RecallChek


Results 1 to 65 of 65
  1. #1
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
    Rick Hurst is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Return Air vent Location

    I've been inspecting a 35 apt. unit building for a investor and every unit has a return air vent to the HVAC equipment at the ceiling of the laundry room and approx. 6ft. away in the hallway.

    Wonder what the AHJ was thinking that let this one get by.

    rick

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Pillar To Post Home Inspection Franchise

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,001

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    richard

    say what?
    are you a home inspector ?
    are you a builder ?
    why are you in so many dis funct houses ?
    why are you challenging a qualified inspector protecting or asking questions to protect his client ?
    and what exactly does your reply imply ?
    and what help is it
    charlie


  3. #3
    Donald Merritt's Avatar
    Donald Merritt Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Not the best location but it is better than on in a closet. If there is no door to the laundry room it will work but would be better in a hallway.

    Don Merritt
    Germantown, Tennessee


  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Healdsburg Ca
    Posts
    2,499

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    richard

    say what?
    are you a home inspector ?
    are you a builder ?
    why are you in so many dis funct houses ?
    why are you challenging a qualified inspector protecting or asking questions to protect his client ?
    and what exactly does your reply imply ?
    and what help is it
    charlie
    Charley i think he was talking about the city building inspector.

    Not Rick.

    Best

    Ron


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,001

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    oh

    if so sorry, he didn't state that, but if that is correct. so right
    charlie


  6. #6
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood is offline Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Conroe, TX
    Posts
    519

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    It appears to be time for me to learn something by admitting ignorance. I love it when that happens.

    Rick, what is the problem with the locations of the returns. Is it that the utility room is a wet area or is it that the room's door is frequently closed, or is it something I am missing? Could the return in the utility room have been a jumper to the main return 6' away?

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES
    (936)827-7664


  7. #7
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
    Rick Hurst is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Darrell,

    Not only with it being a damp location, but a warm humid location. A return air vent in the laundry room will pull this heated air into the system and it also will pull air bourne lint particles from the dryer.

    rick


  8. #8
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood is offline Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Conroe, TX
    Posts
    519

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Thanks Rick. Now I understand your concerns. On existing structures, do you recommend removing the laundry room returns or do you defer to an HVAC tech who is qualified to design systems?

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES
    (936)827-7664


  9. #9
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
    Rick Hurst is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    On existing structures, do you recommend removing the laundry room returns or do you defer to an HVAC tech who is qualified to design systems?

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES
    (936)827-7664

    Both.


  10. #10
    Bruce Allen's Avatar
    Bruce Allen is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I've been inspecting a 35 apt. unit building for a investor and every unit has a return air vent to the HVAC equipment at the ceiling of the laundry room and approx. 6ft. away in the hallway.

    Wonder what the AHJ was thinking that let this one get by.

    rick
    Rick,
    What code section does this installation violate?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    745

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    The only one I see as a possible is #3 but without further information...don't know! It sounds like it's in a hallway so that wouldn't come into play.


    SECTION M1602
    RETURN AIR


    M1602.1 Return air.
    Return air shall be taken from inside the

    dwelling. Dilution of return air with outdoor air shall be

    permitted.



    M1602.2 Prohibited sources.




    Outdoor and return air for a
    forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the

    following locations:
    1. Closer than 10 feet (3048 mm) to an appliance vent outlet,
    a vent opening from a plumbing drainage system or
    the discharge outlet of an exhaust fan, unless the outlet is
    3 feet (914 mm) above the outside air inlet.

    2. Where flammable vapors are present; or where located
    less than 10 feet (3048 mm) above the surface of any
    abutting public way or driveway; or where located at
    grade level by a sidewalk, street, alley or driveway.

    3. A room or space, the volume of which is less than 25 percent
    of the entire volume served by such system. Where
    connected by a permanent opening having an area sized
    in accordance with ACCA Manual D, adjoining rooms
    or spaces shall be considered as a single room or space
    for the purpose of determining the volume of such rooms
    or spaces.



    Exception:




    The minimum volume requirement shall
    not apply where the amount of return air taken from a

    room or space is less than or equal to the amount of
    supply air delivered to such room or space.

    4. A closet, bathroom, toilet room, kitchen, garage,
    mechanical room, furnace room or other dwelling unit.

    5. A room or space containing a fuel-burning appliance
    where such room or space serves as the sole source of
    return air.



    Exceptions:

    1. The fuel-burning appliance is a direct-vent
    appliance or an appliance not requiring a vent in
    accordance with Section M1801.1 or Chapter
    24.
    2. The room or space complies with the following
    requirements:
    2.1. The return air shall be taken from a
    room or space having a volume exceeding
    1 cubic foot for each 10 Btu/h (9.6
    L/W) of combined input rating of all
    fuel-burning appliances therein.
    2.2. The volume of supply air discharged
    back into the same space shall be
    approximately equal to the volume of
    return air taken from the space.
    2.3. Return-air inlets shall not be located
    within 10 feet (3048 mm) of any appliance
    firebox or draft hood in the same
    room or space.
    3. Rooms or spaces containing solid-fuel burning
    appliances, provided that return-air inlets are
    located not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from
    the firebox of such appliances.

    M1602.3 Inlet opening protection.





    Outdoor air inlets shall be
    covered with screens having openings that are not less than

    1/4-inch (6 mm) and not greater than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm).

    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 12-02-2008 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Cleaned up copy paste

  12. #12
    daniel nantell's Avatar
    daniel nantell Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    New at this business whats ahj that everone refers to.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,223

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel nantell View Post
    New at this business whats ahj that everone refers to.
    .
    Area Home Jurisdiction. ( Local authorities that have jurisdiction on the matter.)
    *aka "The Man."
    .
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  14. #14
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
    Rick Hurst is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Its actually Authority Having Jurisdiction

    The Man who doesn't always do his job


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,223

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Rick,

    My 1st Grand Son's up coming first Christmas (now 7mths old).

    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,223

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    A H J authority having jurisdiction
    .
    Thanks for clearing that up.
    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  17. #17
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
    Jeff Remas Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Is it a gas or electric dryer?

    Is there a duct feed to the room?


  18. #18
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
    Rick Hurst is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    This return air vent was behind closed doors in a laundry room.

    Dryer was gas.

    Now, who else would be calling it out as a problem?

    rick

    Last edited by Rick Hurst; 12-05-2008 at 11:38 PM.

  19. #19
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,395

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    There is no allowing it. This is one of those cases where common sense supersedes any code or strange design. Lets see, for one, Close the door in the laundry room and you have to try to suck all the tonnage through a 3/4 inch crack under the door.

    So why the discussion to whether it is allowed at all. The one reason I mentioned is just one of the many (and a darn good) reasons it would not be allowed.

    Hands down. Not allowed.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,223

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    .
    Close the door in the laundry room and you have to try to suck all the tonnage through a 3/4 inch crack under the door.
    .

    What if it had These on It?
    .


    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  21. #21
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,395

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    It would be great for collecting more dust.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  22. #22
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    There is no allowing it. This is one of those cases where common sense supersedes any code

    Hands down. Not allowed.
    Ted,

    Code does NOT allow it either, so this is one of those cases where code actually makes "common sense".

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

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,223

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    It would be great for collecting more dust.
    .
    Yum Dust Bunnies!
    *taste just like Chicken.
    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  24. #24
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,395

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    You know. This is one of those cases I did not even open the book, any book. Some one above said code allows it and I have been following this thread but not responding. I did not check the code but I figured he must have.

    I inspect a lot of good size homes and they try to dump a 16 inch duct into a large master sweet expecting it to get good air flow by sucking all that tonnage out under the 3/4 inches of the master bedroom door. From the first time I saw that until now I have never checked the code but wrote it up anyway for the reasons mentioned above. In every single case the builders had a jumper duct installed or a return air duct installed and never questioned. But, each time the HVAC tech complained. After stating the same reasons above the HVAC tech added the fix for no cost. Hello. Why did they not do it to begin with.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  25. #25
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I inspect a lot of good size homes and they try to dump a 16 inch duct into a large master sweet expecting it to get good air flow by sucking all that tonnage out under the 3/4 inches of the master bedroom door.
    Depends.

    I used to inspect many large homes too (that was my market 3,500 sf to 25,000 sf homes, priced $1 mil to $20 mil, I did some "regular home too") - almost every one had a separate a/c system for the master suite, some had two separate a/c systems for the master suite (one master suite was 3,500 sf). Having all the return for those units in the master suites was acceptable.

    One, and not the only one, of the problems with that shown in Rick's photo is the size of the laundry room: it is less than 25% of the house, and thus ...

    M1602.2 Prohibited sources.
    Outdoor and return air for a forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the following locations:
    - 3. A room or space, the volume of which is less than 25 percent of the entire volume served by such system. Where connected by a permanent opening having an area sized in accordance with ACCA Manual D, adjoining rooms or spaces shall be considered as a single room or space for the purpose of determining the volume of such rooms or spaces.

    - Exception:
    The minimum volume requirement shall not apply where the amount of return air taken from a room or space is less than or equal to the amount of supply air delivered to such room or space.



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

  26. #26
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,395

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Well as usual I did not cover all scenarios. If they have their own system then they also have their own return which eliminates the pressure build up and poor air flow. I guess there are always exceptions.
    On another note. I am watching the Meccum auto auction. Over a 300,000 dollar bid on a 1969 Genco Camaro and they rolled it off because it did not meet the minimum bid. Go figure. Sit it in your garage and keep it dusted off to say "yup, this is mine. Aint it cool just sitting there"

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    That would be "Yenko" Camaro.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  28. #28
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    The adjoining return opening negates the 25% issue.
    the 25% rule is for a single opening.
    Oops, forgot about the one in the hallway 6ft away.

    So I will scratch that code reference and go back to the code sections (see below).

    I wonder why the size of the space is the criteria when the grill reduction and available air volume threw the duct is what matters.
    Because, when there is only one return, and that return in located in a room of less than 25% of the total space, it does not matter if the entire ceiling is the return, you will not get any more return than can be taken from that room.

    (underlining is mine)

    - M1602.2 Prohibited sources. Outdoor and return air for a forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the following locations:
    - - 1. Closer than 10 feet (3048 mm) to an appliance vent outlet, a vent opening from a plumbing drainage system or the discharge outlet of an exhaust fan, unless the outlet is 3 feet (914 mm) above the outside air inlet. (Jerry's note: For gas clothes dryer, the "appliance vent outlet" is where the dryer exhaust duct attaches. This may be open to debate, let's see what everyone here says.)
    - - 2. Where flammable vapors are present; or where located less than 10 feet (3048 mm) above the surface of any abutting public way or driveway; or where located at grade level by a sidewalk, street, alley or driveway.
    - - 3. A room or space, the volume of which is less than 25 percent of the entire volume served by such system. Where connected by a permanent opening having an area sized in accordance with ACCA Manual D, adjoining rooms or spaces shall be considered as a single room or space for the purpose of determining the volume of such rooms or spaces.
    - - - Exception: The minimum volume requirement shall not apply where the amount of return air taken from a room or space is less than or equal to the amount of supply air delivered to such room or space.
    - - 4. A closet, bathroom, toilet room, kitchen, garage, mechanical room, furnace room or other dwelling unit.
    - - 5. A room or space containing a fuel-burning appliance where such room or space serves as the sole source of return air.
    - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - 1. The fuel-burning appliance is a direct-vent appliance or an appliance not requiring a vent in accordance with Section M1801.1 or Chapter 24.
    - - - - 2. The room or space complies with the following requirements:
    - - - - - 2.1. The return air shall be taken from a room or space having a volume exceeding 1 cubic foot for each 10 Btu/h (9.6 L/W) of combined input rating of all fuel-burning appliances therein.
    - - - - - 2.2. The volume of supply air discharged back into the same space shall be approximately equal to the volume of return air taken from the space.
    - - - - - 2.3. Return-air inlets shall not be located within 10 feet (3048 mm) of any appliance firebox or draft hood in the same room or space.
    - - - - 3. Rooms or spaces containing solid-fuel burning appliances, provided that return-air inlets are located not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from the firebox of such appliances.

    Now let's talk "common sense" and "basic construction practices":
    - Both "common sense" and "basic construction practice" does not have the return air in a room with a large exhaust fan, and that is what a clothes dryer is: a large exhaust fan, exhausting heated air, whether gas or electric.


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

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Is not a gas fired clothes dryer a fuel burning appliance?
    5. A room or space containing a fuel-burning appliance where such room or space serves as the sole source of return air.Yes, I see the tag-end “or space serves as the sole source of return air."
    However, considering the 25% rule and the gas dryer I think locating a CAR in a laundry room is a really poor choice. In my own personal experience I’ve never known a jurisdictional plan checker taking a serious look at the heating & cooling plan of an R-3 occupancy. Somewhat like the access panel opening to a whirlpool tub, it's more often overlooked than not.

    Last edited by Jerry McCarthy; 12-07-2008 at 10:08 AM.
    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  30. #30
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,395

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kondzich View Post
    That would be "Yenko" Camaro.
    Yup, and that would be due to the 2, 3, and sometimes four fingure typing going in the wrong direction.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  31. #31
    Mike Schulz's Avatar
    Mike Schulz is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,069

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    appliance vent outlet
    The outlet is the end of the run not the beginning. The outlet is the part on the exterior where the damper hood is. I guess the part you are talking about at the dryer would be the inlet. Ok Jerry beat me up........

    A louvered door would resolve this would It not. I also see vent grates installed above the doors now for laundry rooms to draw air from the hall.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  32. #32
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    appliance vent outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    The outlet is the end of the run not the beginning. The outlet is the part on the exterior where the damper hood is. I guess the part you are talking about at the dryer would be the inlet. Ok Jerry beat me up........
    Mike,

    "Appliance vent outlet", not "vent outlet".

    The "appliance vent outlet" on a water heater is at the draft hood 'where the vent connects to the appliance vent outlet'.

    The "appliance vent outlet" on a clothes dryer is the discharge of the clothes dryer exhaust, where the clothes dryer exhaust duct/vent is attached.

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

  33. #33
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    it's from a exhaust opening not with a space with a fan

    That particular section is talking about, and specifically states, *APPLIANCE* vent outlet. That is the "vent outlet" on THE APPLIANCE to which the vent connects. I.e., it is, in the case of the water heater example, the draft hood. That should be easy to under stand, that is THE APPLIANCE "vent outlet" where the vent connects to.

    Okay, now to make the mind think a little bit more: With a clothes dryer, a GAS clothes dryer, what serves as "the vent" and where on THE APPLIANCE does that connect? THAT is "the appliance vent outlet", not to be confused with the "vent's" outlet.

    In fact, let's do it this way: The "vent" has to ends, right? The vent "inlet" and the vent "outlet", now, the point on the appliance that the vent "inlet" connects to is the APPLIANCE "vent outlet".

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

  34. #34
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    for some reason I am thinking that a source of combustion air should not near a vent outlet
    You just said "vent outlet".

    so that implies the dryer can't be in the same room as itself.. I get it now..
    The code is addressing the "appliance vent outlet".

    Using your thinking, *NO* appliance could be in a room with itself.

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

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    745

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I've been inspecting a 35 apt. unit building for a investor and every unit has a return air vent to the HVAC equipment at the ceiling of the laundry room and approx. 6ft. away in the hallway.

    rick
    This is why I said OK. The way I read it you made it sound like it was in the hallway and not actually in the laundry room.

    Duhhhhh...guess it would help tp look at the picture huh???? My bad!!!

    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 12-08-2008 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Found out I was being a dummy!

  36. #36
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    It seems to me that when one closes the laundry room door, the output from a dryer vent would back-feed into the house through the return air duct! Would this also disrupt the flame pattern of a gas dryer?


  37. #37
    Bruce Allen's Avatar
    Bruce Allen is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Back to the original post. I still donít think anyone has proven that the return air location violates the code, unless itís the SOLE location. Additional information would be required to determine if the adjoining spaces are greater than 25% of the entire volume served.

    Maybe, now we know why the ahj DIDNíT write up code compliant installation.

    Rick H. - Your constant berating of local inspectors is comical. Maybe you should verify what the code requires before bashing all inspectors.


  38. #38
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,395

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Allen View Post
    Back to the original post. I still donít think anyone has proven that the return air location violates the code, unless itís the SOLE location. Additional information would be required to determine if the adjoining spaces are greater than 25% of the entire volume served.

    Maybe, now we know why the ahj DIDNíT write up code compliant installation.

    Rick H. - Your constant berating of local inspectors is comical. Maybe you should verify what the code requires before bashing all inspectors.
    Bruce

    "berating of local inspectors"

    Other than occasional spelling that I deserved to be teased ? about that Rick does from time to time with me (and I deserve it), I just read Ricks posts above and did not see any "berating" going on.

    There is a gas fired appliance in the laundry. Also when the door is closed in the laundry room and that large return vent is trying to draw the air from the home it just is not happening but is sucking at that gas fired appliance. I think those couple of items should cover it. The one in the hall 6 feet away is obviously in addition to the one in the laundry to make up the amount of return air that is required for the system and a tremendous continuos strain is put on the system when that door is closed. If it is a poor design and the system cannot function as designed then I think that about covers it. If the system is note designed properly to vent and condition the home is that note cause to say it is not compliant and does non compliant mean it is against code?

    If you have a return air vent right beside or directly above a fireplace isn't that non compliant and against code?

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  39. #39
    Bruce Allen's Avatar
    Bruce Allen is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Ted,
    My post does not say anything about your spelling???

    Check Ricks 1st and 15th post:
    ďWonder what the AHJ was thinking that let this one get byĒ
    ďIts actually Authority Having Jurisdiction - The Man who doesn't always do his job Ē
    If you donít think thatís berating, canít help you thereÖ

    The code is developed by designers, engineers, fire chiefs, architects, tradesman and building officials. Unless you are a mechanical engineer, I would defer to the adopted code for design and installation compliance.

    As for the allowed location of a return air near the fireplace, I would use:
    International Residential Code 2003 Edition section M1602.2 Prohibited sources.
    3. Rooms or spaces containing solid-fuel burning appliances, provided that return-air inlets are located not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from the firebox of such appliances.

    Still, no code section that prohibits the original questioned installation.


  40. #40
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,395

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Sorry about that. I just assumed you were speaking of home inspectors.

    Ah, Rick loves the Municipal inspectors. He just does not like to say so. He does not want to ruin his image

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    745

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Darrell,

    Not only with it being a damp location, but a warm humid location. A return air vent in the laundry room will pull this heated air into the system and it also will pull air bourne lint particles from the dryer.

    rick
    OK what section of the code does this violate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Close the door in the laundry room and you have to try to suck all the tonnage through a 3/4 inch crack under the door.
    Nope! There's another return air in the hallway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    every unit has a return air vent to the HVAC equipment at the ceiling of the laundry room and approx. 6ft. away in the hallway. rick

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    (underlining is mine)

    - M1602.2 Prohibited sources. Outdoor and return air for a forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the following locations:
    - - 1. Closer than 10 feet (3048 mm) to an appliance vent outlet, a vent opening from a plumbing drainage system or the discharge outlet of an exhaust fan, unless the outlet is 3 feet (914 mm) above the outside air inlet. (Jerry's note: For gas clothes dryer, the "appliance vent outlet" is where the dryer exhaust duct attaches. This may be open to debate, let's see what everyone here says.)
    I don't agree with this statement. I believe it is where the vent terminates outside. This is refering to the "outdoor" portion stated above.

    M1602.2 Prohibited sources. Outdoor and return air for a forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the following locations:
    - - 1. Closer than 10 feet (3048 mm) to an appliance vent outlet, a vent opening from a plumbing drainage system or the discharge outlet of an exhaust fan, unless the outlet is 3 feet (914 mm) above the outside air inlet.

    All of the examples are speaking of exterior locations. If you use this train of thought then the same would hold true for a sanitary tee. The top of the san tee would be the vent opening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Is not a gas fired clothes dryer a fuel burning appliance?
    5. A room or space containing a fuel-burning appliance where such room or space serves as the sole source of return air.
    This is not the sole source of return air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    every unit has a return air vent to the HVAC equipment at the ceiling of the laundry room and approx. 6ft. away in the hallway. rick
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    There is a gas fired appliance in the laundry. Also when the door is closed in the laundry room and that large return vent is trying to draw the air from the home it just is not happening but is sucking at that gas fired appliance. I think those couple of items should cover it. The one in the hall 6 feet away is obviously in addition to the one in the laundry to make up the amount of return air that is required for the system and a tremendous continuos strain is put on the system when that door is closed. If it is a poor design and the system cannot function as designed then I think that about covers it. If the system is note designed properly to vent and condition the home is that note cause to say it is not compliant and does non compliant mean it is against code?
    Without further information I don't think one could make that determination. Maybe the one in the hallway is more than sufficient to handle the requirements of the HVAC.


    In my opinion I don't think anyone has come up with a section of the code where this type of installation violates anything! It might not be the best installation but there are not any code violations.

    Wayne














  42. #42
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
    Rick Hurst is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Well I'm going to let Bruce spank my ass and call me Shirley on this one. Although it may not be a code violation as I had thought, I did call it out as a poor location and the HVAC contractor agreed with me.

    Many of the evaporator coils in this complex had to be cleaned or replaced due to the amount of debris on the equipment.

    The HVAC contractor stated and I quote, The previous contractor was lazy and took the shortest run possible not taking consideration of the laundry room. He said no reputable contractor would put the main return air vent in the laundry room behind closed doors and with a gas appliance in the same room.

    And I'll stand by comment about the man not always doing his job. Most of AHJ are so busy that they are in and out of a home so quickly that they do miss things. I think we can agree on that.

    Take it for what its worth.

    rick


  43. #43
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    I don't agree with this statement. I believe it is where the vent terminates outside. This is refering to the "outdoor" portion stated above.

    M1602.2 Prohibited sources. Outdoor and return air for a forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the following locations:
    - - 1. Closer than 10 feet (3048 mm) to an appliance vent outlet, a vent opening from a plumbing drainage system or the discharge outlet of an exhaust fan, unless the outlet is 3 feet (914 mm) above the outside air inlet.

    All of the examples are speaking of exterior locations. If you use this train of thought then the same would hold true for a sanitary tee. The top of the san tee would be the vent opening.
    .

    This is from the Commentary on the code, it seems to support your reading of it:

    Recirculation of air contaminated with objectionable
    odors, fumes, or flammable vapors is prohibited be-
    cause of potential health and safety hazards. There-
    fore, return air ducts must not serve kitchens, bath-
    rooms, attached garages, or other dwelling units. Also,
    outdoor air intakes must be located carefully to pre-
    clude objectionable or contaminated air from being
    drawn into the air distribution system. Air intakes
    above the roof must be located a minimum of 10 feet
    laterally from a plumbing vent or fuel-burning ap-
    pliance vent, unless the source of noxious fumes is
    more than 3 feet higher than the outdoor air intake. In
    that case, a lesser lateral separation is acceptable.

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

  44. #44
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,395

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    You know, I write many things up at an inspection that may not be bucking any code. As a matter of fact, many things all the time. Why. Good common sense building practices. Builders, home sellers, buyers practically, almost absolutely never question why. If something just is not good sense or it is a vague building practice or code for that matter, write it up. If you have been in the building trades all your life and you just know in your gut that something is just plain not right. Write it up. You will not believe how little if ever you get questioned.

    As in Ricks case. There is no need for a code to write it up. You don't have to understand or even know any codes to write it up. It does not matter if a building official, builder or anyone else tells you it's fine. Fact is it is not fine, write it up, give your reasons. Even the most stubborn code folks, municipal inspector or builders know it is not right so write it up. In a 35 unit apartment building I doubt it will ever get changed. In all new homes (if they did it in a new home) it would be changed either by the HVAC company or the builder. He could not find some reasoning to try to explain it to their home buyer.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  45. #45
    JORY LANNES's Avatar
    JORY LANNES Guest

    Post Re: Return Air vent Location

    I have read all the replays with great interest. The code references appear to be from the CIR. Does the IRC encompass 35 unit buildings?


  46. #46
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,395

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    To what I wrote up today

    This 1600 sf home had one air return. The front right of the home had 2 bedrooms, a full but small bath and a five foot hallway. The only return air vent in the home was in that hallway ceiling. After 3 hours of the heat running the rest of the home, kitchen, living, entry and master bedroom and bath were toasty warm. There was no return air vent anywhere else in the home.

    That one return air vent was sucking the air out to fast in those 2 bedrooms and bath and it was probably 15 degree cooler in those rooms after three hours of the heat running.

    What did I write up you might ask.

    "The HVAC system was not designed properly for the home. You should consult with an HVAC company as to putting a return toward the other end of the home to cut the draw down in the right front of the home. Instead of the air circulating in the rooms the air is being drawn out across the ceiling to the return air vent in the hall not giving the heated air time to warm the rooms. This will also affect the cooling in the summer and ruining your efficiency."

    Am I an HVAC tech, no. Was there anything wrong code wise, maybe but I doubt it. Did I state exactly the proper method of repair to the system to evenly heat the home? Who knows but it sounds good. That is what the new HVAC company is for, to determine what the exact fix to the system will be.There must be adequate heat in all living areas of the home. There does not have to be central air but there does have to be heat. As far as windows and screens for ventilation, it was covered.

    Of course the thermostat was near or should I say in that hall as well and was not registering the proper air temp throughout the home. Like I said. It was toasty in the rest of the home and many degrees cooler in the front right.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  47. #47
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by JORY LANNES View Post
    Does the IRC encompass 35 unit buildings?

    Depends.

    *IF* they are townhouses, then yes.

    *IF* they are 'other-than-townhouses' (i.e., condos or any other name, such as "apartments" as Rick said), then no.

    Which means we should have been referencing the IMC and none of us caught that, however, the code is the same, that is what the "M" is for in front of code section in the IRC - that designates that it is from the Mechanical Code.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 12-12-2008 at 05:59 PM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  48. #48
    Rick Hurst's Avatar
    Rick Hurst is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Jerry,

    This is an apartment building at the time but the investor is going to do some updating and sell them off as condo's. This place is directly on the water here in town and worth a fortune as condo's.

    rick


  49. #49
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    This is an apartment building at the time but the investor is going to do some updating and sell them off as condo's.
    .

    In the eyes of the code, whether it is called "apartments" or "condos", it is one and the same: R-2.

    From the 2006 IBC. (underlining is mine)
    R-2Residential occupancies containing sleeping units or more than two dwelling units where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature, including:
    Apartment houses
    Boarding houses (not transient)
    Convents
    Dormitories
    Fraternities and sororities
    Hotels (nontransient)
    Monasteries
    Motels (nontransient)
    Vacation timeshare properties
    Congregate living facilities with 16 or fewer occupants are permitted to comply with the construction requirements for Group R-3.


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

  50. #50
    Pat Newton's Avatar
    Pat Newton Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    If there is a door to this laundry room, or even a cased opening in which a door could be installed at a later date, this becomes a safety issue, whether the dryer is gas or electric, as the dryer may not draw sufficient air. Worse if it is gas. As for code, maybe IFGC 304.4 or IMC 913.1?- am sure there is similar verbiage in other codes. The Contractor involved should be made aware of the danger so that he doesn't continue this practice, and of course, this condition should be corrected ASAP, and the homeowner instructed to remove the door (if there is one) to the laundry room until correction can be made. Lets keep in mind that clothes dryers are the number one cause of house fires.

    I am not an inspector, but an engineer just trying to help in a strictly non-professional manner. I let Contractors go with all sorts of sins, but never on safety issues; I never compromise there.

    Hope I helped.

    Pat Newton


  51. #51
    Richard Pultar's Avatar
    Richard Pultar Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Adult and child fire deaths were most commonly caused by smokers' materials (e.g. cigarettes, cigars and tobacco), and cigarette lighters and matches, respectively. Cooking appliances caused most non-fatal fire injuries. Injury rates increased with increasing levels of deprivation and deprivation gradients did not change over 10 years.
    Conclusions Fire prevention interventions should promote the safe use of cooking and heating appliances and the responsible use of smokers' materials, lighters and matches, and should target those at greater risk of fire, including the socially disadvantaged.
    Cooking fires are #1
    Do the math on how much actual O is needed for combustion for gas and you will see there is no big safty issue .
    Just facts and empirical data.


  52. #52
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    Adult and child fire deaths

    Cooking fires are #1
    Do the math on how much actual O is needed for combustion for gas and you will see there is no big safty issue .
    Just facts and empirical data.
    Richard,

    Um ... whatever possessed you to go from talking about combustion air to fires?

    Combustion air *IS* a big safety issue, not because of fires, but because of carbon monoxide poisoning and related deaths.

    "Each year, more than 500 residential deaths in the United States are attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning."
    Cabon Monoxide The Silent Killer (University of Illinois Extension)

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

  53. #53
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Richard,

    When you quote another poster, you should quote them such that everyone knows you are quoting them and who you are quoting.

    That last post made it appear as though that your post.

    I do now see, somewhat, why you changed from combustion air to fires, not because you were disputing combustion air and carbon monoxide poisoning, but because you were replying to where Pat stated "Lets keep in mind that clothes dryers are the number one cause of house fires."

    You could have made your post differently so that would have been evident, and not tie it to the rest of the post which was about combustion air.

    This is what you stated: "Cooking fires are #1", however, your reference stated:"Adult and child fire deaths were most commonly caused by smokers' materials (e.g. cigarettes, cigars and tobacco), and cigarette lighters and matches, respectively."

    Your reference then stated: "Cooking appliances caused most non-fatal fire injuries."

    Thus, "cooking fires" DOES NOT equal 'most fire deaths', just the 'most fires'.

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

  54. #54
    Richard Pultar's Avatar
    Richard Pultar Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    combustion air ie. dilution air has exactly what to do with the realease of monoxide into a habitable space. ???
    the requirement is there to reduce condensatinn in the connectors, flues, stacks, and vents.
    and to create a more efficient burn.
    Combustion based monoxide is released back into the space by over developed length of venting, under or over sized vent, cracks or or no vents .
    the safty of people is not an issue . only the moneuy they might pay to replace a premature failure of part of the system.


  55. #55
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pultar View Post
    combustion air ie. dilution air has exactly what to do with the realease of monoxide into a habitable space. ???
    the requirement is there to reduce condensatinn in the connectors, flues, stacks, and vents.
    and to create a more efficient burn.
    Combustion based monoxide is released back into the space by over developed length of venting, under or over sized vent, cracks or or no vents .
    the safty of people is not an issue . only the moneuy they might pay to replace a premature failure of part of the system.
    Combustion air is to feed combustion without burning up the oxygen in the indoor environment. It *IS* "for the safety of the people".

    If not, you can set out to prove your side by doing this: Turn on your gas furnace which is located in the hallway, block off all combustion air inlets, seal the house up tight with plastic wrap around the outside, then go night-night.

    When your body is found the next day, the firefighters will be wearing their SCBA gear while retrieving your body.

    See, once the oxygen in the air is used for combustion and is burned up, you will not have a sufficient amount left in the air to breathe, but you will be sleeping and you will not be aware of what is taking place.

    Try it.

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

  56. #56
    Richard Pultar's Avatar
    Richard Pultar Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Providing air for people is ventilation
    providing air for appliances is combustion/ dilution air
    CO is a product of combustion, that usually goes up the stack,
    the air that has diminished levels of O is whats left if air is not introduced.
    Saying that my dryer's demand for O to burn would set off my CO alarm if it is venting is hard to believe.
    Do CO alarms respond to lack of Oxygen as well as levels of CO?
    I just like to be specific.
    When I spoke to to the Simpson Bvent mfg tech support and read their install guide
    the dilution air is for the combustion and to reduce the concentration of flue gas moisture.
    This is why its in the codes .
    The Air for people groups never show up at code proposal meetings cause they can't sell anything.


  57. #57
    Pat Newton's Avatar
    Pat Newton Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Thanks for the correction as far as the clothes dryer fires, Richard; I had misread an NFPA article. I do think home heating equipment is up there somewhere though.

    As far as CO worries, there will only be a trace in the products of combustion from a properly vented natural gas fired appliance with sufficient air for combustion. If the appliance cannot obtain sufficient combustion air, however, the CO content can reach deadly levels. If the particular laundry room in question is built fairly tight, with a tight door, the return air vent stands a chance of making the difference of whether or not the dryer can pull enough air for complete combustion.

    Also, in the case of a gas or electric dryer, if the dryer is not moving sufficient air the electric resistance heating element or heat exchanger can reach extreme temperatures, setting lint or clothes on fire.

    As far as a code reference, if it is a gas dryer in a room with a door, having the return air vent in the space could be in violation of IFGC 304.4 "Makeup air provisions".

    Again, just trying to help guys.


  58. #58
    Pat Newton's Avatar
    Pat Newton Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Richard, the air for people is addressed in IMC Chapter 4. People interested in seeing these ventilation rates rise may be selling dehumidifying equipment, lol.


  59. #59
    Richard Pultar's Avatar
    Richard Pultar Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    space heaters in bedrooms get a lot of blame around here..
    Appliance malfunction rates are nothing compared to human stupidity.
    I just like to give credit to where it belongs.
    my pet pieve is considering transfer air equal to fresh air. for human needs.
    Dehumidified air is just dryer , not fresher.
    I just called the Division of Fire Safety for the latest incident numbers cause what I was going by was from 92 thru 99
    the only trend to go up in the data i have is in the unknown cause category.


  60. #60
    Pat Newton's Avatar
    Pat Newton Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Richard - codes can sometimes call for so much outside air (alot of times needed) you get beyond the realm of conventional a/c equipment dehumidification capability (in some locations), hence the more specialized dehumidification equipment is required. And if this is not done, the mold will come!


  61. #61
    MaMa Mount's Avatar
    MaMa Mount Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    SEEMS LIKE A VERY ODD PLACE TO PUT A VENT. WOULDN'T IT HAVE THE LIKELYHOOD OF SUCKING LINT INTO THE SYSTEM MORE SO AND A LAUNDRY ROOM IS HOT SO WOULDN'T THE EXTRA HEAT LOAD AFFECT THE EFFICEINCY OF THE EQUIPMENT?


  62. #62
    Dennis Webber's Avatar
    Dennis Webber Guest

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Darrell,
    Not only with it being a damp location, but a warm humid location. A return air vent in the laundry room will pull this heated air into the system and it also will pull air bourne lint particles from the dryer.
    rick
    One other item comes to mind concerning locating return air in a closed area containing a dryer; that of creating a negative pressure in the compartment. Should the return air not balance the supply, it's possible to cause an unbalance of air pressures of more which could affect the dryer operation. This would probably be more critical with a gas dryer than electric.


  63. #63
    Tom Edwards's Avatar
    Tom Edwards is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    High Point, NC
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    I just inspected a townhome, single floor, built in 1987 in NC that has a gas-fired furnace located in a closet inside the main bath. There is a barometric vent from the attic and the closet door has a 1 1/2" gap under the door with no draft seal or self-closing device on the closet door. Was this acceptable in 1987? According to 1704.1 of the IRC it is wrong and unsafe today.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  64. #64
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    23,038

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Edwards View Post
    I just inspected a townhome, single floor, built in 1987 in NC that has a gas-fired furnace located in a closet inside the main bath. There is a barometric vent from the attic and the closet door has a 1 1/2" gap under the door with no draft seal or self-closing device on the closet door. Was this acceptable in 1987? According to 1704.1 of the IRC it is wrong and unsafe today.

    Tom,

    The oldest Standard Gas Code I have, and I believe NC was using the Standard Codes at that time, is the 1991 Gas Code. There would have been a 1988 and a 1985 edition, making it likely that the 1985 edition would have been in effect for 1987.

    My 1991 Standard Gas Code shows, at:
    - 507.1 Prohibited Location
    - - Central heating boilers and furnaces using solid, liquid or gas fuel, except direct vent or heating coils located in air handling units, shall not be installed:
    - - - 1. Under a stairway.
    - - - 2. In a room used as a bedroom, bathroom, or in a closet with access only through a bedroom or bathroom.
    - - - - EXCEPTION: to 507.1(2): When a closet, having a weather-stripped solid door with an approved door closing device, has been designed exclusively for the central furnace and where all air for combustion and ventilation is supplied form outdoors.

    That section is marked along the margins as having had some changes to the 1991 edition. Those changes could be from minor re-wording (meaning it was in the previous edition) to being fully inserted and new to the 1991 edition.

    Regardless, we can acknowledge that it takes input in the code cycle previous to the previous code cycle for changes to be discussed and then adopted, meaning that at the very least this was being discussed in 1985-1987 and acknowledged as being NOT GOOD.

    It is also possible that similar wording was included several code editions prior to that, and going back how many years is unknown.

    That said, we can state that it was a recognized hazard in 1987.

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

  65. #65
    Tom Edwards's Avatar
    Tom Edwards is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    High Point, NC
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Return Air vent Location

    Thanks for the info, Jerry.
    I'm working on that report now.
    Here is what I included in my report, along with the current IRC language.
    With your info I can amend that slightly to indicate that it was probably a concern at that time as well.
    Safety: The location of the furnace in the main bath is unsafe for occupants according to Section 1701.4 of the International Residential Code (IRC). A fresh air vent through the ceiling of the furnace closet is provided; however, the air intake can be drawn from the bath area as installed. This situation can pose a safety threat for occupants due to the risk of toxic fumes entering the bath under several scenarios. A fossil fuel heating system may not be located in a bath area due to the risk of injury in the event of venting problems that can present at any time. A mechanical contractor should be engaged immediately to further evaluate this condition and the remedies available. Relocating the furnace or provision for a sealed furnace closet to prevent air intake from the bath/bedroom areas may involve significant expense but is necessary to protect against severe or fatal injury. An exception to Section 1701.4 applies if (Exception 2), "all combustion air is taken from the outdoors and the enclosure is equipped with a solid weather-stripped door and self-closing device". This inspector can make no determination regarding the correctness of this installation at the time of original construction at this time; however, additional study on ongoing. For occupant safety, it is recommended that you consult the local code authority for an on-site inspection of this installation and a written determination regarding the safety of the occupants as related to the present mechanical code. If the installation is regarded as unsafe by present mechanical code standards it would be prudent to avoid the risk to any occupants regardless of whether it was not addressed at the time of original construction or replacement within the last 7 years. If the regulatory board has determined it is unsafe, then, it is regarded as unsafe for occupants.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •