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Thread: Code compliance

  1. #1
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    Default Code compliance

    [FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']Received this e-mail from a client on a home I inspected in May. Never heard of this code.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Calibri','sans-serif'][/FONT]
    [FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']Your inspection report did not highlight the fact that drain pipes run thru the living room and the gap between dry wall and pipe is below the compliance code limit. I have asked west Windsor township inspector to take a second look. He mentioned our inspection should have caught it. Any reason why you missed it.[/FONT]

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    You mean the drain pipes are exposed in the living room?

    I suspect the drain pipes run vertically through the floor, are exposed, then go through the ceiling, and that there are open spaces around the pipe.

    Those spaces should be sealed and caulked.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    There are no exposed piping in the entire home. From what I understand the plumbing offical was able to determine while water is running through the piping that the sound indicated the drain piping was too close to the ceiling drywall. So I need to know where in the plumbing code and when was it adopted that the piping must be so many inches way from the drywall.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    You cannot be expected to report on what is obscured, such as piping behind drywall. There are no objective criteria, to my knowledge, one can use to determine the location of piping behind gypsum board by listening to water running through the piping. The opinion of the AHJ in questions is just that - in question.

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    Crazy stuff.

    If you feel obligated to respond, I would first point out that a Home Inspection is not a code inspection. Second, I would point out that X-Ray vision costs extra, or that concealed components are not subject to assessment, if you prefer. Every SOP ever written will back you up.

    What I would not do is engage in a code debate on something you had no obligation to report about.

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Roshak View Post
    There are no exposed piping in the entire home. From what I understand the plumbing offical was able to determine while water is running through the piping that the sound indicated the drain piping was too close to the ceiling drywall. So I need to know where in the plumbing code and when was it adopted that the piping must be so many inches way from the drywall.
    It's not your problem, it is the builders problem! This is so far outside the scope of a normal home inspection it isn't even funny..

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Thumbs down Re: Code nazi

    Ditto it is not within the scope of a HI but just out of curiosity, what is the std. and by what method did they *measure* the non-compliance? When Hector the Inspector fails to back up his assertion, I'd send a blistering letter to his boss. Also, since *stuff* runs downhill, DWV pipe must be pitched meaning the clearance at one point will vary from the other end if pitched.Therefore, knowing the minimum clearance will reveal the maximum run. Also, that would mean it must run parallel in joist bays as such a pitch and pipe diameter would not allow joist boring over much of a span.

    Side note: if the DWV is too close to the ceiling, look to see if his dept. inspected it or not. If not permit was pulled, then the builder or owner at that time would have been responsible. Once the house sold, the liability would die and become grandfathered.

    I'll bet you there are things in that house (any house for that matter) that, if uncovered or exposed for visual inspection, would reveal actual safety issues and not the nuisance of hearing draining water. Somebody really needs to get a life.

    Ask him is it an acceptable clearance if using EPA Certified 'Silent Poo' and see if he blinks. Like we don't have enough real problems to worry about in this country....

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Roshak View Post
    There are no exposed piping in the entire home. From what I understand the plumbing offical was able to determine while water is running through the piping that the sound indicated the drain piping was too close to the ceiling drywall. So I need to know where in the plumbing code and when was it adopted that the piping must be so many inches way from the drywall.
    Okay, got it now, thanks.

    There is ... and is not ... a code which addresses that.

    First, the "there is" part - protection from nails is required where the piping is closer than 1-1/2" to the to the nearest edge of the member, nail protection is required to be installed:
    - P2603.2.1 Protection against physical damage. In concealed locations, where piping, other than cast-iron or galvanized steel, is installed through holes or notches in studs, joists, rafters or similar members less than 1.5 inches (38 mm) from the nearest edge of the member, the pipe shall be protected by shield plates. Protective shield plates shall be a minimum of 0.062-inch-thick (1.6 mm) steel, shall cover the area of the pipe where the member is notched or bored and shall extend a minimum of 2 inches (51 mm) above sole plates and below top plates.

    Second, the "is not" part:
    - P2603.2.1 Protection against physical damage. In concealed locations, where piping, other than cast-iron or galvanized steel, is installed through holes or notches in studs, joists, rafters or similar members less than 1.5 inches (38 mm) from the nearest edge of the member, the pipe shall be protected by shield plates. Protective shield plates shall be a minimum of 0.062-inch-thick (1.6 mm) steel, shall cover the area of the pipe where the member is notched or bored and shall extend a minimum of 2 inches (51 mm) above sole plates and below top plates.

    If the piping is "installed through holes or notches" in the truss bottom chords or the ceiling joist, the holes would be at least that 1-1/2" up from the bottom (trusses are not allowed to be notched, cut, or bored, with an engineer's letter providing how, and that means that would be a big problem as I doubt an engineer would allow that for trusses). With sawn lumber floor joists, the holes are required to be at least 2" from the top and bottom edges, so THE INSPECTOR must have missed that at the framing inspection ... ... turn the tables on him.

    There is one more option - the pipe is running between floor trusses/joists, in which case the inspector may be trying to apply the 1-1/2" above the ceiling, but the ceiling is not "through holes or notches in studs, joists, rafters or similar members" as nothing is intended to be nailed to the drywall ceiling.

    That inspector strikes out on each count, the ump sends that inspector out of the game and out of the ball park, and tells that inspector not to come back until they figure out what they did wrong.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    I wonder if what is being discussed is gravity DWV, ejected/elevated drainage or waste, or Discharge/drainage (relief valves) or hydronic heating system, etc. or sprinkler syst..

    As I read the original post and follow-up discussion, it occurs to me that a failure to property support a branch (resting upon dropped ceiling finish) OR what might be of issue is plastic (pvc or abs) Drain or waste piping of sufficient length and which makes a change of direction, and that insufficient space and provisions have been made for expansion and contraction - and that a knocking or similar noise evidences same when slugs or continuous drainage of differing temperature than ambient temperature in the cavity containing same are being drained from above; or metallic waste plumbing and condensation upon same.

    What drainage from where above provides the "indication" or evidence that is being cited by the "plumbing official"? What piping material (pastic, CI, galvy, copper tube? Where is the alledged "problem"? Is there a change in direction? A long run before or after? Is this ceiling area immediately below a closet bend, shower or tub drain?

    Was this a "regular" home inspection; was it construction, remodeling, repair inspection/consulation; or related to some other type business/activity?

    In any event, I would request the (former?) client forward a copy of the written report, which states the supposed "opinon" of the "West Windsor Township" inspector/official, and just why and how you were expected to devine the state of the concealed drainage system.

    Pipes of all kinds, need to be properly supported, allowances made where required for expansion and contraction, and structure and finishes not damaged by movement caused by same.

    IIRC N.J. uses the Nat. Standard plumbing code, not the IPC, IRC's plumbing chpters or the UPC.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    Beyond the obvious X-ray vision issues, I have to ask if PVC drainpipe is 'newer' in your area?
    I remember back when the City first allowed PVC drainpipe in residential, people were complaining like crazy about how loud it was. Prior to that cast was our standard, so people weren't used to hearing the drains.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    "You missed it" - the 3 little words that can make my blood boil.

    Did you inspect the plumbing at the roughed-in stage? If not, tell him to XXXXXXXX xxxx.

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

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    You mean to tell me that while you were running the water in the kitchen checking for leaks you did not run into the LR and the other rooms to listen for water running through the pipes. How unthoughtful of you!


  13. #13

    Default Re: Code compliance

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Roshak View Post
    [FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']Received this e-mail from a client on a home I inspected in May. Never heard of this code.[/font]
    [FONT='Calibri','sans-serif'][/font]
    [FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']Your inspection report did not highlight the fact that drain pipes run thru the living room and the gap between dry wall and pipe is below the compliance code limit. I have asked west Windsor township inspector to take a second look. He mentioned our inspection should have caught it. Any reason why you missed it.[/font]
    I would be contacting that inspector's superior and raking said inspector over the coals big time. He is an idiot and needs to be trained or more likely re-trained before ever let loose in public. He's basically pulling stuff out of his ass and than saying you should have done the same. Freaking moron.

    As for the client, I would not get into it much more than stating that you cannot see or report on concealed components nor do you make code evaluations. I would not get into a pissing contest over the idiot AHJ inspector.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana Bostick View Post
    the idiot AHJ inspector.
    They are in abundance . . .

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    Jerry nailed the clearance and requirements for nail protection, but in sawn lumber the hole for the pipe can be no closer than 2" to the top or bottom of the joist. 2006 R502.8.1


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    Got busted on a similar one recently where a year after the inspection the kitchen drain kept clogging from the disposal, and finally after a number of unclogs a plumber pulled the drywall ceiling below down and found a big sag in the line from where a couple of the cheap nail-in plastic 1/2 moon hangers that had pulled out. “Your inspector should have caught that.” The plumber told the owner home inspectors should camera every drain line.

    Course we settled to avoid the litigation. What can you do? Swear at them under your breath and move on.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Code compliance

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Weck View Post
    Jerry nailed the clearance and requirements for nail protection, but in sawn lumber the hole for the pipe can be no closer than 2" to the top or bottom of the joist. 2006 R502.8.1
    I got that too ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    With sawn lumber floor joists, the holes are required to be at least 2" from the top and bottom edges, so THE INSPECTOR must have missed that at the framing inspection ... ... turn the tables on him.


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

  18. #18
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
    Garry Blankenship Guest

    Default Re: Code compliance

    I agree that water conveyence systems, ( water closet drains really ), should be insulated, ( where appropriate ), for sound, as a matter of practical convenience. That, however, is only a matter of cosmetics and/or convenience and not a code concern. Some inspector asserting code infraction via his or her perceived decible correctness is beyond absurd.


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