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Self closing hinges on garage doors


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I was just told by a contractor that it is no longer required to have a self closing hinge on a fire rated garage door. This home is new construction and is in a rural county area. I find this absurd. The door does lead to the entry hallway of the home. Any help here? I would love to correct the builder if possible. And if I am wrong I need to know.

Mike

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Here is the answer, NO it is not required. According to the local building code enforcer when the codes were last written it was omitted. Logically it does not make sense to me and I will still add it as a recommendation, but as for a requirement, it is not required.

He also said that walls adjacent to living spaces, in garages, are no longer required to be 5/8 type x but now can be 1/2 type x but ceilings in garaged are still required to be 5/8 type x.

Of course other jurisdictions may vary! This was for Snohomish county WA.

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What is the fire rating? Every 90 minute door in my supplier's catalogs comes standard with two self closing hinges, the pins to set the spring tension are shipped loose but with the door. Every jurisdiction around here requires a 90 minute door with self closing hinges, but I've had a lot of 'handy man' types asking for 3/4 hour doors lately. I haven't heard of any 45 minute rule and the last time I used such a door was to meet a 20 minute smoke and draft requirement for an existing apartment complex, I was required to use the self closing hinges.

Unless you have access to the plans you will need to call the AHJ for the right answer, but smells like BS to me.

Tom

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It's required here in NY:

R309.1 Opening protection. Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with a 3/4-hour fire-protection-rated door assembly equipped with a self-closing device.

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I just checked all of my supplier catalogs. There are fiberglass doors rated at 20 minutes, and steel doors rated at 90 minutes. All doors are in steel split frames with self closing hinges. The 45 minute rating applies to certain solid core flush wood doors (only those labeled) and the Stanley B series steel fire door.

Chad, as a code officer would you approve a wood door? Label or no, it would never fly here between the house and garage. Fire seperation inside commercial buildings is about the only place we can use them, and most of those are concrete cores and rated well beyond 45 minutes.

Tom

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It's required here in NY:

R309.1 Opening protection. Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with a 3/4-hour fire-protection-rated door assembly equipped with a self-closing device.

Chad...how old is that code quote? I only go back to the 2000 IRC, and the "assembly" and "self closing" bit isn't in that. And doesn't seem to appear in anything later (I don't have the 2009).

From the 2006...

R.309.1 Opening Protection. Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1 3/8-inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 1 3/8-inches (35mm) thick, or 20-minute fi re-rated doors.

I'm not arguing against the value of a closer, just that the IRC diesn't seem to currently require them.

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Here is the answer, NO it is not required. According to the local building code enforcer when the codes were last written it was omitted.

That's not quite correct. It stopped being required when Washington adopted the IRC, which never required an automatic closer in that location. Nothing was "omitted." Washington just switched to a different code.

Logically it does not make sense to me and I will still add it as a recommendation, but as for a requirement, it is not required.

He also said that walls adjacent to living spaces, in garages, are no longer required to be 5/8 type x but now can be 1/2 type x but ceilings in garaged are still required to be 5/8 type x.

Only if there are habitable rooms above.

Of course other jurisdictions may vary! This was for Snohomish county WA.

That's for all of Washington, unless a particular city adopts a more stringent requirement.

Why not buy yourself a copy of the code?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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  • 3 years later...

This subject could use an update. My understanding is that self-closing hinges were taken out of the IRC in 2006...

I don't think that requirement was ever in the IRC until 2012.
I'm dealing with a builder that says he pulled the permit in early 2012 so doesn't need them.
If the construction contract for proposed work was signed before 2012, the builder is likely correct. In areas that I work, 2012 has not yet been adopted.
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To follow up on Bill's statement, it depends upon what version of the code the area adheres to. Here where I am, we are still operating under the 2006 code and will not adhere to the 2012 IRC until Jan. 1, 2014 so any permit pulled prior to then will be under the 2006 code. I can recommend they upgrade to self closing hinges for safety purposes, and I do, but I can't say that it was built wrong.

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For those of you who might have been looking for it under 309.1 of the 2012 IRC, it is here.

R302.5.1 Opening protection. Openings from a private

garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes

sha11 not be permitted. Other openings between the garage

and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not

less than 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb-

core steel doors not less than 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors, equipped with a self-closing

device.

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