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  1. #1
    Sky Jones's Avatar
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    Default Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    I was in a home today, and they converted the garage with the gas furnace and gas furnace still located in the room, I am hoping for some advice on what the potential issues may be.

    What kinds of notes would you make about it?

    DSCN5849.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    If it is just a "storage room" then right up what you see, no sediment traps on gas furnace and water heater, etc.

    If it is to be, was, or likely could be, an "efficiency" (there is a "kitchen" - so to speak - there, not sure if it has permanent cooking facilities or just the sink as shown), then there are other problems with the gas appliances in that room.

    Also, likely no permit (if other than just a "storage room" (likely no permit required unless the sink is actually hooked to the plumbing system). Can't tell about electric alterations, if any.

    If it is a "room" (as in "habitable space"), then it requires natural light, natural ventilation, required electrical receptacle outlets (GFCI protected), possibly floor is below base flood level, etc., etc.

    Not enough information to do anything other than guess as I did above.

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

  3. #3
    Sky Jones's Avatar
    Sky Jones Guest

    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Hello Jerry

    I could not see any wall space in the garage conversion. So i cannot verify about electrical. There was a window that had been added.

    The room is currently a bedroom with two beds in it and closets. However I was unable to open the closet doors due to furnishings.

    I am recommending "Due to furnishings we are unable to fully view electrical, interior and closets of conversion. Recommend having a licensed contractor further examine garage conversion before closing"

    I am worried if there should be major safety issues due to the furnace and water heater being in a "BEDROOM". The potential buyer is going to be renting the house out.

    There actually is a sediment trap for both the furnace and the water heater.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky Jones View Post
    The room is currently a bedroom with two beds in it and closets.
    .
    .

    I am worried if there should be major safety issues due to the furnace and water heater being in a "BEDROOM". The potential buyer is going to be renting the house out.

    There actually is a sediment trap for both the furnace and the water heater.
    Good about the sediment trap.

    Not good about the other stuff.

    As a bedroom it needs natural light, natural ventilation, EERO (properly sized widow at or below maximum sill height or a door - must go directly to the outdoors, smoke alarms, and, yes, the gas appliances.

    Instead of recommending "a licensed contractor further examine garage conversion before closing" state that documentation from the city/county/whomever is the AHJ be provided which permits the change to a bedroom and that all inspections have been made.

    If you turn it over to a contractor, and the contractor happens to be the one who did the work ... what do you think the outcome of their "evaluation" will be? Other than "It's okay."

    If no permits are required in your area (hard to imagine in this day and time, but there still are places which require few, if any, permits, then list everything you can, forget about the "further evaluation" stuff, and just state that is does not meet nationally recognized safety standards in the building codes and that it should not be used for any purpose other than storage, no one should live, eat, sleep or spend time in that space.

    If you don't, and your client rents it out, and someone dies ... well, just being put out of business will be the least of your worries.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but there is no other way to address known "suicide rooms" (if one does it to oneself) "murder in progress room" if someone rents the space out to anyone else.


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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Agreed, this looks like a disaster waiting to happen. But i am just curious, where is the TPRV going to and is it PVC? WH pan?


  6. #6
    Sky Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Quote Originally Posted by JC Warner View Post
    Agreed, this looks like a disaster waiting to happen. But i am just curious, where is the TPRV going to and is it PVC? WH pan?
    It ends prematurely about 18 - 24 inches above the ground.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky Jones View Post
    It ends prematurely about 18 - 24 inches above the ground.
    Above the ground or above the garage floor? It is required to discharge in the same room or space the water heater is in. If it discharges to the water heater pan, then the pan drain must meet the requirements for that hot water, i.e., not be PVC, could be CPVC. And, of course, if the T&P discharges to the pan then the water heater is setting in water and the water heater is not listed for installation semi-submerged (after I contacted A. O. Smith and State about this years ago, I've noticed that some (if not all) the installation instructions which used to show the T&P discharging into the pan in the drawing in the installation instructions now show the T&P discharging to "outside" the pan - they added two 90 degree elbows to the drawing and now show it outside the pan. Cool.

    (I also had the same result with over-the-range microwave oven installation instructions, most used to show them installed with only about 11" clearance above the stove, now they show around 16" or so as the upper cabinet is now shorter - cool that us in the field can call the manufacturers, talk to their engineers, walk them through the numbers and the engineers go "Oh, yeah, it doesn't work like it is shown in the drawing, does it?", so the manufacturers change the installation instructions.)

    Sorry ... back to topic ... either way, the T&P disharge is required to be at 6 inches above the surface, which is why you said "ends prematurely".

    I stated "is required to be at 6 inches above the surface" because the code wants it 'within 6 inches' and the manufacturer wants at 'at least 6 inches', which makes it at 6 inches (if it looks like 6 inches, are you going to measure it to see if it is 5-3/4 inches or 6-1/4 inches - I doubt anyone is going to measure if it looks close to 6 inches).

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky Jones View Post
    I was in a home today, and they converted the garage with the gas furnace and gas furnace still located in the room, I am hoping for some advice on what the potential issues may be.
    Not enough info for me. Were you inspecting for a buyer or the homeowner? Is there a buyer who plans to use the space as a garage or a habitable room? Is there a garage overhead door still present?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  9. #9
    cory nystul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Not enough info for me. Were you inspecting for a buyer or the homeowner? Is there a buyer who plans to use the space as a garage or a habitable room? Is there a garage overhead door still present?
    There is a garage door, HOWEVER, they installed a wall inside the door rendering the door inaccessible.

    Very poorly done work. SO much wrong.

    The buyer plans to rent out the house.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Quote Originally Posted by cory nystul View Post
    The buyer plans to rent out the house.
    Liability ... liability ... liability ... my recommendation would be to turn that area back into a garage and not to use it as habitable space.

    That way, when the buyer does not do that and someone dies, you bring your report out and go 'Oh, gee, lookee here where my report says, in big bold red all-cap type, "DO NOT USE THE CONVERTED GARAGE AS HABITABLE SPACE, DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO LIVE IN THAT SPACE, CONVERT BACK TO A GARAGE."



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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It is required to discharge in the same room or space the water heater is in.
    WARNING: Thread drift

    As I read the code, the requirement is to have an air gap in the water heater room but the only requirement for the discharge is to be somewhere that the occupants can readily see it.

    504.6 Requirements for discharge piping. The discharge piping serving a pressure relief valve, temperature relief valve or combination thereof shall:

    1. Not be directly connected to the drainage system. 2. Discharge through an air gap located in the same room as the water heater.
    3. Not be smaller than the diameter of the outlet of the valve served and shall discharge full size to the air gap.
    4. Serve a single relief device and shall not connect to piping serving any other relief device or equipment. 5. Discharge to the floor, to the pan serving the water heater or storage tank, to a waste receptor or to the outdoors. 6. Discharge in a manner that does not cause personal injury or structural damage. 7. Discharge to a termination point that is readily observable by the building occupants.
    8. Not be trapped. 9. Be installed so as to flow by gravity. 10. Not terminate more than 6 inches (152 mm) above the floor or waste receptor. 11. Not have a threaded connection at the end of such piping. 12. Not have valves or tee fittings. 13. Be constructed of those materials listed in Section 605.4 or materials tested, rated and approved for such use in accordance with ASME A112.4.1.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Liability ... liability ... liability ... my recommendation would be to turn that area back into a garage and not to use it as habitable space.

    I absolutely agree. When renting your property you need to consider bad possibilities and reduce the chances of them occurring.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Gas water heater and furnace in converted garage now living space

    Lon,

    When the T&P discharge line discharges into the air gap in th same room or space, the T&P is discharging in that same room or space.

    The receptor part of the air gap (if not the floor, etc) drains out through a drain line.

    The discharge into ("through") the air gap is supposed to be in a place where the occupants can readily see it.

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

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