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AC secondary drain in garage ceiling


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Found this on a new home the other day. Typical furnace/air handler located in attic. The secondary condensate drain (coming off pan) terminates out garage ceiling. I called it out for compromising the "fire rating" between garage and attic. Builder stated that City building inspector approved it. Has anyone ever seen the secondary condensate drain terminate out garage ceiling?

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Found this on a new home the other day. Typical furnace/air handler located in attic. The secondary condensate drain (coming off pan) terminates out garage ceiling. I called it out for compromising the "fire rating" between garage and attic. Builder stated that City building inspector approved it. Has anyone ever seen the secondary condensate drain terminate out garage ceiling?

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I've seen it, but never in new construction - that wouldn't fly around here. I told them to move it because a fire in the garage could spread to the attic. Once, the contractor addressed it by installing an intumescent collar around it - a pretty fancy solution. Most of the time, I think people just ignore that recommendation.

By the way, you should probably avoid using terms like "fire rating," "rated wall," or "fire wall." Those terms have very specific meanings that don't apply to the wimpy assemblies that we use on single family garages. A better (though admittedly awkward) term might be "fire separation."

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I'd tell the builder that we're not city inspectors. We occasionally rely on 'common sense' in justifying our recommendations and you don't want a fire in the garage spreading to the attic.

What Jim K said. Folks won't do anything about it anyway. It's just a CYA write-up.

Marc

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Secondary is supposed to terminate at a visible location, but "outside", such as right over a window where an occupant might see the drip. Garage is more visible but technically verboten.

Is that in the IRC? Mine only says, " to a conspicuous point of disposal."

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Found this on a new home the other day. Typical furnace/air handler located in attic. The secondary condensate drain (coming off pan) terminates out garage ceiling. I called it out for compromising the "fire rating" between garage and attic. Builder stated that City building inspector approved it. Has anyone ever seen the secondary condensate drain terminate out garage ceiling?

Click to Enlarge
tn_2016101523531_P1550733.jpg

20.61 KB

I've seen it, but never in new construction - that wouldn't fly around here. I told them to move it because a fire in the garage could spread to the attic. Once, the contractor addressed it by installing an intumescent collar around it - a pretty fancy solution. Most of the time, I think people just ignore that recommendation.

By the way, you should probably avoid using terms like "fire rating," "rated wall," or "fire wall." Those terms have very specific meanings that don't apply to the wimpy assemblies that we use on single family garages. A better (though admittedly awkward) term might be "fire separation."

Yes I agree "fire separation" is a better term to use. I really don't see how the drain pipe termination is any different than having a 1" hole in the ceiling, which is not allowed.

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Thanks, Jim, for turning my gaze down the right path. I did not look up the reference.

As far as conspicuous goes, I guess the kitchen ceiling would be a good one.

Secondary is supposed to terminate at a visible location, but "outside", such as right over a window where an occupant might see the drip. Garage is more visible but technically verboten.

Is that in the IRC? Mine only says, " to a conspicuous point of disposal."

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