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  1. #1
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    Apr 2019
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    Question TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Ok, everyone knows that a TPR should discharge to a termination point that is readily observable by occupants, because discharge indicates that something is wrong, and to prevent unobserved termination capping...etc

    But does anyone know the YEAR that this came to be ??

    I have some houses built in 1989 in California, that the builder in order to give the owner some land, (is all I can assume), put the right hand side of the property directly on the property line, yes that's right if you want to paint the house, spray it off or even clean the windows you have to go into your neighbors yard. Oddly enough this is the same side that the A/C drains into, and the TPR valve is at. So in essence it is up to your neighbor to tell you if you have a TPR issue as you cannot see it.

    So again, I am looking for a date / year when the 'must be visible' came in to play...Thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Joe,

    Basically, it has 'always' been that way.

    You saw where the T&P discharge line was, on the neighbors side of the house on the zero lot line side, right?

    Soo ... it was "visible", right?

    Code does not address "visible" from where, that is left to common sense (and many contractors exhibit so little common sense that one wonders how they can manage to be to nonsensical).

    Also, were there any soffit vents on that side of the house? Any overhang on that side of the house? Any windows on that side of the house?

    If so, there may very well be fire related issues as that wall would need to be at least 1 hour rated, which means 1 hour rated soffit vents (have fire dampers above each vent), 1 hour rated windows, possibly even 1 hour rated roofing at that point, and any overhang along that side would be ... over the neighbors property, so anything they wanted to do to the overhang is ... well ... that overhang is 'theirs'.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Joe,

    Basically, it has 'always' been that way.

    You saw where the T&P discharge line was, on the neighbors side of the house on the zero lot line side, right?

    Soo ... it was "visible", right?

    Code does not address "visible" from where, that is left to common sense (and many contractors exhibit so little common sense that one wonders how they can manage to be to nonsensical).

    Also, were there any soffit vents on that side of the house? Any overhang on that side of the house? Any windows on that side of the house?

    If so, there may very well be fire related issues as that wall would need to be at least 1 hour rated, which means 1 hour rated soffit vents (have fire dampers above each vent), 1 hour rated windows, possibly even 1 hour rated roofing at that point, and any overhang along that side would be ... over the neighbors property, so anything they wanted to do to the overhang is ... well ... that overhang is 'theirs'.

    It was visible if you looked over the fence, (I would not call it easily visible) this was a 2-story house and I do believe a window was upstairs but no way could you see the line from there, also there was no over-hangs, no soffits, nothing on that side, the house was for all purposes the fence. This was not a common wall so fire rating should not matter, it was a good 15' to the neighbors house. Instead of building the house with 7' of yard on each side, they built it with 0' on 1 side and 15' on the other side.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    This was not a common wall so fire rating should not matter, it was a good 15' to the neighbors house.
    It's not the distance to the other house that determines fire rating, it's the distance from the property line that determines the fire rating.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It's not the distance to the other house that determines fire rating, it's the distance from the property line that determines the fire rating.
    Didn't know that, and without tearing it down I would have no way to tell.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    Didn't know that, and without tearing it down I would have no way to tell.
    A window on that wall or any combustible construction would be a problem.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Zero lot line is common here. It's a pain when the neighbor isn't home, has a locked gate or a big dog.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    To add additional information and clarification to the below part of the discussion;

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    This was not a common wall so fire rating should not matter, it was a good 15' to the neighbors house.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It's not the distance to the other house that determines fire rating, it's the distance from the property line that determines the fire rating.
    For residential, the foremost requirement will be based on how for the wall of the house is from from the property line as the requirement was originally intended to reduce the risk of fire spreading from one properly to another to another and entire towns burning down.

    There are also some requirements which apply to two or more building on the same lot (no property line between them), but those are lesser requirements and most often only come into play for detached garages.

    For non-residential properties, there are stricker requirements for distance to property lines (more restrictive than for residential), and lesser requirements for buildings on the same lot (but also more restrictive than for residential).

    As soon as you see a zero lot line house (or basically less than 3' to 5' to the property line, many times it's "less than 10 feet") ... it you see any openings (wndows, doors, exhaust vents, soffit vents, etc) start thinking about that wall and fire rating ... and the fire rating established for that distance would apply to both sides of the wall (fire from outside the building or from inside the building).

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    It was visible if you looked over the fence, (I would not call it easily visible) this was a 2-story house and I do believe a window was upstairs but no way could you see the line from there, also there was no over-hangs, no soffits, nothing on that side, the house was for all purposes the fence. This was not a common wall so fire rating should not matter, it was a good 15' to the neighbors house. Instead of building the house with 7' of yard on each side, they built it with 0' on 1 side and 15' on the other side.
    Wouldn't the absence of any set back from the property line be an item on the inspection report? Are there no zoning regulations in effect which require a minimum set back? Is the fence actually on the property line? If this is a pre-purchase inspection? Neither Mortgage nor title insurance protect the buyer from any defect that could have been discovered by a land survey of the property boundaries. The lack of a legally required lot line set back is such a defect.

    I really hope that the more experienced home inspectors stick an oar in here. If I saw this as a buyer I would walk away before the seller even new I had gotten out of my car.

    --
    Tom Horne


  10. #10
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Quote Originally Posted by THOMAS HORNE View Post
    The lack of a legally required lot line set back is such a defect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    As soon as you see a zero lot line house ...
    Those are called "zero lot line" and are quite common in many areas, both older cities and newer developments (within the last 30-40 years) as land costs have escalated.

    In the newer developments, instead of 5 feet on each side of the dwelling, zero lot line on one side and 10 feet on the other side.

    Then there are also "Z-lots", which are also typically zero lot line but zig zag ("z" shaped) as those lots can create the appearance of more front/rear yard space than there actually is.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Those are called "zero lot line" and are quite common in many areas, both older cities and newer developments (within the last 30-40 years) as land costs have escalated.

    In the newer developments, instead of 5 feet on each side of the dwelling, zero lot line on one side and 10 feet on the other side.

    Then there are also "Z-lots", which are also typically zero lot line but zig zag ("z" shaped) as those lots can create the appearance of more front/rear yard space than there actually is.
    Jerry

    That is a totally new one on me! I have seen row houses; which by the way had fire walls and parapets only every third to fifth house; but I had never seen or at least recognized a house were a non common wall was located on the property line. If you have an ornery neighbor you would not be able to paint your own house, fix your siding, replace a rotted rake board... without trespassing into your neighbors yard. Do these homes come with some sort of maintenance access easement over your neighbors yard? In a way it seems worse than one of those pay rent on the same home you are paying a mortgage on communities. Complete with curtain color and grass length Nazis.

    I am reminded of a amateur radio friend of mine who was living in one of those communities were the deeds are loaded with covenants, conditions and restrictions. The community association board said that no amateur radio antenna was acceptable. State law said that any restriction on the display of the United States, State, County, or recognized municipality flag was inherently unlawful and moot. You guessed it! Four 30+ foot flag poles were erected. One for each flag. The fact that they also formed a perfect 4 square vertical steerable directional antenna system was a side effect.

    I also had a no fee asked or accepted amateur radio operator client that was too infirm to climb ladders and asked me to install an antenna which used the aluminum gutter and down spout on the back of his house as an inverted L antenna. When he told me that the county zoning people were sitting on his permit application for an antenna tower at the behest of a politically connected neighbor I made him an offer he was delighted to accept.

    We had a volunteer amateur radio operator attorney advise us and right all of the correspondence to the county attorney. I obtained the use of a military surplus antenna mast called the AB-621A/G with a MK-2044/G extension kit for a total height of 100 feet. I and a couple of friends of this combat wounded veteran erected that mast with a very nice antenna on it. The politically connected neighbor filed a zoning complaint. We asked the County attorney to come out and witness the erection and striking process for the mast. In one hour flat it was back on the truck without applying tool one to any part of it. 6 0f us carried it around the house before putting the kits on the 1/2 ton pickup truck. We then asked her to explain what the implications of that demonstration were to the zoning commission membership. Naturally we went along to the meeting to watch. Their first dodge was to try to go into executive session. County attorney says only the county council during personnel hearings, labor negotiations, and contract negotiations had the power to do that without violating the State Sunshine act. They then asked her to explain what their options were in open session. She replied that they didn't have any as the erection of temporary portable structures was not within the power of local government to regulate. When the public comment period came I asked why they could process a zoning complaint in 3 days but could not process a zoning application in three months. It then became really clear that the zoning commission chairman and the county attorney did not get along. The county attorney asked on what date the application was filed and had we been provided with an "as received" copy. We passed her the photocopy of the application with the county receiving stamp on it. She then says that the zoning commission must have meant to approve it because they were over the statutory limit for processing any zoning or building permit application and had lost any authority over the mater in question including any possibility of taking the matter to the state board of zoning appeals. We were free to do what ever we had applied to do and that the only way for the board to stop us was to go to the district court for a clear and present danger desist order and that their application to the court could not depend on any requirement that would have been addressed in the zoning application process. She informed the board that her office would not assist with such an application to the court unless ordered to do so by the county council. We were told later that she asked for an got the removal of 2 board members including the chairman for misfeasance by the county council. Seems amateur radio antenna tower applications were processed in 14 calendar days thereafter. Who would have thought? Could the county attorney not have liked the zoning board playing politics in a way that could have cost the county a lot of money?

    --
    Tom Horne


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    Default Re: TPR Valves and Discharge Piping

    Anything that is a concern for a practical reason can be written up for whatever that practical reason is. Is there a rule in your area forcing you to adhere to retroactive code? If not just write it up for the practical concern it is and move on.

    John Dirks Jr - Arundel Home Inspection LLC
    Licensed Maryland Home Inspector

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