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Old 01-08-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
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Default Stupid Inspector

I have a question that does require an immediate response. I am trying to get my top out rough in inspection at a restaurant where the units separating walls are 1 hour fire rated. The inspector will not pass my rough in as it is his belief that:
1) - My drain and vent piping (pvc) is not supposed to be inside of a 1 hr rated wall (a combustibility issue). Even though as an up-fit project there was already PVC in wall.
2) - To remove existing plumbing we removed the 5/8" wall board and installed our new plumbing in same wall. Inspector says and I quote "I don't know how you can repair drywall to 1 hour rating, so I can't pass your plumbing till I find out".
I am at a total loss on what to do with this guy. Any help???

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Old 01-08-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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The Code may have changed since the old plumbing was installed. Commercial plumbing codes are much stricter than residential but normally any changes must be up to new code specs. The Inspector should know how the wall must be repaired, since this is part of his job. I would call his supervisor and inquire. I worked as a Water service inspector for 5 years, and if I didn't know the answer, I could either radio in or call for a quick answer.

If you have never made a mistake, you probably haven't done much.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:33 AM   #3
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It's hard to be clear what the inspectors particular problem is here. Generally it is the Building Inspectors jurisdiction to approve/disapprove of a wall material or patch material/method.

You did however mention that you used PVC in a demising wall. In many municipalities this is not allowed. The required fire rating of the entire demising wall (your side, insulation/air gap, neighbors side) may very well be 2 hours. When penetrating that wall with PVC you have reduced the integrity of the fire wall. Most municipalities require the use of cast-iron or DWV Copper in a demising wall.

Unfortunately in public safety issues such as fire protection "grandfathered" is a word never used.

Last edited by Reedwalker; 01-14-2010 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:48 AM   #4
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In our jurisdiction it has to be in Cast iron.
1505.0 Combustible Piping Installations.
1505.1 Combustible piping installations shall be
protected in accordance with the appropriate fire
resistance rating requirements in the Building Code
that list the acceptable area, height, and type of
construction for use in specific occupancies to assure
compliance and integrity of the fire resistance rating
1505.2 When penetrating a fire-resistance-rated
wall, partition, floor, floor-ceiling assembly, roofceiling
assembly, or shaft enclosure, the fire
resistance rating of the assembly shall be restored to
its original rating.
1505.3 Penetrations shall be protected by an
approved penetration firestop system installed as
tested in accordance with ASTM E 119 or ASTM E
814, with a minimum positive pressure differential of
0.01 inch of water. Systems shall have an F rating of
at least 1 hour but not less than the required fire
resistance rating of the assembly being penetrated.
Systems protecting floor penetrations shall have a T
rating of at least 1 hour but not less than the required
fire resistance rating of the floor being penetrated.
Floor penetrations contained within the cavity of a
wall at the location of the floor penetration do not
require a T rating. No T rating shall be required for
floor penetrations by piping that is not in direct
contact with combustible material.
1505.4 When piping penetrates a rated assembly,
combustible piping shall not connect to noncombustible
piping unless it can be demonstrated
that the transition complies with the requirements of
Section 1505.3.

903.0 Materials.
903.1 Vent pipe shall be cast iron, galvanized steel,
galvanized wrought iron, copper, brass, Schedule 40
ABS DWV, Schedule 40 PVC DWV, stainless steel
304 or 316L (stainless steel 304 pipe and fittings shall
not be installed underground and shall be kept at
least six inches (152 mm) aboveground), or other
approved materials having a smooth and uniform
bore except that:
903.1.1 No galvanized wrought-iron or
galvanized steel pipe shall be used underground
and shall be kept at least six (6) inches (152 mm)
903.1.2 ABS and PVC DWV piping installations
shall be installed in accordance with IS 5, IS 9,
and Chapter 15 “Firestop Protection.” Except for
individual single-family dwelling units,
materials exposed within ducts or plenums shall
have a flame-spread index of not more than 25
and a smoke-developed index of not more than
50 when tested in accordance with the Test for
Surface-Burning Characteristics of the Building
Materials (see the Building Code standards
based on ASTM E-84 and ANSI/UL 723).
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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Default The inspector is not Stupid

You can meet the code requirements for the seperation wall by bringing the penetration up to the same fire penetration classification as the wall itself. Yes plastic pipes can penetrate fire walls, but they must be protected with intumescent fire stopping collars on bothe sides of the penetration. If the pipe only penetrates on one side the collar only needs to be on one side.

See UL approved firestopping collars for PVC pipes at and
you will need to submit the documentation to the inspector for review and approval.

The existing PVC pipe penetrating the wall can also be fitted with these collars to make them code compliant.

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Old 02-21-2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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slip him a hundred bucks and tell him to go buy something nice. fugettaboutit

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Inspector, PVC, drain pipes

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