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Pex manifold cover, fire rated?

Discussion in 'Residential Fire Codes' started by Cale Reeves, May 10, 2019.

  1. Cale Reeves

    Cale Reeves Registered User

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    The PEX water distribution manifold in my Alaska house is located in the closet under the split-level stairs. We're getting ready to sell it, and the home inspector stated that the cover needs to be fire rated since it's located under the stairs. I haven't seen any "fire rated" covers, and this cover is just like my other neighbors'. The house was built in 2001.
     
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Welcome

    Is that area sheet rocked?

    You can ask the inspector for a code section reference to either see how it reads or post it here. Include the code book and year it came out of.

    Is this area visible as you normally walk thru the house? Or in like a closet area ?

    One last one for us not fortune it,,, how is the price of salmon this year??
     
  3. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    R302.7 Under-stair protection. Enclosed accessible space under stairs shall have walls, under-stair surface and any soffits protected on the enclosed side with 1/2-inch (gypsum board.

    There is no fire rating required. 1/2” gypsum is required. That is equivalent to a 20 minute rating. It has been the same for as far back as I can remember, which isn't that far. So unless the cover is made from plastic, it probably qualifies. Beyond that, assuming that the cover was approved in 2001.... that indicates compliance.
     
    #4 ICE, May 10, 2019
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  4. Ty J.

    Ty J. Registered User

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    Home inspectors.... they only know enough to be dangerous.

    As ICE stated, 1/2" GWB is required on the underside of stairs. It is not specified as a rated assembly, therefore opening protection is not required.
     
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  5. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Ok after reading this again

    Get an oversized piece of type x 1/2 and screw it over the existing access panel

    Paint it if needed

    Label it

    Sale the house
     
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  6. Cale Reeves

    Cale Reeves Registered User

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    Thanks for the responses, everyone! The closet is sheetrocked, and also includes the crawlspace access through the floor.

    ICE--it is a plastic cover, installing one of the metal boxes like cda posted (thanks, btw!) would require disconnection of all of the lines and installation of the metal box. I've asked for the code reference from the inspector, but expect to receive nothing, based on previous experience between my realtor and the inspector.
     
  7. Cale Reeves

    Cale Reeves Registered User

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    oh, and cda--hoping the salmon run is much better this year! I was 0 for 2 on salmon trips last summer, planning a 2-week trip this year a little later in the run.
     
  8. my250r11

    my250r11 Sawhorse

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    Here in NM, you don't need any certs. to be a home inspector. So Mary Jane could show up and say she is a home inspector.

    As other stated, add 1/2 sheetrock over it, even 26 gage sheet metal, paint and move on.
     
  9. Cale Reeves

    Cale Reeves Registered User

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    Great idea gents! I finally heard back from the local plumbing contractor that was sub'd for most of these houses and he had never heard of a requirement to fire rate them. If the buyers don't accept as-is based on the recommendation of the plumbing contractor, I'll do exactly that, and just screw a piece of type X over the top with a big, ugly, stenciled label on it!
     
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  10. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Than new home owner comes in and removes it, and will be like it has been since the house was built

    Plus with the plastic cover there only, if a fire happens, pex fails and puts the fire out.
     
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  11. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    We do not have enough information.
    Is the "manifold" and piping attached to exposed studs? or is it lined with gyp bd? How are the penetrations of the fire-resistance-rated wall treated?
    That is a rated area.
     
  12. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    In that area, while the rest of the building burns.
     
  13. HForester

    HForester Member

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    The under stair gypsum board requirement hasn't always been the IRC. Even though the home was built in 2001, you don't know what code was being enforced at that time (might have been 1998 CABO, for example.)

    If the manifold has shut off valves, the plumbing code requires access to valves. So you "can't" just nail a piece of gypsum board over it. Build a little plywood door for it and screw gyp board to the face. Trim the edges with wood trim. Put a latch in it.
     
  14. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Screw the sheetrock in place
     
  15. HForester

    HForester Member

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  16. HForester

    HForester Member

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    Somehow, the forum editor is posting my reply when I hit quote.

    Screw the sheetrock in place.

    IF the manifold has valves, then this act would be a violation of Section P2903.9.3...Valves must be provided with access. (This is a 2012 IRC edition reference.)
     
  17. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Remove four screws and wella,,

    Access
     
  18. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    Ignore the inspector. It's a suggestion list. There's nothing official about a home inspector's suggestion list. Any buyer that would balk at doing the deal over that cover probably wants a way out....a buyer that wants a way out should be given a way out.

    I am curious about a requirement for access to the PEX distribution manifold. There are no valves so where does the requirement come from? I see them in attics and that's it. The usual violation is that the manifold is floating so I ask that it be secured but I'm not positive that a floating manifold is a violation either. How about some education here.

    The OP is in Alaska so perhaps they keep plumbing out of attics. I just don't know.
     
    #19 ICE, May 19, 2019
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  19. HForester

    HForester Member

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    You have me there!
     
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