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  1. #1
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    Default Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Well here is one of those damned if you do, situations. I reported missing dirt legs on furnace and water heater, in a 1996 home. The seller doesn't want to pay to have them installed and says "they were not required at the time of installation". Which is true as far as what the local AHJ's were accepting at that time. Both the seller and the buyer have called me several times over $10 to $20 fix. I gave them the reasoning that sediment traps (dirt legs) were required by the mfg's, and that without the dirt leg installed, they gave the mfg. a "get out of jail Free" card.

    The Realtor, whom I inspected for his own home in early 2007, emails me;
    Hello Vern,
    The sellers of the home on XXXXXXX have agreed to just about everything on the list. One thing they didn't agree to, which is a concern to my buyer, is installing the dirt legs to the gas pipes. This is what the agent wrote to me;
    We contacted several heating and air companies about the dirt legs and were told that new systems do come with them but they do not usually install them on current systems. The cost for the legs, or filter, is only about $10 each, but since the water heater and furnace are performing fine there is not a need for any repair or addition. This safety device is something that the buyer could add at a later date if she chooses.


    Is this something that is a new code? The house was built in 1996 and if that was not a building code requirement in 1996, then we can't ask for them to bring it up to current code. If it was required in 1996, then we have an arguing point. I looked in my house and I don't have any on the furnace or the water heater and it didn't come up when you inspected it in 2007."[/font]

    First, I don't know of any mfg. that sends sediment traps with the unit! I think they are confusing it with the condensate trap on a condensing furnace? None the less, I tried to find something to send them from the installation instructions. To my dismay, Lennox (which is the brand installed) installation instructions I found on line, don't say that a sediment trap is required. There is a diagram of the gas piping with a sediment trap, but no words to that effect.

    As far as my not reporting the lack of dirt legs, that might be true. I put dirt legs on my radar sometime after early 2007, due in most part to discussions on this board. I will probably offer to put them in for the Realtor if they are truly not there, but it does open the question. What about the next time? What about the next item I start to write up due to new knowledge?

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    Last edited by Vern Heiler; 12-01-2010 at 09:13 AM. Reason: remove font
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    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Vern,
    Realtors are posturing. Possibly giving wrong information to clients. Much to do about nothing. If the seller doesn't want to do something they do not have to. The buyer can take the property with or with out alterations. It is nickel and dime time with the negations. Its a bluffing situation as to who will fold first. The idea that the seller has to do anything is wrong. The buyer can ask or even demand something, But the seller can reject their offer with that contingency. That is negotiating.

    The dirt leg is a good idea even if never needed, its there for the possibility of a need. HVAC plumbers save a little time and money by not installing. Installing per mfg. instructions is their out. NC code is the bottom line. Call local permit/inspector for their current requirement ans ask about past requirements. Ask for Code Reference #.

    You buy a used house you spend money. You buy a used car you spend money. You marry either new or used you spend . It's about how much and the pain level the buyer is willing to put up with.


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Hi Garry,

    I understand and agree with what you have said. The real question is whether or not all mfg's have required dirt legs in there installation instructions, and for how long? That the mfg. has always required them has been the stand by many on this board. In NC I need something to back up the requirement, other than it is a good idea. The AHJ's now require dirt legs but that has only been the case for the last couple of years.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Vern...if you have the make and model of the water heater and furnace you could go to their web site and download the manual for the units. I've had to do that for the same reasons as you.


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Vern,

    Most of the time if the installation manuals are at the equipment, you'll just about find everytime that sediment traps are recommended by the manufacture.

    If not present, I state that the equipment was not installed per manufacture requirements. This usually gets their attention of just stating they are "recommended".

    rick


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    NC Residential Code (which is essentially the IRC with a few exceptions) has a section regarding Sediment traps in the 2000 version.

    G2418.4 (408.4) Sediment Trap. Where a sediment trap is not incorporated as part of the gas utilization equipment, a sediment trap shall be installed as close to the inlet of the equipment as practical. The sediment trap shall be either a tee fitting with a capped nipple in the bottom opening of the run of the tee or other device approved as an effective sediment trap. Illuminating appliances, range, clothes dryers, and outdoor grills need not be so equipped.

    2006 IRC it changed to G2419.4 (408.4)

    Either way it is not your responsibility to pay. Would you pay to install a TPR discharge pipe if was missing? No. Why would you offer to install sediment traps in a home you inspected?

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Either way it is not your responsibility to pay. Would you pay to install a TPR discharge pipe if was missing? No. Why would you offer to install sediment traps in a home you inspected?
    He's talking about going back to the realtor's house, where he inspected in 2007 and gapped on the missing sediment trap.

    Vern, what if after you do that, there's a leak and the realtor's place blows up?
    Other agents will move in to his territory. Have biz cards ready.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Vern...if you have the make and model of the water heater and furnace you could go to their web site and download the manual for the units. I've had to do that for the same reasons as you.
    I went to the Lennox web site and downloaded several of the installation manuals from before and after the age of the unit. The manuals have a picture but no wording that requires a sediment trap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Vern,

    Most of the time if the installation manuals are at the equipment, you'll just about find every time that sediment traps are recommended by the manufacture.

    If not present, I state that the equipment was not installed per manufacture requirements. This usually gets their attention of just stating they are "recommended".

    rick
    Rick, I think I have seen one or two installation manuals left at the equipment. I wish they would leave them, but doesn't happen here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    NC Residential Code (which is essentially the IRC with a few exceptions) has a section regarding Sediment traps in the 2000 version.

    G2418.4 (408.4) Sediment Trap. Where a sediment trap is not incorporated as part of the gas utilization equipment, a sediment trap shall be installed as close to the inlet of the equipment as practical. The sediment trap shall be either a tee fitting with a capped nipple in the bottom opening of the run of the tee or other device approved as an effective sediment trap. Illuminating appliances, range, clothes dryers, and outdoor grills need not be so equipped.

    2006 IRC it changed to G2419.4 (408.4)

    Either way it is not your responsibility to pay. Would you pay to install a TPR discharge pipe if was missing? No. Why would you offer to install sediment traps in a home you inspected?
    The problem is that the house was built in 1997. Was it in the code then?
    And ya, I would pop for a couple of sediment traps for the Realtor. I don't need any enemy's right now!

    Thanks all for the comments.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Not sure what house you are talking about paying for the traps to be installed on, the current client or the past Realtor client's house?
    In either case no but I would be more apt to pay for something I missed or choose not to call out for a client.
    Sediment traps have been around since I was a boy, 50+ years and likely long before that.
    But don't get caught up in the code argument. Tell them smoke detectors code changes every few years but no way I will let MY family stay in a house without working smoke detectors just because it was not required by code when it was built. Smoke detectors and sediment traps are both life/safety issues that should be there no matter who pays. It is cheap life insurance!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    The Realtor, whom I inspected for his own home in early 2007, emails me;
    Hello Vern,
    The sellers of the home on XXXXXXX have agreed to just about everything on the list. One thing they didn't agree to, which is a concern to my buyer, is installing the dirt legs to the gas pipes. This is what the agent wrote to me;
    We contacted several heating and air companies about the dirt legs and were told that new systems do come with them but they do not usually install them on current systems. The cost for the legs, or filter, is only about $10 each, but since the water heater and furnace are performing fine there is not a need for any repair or addition. This safety device is something that the buyer could add at a later date if she chooses.
    Vern,

    I would tell the real estate agent (cannot be a Realtor TM as they would, of course, have the best benefits of the client in mind) that they need to put that in writing and keep it to give to the surviving relatives when their lawyers call to report the untimely death of their clients due to no sediment trap being installed.

    Seriously --- tell the real estate agent that *it is important* and *that is why you put it on the report*, then add that 'as a home inspector I cannot make anyone do anything, that if the client does not value their lives more than the seller does for that small cost of installing a sediment trap, then let the client decide to not install it, it is, after all, their choice - they can either buy the house and fix it themselves or not buy the house because both they and the seller refuse to correct it' ... then let the real estate agent think a minute, then add, 'or, what with your commission being so much greater than my inspection fee, I will split the cost of it with you based on the ratio of my inspection fee to the real estate commission ... '

    I.e., the real estate commission (both sides added together) might be 6%, and 6% of a $200,000 deal is $12,000, and the home inspection fee was $500, which makes a ratio of 12,000/600 or 20:1, which means that if the cost is $50 I will cover 1/20th of that cost and you cover the other 19/20ths of the cost, when you get the bill for it I will send you a check for $2.50 which is my share ...

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

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Few, if any, furnace or storage type water heater manufacturers manufacture their own gas valves. Most contract with one of a few manufacturers of same and spec as OEM. You will find references by both (the valve mfg and appliance mfg) to national fuel gas code either NFPA code number or ANSI number. References to this standard for installation and local codes should they be more stringent are found in the appliance mfg. installation and operation instructions.As unattended fuel burning appliances the standard has been clear since prior to the date provided as original to this home.


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Vern,
    I see your problem dealing with Lennox web site and finding installation instructions, unsuccessful also.

    Here are two with BARD Furnances.

    See page 22 section 17 #3 drip leg required

    http://www.bardhvac.com/digcat/volum...228%28A%29.pdf

    page 9 sect 8 #2

    http://www.bardhvac.com/digcat/volum...273%28B%29.pdf

    Have you tried to call Lennox directly and get them to send you the install spec that have the drip/dirt tube issue specifically stated. Also ask them to state if the tube is required per their company requirements. Bet they would req to cover themselves.


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Vern,
    I see your problem dealing with Lennox web site and finding installation instructions, unsuccessful also.

    Here are two with BARD Furnances.

    See page 22 section 17 #3 drip leg required

    http://www.bardhvac.com/digcat/volum...228%28A%29.pdf

    page 9 sect 8 #2

    http://www.bardhvac.com/digcat/volum...273%28B%29.pdf

    Have you tried to call Lennox directly and get them to send you the install spec that have the drip/dirt tube issue specifically stated. Also ask them to state if the tube is required per their company requirements. Bet they would req to cover themselves.
    Thanks Garry, that is the wording I was looking for. I guess I will just change my wording to "most" rather than "all" mfg's require dirt legs. H.G.'s argument that the valve mfg. has always required dirt legs is good, but I'll reserve that for a final argument if needed.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Here's my two cents, for what it's worth.

    Personally, I don't understand why you would even consider paying for the legs. Realize that by purchasing them, you will also be assuming responsibility for their installation. And who's going to do it. You? You can't charge for the work (ethics violation), so you would have to donate your time and your money.

    So, you pay for the legs, but are unwilling to do the free work. You know the Realtor will now expect you to pay for installation. Why should they pay? You've shown them they can roll you, so they'll keep on rolling you.

    Lose-lose situation. Just look at the Realtor as if he/she has two heads and move on. You did your job, it's up to them to negotiate.


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Williams View Post
    Here's my two cents, for what it's worth.

    Personally, I don't understand why you would even consider paying for the legs. Realize that by purchasing them, you will also be assuming responsibility for their installation. And who's going to do it. You? You can't charge for the work (ethics violation), so you would have to donate your time and your money.

    So, you pay for the legs, but are unwilling to do the free work. You know the Realtor will now expect you to pay for installation. Why should they pay? You've shown them they can roll you, so they'll keep on rolling you.

    Lose-lose situation. Just look at the Realtor as if he/she has two heads and move on. You did your job, it's up to them to negotiate.
    It's the Realtors house that I inspected back in the first part of 2007 that is in question. I "might not" have reported the lack of dirt legs on his home. Sometimes the dirt leg is not right next to the valve and he may not have seen them. Problem is that I don't know exactly when I put dirt legs in the reports, irrespective of date installed. Remember the AHJ's in this area did not require them until a couple of years ago, and I was going with that as a bench mark as to required or not. It was brought to my attention, on this board, that "all mfg's" require sediment traps in there installation instructions. Now I see that that is not 100% correct.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    It was brought to my attention, on this board, that "all mfg's" require sediment traps in there installation instructions. Now I see that that is not 100% correct.

    The problem in not the requirement for the sediment traps but in the wording you are using for the sediment traps.

    It is the "code" which requires them 100% of the time (the only exception to installing one is if one is built into the appliance, which means the sediment trap is still "required" by the "code").

    Thus, whether or not any given manufacturer calls for sediment traps is irrelevant - the code calls for them.

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

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Vern at one time people didn't use seatbeats either now look at things. too many getting tickets and more get hurt when it matters. the dirt leg is for a good thing not a bad thing. just tell them that you want what is best for your client but it is an option for improvement based on the fact it wasn't need for code then but now it is. Do they want the best for their family then do it and sleep better. if this is the least of their worries tell the realtor to pay for it to close the sale and write it up as a gimme. spend 20 bucks to make thousands. works for me ). your just there to educate and offer an educated opinion on what you see not to pay for improvements.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Vern,

    I would tell the real estate agent (cannot be a Realtor TM as they would, of course, have the best benefits of the client in mind) that they need to put that in writing and keep it to give to the surviving relatives when their lawyers call to report the untimely death of their clients due to no sediment trap being installed.

    Seriously --- tell the real estate agent that *it is important* and *that is why you put it on the report*, then add that 'as a home inspector I cannot make anyone do anything, that if the client does not value their lives more than the seller does for that small cost of installing a sediment trap, then let the client decide to not install it, it is, after all, their choice - they can either buy the house and fix it themselves or not buy the house because both they and the seller refuse to correct it' ... then let the real estate agent think a minute, then add, 'or, what with your commission being so much greater than my inspection fee, I will split the cost of it with you based on the ratio of my inspection fee to the real estate commission ... '

    I.e., the real estate commission (both sides added together) might be 6%, and 6% of a $200,000 deal is $12,000, and the home inspection fee was $500, which makes a ratio of 12,000/600 or 20:1, which means that if the cost is $50 I will cover 1/20th of that cost and you cover the other 19/20ths of the cost, when you get the bill for it I will send you a check for $2.50 which is my share ...
    Jerry why would this cause a fire. Isn't a sediment trap installed just to keep dirt from stopping up the orifice which would prevent the burner from lighting?


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    "Isn't a sediment trap installed just to keep dirt from stopping up the orifice which would prevent the burner from lighting?"

    Yes, that and debris can interfere with the control valve, causing it to stay open and not turn off. When that happens, there is a hazardous condition.

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

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Hetner View Post
    Vern at one time people didn't use seatbeats either now look at things. too many getting tickets and more get hurt when it matters. the dirt leg is for a good thing not a bad thing. just tell them that you want what is best for your client but it is an option for improvement based on the fact it wasn't need for code then but now it is. Do they want the best for their family then do it and sleep better. if this is the least of their worries tell the realtor to pay for it to close the sale and write it up as a gimme. spend 20 bucks to make thousands. works for me ). your just there to educate and offer an educated opinion on what you see not to pay for improvements.
    Ah the pit falls of working in a licensed state! I can make suggestions for improvements in the body of the report, but can not recommend improvements in the summary. If I make a recommendation it has to be in the summary and I have to have a way to justify it. If it was not required at the time of installation I can't recommend it to be improved. If it was required and I don't recommend it in the summary, I am liable for its repair.
    This is a great business .

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Ah the pit falls of working in a licensed state! I can make suggestions for improvements in the body of the report, but can not recommend improvements in the summary. If I make a recommendation it has to be in the summary and I have to have a way to justify it. If it was not required at the time of installation I can't recommend it to be improved. If it was required and I don't recommend it in the summary, I am liable for its repair.
    This is a great business .
    Another case of licensing of home inspectors to protect real estate agents. Legislation created by and for the agents. Is there a statewide organization for home inspectors in NC? Virginia has VAREI, Virginia Association of Home Inspectors. VAREI serves as a legislative watchdog for any proposed state legislation that could affect home inspectors. We hire a consultant/lobbyist to watch and listen for any issues that come up as they are proposed and help with mounting a campaign to either fight or support them if necessary. You must have a voice of some numbers to approach the NC legislature for any action. The individual doesn't have any pull (unless they are filthy rich and donate a lot of money to political campaigns)

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    I'm not in NC, so don't have the same SOP requirements as the OP, but I was questioned earlier this year on the same call and changed my thinking and what I write up. I called and went by for face to face (for double verification) both my local suppliers of NG and LP and without a doubt they both recommend sediment traps. So I changed my comment to place them at the top of the food chain thinking when I get questioned again I'll politely suggest the Realtor call the supplier and the appliance manufacturer and let me know what they find out.

    Here's my comment...what do you think ...good...bad...? Have at it.

    There was no sediment trap installed on the gas supply line serving the *FREEFORM*. Local suppliers of both natural gas and liquid propane, as well as most appliance manufacturers, recommend the installation of a sediment trap installed in the gas line as close as possible to the appliance inlet. A sediment trap prevents debris present in either the supply piping or gas, from entering the appliance control valve and clogging the gas orifice which can create a hazardous condition. The sediment trap should be installed, and in a manner which causes the gas to make a 90 degree change of direction in order for debris to drop out of the gas flow.



  23. #23
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Vern
    It is not your job to negotiate on who should install the traps. Nor does the seller or buyer have to install them. Now were they required in 1996 the answer is yes.
    Going back to the 1996 National fuel Gas Code:
    5.5.7 Sediment Trap. If a sediment trap is not incorporated as part of the gas utilization equipment, a sediment trap shall be installed as close to the inlet of the equipment as practical at the time of equipment installation. The sediment trap shall be either a tee fitting with a capped nipple in the bottom outlet as illustrated in Figure 5 or other device recognized as an effective sediment trap. Illuminating appliances, ranges,clothes driers, and outdoor grills shall not be required to be so equipped.
    Bruce


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    "The sediment trap should be installed, and in a manner which causes the gas to make a 90 degree change of direction in order for debris to drop out of the gas flow."


    Leave that part out

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

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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Adams View Post
    Vern
    It is not your job to negotiate on who should install the traps. Nor does the seller or buyer have to install them. Now were they required in 1996 the answer is yes.
    Going back to the 1996 National fuel Gas Code:
    5.5.7 Sediment Trap. If a sediment trap is not incorporated as part of the gas utilization equipment, a sediment trap shall be installed as close to the inlet of the equipment as practical at the time of equipment installation. The sediment trap shall be either a tee fitting with a capped nipple in the bottom outlet as illustrated in Figure 5 or other device recognized as an effective sediment trap. Illuminating appliances, ranges,clothes driers, and outdoor grills shall not be required to be so equipped.
    Bruce

    Bruce,
    Do you have a link to a free gas code. I looked but was not able to find one. Or are you quoting from your own copy.


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Bruce,
    Do you have a link to a free gas code. I looked but was not able to find one. Or are you quoting from your own copy.
    Here's Virginia. State of Virginia

    Here's the relevant IRC Chapter 24 - Fuel Gas


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Bruce,
    Do you have a link to a free gas code. I looked but was not able to find one. Or are you quoting from your own copy.
    Garry
    I have the code books going back to 1980. Vern said the home was built in 1996. Just pulled the book for that period. You should be able to go to the ANSI site and look up Z 223.1 for that edition though. There library goes back further than others. The National Fuel Gas Code is now part of ICC. That is who I got the last edition from.
    Bruce


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    "The sediment trap should be installed, and in a manner which causes the gas to make a 90 degree change of direction in order for debris to drop out of the gas flow."


    Leave that part out
    Rick
    No I did not leave that out. The book refers to figure 5. which shows the 90 in the picture. I put what was in the 1996 code book. Was unable to put the picture in. Sorry. It would not scan.
    Bruce


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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    The reason I said to leave thar out is because that is saying how to make the correction.
    I don't think its good for an HI to specify how to make a correction.

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

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    The reason I said to leave thar out is because that is saying how to make the correction.
    I don't think its good for an HI to specify how to make a correction.
    In general you are right but I have to say that I add little hints and or fixes all the time. If you have the fix tell them if you want. The only reason I hesitate sometimes is I do not want to make it look like I am suggesting they fix it. After everyone of my additions for the proper way to repair/fix something I tell them they need to contact the appropriate tradesman to do the repairs


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    I agree with not designing the repair but I will insert a diagram of a proper sediment trap, condensate trap, or whatever along with verbiage describing what NEEDS to be there and sometimes what should not be there. This is important in areas that are regularly done improperly by the expert that is supposed to know better.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  32. #32
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I agree with not designing the repair but I will insert a diagram of a proper sediment trap, condensate trap, or whatever along with verbiage describing what NEEDS to be there and sometimes what should not be there. This is important in areas that are regularly done improperly by the expert that is supposed to know better.
    That is the main reason I add a little insight to the clients. If they see things upside down and backwards then they know they hired the wrong folks to fix it and get it corrected.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    That is the main reason I add a little insight to the clients. If they see things upside down and backwards then they know they hired the wrong folks to fix it and get it corrected.
    Yep.
    I doubt many folks actually get the improperly designed condensate trap corrected but I provide a diagram and describe the process to feel for leaking air at the unit. This along with "if you feel air blowing out of the pipe, the contractor blew it. Tell them to keep working until they get it figured out"
    I still have not figured out where 95% of the HVAC techs, plumbers, and roofers get some of their ideas.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  34. #34
    Widdershins Saunders's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    The problem is that the house was built in 1997. Was it in the code then?
    And ya, I would pop for a couple of sediment traps for the Realtor. I don't need any enemy's right now!
    It depends on where you are and the source of the NG.

    Most NG purveyors have been required by law to provide a screened, unadulterated product since the mid 80's -- But that doesn't take installation practices into the equation.

    Did the pipe layer drag the piping through the dirt on his or her way to the installation?

    Did they clear the piping of cutting oil before installation?

    The means of introducing contaminates into the piping are numerous.

    Here's the history of dirt legs and their requirement, why they weren't required and then all of a sudden required again:

    Gas piping was originally a crude product -- Contaminants from poorly drawn piping were rampant.

    Gas piping drawing was perfected and the risk of contaminants was greatly reduced.

    NG purveyors were required to filter their product and the risk of contaminates was greatly reduced.

    Chinese and Mexican black iron piping was introduced after the lowering of tariffs and other trade restrictions.

    The AHJ noticed that despite the best efforts of Duty Inspectors, foreign piping containing contaminates was making its way into American homes.

    The list goes on and on. . . . . . .

    Along the way came regional and source requirements:

    Was the NG from the North Slope -- Hence dry and completely moisture free?

    Or was it cracked from coal and almost guaranteed to contain moisture and particulate contaminants? (Dirt Legs are also called Drip Legs in areas of the country where NG has a high moisture content -- The moisture has been known to clog orifices)

    Too many variables to consider.

    OTOH, it should be noted that most jurisdictions require a re inspection if even one fitting is removed, replaced or added. Installing a dirt leg is going to require at least two of the three -- Are you prepared to take out a permit to test your new installation and retest all of the existing gas piping?


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Johnston View Post
    Jerry why would this cause a fire. Isn't a sediment trap installed just to keep dirt from stopping up the orifice which would prevent the burner from lighting?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Yes, that and debris can interfere with the control valve, causing it to stay open and not turn off. When that happens, there is a hazardous condition.
    Paul,

    Expanding on what Rick said, the debris can reduce the flow of gas such that the flame goes out, the pilot stays on, and the gas continues to flow ... to the point that there is sufficient fuel/air mixture that the pilot can cause ignition of the accumulated gas, leading to a fire outside the appliance or to an explosion (which in some way would still be a fire outside the appliance).

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

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    "The sediment trap should be installed, and in a manner which causes the gas to make a 90 degree change of direction in order for debris to drop out of the gas flow."


    Leave that part out
    Yes, I agree that starts to go down the road of designing the fix, which as a rule I try to avoid. Sometimes though, depending on the issue the fix will have a high probabilty of being wrong, as with straight flow through sediment traps. My hope is by including a sentence that informs the client of a critcial part of what the fix shouldn't be, increases the chances the fix might be done correctly.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Ah the pit falls of working in a licensed state! I can make suggestions for improvements in the body of the report, but can not recommend improvements in the summary. If I make a recommendation it has to be in the summary and I have to have a way to justify it. If it was not required at the time of installation I can't recommend it to be improved. If it was required and I don't recommend it in the summary, I am liable for its repair.
    This is a great business .
    Installing a sediment leg is not an upgrade or recommendation, it is a safety concern. You are labeling you defects incorrectly.

    Re-read your post. I believe you meant to say you can put a recommendation in the body of the report but cannot put it in the summary UNLESS it is a repair item or safety item. Does not matter if it was required at the time of installation, it is a safety item now and needs to be addressed.

    Change your mode of thinking and report writing. You no longer have recommendations to upgrade anything. You only find defects. Some of the defects are defects because they are inherently dangerous and constitute Safety Concerns which you can and should put in the summary.

    Just like the law that says if you quote NC Residential Building Code, you must include the entire paragraph from the code in the report as well as confirm what code was enforce when the defect was installed. Don't quote NC Residential code, quote International Residential Code if you feel so inclined to quote code. The law specifically refers to NC Residential Code, not any and all codes. It is much easier and safer just to use commonly accepted building/plumbing/electrical/mechanical practices require...

    PM me if you want to discuss in more detail. I have an insiders track to the licensing board report reveiwers.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Bruce,
    Do you have a link to a free gas code. I looked but was not able to find one. Or are you quoting from your own copy.
    Garry Sorrells,

    Not Bruce here but can get you to NFPA 54 (The National Fuel Gas Code) on-line viewing of current and most recent prior edition for free. The National Fuel Gas Code is often the Code (or referenced by its ANSI Standard Number) referenced by gas fired appliance manufacturers, etc. and is the fuel gas code in many jurisdictions.

    NFPA still makes available FREE on-line (viewing only) access of ALL of their current code editions on their website (and usually the edition next previous). You may have to register first, and pre-validate your email address, (clear your cookies/cache) and re-sign-in before you do so. You will have to allow cookies, and pop-up windows, and active X, for the online viewer to load, and the code or standard to pop-up. The free-viewing is limited in navigation tools - start with the TOC button (table of contents), which will get you to a chapter, then use next and previous buttons to navigate the pages (yes its a pain, designed to be that way, so as to encourage you to purchase a copy, but okay for occasional use, or reading). The Index for a standard or code is accessible, but not interactive.

    NFPA

    You can choose to "register" at the site (free) as an "other" type of access, you don't have to "join" as a fee/dues paying ($150/yr) member (not AHJ, not firefighter, etc.).

    Go to the sign-in page, (top left of menu bar across top of main page) and then click on the "Create an Account" box on the right just under the heading "Not registered with NFPA?" .

    When you've signed-up and signed in, and validated your email, navigate to the List of Codes and Standards here:

    List of NFPA codes & standards

    NFPA 54 is the National Fuel Gas Code (also known as its ANSI standard number, often referenced by gas appliance manufacturers). AFAIK, the International Fuel Gas Code (ICC) is still published by ICC, and not the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) FWIW, NFPA 70 is the National Electrical Code, and NFPA 211 is the Standard Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid-fuel burning appliances.

    Select the Code or standard you wish to view, use the drop down menu to determine the edition you'd like, and choose the "view online" option. You will then have to agree to the terms of viewing, then load it.

    HTH,

    H.G.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Adams View Post
    Garry
    I have the code books going back to 1980. Vern said the home was built in 1996. Just pulled the book for that period. You should be able to go to the ANSI site and look up Z 223.1 for that edition though. There library goes back further than others. The National Fuel Gas Code is now part of ICC. That is who I got the last edition from.
    Bruce
    I believe you are mistaken. NFPA 54 is ANSI Z233.1.

    National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) produced and produces and published and continues to publish under copyright the National Fuel Gas Code (NFPA 54), a.k.a. ANSI Z233.1.

    The International Code Coun. produced/(s?) something called the "International Fuel Gas Code". Not the same thing.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Sediment Trap, do I get to pay?

    H.G. -- Thank you

    Bruce-- You point out the importance of, " not what is said, but how it is said ".

    Most Code is there for some safety reason. I can see how NC would specify how you use the term Code and the need to show what the code is for the client in the report and how it was originally written at the time of construction.

    There was another thread dealing with IL Pluming Law and the use of the term Code that pointed out we all need to look at how we say something more closely. After raising three children I learned along the way it's all about how I say something, especialy if I want them to understand what I am trying to tell them. Different words can yield an understanding of something or yields just attitude.

    So many people get wrapped up in Code Compliance or Code Correctness when it should be stated in the terms of Safety Concerns with an explanation of why it is a safety concern. Reading code to many is like reading Latin, you may know some of the words but you do not understand what is being said.

    Again, good point Bruce.


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