Author Topic: dryer furnace vent seperation code  (Read 4657 times)

Offline jeffr

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dryer furnace vent seperation code
« on: December 10, 2015, 06:35:51 PM »
I had Enercare by to swap out my old hot water tank for a new one. They had to replace my old ABS exhaust venting with PVC to bring it up to code.  While they were doing that they noticed my furnace intake and dryer exhaust were separated by 2.5' instead of the required 3'. So  I got tagged with a 45 day 'B' tag to increase the separation.

Is there no grandfather rule for this type of code ? They didn't touch either of those pipes or systems.

Does Enercare usually have decent rates for this type of repair or should I be calling a local HVAC contractor ?

Thanks !!

Confused home owner.


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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 07:04:39 PM »
It would be costly to cut a new 4" hole and repair the old dryer vent hole.  If you do have a new 4" hole cut, I would probably just leave a dummy exhaust vent termination on the existing dryer vent hole to avoid trying to repair the exterior.  You might also be able to simply extend the furnace intake so that it's 3' away from the dryer vent.  Are the furnace vents ABS?  If so there is no problem altering the ABS termination using 636 PVC venting.  You DO NOT have to upgrade the furnace ABS to 636 until a new furnace is installed or until the ABS vent cracks or separates.

See Director's Advisory FS-101-07-R1 if someone tells you that 636 cannot be used to alter an existing ABS termination.

What Clause did they use on the warning tag?

If they used Clause 8.3.7, and your furnace was installed before December 1, 2012 then their warning tag is invalid.  December 1, 2012 was the date the B149.1-10 was adopted in Ontario and Clause 8.3.7 was not Code until then.

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Clause 8.3.7 - An air-supply opening shall not be located within 3 ft (1 m) of a moisture exhaust duct.
Note: A moisture-exhaust duct (e.g., a gas or electric clothes dryer discharge; spa exhaust) is considered to interfere with the combustion air intake when located within 3 ft (1 m) of the air intake.

Now for the bad news.  Clause 7.5.2 has existed for some time.  I would have to look through old Code books but I believe it existed prior to 1999.  If they used Clause 7.5.2 then there is not much you can do besides fix the infraction.

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Clause 7.5.2 - A moisture-exhaust duct shall not terminate within 3 ft (1 m) in any direction of any pressure regulator vent termination or fresh-air intake.

If you post a picture of the furnace termination and the model of the furnace I can tell you if it allows horizontal separation between the exhaust and intake, and tell you how best to reconfigure the furnace termination to satisfy the 3' clearance requirement to the dryer vent.

You can go to Home Depot and buy 636 fittings, venting and glue and fix the problem yourself.  Then hire a gas fitter to clean your furnace and clear the warning tag at the same time.  At least that way you will get some value out of paying for a service call.

Offline jeffr

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 07:22:15 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply !  It's really hard to decipher search results as a lay home owner so this forum is a blessing.

They quoted 8.3.7 on the tag.   The house was built in 1996. The original furnace was replaced in 2009 and was converted to PVC at that time.  So I suppose I could claim grandfathering for the 2012 code you mentioned but then they could just go back and quote 7.5.2 ?

How would you even appeal an invalid tag ?  I imagine if the inspector coming to remove the tag was in a poor mood he could just rewrite it with 7.5.2 ?

It's dark out now so I'll wait until tomorrow to take a photo.

Thanks again for your reply.  Just getting a bit of clarity on this has made my day!

Jeff

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 07:28:00 PM »
I would call Enercare and ask to speak with a service manager.  Explain the warning tag issued for Clause 8.3.7 is invalid as your furnace was installed prior to December 1, 2012, before Clause 8.3.7 took affect.  Take a picture of the pressure test tag or the rating plate inside the furnace to prove the age of the furnace.

Suggest they clear the warning tag from their office as you do not want them back on your property and mention in 45 days if your gas is turned off they will be compensating you for any and all damages resulting from having no heat or hot water.

Nobody seems to know about Clause 7.5.2, even the people who write the Code.  Why else would they have felt the need to add Clause 8.3.7?  Enbridge inspectors did not enforce the 3' rule until Clause 8.3.7 came into existence.

I understand the Enercare tech was just doing his job, but if they could have simply extended the furnace intake for you, in less time than it took to write a warning tag and notify the fuel distributor, then my advice would be stop giving them your business.  Exercise the 20 day rule and opt out of their contract.  Purchase your own water heater as renting is usually a waste of money.

Offline Attavior

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 09:20:55 PM »
Is there really a grandfather clause that would allow something against the code to stay in place? 

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2015, 04:12:20 AM »
There is no official grandfathering clause but any Code changes are typically not enforced unless there is an immediate safety issue or equipment upgrade.

For example if the ABS vent is not compromised we cannot enforce a 636 vent upgrade.

Offline Attavior

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2015, 05:38:27 AM »
That makes sense,  safety in mind.

I heard tssa in the Cornwall area is getting the utility there to infract anything / everything they see wrong in an attempt to bring everything up to code.

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2015, 09:19:09 AM »
I can't find my Code book prior to the B149.1-00 (year 2000), but Clause 7.5.2 did exist as Clause 6.5.2.  It then switched to Clause 7.5.2 in the B149.1-05 (year 2005).

Offline jeffr

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2015, 06:32:17 PM »
I've attached a picture of my current exterior venting situation and furnace.  Furnace intake is the left hand side of the 'pair' in the centre.

The furnace is a Lennox G61MPV according to the manual I see by the furnace.

Going to give Enercare a call Monday morning.

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2015, 07:03:28 AM »
You could swap the intake and exhaust vents at the furnace, so that the intake is on the left outside.  Then you could snorkel it over towards the water heater vent.  We would need 1' from the water heater vent and 3' from the dryer vent to the furnace intake.

If you look at the 1st attachment I posted, you can separate the intake and exhaust vents up to 24".  Just cut the grey terminations off as you won't need them.  You would just need to install a 45 on the end of the exhaust vent and ensure it is at least 9" past the front of the intake elbow.  Sorry for the bad drawing but my red line is supposed to be the intake elbow once you snorkel it over.

If you can't keep the furnace intake 1' away from the water heater vent then you can snorkel both furnace vents up as shown in the 2nd attachment.  It looks like there's a fireplace termination, above the furnace vents, so we must keep 1' between it and the furnace intake.  If the furnace is the 110,000 BTU model then we must keep the furnace exhaust vent 3' from the fireplace vent.  The furnace must be at least a 90,000 BTU model if they vented with 3".  The wall plate looks like the exhaust has a 3" hole and the intake has a 2" hole.  At some point they reduced the 3" intake to 2" before it goes outside, then back to 3" again.  With the 90,000 BTU model it should be the exhaust vent that is reduced to 2" outside, not the intake.  With that wall plate the exhaust vent was intended to go on the right and be reduced to 2".  The intake pipe should have been on the left all along and remain 3".

It doesn't sound like the furnace has had any problems, but the air vent should extend higher than the P-trap.  You should install a vent in the tee as shown in the 3rd attachment.  It looks like that was forgotten. 

The AC disconnect box requires 1m of secure footing around it, and the liquid tight and wiring should be secured to the wall.  The disconnect box would have to be relocated onto the right hand side of the fireplace bump out.  All minor issues that won't cause you any problems, besides from certain inspectors.

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Install a tee and vent pipe near the trap.

BTW what is the model of the water heater they installed?  I'm curious if there's any inside or outside corner clearance requirements listed in the manual.  Take a picture of their water heater and venting installation if you want a second set of eyes to make sure it's done correctly.

Offline jeffr

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2015, 10:38:30 AM »
Awesome news:  I made a call to Enercare and repeated what you mentioned about the tag being invalid. They sent a technician out today (who was very friendly and reasonable) and after a bit of verification and a call to his manager they agreed to remove the tag.  He also agreed to waive the 'visit' charge since it was their fault.   I'm elated to have all this sorted and done with before the holidays.

Thanks again for all your help.  My holiday season just got a bit less stressful.

I'll send a small donation to the site.  Thanks for volunteering your time on this site. It's a gem.

Jeff
Ottawa

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Re: dryer furnace vent seperation code
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2015, 10:44:10 AM »
That's great news Jeff. 

And many thanks, as I am typing this I just received a Paypal notification.  You are very generous!

Happy Holidays!