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  1. #1
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    Default Air return next to fireplace

    Return air vent for furnace is about 2-3 ft from a vented Gas fireplace. (sorry, the picture isn't very clear, but it shows the distance ok)

    2006 IRC M1602.2 - Prohibited sources.
    [5] A room or space containing a fuel-burning appliance where such room or space serves as he sole source of retun air

    (>> not true in this case - this is a large room, with additional return air vents in ceilng of lofted 2nd floor. Therefore, by this definition, I would say that the return vent is allowed. However, further

    Exceptions:
    [5.2.3] Return air inlets shall not be located within 10 ft of any appliance firebox or draft hood in the same room or space.

    Is this return vent too close to the fireplace?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    Return air vent for furnace is about 2-3 ft from a vented Gas fireplace.

    [5.2.3] Return air inlets shall not be located within 10 ft of any appliance firebox or draft hood in the same room or space.

    Is this return vent too close to the fireplace?
    Terry,

    I believe you've already answered your question.

    "[5.2.3] Return air inlets shall not be located within 10 ft of any appliance firebox or draft hood in the same room or space. "

    "Return air vent for furnace is about 2-3 ft from a vented Gas fireplace."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    The double - negatives in the IRC confuse me.
    Prohibited . . . .
    Exception . . .
    Unless . . .
    you get the drift.

    My common sense says that the vent is too close. I also read the prior theads on this same topic.

    However, when I first read the section, the room does not meet the initial definition " . . where such room or space serves as he sole source of retun air", therefore, it sounds like the rest of that section is negated. It is a large room, and there are additional sources of return (top of hallway of 2nd story loft that overlooks this room).


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    The fireplace is 0" clearance, vented (exhaust to roof). Brand is Warnock Hersey. Firebox looks to be pretty well sealed with a glass front.

    I see no exterior air supply vent for it, therefore it probably has to draw air from the interior room. Need to check the install manual further if I can find it online.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    -- Brand is Warnock Hersey.
    .
    Terry,
    .
    I think they are an independent certification company, but not the manufacturer.
    .
    www.warnockhersey.com

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    yep, you're right. Warnock Hersey is the cerifiier. Boy do I feel stupid.
    Back to the drawing board. Question now is, is it a B-vented fireplace, or is it a Direct vented fireplace. My limited observation of the exhaust flue would probably indicate it is a B-vented fireplace, and therefore non-compliant distance to the return air duct.


  7. #7
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Poor positioning of the thermostat, IMO.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    The double - negatives in the IRC confuse me.
    Prohibited . . . .
    Exception . . .
    Unless . . .
    you get the drift.

    My common sense says that the vent is too close. I also read the prior theads on this same topic.

    However, when I first read the section, the room does not meet the initial definition " . . where such room or space serves as he sole source of retun air", therefore, it sounds like the rest of that section is negated.
    Yes, I agree, at first glance that is contradictory, however ...

    It starts out "Prohibited sources", then lists the "prohibited sources", and then lists exemptions to some of them.

    Thus, you are not allowed to ... unless ... (if you meet the 'unless', then you are allowed to).

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

  9. #9

    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Poor positioning of the thermostat, IMO.
    Still not a great location, but that thermostat could just be for the fireplace. .


  10. #10
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    Cool Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Guys, your lives would be a lot easier if you made it a habit to photograph and write down the mfr., model, serial number and ANSI listing of every factory built fireplace and gas log appliance. Then, later on, you can find out what it is, what the requirements are and be confident in your report.

    You also should be able to recognize the difference btw. B-vent and direct vent pipe and document them.

    With the case in point, aside from knowing if it is B-vented or direct vent or power vented, what about floor protection requirements? What about the termination clearances? Firestopping and vent clearances? Facing clearances?

    You are correct to note the return's proximity to the fireplace. However, until you have identified what kind of fireplace it is, you cannot find your answer in the codes. BTW, most mfrs. have manuals available online and if not, their tech services will send one to you.
    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  11. #11
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    Cool Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Hey Bob
    Do I check with the HVAC guy or a plumber?

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  12. #12
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    Talking Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Wow! Boy, you'd really know when someone was doing a number..... well, you get the idea.

    I'll bet that carpet is stained around that toilet, too.

    With the size of that return, I'll bet the rest of the system is way out of balance and suffering.
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Most of those return type vent covers you might see in a bathroom have nothing to do with the HVAC.

    They have been placed on the wall only to cover the opening cut into the drywall to gain access to the tub plumbing for repairs or for the termite control companies to treated around the tub trap and plumbing entry areas.

    I'd be willing to bet behind that vent area is a tub in the picture above.

    rick


  14. #14
    Rick Harrington's Avatar
    Rick Harrington Guest

    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    Rick Hurst is right. But then you have the problem that they did not seal the access to the bathtub trap from below and with this open vent and the open floor you have an issue with missing fire break between the floors.

    Thanks


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Air return next to fireplace

    I've seen the same thing and yes the vent cover removed gave access to the tub controls. Your point is also valid about the floor break Rick.


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