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clearance to combustibles


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Oil furnace single wall vent. Horizontal portion just 5 inches below the floor structure and wiring. Owner said an HVAC contractor told them it was okay.

I've reported on clearance to combustibles on many occasions but this is the first one that really shows threat of igniting the structure.

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Right, it was too much work to install a heat shield?

They should have the furnace checked out too. Maybe the burner pot gets flooded and the whole thing overheats? I vaguely remember the old oil burning cookstoves doing that. Never have lived with an oil furnace, but no doubt that pipe has been too hot.

I had a basement recently where Mr Handy built a stud wall that was actually touching the pipe of the oil furnace. The stud was not showing any damage at that point, but obviously it was too close over the long term.

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Quite a few HVAC contractors don't seem to care at all about clearances to combustibles. I have seen hundreds of flue connectors for oil-fired equipment with less than the required clearance. All the installers would say it is fine.

When I hear that the contractor said it is fine I often want to say "Have them put in writing that it does not comply with code, but its fine".

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Quite a few HVAC contractors don't seem to care at all about clearances to combustibles. I have seen hundreds of flue connectors for oil-fired equipment with less than the required clearance. All the installers would say it is fine.

When I hear that the contractor said it is fine I often want to say "Have them put in writing that it does not comply with code, but its fine".

I've never understood this "put it in writing" business. What good does that achieve? Or is it just some kind of chest thumping intimidation thing?

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Quite a few HVAC contractors don't seem to care at all about clearances to combustibles. I have seen hundreds of flue connectors for oil-fired equipment with less than the required clearance. All the installers would say it is fine.

When I hear that the contractor said it is fine I often want to say "Have them put in writing that it does not comply with code, but its fine".

I've never understood this "put it in writing" business. What good does that achieve? Or is it just some kind of chest thumping intimidation thing?

He says he wants to say it, but doesn't bother, because, 1) the client has better ways to spend his time, and 2) we all know the contractor won't be writing anything.
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Quite a few HVAC contractors don't seem to care at all about clearances to combustibles. I have seen hundreds of flue connectors for oil-fired equipment with less than the required clearance. All the installers would say it is fine.

When I hear that the contractor said it is fine I often want to say "Have them put in writing that it does not comply with code, but its fine".

I've never understood this "put it in writing" business. What good does that achieve? Or is it just some kind of chest thumping intimidation thing?

He says he wants to say it, but doesn't bother, because, 1) the client has better ways to spend his time, and 2) we all know the contractor won't be writing anything.

When I was first getting started, I was given that advice and I tried it a few times. The contractors gladly put all sorts of stupid things in writing. I was left wondering what possible benefit there was to this technique.

As far as I can see, it's only virtue is that you get to say "I told you so" if anything bad happens. That seems like a questionable benefit. It's a perfect example of a home inspector covering his own butt at the expense of his client's butt. "Hey, get it in writing from the dumbass contractor. That won't help you one bit, but it'll save my sorry ass if there's ever a problem as a result."

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Quite a few HVAC contractors don't seem to care at all about clearances to combustibles. I have seen hundreds of flue connectors for oil-fired equipment with less than the required clearance. All the installers would say it is fine.

When I hear that the contractor said it is fine I often want to say "Have them put in writing that it does not comply with code, but its fine".

I've never understood this "put it in writing" business. What good does that achieve? Or is it just some kind of chest thumping intimidation thing?

It communicates to the buyer the willingness of the contractor to openly do things that he knows are code violations or hazardous conditions. For some buyers, it would be a profound statement.

mjr6550 has implied he hasn't done it and neither would I. I've easier ways to demonstrate the incompetence of the contractor.

Marc

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It's not hard to understand. And, yeah, there can be an element of chest thumping to it if it's delivered that way, but that's a small minded manner of looking at it.

I've not made the challenge more than a few times, but occasionally I'll get a bonehead that digs in and disputes the obvious. The challenge comes when I ask they put it in writing on their letterhead if they're so sure. Of course they never do.

Occasionally, morons need to be backed down. It can be an effective backer downer.

It's usually easier to cite the appropriate passage or common sensical explanation, but I've gotten a few moments of enjoyment telling people to document their wrong opinions. Customers seem to understand.

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This reminds me of a jetted tub that had a seized pump motor. I said it needed an access panel so that the pump could be fixed or replaced. The buyer's agent went back to the seller and he insisted the pump worked fine, ok, it does start up and run now. When I was there it did not. My client knows it did not, and the agent stood there as witness. Yet in the end the pump worked so I was wrong. Still no access panel, and we know the pump is 23 years old and shot. Sheesh, what a bunch of clowns. I let it go. At least my report is in writing.

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This reminds me of a jetted tub that had a seized pump motor. I said it needed an access panel so that the pump could be fixed or replaced. The buyer's agent went back to the seller and he insisted the pump worked fine, ok, it does start up and run now. When I was there it did not. My client knows it did not, and the agent stood there as witness. Yet in the end the pump worked so I was wrong. Still no access panel, and we know the pump is 23 years old and shot. Sheesh, what a bunch of clowns. I let it go. At least my report is in writing.

My pump seized once. Blew it off until I tried a few months later; it worked. Shite happens. . .

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Quite a few HVAC contractors don't seem to care at all about clearances to combustibles. I have seen hundreds of flue connectors for oil-fired equipment with less than the required clearance. All the installers would say it is fine.

When I hear that the contractor said it is fine I often want to say "Have them put in writing that it does not comply with code, but its fine".

I've never understood this "put it in writing" business. What good does that achieve? Or is it just some kind of chest thumping intimidation thing?

I'm not fond of the put it in writing comment. I've probably only used it a couple times in the past 30 years. It just tempting because so many people want to believe every word that comes out of a contractor's mouth.

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This reminds me of a jetted tub that had a seized pump motor. I said it needed an access panel so that the pump could be fixed or replaced. The buyer's agent went back to the seller and he insisted the pump worked fine, ok, it does start up and run now. When I was there it did not. My client knows it did not, and the agent stood there as witness. Yet in the end the pump worked so I was wrong. Still no access panel, and we know the pump is 23 years old and shot. Sheesh, what a bunch of clowns. I let it go. At least my report is in writing.

My pump seized once. Blew it off until I tried a few months later; it worked. Shite happens. . .

I gave them a chance to get a new pump and an access panel. They chose to buy the old POS as is and keep their agent happy. Clowns.
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  • 4 weeks later...

This reminds me of a jetted tub that had a seized pump motor. I said it needed an access panel so that the pump could be fixed or replaced. The buyer's agent went back to the seller and he insisted the pump worked fine, ok, it does start up and run now. When I was there it did not. My client knows it did not, and the agent stood there as witness. Yet in the end the pump worked so I was wrong. Still no access panel, and we know the pump is 23 years old and shot. Sheesh, what a bunch of clowns. I let it go. At least my report is in writing.

My pump seized once. Blew it off until I tried a few months later; it worked. Shite happens. . .

I gave them a chance to get a new pump and an access panel. They chose to buy the old POS as is and keep their agent happy. Clowns.

How do they expect to access the gfi or plumbing if theres ever an issue?

Theyll really get their feelings hurt when a plumber or electrician tells them he has to rip all the fancy ceramic tile off around the base to work on it,Oh well.

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