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  1. #1
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    Default Am I just being too picky?

    This is just crazy... These three pics come from my last 4 houses. I don't want to start contractor bashing or city inspector bashing but how do these things get left his way?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    Same plumbing contractor by chance??

    It gets done that way because they do not have to answer to anyone. Get-er-done!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    You aren't being too picky, any form of common venting is worth pointing out as a problem waiting to happen.

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    Appears to me that the one thing all have in common is the short rise above the draft hood and immediate transition to oversize pipe - I assumed that was Matt's point...


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Appears to me that the one thing all have in common is the short rise above the draft hood and immediate transition to oversize pipe - I assumed that was Matt's point...
    And the downhill slope ...

    And ...

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    The downhill slope is what always catches my eye first... than the other things, of course. It's just crazy how often I see this stuff. That was really the point of my post. Those 3 pics were from my last 4 houses.... All fairly new installations that were signed off by the city...


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    You can't (I can't) tell if the slope is downhill in picture 2.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    Using a short plumbers level in your pictures with a closeup of the bubble removes all doubt (for future reports) Wayne


  9. #9
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    Talking on the level

    I knew a contractor that owned a nice brass bound mahogany mason's level. It read level even when held at 45 degrees. He drained the fluid then inserted a vitamin E gel capsule btw the lines. Even held plumb, it reads level!

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    I always try to include something in the picture that's level as a frame of reference. In the first pic it's the return air duct. The second pic actually had a slight pitch upward all excpet for the elbow piece which went down. The third pic I think actually had a slight upward slope, but it was very slight.

    As for carrying a level I don't know how to measure 1/4" per foot slope with a level.

    This is just another one of those things where installers seem to spend a lot of effort planning their installs to just barely meet the requirement. Even if these do have the adequate slope I tell people it's barely enough and they have a much greater chance of CO spilliage than other installs.

    I just know I wouldn't let my kids sleep in a room next to this thing. Of course, I always recommend a CO detector... with these I really explain to people why it's important. After that if they choose to live with it so be it... the whole 'you can lead a horse to water' thing.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Even if these do have the adequate slope I tell people it's barely enough and they have a much greater chance of CO spilliage than other installs.

    I just know I wouldn't let my kids sleep in a room next to this thing. Of course, I always recommend a CO detector... with these I really explain to people why it's important. After that if they choose to live with it so be it... the whole 'you can lead a horse to water' thing.
    Too many variables involved to make the determination if an appliance will spill based on slope of the vent.
    Mechanical room depressurization will make one spill a lot quicker than the slope on the vent.
    Not much keeping spillage from happening considering all the water heater manufacturers like to stick those bell shaped holes on top of the water heaters.

    Take a look at the UL 2034 rating of the CO alarms you are recommending Matt, they are pretty much useless for any type of protection.

    UL 2034 = Useless

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR View Post
    Too many variables involved to make the determination if an appliance will spill based on slope of the vent.
    Mechanical room depressurization will make one spill a lot quicker than the slope on the vent.
    Not much keeping spillage from happening considering all the water heater manufacturers like to stick those bell shaped holes on top of the water heaters.

    Take a look at the UL 2034 rating of the CO alarms you are recommending Matt, they are pretty much useless for any type of protection.

    UL 2034 = Useless

    There are always more variables and potential things that COULD cause a problem with any given item we call out.... So, what's the solution? Do we not call out a bad design just because we might not get them all? Should I not mention improper pitch on vents or talk about CO detectors?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    "As for carrying a level I don't know how to measure 1/4" per foot slope with a level"

    Many levels have a second set of reference lines at 1/4" per foot slope:




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  14. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    Smile vent or drain?

    Hot stuff runs uphill; cool stuff runs downhill. Is this a vent or a drain?

    Buderus G-215 at 1.5 GPH 6" pipe into 8" Z-Flex. You don't need a level to see it sloping down away from the boiler before going vertical to the chimney.


    If you want to document just how far out of level something is, get one of those Smart Levels that have the digital readout. Then you can document in slope per feet, degrees, %, etc..

    If you do some research, you'll find most UL-2034 CO alarms are better suited as paperweights. In one study, 38% of off the shelf units failed! If you are going to recommend, point them to a CO Experts or NSI monitor.

    Bob

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    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Am I just being too picky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    There are always more variables and potential things that COULD cause a problem with any given item we call out.... So, what's the solution? Do we not call out a bad design just because we might not get them all? Should I not mention improper pitch on vents or talk about CO detectors?
    Not what I am saying at all, just don't miss the forest for the trees.

    The draft hood alone should be pointed out as bad design but is almost always overlooked.

    If you are going to mention CO alarms tell the HO the truth, don't instill them with a false sense of security from an alarm that may never go off.
    Let them know the UL 2034 alarm levels and that there are other monitors available that will offer them real protection.

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

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