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Duct Material Requirements per ICC


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I have a house with flex duct that was placed in 2001. Our town inspector is telling me that ICC code stipulates that this duct work be replaced with metal duct or encased/boxed in. I can't find any ICC code to support this. Can anyone confirm material requirements for duct work?

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I have a house with flex duct that was placed in 2001. Our town inspector is telling me that ICC code stipulates that this duct work be replaced with metal duct or encased/boxed in. I can't find any ICC code to support this. Can anyone confirm material requirements for duct work?

He should provide you with the citation to back up his claim.

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I can't imagine a scenario where an AHJ would have anything to say about 11 year old ducts.

Really? I've seen AHJ's that have something to say about picnic tables stored in barns. (accused the owner of using the barn as a vacation home)

There are a ton of AHJ's that have never built anything, and who couldn't fix a sandwich.

It's a game the State plays called "pin the badge on the donkey"

They give an ass a badge then sit back and watch the ego take over.

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He's now referenced two codes which have no relevance to duct material. One referenced fire blocking requirements and the second referenced requirements for duct connectors. I've had three professional sources tell me my duct material is sufficient and I want to offer up a few more so that we can move on and close on our house in a timely manner.

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Where/how is the duct being used?

Are you talking about an exhaust vent or an actual heating duct?

Exactly what is connected to either end of the duct?

What type of "connector" is the source he's cited referring to?

Does it pass through a floor, ceiling or wall plane?

Photographs?

What are the two codes that he's citing?

Have you talked with his/her supervisor?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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He's now referenced two codes which have no relevance to duct material. One referenced fire blocking requirements and the second referenced requirements for duct connectors. I've had three professional sources tell me my duct material is sufficient and I want to offer up a few more so that we can move on and close on our house in a timely manner.

I don't know how he's trying to apply the fire blocking rules. Do the flex ducts penetrate a garage wall or some other area that requires blocking?

The duct connector citation is an easy one to mis-apply. It shows up on the home inspector discussion boards regularly. People often don't realize that flex ducts and flex duct connectors are two different things. Flex duct connectors have a limitation on length.

This sounds like you're talking about a home inspector, not a town inspector. Is that right? If it's really the town inspector, why does he have any say in a real estate transaction?

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This is all coming from our town inspector. I have spoken to the town administrator but he cannot try to influence the inspector with regard to enforcement but has helped me expedite the matter.

It really comes down to the material used which the inspector says must be replaced entirely through out the entire system. He is basically saying if we have flexible duct it must be enclosed and the other option is to change out with metal. In his opinion flex duct is not sufficient on its own.

Here's a photo of the ductwork.

Click to Enlarge
.JPG].JPG]tn_2012411174747_IMG_1076[1].jpg

44.32 KB

The one code I found regarding duct materials is M1601.1.1. Our material would be class 1.

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Our town requires a new C/O when there is an ownership change.

There are several cities around here that require an inspection from a city guy prior to a real estate transaction. But I don't think they ever go in the attic, and ductwork is definitely way beyond their interest level. Mostly they're looking for smoke/CO alarms, GFCI, grounded receptacles, hose spigots with anti-siphon, etc.

MRB, I wish you luck. I think the guy you're dealing with is off his nut.

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If the home previously passed all final construction inspections, then a resale C/O should only include:

Smoke detector on each level and bedrooms, C/O detectors 10' from each bedroom and a fire extinguisher w/in 10' of the kitchen.

He's overreaching. Up in that corner of the state, it could be that he's fi$hing. Get a hidden camera

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If the home previously passed all final construction inspections, then a resale C/O should only include:

Smoke detector on each level and bedrooms, C/O detectors 10' from each bedroom and a fire extinguisher w/in 10' of the kitchen.

He's overreaching. Up in that corner of the state, it could be that he's fi$hing. Get a hidden camera

Bill is there any code which states he should only be looking for those items? I'd like to state in my response.

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You can go here

http://bulk.resource.org/codes.gov/nj_residential.pdf

and download a copy of the New Jersey residential code. You will see in the beginning pages of it that no amendments were made to IRC chapter 16, and that the sections you cited do indeed permit class 0 and class 1 ducts. I suggest photographing the "class 1" label and printing out the pages on ducts (chapter 16 is only 4 pages long) and writing a letter stating your case. The city is supposed to have an appeals board for these issues. If they don't, then I would submit it to the city attorney and the town council.

If the ducts were class 2 (something that hasn't been placed in houses for over 20 years now) the inspector could legitimately ask to have them replaced. If the ducts were inside an attached garage, he could ask to have that portion within the garage replaced. If there is some other documentable specific failure to comply with the rules in chapter 16, then a correction notice could be issued forcing you to comply with those written rules. It doesn't sound like any of that is the problem, and the real problem is likely to be the one that Bill suspects.

You will be doing a favor to your fellow citizens by not knuckling under. Something needs to be brought into compliance in your town, and it isn't your duct system.

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If the home previously passed all final construction inspections, then a resale C/O should only include:

Smoke detector on each level and bedrooms, C/O detectors 10' from each bedroom and a fire extinguisher w/in 10' of the kitchen.

He's overreaching. Up in that corner of the state, it could be that he's fi$hing. Get a hidden camera

Bill is there any code which states he should only be looking for those items? I'd like to state in my response.

What I stated is typical for several NJ municipalities for issuing a "continued use" C/O. It's not a statewide code.

Could there possibly be a previous permit on the structure that never closed with a final inspection? I think it can only be one of the two issues I mentioned that would cause the building official to not allow continued occupancy of the building.

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If the home previously passed all final construction inspections, then a resale C/O should only include:

Smoke detector on each level and bedrooms, C/O detectors 10' from each bedroom and a fire extinguisher w/in 10' of the kitchen.

Bill, every town I deal with checks these items as a minimum. I thought it was a statewide code, but i don't check them anyway. The building dept or fire dept inspects them and issues the certification. Above that, the town can check for whatever they want, without rhyme or reason. It's almost impossible to keep track of what each town is checking for with the C/O inspections.
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Different towns have different CCO requirements. Morris Township & Summit are 2 that I know of that conduct more stringent inspections.

Who is doing your inspection; is it a 'building code inspector' or is it a 'code inspector'. I know of one town who hired the retired chief of police to conduct 'code inspections'.

If it's the building code inspector, your options are to go the the construction official and talk to him/her OR call the DCA 609- 984-7609. Tell them your situation and they should be able to lead you in the right direction.

(by the way, the former chief of police "failed" a CCO inspection because of failing steel posts in a basement; he then proceeded to hand the RE a contractors card who just happened to be his son) The town shall remain nameless.

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Thanks for posting Marc. I found something similar and sent to the inspector. He's not replied to any of my emails and just returned two phone calls. I suspect he doesn't want to put anything in writing.

I have the owners of two separate HVAC companies trying to contact him to get to the bottom of this as well.

I had to google flexible air connector to learn what that term meant.

Marc

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Thanks for the input Douglas. I took your advice and sent him a photo of the ductwork showing Class 1 printed on the side. I had also sent him a link to the Chapter 16 section on ducts. I have yet to speak with anyone who can support any notion that our ducts need to be replaced or enclosed. Hoping to wrap up today.

You can go here

http://bulk.resource.org/codes.gov/nj_residential.pdf

and download a copy of the New Jersey residential code. You will see in the beginning pages of it that no amendments were made to IRC chapter 16, and that the sections you cited do indeed permit class 0 and class 1 ducts. I suggest photographing the "class 1" label and printing out the pages on ducts (chapter 16 is only 4 pages long) and writing a letter stating your case. The city is supposed to have an appeals board for these issues. If they don't, then I would submit it to the city attorney and the town council.

If the ducts were class 2 (something that hasn't been placed in houses for over 20 years now) the inspector could legitimately ask to have them replaced. If the ducts were inside an attached garage, he could ask to have that portion within the garage replaced. If there is some other documentable specific failure to comply with the rules in chapter 16, then a correction notice could be issued forcing you to comply with those written rules. It doesn't sound like any of that is the problem, and the real problem is likely to be the one that Bill suspects.

You will be doing a favor to your fellow citizens by not knuckling under. Something needs to be brought into compliance in your town, and it isn't your duct system.

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