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Forced air return


RichR
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Home was built in 1986, designed and built for the only first flor return air register to be within 10' of a wood burning fireplace. I don't have the code book which was in place at that time, however everything after states "return-air inlets shall not be located within 10' of any appliance firebox in the same room". Was there a way the builder could have gotten around this? How could this be repaired with a home on a slab.

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Section M1602 "Return Air" in the 2006 IRC, specifically number 5 along with the exceptions covers what you are discussing-- just figured I'd post the location for others reading this.

Was there a way the builder could have gotten around this? How could this be repaired with a home on a slab.

I don't know if this was allowed by the building code at the time. I just inspected a 1500 sq. ft. open floor plan house built in 1980 where the sole return air is located about 5' above, and 2' to the right of the firebox opening. I just told the client that it is unsafe, why, and moved on from there.

Giving an idea as to what repairs are possible without seeing the house is pretty much impossible.

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