Table R402.4.1.1 (IRC Table N1188.8.131.52), R402.4.2 (IRC N1102.4.2)
Proponent: Thomas Stroud, Senior Manager, Codes & Standards, representing Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Revise as follows:
Shafts, penetrations - Duct shafts, utility penetrations, and fire place chases and flue shafts opening to exterior or unconditioned space shall be sealed.
Reason: In 2012 Table R402.4.1.1 Fireplace criteria states an air barrier shall be installed on fireplace walls. Fireplaces shall have gasketed doors. In Section R402.4.2 it states new wood-burning fireplaces shall have tight-fitting flue dampers or doors, and outdoor combustion air. We interpret this to mean traditional, field-fabricated, "masonry fireplaces" in accordance with 2009 IRC Section R1001, and constructed of concrete or solid clay-masonry units; NOT "factory-built," UL 127 fireplaces in accordance with IRC Section R1004. Because of requirements in the IECC that require all fireplaces to be provided with gasketed doors, a great deal of controversy has resulted. Most factory-built fireplaces are not listed for use with sealed glass doors and installing such doors on fireplaces that are not tested for these doors could cause overheating of the fireplace resulting in a fire hazard. Without testing, the effect of the doors will be an unknown. In this regard, the intent of Section R402.4.2 is to mitigate air leakage during periods of non-use, but not where the conditions of fireplace installation are in violation of the UL 127 listing.
Regarding the requirement for an air barrier on "fireplace walls", this is an unclear statement and is clarified by the addition in Shafts, Penetrations that the air sealing is to be on the chase and not on the fireplace. This will address chase sealing details that are needed and gives clarification to address framed wall construction.
Cost Impact: The code change proposal will not increase the cost of construction.
MACS SUPPORT/MODIFY to eliminate "on UL 127 fireplaces," Allows "tight fitting dampers" but all fireplaces are made more dangerous with gasketed doors. Ended up negotiating a modification below with Tom Stroud and John Taecker, UL, and Committee disapproved related proposals RE87. I think RE85, while approved, is more general so the more specific RE86 takes precedence. I think RB459, which was approved, is sort of gratuitous since no one is talking about gasketed doors now.*
Modification: R402.4.2 (N1102.4.2) Fireplaces. New wood-burning fireplaces shall have tight fitting flue dampers or doors, and outdoor combustion air. When using tight-fitting doors on factory-built UL 127 fireplaces listed and labeled in accordance with UL 127, they must the doors shall be tested and listed for the fireplace. When using tight-fitting doors on masonry fireplaces, the doors shall be listed and labeled in accordance with UL 907.
Public Hearing: Committee: AM
Assembly: ASF AMF DF
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