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  1. #1
    Jon mackay's Avatar
    Jon mackay Guest

    Default Disconnected electronic damper

    When an electronic damper has been disconnected, is it acceptable to leave it in place?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Disconnected electronic damper

    As a home inspector, No, not allowed. You (we) cannot allow ourselves to be put in a position where we are determining that a mechanical device that is no longer operable will not cause someone to die.
    What if the kids playing in the basement whack it with a hockey puck and it causes the damper to close.
    call the defects, there are more brokers


  3. #3
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Disconnected electronic damper

    If it is a zone damper it can be left in place as long as it is locked in the open position by some means. If it is a vent damper it cannot.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Disconnected electronic damper

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
    If it is a zone damper it can be left in place as long as it is locked in the open position by some means.

    Not necessarily.

    Not unless you know the system as since been modified to do without the damper, otherwise it is a requirement for that system to operate as the system was intended to operate and the abandoned damper may well simply be a result of 'someone not wanting or being able to pay to have it fixed'.

    The home inspector is not in a position to know, so it should be written up for repair or replacement.

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

  5. #5
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Disconnected electronic damper

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not necessarily.

    Not unless you know the system as since been modified to do without the damper, otherwise it is a requirement for that system to operate as the system was intended to operate and the abandoned damper may well simply be a result of 'someone not wanting or being able to pay to have it fixed'.

    The home inspector is not in a position to know, so it should be written up for repair or replacement.
    The question wasn't if it should be written up, it was can it be left in place.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Disconnected electronic damper

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
    The question wasn't if it should be written up, it was can it be left in place.
    That was the question, yes, but I suspect the question was leading to - then should it be written up.

    I could be wrong, I have been many times before.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Near Philly, Pa.
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    Cool bypassed primary safety control

    An electric vent damper serves to reduce stack losses, which affects the appliance's AFUE rating and maintains stack temps, which improves draft. The damper should default into the full oepn position. It has a microswitch that must close in order for the gas train to complete the sequence and fire. If the safety circuit is open, no burner. These dampers do have a manual override switch, which leaves the damper wired in and maintains the safety circuit--the circuit just remains closed all the time.

    In order to disconnect a vent damper, you would have to disconnect the safety circuit. Tampering with a primary safety control is negligence and a code violation.

    The question is, why was this damper bypassed? Venting problems? Was it sticking open failing to complete the circuit? This is a huge red flag that must be investigated.

    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Utah
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    Default Re: Disconnected electronic damper

    IMO Vent dampers have always been a bad idea. Just a quick and cheap fix to a larger problem. The system will operate fine without it in place. I would recommend it be fixed or removed completely.

    Of course as an inspector your job is to point out that it is not working, right?


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