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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Default WB fireplace clearance to adjacent structures

    New construction exterior WB fireplace adjacent to garage w/ rooftop deck.

    What is:

    A. The required vertical clearance above the deck?

    B. The required vertical clearance above the combustible trellis?

    C. Now, the tough one:

    There is 12' feet of clearance between the the first-story garage rooftop deck and the main structure in front of it.

    The main structure faces north, and I suspect there will be a vortex rotating off the back of the main structure and down into the courtyard between the main structure and the garage when there is a north wind, and a good chance it would carry exhaust gases back up against the windows of main structure.

    Are there any additional horizontal separation requirements that apply in such a situation?

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    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 06-03-2014 at 12:03 PM.
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    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: WB fireplace clearance to adjacent structures

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    The only solution is to move the main building.
    Har Har.

    In the meantime does that termanition have to be 7 feet above the walking surface, 10 ft, or something else...

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: WB fireplace clearance to adjacent structures

    "B. The required vertical clearance above the combustible trellis?"

    Micheal,

    Minimum 3 feet above any structure part of any structure within 10 feet ... combustible or non-combustible.

    Calling Bob Harper ... calling Bob Harper ...

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Near Philly, Pa.
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    1,643

    Cool Re: WB fireplace clearance to adjacent structures

    Well, codes and stds. cannot cover every possible scenario. Case in point: the 3/2/10 rule refers to penetrating the "roof". That may be well below this termination. However, it is within 10 feet horizontally of "something" so that's a problem.

    The 3ft min. is intended to provide sufficient cooling of a hot spark or ember to die before contacting a combustible roof (surface). The 2/10 rule is designed to extend the termination up into free undisturbed airflow so as not to hinder venting. The case in point is an aerodynamic train wreck. Smoke would swirl all over the place making the deck uninhabitable. It is also a lifesafety code issue for a thermal burn from incidental contact.

    An AHJ could treat the top of that wall as the "roof" in which case this chimney would probably be too short. Remember, you measure from the flue gas outlet--not the rain cap lid.

    I would expect smoke to hang like a fog around those windows in the background. BTW, what's up with that service entrance cable? Looks a little close to the decks doesn't it?

    From the looks of this brick canyon it would take another couple of stories to get the smoke up and away from possible infiltration into neighbor's homes. This was stupid on so many levels it isn't even funny. The one bright spot is the chimney sweep won't need a ladder.

    That chase top must be top-screwed down. If so, that's a guarantee for future leaks. Chase tops should always be secured at the corners on the side overhangs. Overhangs should lap 2-4" and preferrably have a drip edge, which this one does appear to have. If they burn wood, this will be a black, stinky, runny mess soon.

    Lousy flashing is nailed against the brick instead of being let into a reglet. Another guaranteed leak.

    Need to check the manual (Majestic) to see how much clearance between the flue gas outlet and the lid. This telescoping section appears to possibly be stuck extended up a bit. They should be pushed down seated on a flange. Often, when chimney sweeps swab from the bottom up on factory built fireplaces using tight brushes, the telescoping inner section can extend all the way up until it presses against the underside of the lid causing the house to fill with smoke or possible even a fire.

    I doubt you would find anything in the listed instructions covering such a condition. Sometimes, you have to go beyond codes, which are minimum stds. btw, and exceed them for common sense. This is a lawsuit looking for a place to happen. While it is not in the IRC, UL 127 or NFPA 211, it is in ASHRAE stds. to keep noxious fumes and such at least 20 feet from building entrances or where people will be.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: WB fireplace clearance to adjacent structures

    I am generally in favor of knowing and using codes as a guideline when inspecting. With that thing, I would forget code and point out the potential for poor draft, smoke entering nearby windows, and safety hazards from burns, etc. Then tell them that a solution may be difficult, expensive, or impossible.


  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: WB fireplace clearance to adjacent structures

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "B. The required vertical clearance above the combustible trellis?"

    Micheal,

    Minimum 3 feet above any structure part of any structure within 10 feet ... combustible or non-combustible.

    Calling Bob Harper ... calling Bob Harper ...
    Yes, an oops on my part - I meant to type "2 feet" instead of "3 feet" because I was referring to the 2 feet above any part of any structure for the air flow Bob mentioned.

    I mentioned code requirements because that is the legal minimum - as I've stated many times in the past - code is not best construction practices, not even better practices. .. not even good practices - code is the most unsafe (the least safe) one is legally allowed to build.

    Bob gave many reasons expanding on the above.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Default What does "passing code inspection" really mean?

    I tell people that brag, "oh, it passed code" congratulations! You just scored a D minus! Yes, codes are MINIMUM standards. They can always be exceeded where they are not prescriptive.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: WB fireplace clearance to adjacent structures

    I was wondering about that overhead as well, but figured it served a dual purpose as a Zip-Line to get to the neighbors deck for a cool beverage... Now, how to get back???

    Doesn't look like that OHS is 3'-0" away...


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