    Was the plumber licensed, could it have been installed by the homeowner, I would always be careful quoting chapter and verse out of the current code books. If this was a real safety issue I think we would have heard a lot more about these valves over the years. Has anyone ever heard of an accident due to one of these valves being in an obscure position, I personally have not but would like to be educated if needed.


    My Two Pence

    Kevin T Stewart
    F.I.R.E. EDC


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