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Thread: Water closet

  1. #1
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    Question Water closet

    I inspected a 1984 town home today. I don't have any code books for that era. Mine only date back to 97.
    Question is was it required to have a pan and drain installed under a water heater that is located in a closet under the stairs on a slab foundation. The TP is also just to the floor. I would think wall damage and floor coverings could occur if it leaks let alone if the Tp pops off.

    Another question. The water heater was replaced in 99. Should it not be brought up to that years code standard and a expansion tank and pan installed with a drain to an approved location or would the AHJ say because of the slab and location no drain can be installed without breaking up some slab to the exterior?

    If the above doesn't apply how can my clients protect themselves from water damage by means of installing something?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Water closet

    Bump

    OK doe's anyone have a guess!

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
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  3. #3
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water closet

    If the above doesn't apply how can my clients protect themselves from water damage by means of installing something?
    Easiest would be a drip-pan (plugged) with the sensors of an inexpensive flood alarm ($15-$30) in the pan.


  4. #4
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water closet

    The water heater was replaced in 99. Should it not be brought up to that years code

    I would say yes to that as would any remodel job.

    If you replaced the electrical panel, would you not have to install GFCIs and AFCIs to comply with today's standards?

    IMHO


  5. #5
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    Lightbulb Re: Water closet

    Thanks Richard,
    The alarm is a good Idea.

    Was a pan required in 84?
    If you have a slab and the water heater is located in the middle of the unit. How would you install a drain to the exterior if it had to be brought up to code. You would have to cut a troth.

    I would say yes to that as would any remodel job.
    Tim thanks for your reply but it's not a "remodel" but a "replacement".
    In the last ten years I only know one person that said they got a permit for replacement, and they could have been pulling my leg on that.

    I don't know of anyone getting a permit when they replace there Heating and Air either. These are reputable company's doing these replacements and you would think there business is on the line.

    I think in reality that the AHJ doesn't push for and turns a blind eye to-wards "replacements".

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Water closet

    Mike: I don't look for a pan unless there is a habitable floor below - same for washer and furnace. Rather than get into a question of code - which might infer that you knew what code the AHJ went by at that time, why not approach it from the "Best Practice" viewpoint? People understand that.

    As for the TPR valve - this has been a contentious topic in the past and one that I don't care to start up again. BUT, it's important to know when the valve leaks and as the manufacturer will state - it must terminate within sight. If it terminates inside a floor drain you won't know when it begins to leak. If it's run to the exterior it will be the same. If the floor gets wet it's a secondary concern. The primary concern is why has it opened? High pressure or temperature? That's what one should worry about and hiding the leak makes no sense to me. And besides, are we not to be pointing out safety concerns?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  7. #7
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water closet

    Mike,

    Tim thanks for your reply but it's not a "remodel" but a "replacement".
    Your correct and I misspoke/typed.

    What I was thinking was that if a permit was pulled and it was going to be inspected, then the AHJ would want it up to today's code.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Water closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Moreira View Post
    What I was thinking was that if a permit was pulled and it was going to be inspected, then the AHJ would want it up to today's code.
    Not only that, but any replaced equipment *is required*, permit or not, to be installed in accordance with the code in existence at the time the replacement equipment is installed.

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

  9. #9
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    Lightbulb Re: Water closet

    Thanks Jerry and Tim,

    Eric,
    I appreciate your thoughts. The concern was about floor finishes and walls. If leakage where to occur the wall on the right is a insulated wall which water can get in and the left wall is adjacent to the wood floors. The entrance was to a room with carpet. If it leaked these materials may need replacing. If the TPR went off you talking major flood and replacement. Common sense would tell you to install in pan.

    As far as the TPR dripping is concerned you can place a flood alarm in the pan or terminate the drain in a area that can't be missed. Just like secondary condensate drains above windows.

    There are hundreds of homes here that are being built with the water heater in the attic. The TPR extension is at the pan and it drains to the exterior. I don't think I would want to find out about it by the ceiling fallen out. I rather see it outside.

    Last edited by Mike Schulz; 04-14-2007 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Need spell checker to be automatic!
    Mike Schulz License 393
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Water closet

    Mike: Concern for floors etc is certainly valid and reasonable. But I place the termination point of the extension as being within sight above that. It's that safety issue that gnaws away at me. Discharging just above a floor drain or into a pan makes more sense than onto a floor but that would be more of best practice than a requirement.

    In any event, it's not front burner stuff and not worth loosing respect for the varying opinions here.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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