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Return air right in front of stove insert.


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More that likely I would write it up. I would need a little more info than just the photo.

Here is what the IRC says.

M1602.2 Prohibited sources.

Outdoor and return air for a forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the following locations:

1. Closer than 10 feet (3048 mm) to an appliance vent outlet, a vent opening from a plumbing drainage system or the discharge outlet of an exhaust fan, unless the outlet is 3 feet (914 mm) above the outside air inlet.

2. Where flammable vapors are present; or where located less than 10 feet (3048 mm) above the surface of any abutting public way or driveway; or where located at grade level by a sidewalk, street, alley or driveway.

3. A room or space, the volume of which is less than 25 percent of the entire volume served by such system. Where connected by a permanent opening having an area sized in accordance with ACCA Manual D, adjoining rooms or spaces shall be considered as a single room or space for the purpose of determining the volume of such rooms or spaces.

Exception: The minimum volume requirement shall not apply where the amount of return air taken from a room or space is less than or equal to the amount of supply air delivered to such room or space.

4. A closet, bathroom, toilet room, kitchen, garage, mechanical room, furnace room or other dwelling unit.

5. A room or space containing a fuel-burning appliance where such room or space serves as the sole source of return air.

Exceptions:

1. The fuel-burning appliance is a direct-vent appliance or an appliance not requiring a vent in accordance with Section M1801.1 or Chapter 24.

2. The room or space complies with the following requirements:

2.1. The return air shall be taken from a room or space having a volume exceeding 1 cubic foot for each 10 Btu/h (9.6 L/W) of combined input rating of all fuel-burning appliances therein.

2.2. The volume of supply air discharged back into the same space shall be approximately equal to the volume of return air taken from the space.

2.3. Return-air inlets shall not be located within 10 feet (3048 mm) of any appliance firebox or draft hood in the same room or space.

3. Rooms or spaces containing solid-fuel burning appliances, provided that return-air inlets are located not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from the firebox of such appliances.

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What do you guys think of this installation? There's a return air duct right in front of the fireplace that has a stove inserted. If you saw this installation, what would you write in the report, if anything?

I think it's a dumb place for a return air grille.

I'd be sure to point out that the stove might not draft properly when the furnace blower is running. I'd also point out that it's probably pretty easy to move the return air grille somewhere else.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi Philip,

Thanks for posting the applicable code-- how are you liking the cut and paste feature on your software?

I read that to mean that the return air could not be within 10' if it was the sole source of return air. I just re- read it, and it looks like I was wrong.

By brain hasn't been working well lately, so I may start asking some odd questions. I think sleep deprivation is sinking in.

Brandon, was the fireplace original to the house? Or was it an add-on?

Phillip's code citations are helpful but, like Jim said, you don't exactly need a degree

I am pre- inspecting off of the MLS listing pictures, trying to get a head start on tomorrows job. I've got a large shop, barn, and 4200 sq. ft. house to do, so I'm trying to save some time. My guess is that the fireplace is original-- it was built in 1970. I'm not sure what the code allowed back then. I will write it up, just wanted some opinions on the matter.

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I reread what I wrote in the quoted portion of your post, and realized it may have sounded insulting. Please know that's not what I meant by the degree comment.

It's just that it's difficult to believe--regardless of who followed whom--that the HVAC and masonry contractors didn't at some point realize that the return-air register directly in front of the firebox may not have been such a good idea.

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. . . I am pre- inspecting off of the MLS listing pictures, trying to get a head start on tomorrows job. I've got a large shop, barn, and 4200 sq. ft. house to do, so I'm trying to save some time. My guess is that the fireplace is original-- it was built in 1970. I'm not sure what the code allowed back then. I will write it up, just wanted some opinions on the matter.

Every time I try to do something like that, it ends up taking me longer. I don't know why.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I reread what I wrote in the quoted portion of your post, and realized it may have sounded insulting. Please know that's not what I meant by the degree comment.

No offense taken, especially if that's all ya got[:-tong2] If I don't understand what was meant by something that was written, I just move on.

Every time I try to do something like that, it ends up taking me longer. I don't know why.

I've already started to write the report, and will probably end up erasing half of what I have written. Oh well, at least I'm learning.....

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