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  1. #1
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    Default Boiler in Hallway of Small House

    I looked at a small slab-on-grade house last week where the summer/winter oil fired boiler was located in the 1st floor hallway right outside the bathroom and two of the bedrooms. Due to it's proximity to the bedrooms, I mentioned it being a possible safety hazard as it will pull combustion make-up air from the bedrooms. The realtor felt that calling it a possible safety hazard made it sound like more than what it was.

    I feel I advised my clients properly but I wonder what some of you would say if you saw a similar setup.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Boiler in Hallway of Small House

    if in the bedroom closet, I would have noted
    but
    if it is in the hallway....
    outside the closed doors of the bedroom, what is the concern?


  3. #3
    Alan Jogerst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boiler in Hallway of Small House

    got any pics of this


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Boiler in Hallway of Small House

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Hagarty View Post
    if in the bedroom closet, I would have noted
    but
    if it is in the hallway....
    outside the closed doors of the bedroom, what is the concern?
    My concern is it will pull combustion air from the bedrooms due to the close proximity. I don't have any good pics of it as the space in the hallway was too tight to allow a good picture to illustrate the setup. But just to give you a reference, if you fell forward out of one bedroom door, your head would hit the boiler or one of it's pipes on the way down.

    Saying the bedroom doors will be closed while somebody is sleeping is not a definite. If a couple has a young child (and these buyers do), either the parents, the child, or both may sleep with the doors open so the parents can hear if their child wakes up.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Boiler in Hallway of Small House

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    My concern is it will pull combustion air from the bedrooms due to the close proximity. I don't have any good pics of it as the space in the hallway was too tight to allow a good picture to illustrate the setup. But just to give you a reference, if you fell forward out of one bedroom door, your head would hit the boiler or one of it's pipes on the way down.

    Saying the bedroom doors will be closed while somebody is sleeping is not a definite. If a couple has a young child (and these buyers do), either the parents, the child, or both may sleep with the doors open so the parents can hear if their child wakes up.
    Fine line. I think I would let it go Nick. Close proximity for combustion air is not like horseshoes: being close doesn't get you points.

    Negative pressure or pulling air works a lot different than positive pressure. If you blow onto your hand you can feel the pressure from a fair distance. But if you suck air in you need to have your hand very close to your mouth to feel the negative pressure. The combustion air will have little impact on the bedroom conditions.

    Sorry if that sounds condescending, I have much respect for your knowledge on these boards. I know that anytime kids are involved we all tend to want to be overly cautious and rightly so. But in this case I think you need to go by the letter of the law and advise per code.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Boiler in Hallway of Small House

    I see gas furnaces in the hall many times.
    I don't see a problem.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Boiler in Hallway of Small House

    No offense taken Rod. I understand you're just trying to illustrate your stance.

    Maybe my feeling on the matter has something to do with the fact I rarely see this type of configuration with a boiler in the middle of the hallway right outside bedroom doors. They are almost always located in a utility area of the house far from any bedrooms. And I probably also look at it in the sense of how I would feel about living in a house with my own family with an identical setup. I wouldn't want it and would have misgivings about the safety aspect. Plus, an exposed flue pipe with a surface temperature of 400-500 degrees wouldn't make me feel any better about it either with small kids in the house.

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  8. #8
    Zibby Bujno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boiler in Hallway of Small House

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    No offense taken Rod. I understand you're just trying to illustrate your stance.

    Maybe my feeling on the matter has something to do with the fact I rarely see this type of configuration with a boiler in the middle of the hallway right outside bedroom doors. They are almost always located in a utility area of the house far from any bedrooms. And I probably also look at it in the sense of how I would feel about living in a house with my own family with an identical setup. I wouldn't want it and would have misgivings about the safety aspect. Plus, an exposed flue pipe with a surface temperature of 400-500 degrees wouldn't make me feel any better about it either with small kids in the house.
    Make sure firematic is within 4ft directly over burner, and have smoke/co detector. Other than that the only problem is possilble oil smell (leak, or during anual service, etc)


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Boiler in Hallway of Small House

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I looked at a small slab-on-grade house last week where the summer/winter oil fired boiler was located in the 1st floor hallway right outside the bathroom and two of the bedrooms. Due to it's proximity to the bedrooms, I mentioned it being a possible safety hazard as it will pull combustion make-up air from the bedrooms. The realtor felt that calling it a possible safety hazard made it sound like more than what it was.

    I feel I advised my clients properly but I wonder what some of you would say if you saw a similar setup.
    My concern is it will pull combustion air from the bedrooms due to the close proximity. I don't have any good pics of it as the space in the hallway was too tight to allow a good picture to illustrate the setup. But just to give you a reference, if you fell forward out of one bedroom door, your head would hit the boiler or one of it's pipes on the way down.

    Saying the bedroom doors will be closed while somebody is sleeping is not a definite. If a couple has a young child (and these buyers do), either the parents, the child, or both may sleep with the doors open so the parents can hear if their child wakes up.
    Maybe my feeling on the matter has something to do with the fact I rarely see this type of configuration with a boiler in the middle of the hallway right outside bedroom doors. They are almost always located in a utility area of the house far from any bedrooms. And I probably also look at it in the sense of how I would feel about living in a house with my own family with an identical setup. I wouldn't want it and would have misgivings about the safety aspect. Plus, an exposed flue pipe with a surface temperature of 400-500 degrees wouldn't make me feel any better about it either with small kids in the house.

    Right to call it, perhaps on different approach...

    Again, merely based upon your limited descriptions, and without a photo or diagram for clarification...

    As you describe the mechanical installation, it is unseparated by space, fire resistant construction, walls, etc. and is smack dab exposed to the primary MEANS OF EGRESS.

    There can be no prescribed fire resistant construction or containment between the exposed mechanical fuel-oil fired boiler and the required, protected, means of egress - hallway from the bedrooms if it sits IN the hallway and exposed to same.

    I don't recall at the moment which are adopted for whichever jurisdiction said home is located (don't recall your having specified either) but be it life safety, int'l property maintenance (incorporating IFC), fuel oil, mechanical, chimney/fireplace (211...), boiler codes, etc. it (as you describe the set-up of fuel-oil fired boiler), SURELY does not belong in any way unseparated from (via prescribed or equal) fire-resistant protective construction, and certainly not IN the actual escape/egress hallway pathway between sleeping rooms and the primary exit.

    See jurisdiction's property maintenance, mechnical, life safety, fire codes, etc.

    The vent/chimney connectors and vent/chimney itself should likewise be contained/separated from living spaces at living space containing levels in dwellings.


    All those prescriptives in the IRC are restated fire resistant construction from the IBC and IFC (which is incorporated into the property maintenance code). Similar to the NFPA codes...the hallway needs ceiling and walls/prescriptive construction & finish to protect/separate occupants for egress.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-18-2012 at 02:19 PM.

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