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  1. #1

    Default IRC code commentary

    I live in Oregon, and our Oregon Residential Specialty Code is based on the 2006 IRC. When the state adopts (does not modify) a specific code, does that mean the code commentary must be followed as well?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Basically yes, adoption 180 days after publication is mandatory in many states. However, local cities, townships, counties, etc, can adopt ordinances that may be stricter than the state code adopted, but never more lenient. Always remember, the building codes are minimal in nature and you can emphasize the word minimal. I think it was EC Jerry who accurately stated that if a builder builds only just to the codes then he/she has pretty much built a crappy house. I concur !

    Jerry McCarthy
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  3. #3

    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Thank you sir,

    The reason I was asking is regarding the gas line sediment trap question I had a while back. After learning about the code commentary requirement, I have noticed that 95% of all of the traps are installed wrong (on the horiontal plane). I have been calling this out as being improper, but figured I had better be sure.


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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    When the state adopts (does not modify) a specific code, does that mean the code commentary must be followed as well?
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    After learning about the code commentary requirement,
    Brandon,

    The Commentary is not a "requirement", it is only "explaining" what was intended. The Commentary 'is not enforceable'.

    If the AHJ does not understand what the code is stating, the Commentary is there to help them understand it. However, some AHJ either just do not care, or are just to dumb (sounds harsh, but if they don't bother to read the commentary or go against the commentary, what else is there to explain their actions or lack thereof?) to understand what is being said.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Agree with ECJ and here's a diagram that may be helpful. If it's not there (sediment trap) it's possible it could negate the warranty on the water heater. The insurance companies (BS warranty policies) that home buyers think are so nifty have escaped claims on less!

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    Last edited by Jerry McCarthy; 07-08-2008 at 04:42 PM.
    Jerry McCarthy
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  6. #6

    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    This stuff is standard practice in my area-- this is on a new home that got it's final about a year ago (never lived in).

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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    This stuff is standard practice in my area-- this is on a new home that got it's final about a year ago (never lived in).
    Brandon,

    Not sure if you are pointing them (the sediment traps) out because they are installed ... or because they are installed incorrectly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Sediment trap. Whats a sediment trap?????

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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    they are installed incorrectly.
    .
    So if 1 were installed in the Red outline area, would it satisfy code requirement ?

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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    So if 1 were installed in the Red outline area, would it satisfy code requirement ?
    No, the sediment trap is required to be 'after' the shut off valve.

    The sediment traps in the photo are in the correct location ('after' the shut off valves), just not configured correctly.

    The shut off valve needs to be before the sediment trap, then the gas supply line going vertically down, the tee, the sediment trap on the bottom of the tee, with the gas connection to the appliance off the tee.

    That installation requires two sediment traps, one after each shut off valve. Having it after each valves allows one to shut that one valve off, clean out the sediment trap, then open the valve and re-lite that one appliance.

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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    That installation requires two sediment traps, one after each shut off valve. Having it after each valves allows one to shut that one valve off, clean out the sediment trap, then open the valve and re-lite that one appliance.
    .
    Thank you Sir,
    .



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  12. #12

    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    No, the sediment trap is required to be 'after' the shut off valve.
    Jerry,

    Based on the wording below, does the valve have to be upstream of the sediment trap at all times?

    Here is what I am referring to: The sentence I am referring to is underlined............

    illustrates an improper sediment trap that is prohibited by this section. The code does not specify a minimum length for the capped nipple. Three inches minimum is customary. The sediment trap must be downstream of the appliance shutoff valve and as close to the appliance inlet as practical. Requiring the sediment trap to be downstream of the appliance shutoff valve makes sure that the sediment trap is within 6 feet of the appliance inlet. If there is 6 feet or less of piping between a sediment trap and the appliance inlet served, the intent of the code has been met, regardless of the shutoff valve location. Manufactured sediment traps are available that have the configuration of a straight section of pipe and are equipped with cleanout openings. Although it would be wise to install sediment traps at all appliance connections, they are not mandated by code for gas lights, ranges, clothes dryers, and outdoor grills. These appliances are susceptible to harm from debris in gas, especially ranges and clothes dryers, and the appliance manufacturer may require sediment traps where the code does not. The code.s logic is that these appliances are attended while in use therefore, the user would be aware of a problem.

    Last edited by Brandon Whitmore; 07-09-2008 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Adding Info from other thread

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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    Jerry,

    Based on the wording below, does the valve have to be upstream of the sediment trap at all times?
    Brandon,

    Here is the code section: (underlining is mine)

    - G2419.4 (408.4) Sediment trap.
    Where a sediment trap is not incorporated as part of the gas utilization equipment, a sediment trap shall be installed downstream of the equipment shutoff valve as close to the inlet of the equipment as practical. The sediment trap shall be either a tee fitting with a capped nipple in the bottom opening of the run of the tee or other device approved as an effective sediment trap. Illuminating appliances, ranges, clothes dryers and outdoor grills need not be so equipped.

    The code is enforceable.

    The commentary is not.

    The commentary is giving the reasoning behind the code, however, it is not enforceable.

    By placing the sediment trap after the valve, which is to be within 6 feet of the appliance, there will be less than 6 feet of gas piping after the sediment trap. Connectors are 3 feet long, I believe there are specific connector 6 feet long. The intent is to place the sediment trap as close to the equipment as possible.

    That statement from the commentary "If there is 6 feet or less of piping between a sediment trap and the appliance inlet served, the intent of the code has been met, regardless of the shutoff valve location." states that as long as there is no more than 6 feet of piping between the sediment trap and the appliance, they are cool with that, it meets the intent.

    But it does not meet the wording.

    And the code is enforceable.

    The AHJ 'could' use that commentary to justify them stating the sediment traps were okay being behind the valve as long as the sediment traps were within 6 feet of the appliance.

    The AHJ 'could' ('should'?) use the code to state that the sediment trap *SHALL BE* downstream of the valve.

    All of which is a different issue than the configuration of the traps in the photo.

    'Could'? Yes. 'Should'? Yes.

    Thus, the answer to the question "does the valve have to be upstream of the sediment trap at all times?" 'should' be ... Yes.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  14. #14

    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Thank Your Sir,

    Now I guess I have to decide as a home inspector whether I want to write up an improperly placed valve, even if the intent of the code has been met..........seeing as how I am just a home inspector, and not a code official

    Question for any other NW Oregon inspectors: Do you guy's write up sediment trap installations as being wrong as shown in my first post? I am just asking since it is clear that all local AHJ's allow the installation. 90% of newer homes are done this way.


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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    This is the diagram I use in reports that will help identify proper location if anyone (installer, agents, homeowners...) is unclear


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  16. #16

    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Thanks Barry,

    I'll have to "borrow" that one.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    Thank Your Sir,

    Now I guess I have to decide as a home inspector whether I want to write up an improperly placed valve, even if the intent of the code has been met..........seeing as how I am just a home inspector, and not a code official

    Question for any other NW Oregon inspectors: Do you guy's write up sediment trap installations as being wrong as shown in my first post? I am just asking since it is clear that all local AHJ's allow the installation. 90% of newer homes are done this way.
    I don't write them up... it's a daily annoyance to see how much stuff our AHJs let slide around here. I just get sick of fighting with the builders and realtors when, in the end, the country inspectors won't ever back us up or admit we're right.

    I can see it both ways, though. I don't fault any HIs who are willing to take it on.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    Question for any other NW Oregon inspectors: Do you guy's write up sediment trap installations as being wrong as shown in my first post? I am just asking since it is clear that all local AHJ's allow the installation. 90% of newer homes are done this way.
    I don't. Now I have to ask Jim Katen if he does.

    Chris, Oregon


  19. #19
    Don Sweet's Avatar
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    I live in Oregon, and our Oregon Residential Specialty Code is based on the 2006 IRC. When the state adopts (does not modify) a specific code, does that mean the code commentary must be followed as well?
    Isn't the Commentary simply a "more understandable" (explanation) of the particular Code sections, themselves?

    Perhaps of more interest is whether or not Oregon adopts the Apendixes with the Code? I think they have to be adopted separately.

    Don


  20. #20
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    The attitudes and postures taken by almost all AHJ are usually the result of the building official's building code knowledge and background of experience in the construction world. They're no different then any profession as they run the gamut from morons on a power trip to very knowledgeable folks who understand both sides of code arguments and mostly side with the correct interpretation.

    Those of us who have had long time experience in the construction field all have war stories of unbelievable jurisdictional dummies, "Code Nazis" and some truly smart field inspectors. Nothing I've read here about the BO's in Texas surprises me because ignorance is a universal trait and can be found anywhere in the world.

    As far as the 2006 IRC Code Commentaries, Vol 1 & 2, I've attached the fly sheet describing in their own words what their purpose is.

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  21. #21
    Don Sweet's Avatar
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Jerry, I'm not sure I understand your note... My comment, strictly for Brandon's benefit, was a simple synopsis of the intent of the Commentary...(The Commentary is written to explain a particular Code section, only.) Albeit I probably should not have, I added that I thought an Appendix (contained in the Code) had to be adopted independent of the Code,...to distinguish between the two.

    As a side note, I lived in California 37 years before moving to Texas...irgo I'm somewhat familiar with both states. I traded earthquakes and fires for draught, high heat and humidity (what a deal)!

    Don


  22. #22
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    Don,

    (The *other* Jerry, here.)

    I believe this is what you are referring to.

    From the 2008 IRC.
    - R102.5 Appendices. Provisions in the appendices shall not apply unless specifically referenced in the adopting ordinance.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: IRC code commentary

    I'm a newbie that's a little confused.

    Does this apply to propane systems as well as natural gas?

    The reason I ask this is because the propane gas systems are most prevalent and therefore the most seen in my area.


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