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Boiler in Finished Basement

Jeff Remas

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You are inspecting a 20 year old home that is not considered to be unusually tight construction. The family has recently finished the basment and has framed around the utility area creating a separate, nice size utility/mechanical room of 12'x12' with 8' ceilings. The room has an energy rating and is sealed. All combustion air comes from within the room. In the room is an electric hot water heater and a gas fired hot water boiler for the hot water baseboard. The boiler has a 60,000 BTU input rating and a 52,000 BTU output rating.

Is there enough combustion air in the room?

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The Fuel Gas Code provides the following calculation when all combustion air must come from a room that does not communicate with another space.

G2407.5.1 The minimum required volume shall be 50 cubic feet per 1,000 Btu/h.

A 60,000 Btu/h furnace will require 3,000 cubic feet. The volume of that room is 12X12X8=1,152 cu. ft.

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Originally posted by energy star

That is telling us, yes he needs more combustion air. But, the openings can be of different size if he gets the air from outside or a bigger room in the home. And, is he going to tell the home how many square inches of free air space they need for the furnace in that room?

A furnace with dimensions of 20w x 22d x 36h would need 440 square inches of space.[^] ??

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Maybe a little discussion about thread etiquette is in order,

Energystar, your user name tells us that you probably instantly knew the answer to Jeff's question. It's clear that Jeff knew the answer before he posted the question. I think he was just trying to get someone to think about something we encounter all the time but which many inspectors - private as well as AHJ's as well as HVAC guys - seem to overlook.

Anyway, the question wasn't, "If you have a gas burning appliance in a sealed room how must you get sufficient combustion air for it and how big are the necessary openings?" Jeff asked, "Is there enough combustion air in the room?" and the respondent in #2 provided the proper citation for determining whether there is or isn't sufficient volume in a space to provide enough air for combustion and the respondent in #4 ans wed the question more succinctly.

If you take what's obviously someone's pop quiz and turn it on it's ear you'll confuse those who don't necessarily understand the question or the answers. Isn't it better to allow the initial poster to guide the thread to the point where the question has been answered to the initial poster's satisfaction before posing the next problem? That way, those inspectors who're brand new to this gig and still trying to apply everything they learned in training to the real world will have the opportunity to exercise that new found knowledge and work it out in their own heads or will pull out their texts and look it up.

Jeff, to avoid confusion, so that we experienced hands don't jump in and ruin it, how about announcing it when you're going to be dropping a pop quiz?



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You need a HVAC quiz section. I did not know we would have a pop quiz as such the way that was posted.

To me, I thought I needed to complete the answer. I probably don't need to tell you the free square area is different if it's from a larger room in the house or from outside.

I will learn the members in here after a while. I never wanted to to step on anyones toes.

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