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Frustrated fence contractor in business 25 years

Discussion in 'Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs' started by danlawrence, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. tbz

    tbz Silver Member

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    Frank you are off with your quoting for the fence and the lack no loads you can apply guard loads. Been over turned in many a AHJ because the vast majority of fence does not meet those loading requirements nor are they even designed to meet loads near them.

    The loads you note in the structural are for safety from coming down, blowing over and staying in place without human interaction.

    If you are going to use that reasoning then you must fail pretty much the majority of composite and light gauge aluminum fence you inspect because none of them will pass 50 lbs per/l/ft I have tested the lot of them and under the force gauge they deform outward and break form.

    If 1-1/2" sch40 pipe rail needs to be set close to 48" centerlines for support on guards and loaded at 42" high why would you even think 0.090" 2" aluminum light wall fence at 6ft post spacings and 72" high would even come close to passing those load requirements, not to even mention 50lbs on 1sqft area pulled to the engineering standard of 2.5 times load.

    The code defers to manufacture specs and manufacture specs on prefabricated fence is built to ASTM standards with loads that the code has not adopted in the past, the newer 2015 I believe brought them in to the pool code, but I can't confirm that at this time.

    But lack of applying guard loads has been overturned many of times.
     
  2. tbz

    tbz Silver Member

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    thanks for the additional information Dan, are you able to provide us with the exact code section wording. I have never seen a sphere requirement code wording that says "a space that cannot be squeezed through" that is about the worst code language there can be, because all spaces can be squeezed through.
     
  3. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    There is a concept in law that states that if there is any ambiguity in the laws or regulations that the person they are being applied to gets to select the interpretation that he prefers. I believe that this also applies to the building codes.
     
  4. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    1.

    doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention:

    to speak with ambiguity; an ambiguity of manner.

    2.

    an unclear, indefinite, or equivocal word, expression, meaning, etc.:

    a contract free of ambiguities; the ambiguities of modern poetry.

    1. Doubtfulness or uncertainty as regards interpretation: "leading a life of alleged moral ambiguity" (Anatole Broyard).

    2. Something of doubtful meaning: a poem full of ambiguities.
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Registered User

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    What I am saying is zero force is not realistic. Think of barrier of bungie cords spaced 3-1/2" apart vertically between rails 4 ft apart--no way this passes as it does not meet the intent of keeping a 4 inch sphere out. The 50 plf is commercial only. The pool barrier is more than just a fence it is a barrier to prevent access. Is the particular fence used certified by the manufacturer for use as a pool barrier?

    From 2012 pool and spa code

    SECTION 305 BARRIER REQUIREMENTS

    305.1 General.

    The provisions of this section shall apply to the design of barriers for aquatic vessels. These design controls are intended to provide protection against the potential drowning and near drowning by restricting access to such vessels. These requirements provide an integrated level of protection against potential drowning through the use of physical barriers and warning devices.

    Exceptions:

    1. Spas and hot tubs with a lockable safety cover that complies with ASTM F 1346.

    2. Swimming pools with a powered safety cover that complies with ASTM F 1346.

    305.2 Outdoor swimming pools and spas.

    All outdoor aquatic vessels and indoor swimming pools shall be surrounded by a barrier that complies with Sections 305.2.1 through 305.7.

    305.2.1 Barrier height and clearances.

    Barrier heights and clearances shall be in accordance with all of the following:

    1. The top of the barrier shall be not less than 48 inches (1219 mm) above grade where measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the aquatic vessel. Such height shall exist around the entire perimeter of the vessel and for a distance of 3 feet (914 mm) where measured horizontally from the required barrier.

    2. The vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall not exceed 2 inches (51 mm) for grade surfaces that are not solid, such as grass or gravel, where measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the vessel.

    3. The vertical clearance between a surface below the barrier to a solid surface, such as concrete, and the bottom of the required barrier shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm) where measured on the side of the required barrier that faces away from the vessel.

    4. Where the top of the vessel structure is above grade, the barrier shall be installed on grade or shall be mounted on top of the vessel structure. Where the barrier is mounted on the top of the vessel, the vertical clearance between the top of the vessel and the bottom of the barrier shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm).

    305.2.2 Openings.

    Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4 inch (102 mm) diameter sphere.

    305.2.3 Solid barrier surfaces.

    Solid barriers that do not have openings shall not contain indentations or protrusions that form handholds and footholds, except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.

    305.2.4 Mesh restraining barrier/fence.

    Mesh fences, other than chain link fences in accordance with Section 305.2.7, shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and shall comply with the following:

    1. The bottom of the mesh restraining fence shall be not more than 1 inch (25 mm) above the deck or installed surface or grade.

    2. The maximum vertical clearance from the bottom of the mesh fence and the solid surface shall not permit the fence to be lifted more than 4 inches (102 mm) from grade or decking.

    3. The fence shall be designed and constructed so that it does not allow passage of a 4-inch (102 mm) sphere under any mesh panel. The maximum vertical clearance from the bottom of the mesh fence and the solid surface shall not be more than 4 inches (102 mm) from grade or decking.

    4. An attachment device shall attach each barrier section at a height not lower than 45 inches (1143 mm) above grade. Common attachment devices include, but are not limited to, devices that provide the security equal to or greater than that of a hook-and-eye-type latch incorporating a spring-actuated retaining lever such as a safety gate hook.

    5. Where a hinged gate is used with a mesh barrier, the gate shall comply with Section 305.3.

    6. Patio deck sleeves such as vertical post receptacles which are placed inside the patio surface shall be of a nonconductive material.

    7. Mesh fences shall not be used on top of on ground residential pools.

    305.2.5 Closely spaced horizontal members.

    Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches (1143 mm), the horizontal members shall be located on the aquatic vessel side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 mm) in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.

    305.2.6 Widely spaced horizontal members.

    Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches (1143 mm) or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm). Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.

    305.2.7 Chain link dimensions.

    The maximum opening formed by a chain link fence shall be not more than 1.75 inches (44 mm). Where the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top and bottom which reduces the openings, such openings shall be not more than 1.75 inches (44 mm).

    305.2.8 Diagonal members.

    Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall be not more than 1.75 inches (44 mm). The angle of diagonal members shall not be greater than 45 degrees (0.79 rad) from vertical.

    305.2.9 Clear zone.

    There shall be a clear zone of not less than 36 inches (914 mm) around the exterior of the barrier and around any permanent structures or equipment such as pumps, filters and heaters that can be used to climb the barrier.

    305.2.10 Poolside barrier setbacks.

    The aquatic vessel side of the required barrier shall be not less than 20 inches (508 mm) from the water’s edge.

    305.3 Gates.

    Access gates shall comply with the requirements of Sections 305.3.1 through 305.3.3 and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Pedestrian access gates shall open outward away from the vessel and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device.

    305.3.1 Utility or service gates.

    Gates not intended for pedestrian use, such as utility or service gates, shall remain locked when not in use.

    305.3.2 Double or multiple gates.

    Double gates or multiple gates shall have at least one leaf secured in place and the adjacent leaf shall be secured with a self-latching device. The gate and barrier shall not have openings larger than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) within 18 inches (457 mm) of the latch release mechanism. The self-latching device shall comply with the requirements of Section 305.3.3.

    305.3.3 Latches.

    Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches (1372 mm) from grade, the release mechanism shall be located on the vessel side of the gate at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the top of the gate, and the gate and barrier shall not have openings greater than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) within 18 inches (457 mm) of the release mechanism.

    305.4 Structure wall as a barrier.

    Where a wall of a dwelling or structure serves as part of the barrier, doors and operable windows with a sill height of less than 48 inches (1219 mm) that provide direct access to the aquatic vessel through the wall, shall be equipped with one or more of the following:

    1. An alarm that produces an audible warning when the door or its screen or window, is opened. The alarm shall be listed and labeled as a water hazard entrance alarm in accordance with UL 2017. In dwellings or structures not required to be Accessible units, Type A units or Type B units, the deactivation switch shall be located 54 inches (1372 mm) or more above the threshold of the door. In dwellings or structures required to be Accessible units, Type A units or Type B units, the deactivation switch shall be located not greater than 54 inches (1372 mm) and not less than 48 inches (1219 mm) above the threshold of the door.

    2. A safety cover that is listed and labeled in accordance with ASTM F 1346.

    3. An approved means of protection, such as self-closing doors with self-latching devices, provided that the degree of protection afforded is not less than the protection afforded by Items 1 or 2.

    305.5 Pool structure as a barrier.

    Where an onground residential pool structure is used as a barrier or where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the following shall apply:

    1. An onground pool wall, itself, shall be permitted to be the barrier where the pool structure is on grade and the wall is at least 48 inches (1219 mm) above grade for the entire perimeter of the pool and complies with the requirements of Section 305.2.

    2. Where the means of access is a ladder or steps, the ladder or steps shall be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access or the ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier that meets the requirements of this section.

    3. When the ladder or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a 4 inch (102 mm) diameter sphere.

    4. The barrier shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
     
  6. Frank

    Frank Registered User

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    Note that for mesh barriers they have to be restrained not more than 1 inch above the concrete or deck but still have to meet the 4 inch sphere shall not pass requirement and shall be constructed such that they cannot be lifted higher than 4 inches--does not give a lifting force, one handed pull, 2 handed pull or forklift fork lift?

    Another code quirk--I can take this structure full of water delete the chemicals, add koi and floating plants, post "no swimming" and remove the barrier completely.

    The code does need more work.
     
    #46 Frank, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2014
  7. ICE

    ICE Moderator

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    This has been an issue for me once. It was a guard around an atrium at several floor levels. The posts were 2" re-bar and there was cable strung between them. I use a tape measure and fingers. If I push on the cable and it moves, there may be a problem. It has been a while since the cable guard but as I recall, they had to double up the number of cables.

    So what's that got to do with this post about an aluminum guard. Shirley not a lot.

    You say there are 3/4" pickets. 3/4"x what? Give us a picture. You know, there is usually more to the story. You've been building fences for 25 years....... certainly you have 4" balls. You did say that the inspector is gentle so if you pull out your set he probably won"t bust your balls.
     
    #47 ICE, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2014
  8. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    """"Fence is already installed. Inspector came for the final inspection- took a ball that was 3 15/16" made of Styrofoam."""

    Does that meet the intent of the code
     
  9. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    There is a difference between a 3-15/16" dia ball and a 4" ball which may be significant. Also note that Styrofoam deforms more than wood. These tests are sensitive to the stiffness of the components. I would challenge the validity of the test. Try it with a 4"dia ball made of wood or steel.
     
  10. MASSDRIVER

    MASSDRIVER Registered User

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    I want to know where i can get 4 inch non-deformable spheres, tested, measured and certified by the local county weights and measures department. I may insist an inspector have just such a device to determine exact parameters. I would also ask that a device be used to measure force accurately over a given area and that it to must be tested and certified.

    We like the rules, I say we play by them.

    Brent.
     
  11. mjesse

    mjesse Registered User

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  12. ICE

    ICE Moderator

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    Not in my book. But I'm having a little bit of trouble swallowing this story hook, line, and sinker.

    Did that Styrofoam ball have a sticker from Hobby Lobby that says 3 15/16"? And Styrofoam? With gentle force? Couldn't find a grapefruit? We need a video.
     
  13. ICE

    ICE Moderator

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    Well Brent I'm pretty sure that you are a guy that could wreck a bowling ball so it will be a no go on that non-deformable sphere.
     
    #53 ICE, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2014
  14. MASSDRIVER

    MASSDRIVER Registered User

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  15. MASSDRIVER

    MASSDRIVER Registered User

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    Frustrated fence contractor in business 25 years

    [​IMG]

    My official state registered bowling-ball-deformation device.

    Brent

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. tbz

    tbz Silver Member

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    ICE look at the OP's response, at the bottom he gave you 4 or 5 manufactures of which he is and has been using,(Dan if you can what manufacture and model fence panel did you use?) if you go to any of the listed manufactures websites you will see hundreds of pictures of what he is talking about as practically every fence panel section is mass produced and specified as 3-7/8" spacing between vertical pickets. He is not installing a custom fabricated product, 95% of the fence companies make nothing, they buy a mass produced product that the manufacture has built to compliance and install it.

    But here are a few links:

    http://www.ameristarfence.com/

    http://www.jerith.com/

    Not really more to a story, I have personally run in to this more than a few times, the difference is ICE you are the inspector thus how many times to you install something and have to have it inspected by someone?

    As a fabricator and installation company we work all over, last year we worked on projects that were in approximately 185 different AHJ with 185 different inspectors with 185 different views.

    You work in one, your view. The main difference I have over Dan is we custom build each of our products and i attend ICC code hearings and stay up on the codes because we manufacture, as basically just an installation company, Dan relies on that the multi million dollar manufactures he buys his product from do that for him, he just orders product "A" that shows in the specs it complies with 4" sphere rule, height and ground spacing.

    The odd thing here that I just can't seem to grab is that in the concrete jungle you have not seem to run into a product that has about 70% of the commercial fencing market for the past 15 years.

    I think you are just getting hung up of Jeff's use of colorful directional wording.

    Don't take a side comment on the presented description, I think why Jeff got so colorful is that with the mass produced aluminum fence panels these manufactures products are produced to maximum specifications, thus 3-7/8" and are approved for use by certified testing labs that they meet the code specifications. The describe presented fact by the OP is the use of a none 4" sphere and force, if that is not the true case then everyone here will agree, if the fence is not to spec it fails.

    But in the OP's response he notes he showed the inspector other mass produced fence panels that are installed in millions of installations around the country and this inspector will fail all of them because he can push a less than 4" foam sphere through all of them.

    I will have to say the odds that the OP is off based with posting this type of specific information compared against the odd's that one inspector is failing manufactured fence panels, I would have to say the OP is more than likely in the right than the inspector. But I am 1,300 miles from South florida and I am guessing you are about 2 time plus that from SoCal.

    I would have to say the fact that the inspector has gone this far is getting well beyond busting balls... The tape measure reads 3-7/8" and the sphere stays put in place, push sphere between verticals and stays in place without pressure.

    So a smaller than 4" sphere stays in place, let me think harder,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,common ICE I believe if faced with the same situation you would have gone green and been on to the next headache.....
     
  17. rshuey

    rshuey Registered User

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    I have 2 Spikes Tactical setups. Very nice.
     
  18. tbz

    tbz Silver Member

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    Good post Frank,

    and the wording manufactures spec's is presented with ASTM specs, which I am going to go out on a fence and say the manufactured installed products meet spec.

    The bungee cord example is great, I like it, but what you don't seem to grasp is, you now fail it, you say it does not meet the intent of the code, I can pass a 4" sphere under force, were in the code is the specs for that test on force on the bungee cords?

    What amount of force is or not allowed?

    IF you go to the guard section it's a 50ld load on a 1 sqft area thus, doing that test here on bungee cords would not pass, but I am sure if the inspector did that with the fence panels and then rolled a 4" sphere not less than 4" sphere on the panels it would not fall through.

    But how does one justify a guard infill requirement on aproduct that can't pass the top of guard requirement of 50lb per l/ft?

    Pulling something from the sky because you feel it works as a catch all creates a whole other issue.

    Back to the simple question - what amount of load does the code require for pass or fail on the sphere?
     
  19. tbz

    tbz Silver Member

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    Brent,

    Nice peace setup, .223? but I believe not on base with the topic.
     
  20. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    "Back to the simple question - what amount of load does the CODE require for pass or fail on the sphere?".....None...

    "Loads and forces for occupancies or uses not covered in this chapter shall be subject to the approval of the building official."....I require something reasonable....The OP inspector seems to be unreasonable....

    Brent....How did I know you would be a big Steely Dan fan..... :)
     

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