View Full Version : Flue pipe through thte supply plenum
11-30-2003, 12:21 PM
This is a two story home, the flue penetrated the supply plenum. The passageway through it was two duct collars with foil tape which had failed. Insufficient room at either side of the plenum required that the furnace was changed to a 90% unit with PVC run outside the plenum.
[Edited by Boss on 12-29-2003 at 02:25 PM]
12-01-2003, 02:09 AM
I have never seen anything so stupid since I started in this buisness 26 years ago! YIKES!!!!!!!
12-01-2003, 10:20 AM
Why would anyone think that is a good thing to do?
nu 2 trade
12-01-2003, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by smokeeater 38
Why would anyone think that is a good thing to do? Get extra heat off of flue pipe=higher efficiency?
12-02-2003, 02:11 AM
Man, with the pictures you posted, people most be dropping like flies! :-)
That's some scary sh*t.
12-02-2003, 09:46 AM
ANOTHER TEXAS INSTALLATION?
Those guys at CB are complete retards that any Texas company could be "contractor of the year".
What's going on in Texas that you guys out shame the rest of the country at about 2 to 1?
I would ask the TDLR rather than ask some of th eppl that come here. Most of the ppl who come here could put their installations on the wall of pride not shame. There are a lot of poor quality companies in Texas just like every where else. Havent done much work out of Texas but from what I have seen in Texas is that between liscnecing enforcement regulations of codes and enforcement. Jack legs get away with doing tons of side work with out any type of reprimand. It takes for ever to getsome one to do something about it. For the most part you write down the offense and the time and place and mail it in and about 2 or 3 years later something may or may not happen.
12-04-2003, 01:41 PM
is it possible that they figured they could squeeze a couple of more btu's of the exhaust vent
12-05-2003, 06:01 AM
At least they could of sealed it and put the tape right side up. Is that pipe plenum rated?
That is totally uncalled for.
12-05-2003, 09:46 PM
Quote :I have never seen anything so stupid since I started in this buisness 26 years ago! YIKES!!!!!!!
How about a tech that actually installed Jovall flue pipe upside down, unfortunately, I do not have the pictures of it, but as all of you know, it is marked with an arrow that says UP..........hows that for Yikes!!!
12-08-2003, 11:49 PM
I need to invest in foil back tape.
01-12-2004, 04:26 AM
Kinda reminds me when Rheem introdouced a gas furnace that had the flue routed through the blower compartment. Scary!
01-28-2004, 04:40 AM
Ok, now explain a little to me. Is the flue going into or through the plenum? If going through the plenum, am I right in seeing that the flue has been physically isolated from the plenum air? You say that the "passageway through it was two duct collars with foil tape which had failed"; Where was the foil tape, sealing the 2 collars about midway between, which would be out of sight in this picture?
01-30-2004, 07:31 AM
Plenum measured approximately 20 inchs wide by 8 inchs high. Two holes were cut in it, top and bottom, into which two duct collars were inserted - one from the top and one from the bottom. No sealing material was used at the fingerjoints of the duct collar but foil tape was used to seal the location where the two collars met. The tape had failed during the year the unit was in place leaving approximately 1/2 inch of open space where the collars did not meet.
01-30-2004, 01:54 PM
No doubt that it was crass to suppose that foil tape is the perfect item to fill a 1/2" gap. However, there is nothing wrong with installing a sleeve through a duct so that the duct air is physically isolated from the room. It would be along the same line of installing 2 duct Ys end-to-end so that the duct split then joined back together - and then running a flue pipe through that split. Once the collar is properly installed (such as using only a single piece of hard pipe so that there is no air leakage) you can run whatever you want through the sleeve as long as it is within code as though you were running the object next to the duct. A flue is no exception - it can correctly be ran as noted; The only problem here was that the installers did not seal the collars and tried securing the 2 collars together with foil tape. "[P]eople most be dropping like flies"? The installation as seen is no different than if the flue pipe was running next to the duct and there was a 1/2" gash in the duct blowing on the flue pipe. Would that kill anyone? no. It appears that there was quite a misunderstanding on the concept of what was done.:)
Legal discalimer: I did not perform the install and I have no knowledge of being affiliated with the original installers in any way at any time.
01-30-2004, 07:27 PM
Actually, we examined every method to correct this problem without a lot of additional expense. It was an insurance job and the insurance company had to replace the unit becase mold was growing in the place. Additional problems were that it was a four ton unit on a 1300 sq ft 2-story. There were only 6 registers in the whole place and standing in front of one would blow your hat off.
The Mesquite, Texas building officials would entertain no instance of the flue penetrating the plenum, and if you read the IMC it is not allowed. Remedy in this case was to install 90% furnace.
01-30-2004, 11:40 PM
I'm not saying there was error in choosing to replace the unit by any means. I was merely pointing out what appeared to be a misunderstanding for everyone's benefit. By the posts made it appeared that many of the guys didn't understand the goofy way of running the flue was OK.
It is true that a flue cannot penetrate a supply air. The flue wasn't penetrating a supply air, though; The collars were penetrating the supply air. The flue being ran through the collars is not the same as the flue making a direct penetration through the duct. I once had the very same objection while working for a certain employer (and the immediate supervisor was an engineer) - I guess you see who won.
I support your decision to proceed in the manner that you proceeded. I did not mean to imply that you should have left the furnace alone or reinstalled an 80% furnace. I was just trying to point out that it was not as dangerous or out-of-code as thought.:)
02-03-2004, 09:46 AM
i guesse there trying to get more heat .
02-03-2004, 08:25 PM
The reason is the ductwork is all ran in fur downs and never goes in the attic. The plenum space in front of the furnace must be used to hit the fur down area.
What happens when the customer calls a legitimate licensed contractor to replace the old furnace? Any upgrades to change the flue path would cost extra money. The customer would compare bids and go with the low price guy that never pulls any permits.
02-04-2004, 05:29 PM
Common sense not being a birthright, statistics report "stupid" may strike one in three.
02-05-2004, 01:57 AM
So what's your point?
02-05-2004, 08:11 AM
Well, if one were to put an insurance companys' risk management attorneys up against an Engineer, I believe we can ascertain the outcome. follow the $$$$. (Always). I can certainly appreciate the point of the "sleeve" my good man, I've had similar decisions to weigh; however, why take such an uncertain risk?
02-05-2004, 03:10 PM
Where's the risk if the vent pipe is installed with the proper clearances from combustible materials? There was no mention of vent pipe being upside down and no mention of pipe joints not being fit together properly. For a lawyer to prove liability he would have to prove that it was wrong; He could prove that it was wrong to apply tape to seal a 1/2" gap, but he cannot prove it is wrong or improper to fabricate a duct with a 6" sealed sleeve that penetrates said duct. He also could not prove that it is wrong or improper to run a type B vent through a sleeve provided that required clearances are maintained. Since he cannot prove it is wrong or improper then it would be normal and correct for the defense lawyer to move for dismissal with prejudice, court costs, and lawyer fees on the grounds of the case being without foundation and without merit.
Here's something to consider: Whould it be improper if, instead of a sealed pipe penetrating a duct, the duct split in to a 'Y' which was then connected to another 'Y' end-to-end so that the end result, once installed, was a single duct that splits then joins back together and continues as a single duct? Why or why not? If that is OK to do, then would it be OK to run a type B vent through that area where the ducts were split? After all, the air in the duct is still totally isolated from the room. If it isn't OK, then why? If it is OK, then why would it be wrong to make a 1 piece 'Y' with the split in the middle (which is essentially what is pictured except for the lack of proper sealing) rather than a 2 or 3 piece 'Y'? What would be the difference?
Codes regarding running a flue through duct refer to the flue being in direct contact with the duct air. But once the air leaves the duct then it is no longer duct air, but rather free air. The air that is in contact with the flue pipe in the picture is free air, not duct air. If it were a violation for free air to contact a flue pipe then a flue could not be ran in a furnace room where there is any ducts at all. In the picture posted, though, it could be argued that after some of the free air hits the flue pipe (free air from the 1/2" gap in the collar) it can return to the duct and become duct air again because of the possibility of a vacuum being created on the trailing end of the collar, thus it is a code violation. I do not disagree with such a claim. My statements are based upon a properly installed collar, not the one seen in the picture. I agree that it is best to avoid doing what is picture, but aside from not being properly sealed, I do not see any code violation or dangerous situation.
02-05-2004, 03:34 PM
Ok, you win, game, set, match. Go ahead and do it that way it's ok be me just as soon as you sign on your companys' letterhead that it will last forever without any incident or risk of failure at any time. I have found few technicians, Engineers, Plant managers, or Service managers willing to do that. That they will accept all liability for the equipment, the complete connected loads, and any and all temperature and humidity sensitive valuables which the equipment will be managing, and of course the occupants of the space. I'm sure it will work out fine...
02-05-2004, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by tempro
Ok, you win, game, set, match. Go ahead and do it that way it's ok be me just as soon as you sign on your companys' letterhead that it will last forever without any incident or risk of failure at any time. I have found few technicians, Engineers, Plant managers, or Service managers willing to do that. That they will accept all liability for the equipment, the complete connected loads, and any and all temperature and humidity sensitive valuables which the equipment will be managing, and of course the occupants of the space. I'm sure it will work out fine..."The first thing I learned was to forgive myself; then I told myself "Go ahead, do whatever you'd like, it's OK by me" (Unknown)
02-05-2004, 07:31 PM
Sadlier. After some long consideration and a bit of research, I can see your point. The two re-connecting Y's would have been best I suppose. I can only imagine that the guy was limited on space, and materials; as well as time. Who knows what time it was when it was installed, or what the circumstances were involving the time spent. Perhaps the installers back was to the wall. (We all know that never happens.) Had the collars been properly installed, and all tolerances complied with, and the vent through in one single length section; Sure it is possible, but is it really ethical. It has been many years since I've been in Residential work. I know it is a common practice now to place economizers in central plant flue stacks for pre heating make up water for boiler feedwater systems, as well as other means of hot flue gas heat recovery for commercial or industrial purposes. I suppose I would have had to ask myself, "Would I install it this way in my mothers house?" (I said "Mother", not "mother in law"). Thank you for giving me pause for thought.
02-06-2004, 12:26 AM
With all that was said, I personally wouldn't do it unless it was a last resort; It just doesn't look professional enough for my tastes. I would push for a condensing furnace first such as had been done in this case. But if I did have to do it (again), I would have bigger worries on my mind rather than liability - such as if I should go to the closer or the healthier place for lunch... will the paycheck bounce... is there enough air in my tire... etc.
02-06-2004, 01:13 AM
Originally posted by tempro
Go ahead and do it that way it's ok be me just as soon as you sign on your companys' letterhead that it will last forever without any incident or risk of failure at any time. I have found few technicians, Engineers, Plant managers, or Service managers willing to do that. That they will accept all liability for the equipment, the complete connected loads, and any and all temperature and humidity sensitive valuables which the equipment will be managing, and of course the occupants of the space.
Last forever? Are we installing HVAC equipment or diamonds? Anybody who would be silly enough to make a provision that any of their equipment will "last forever without... risk of failure" will immediately open themselves up to a lawsuit on the basis that there is no piece of equipment and no material that we use in our industry that will last forever. They would merely have to point out that the contractor installed the wrong type of equipment (ie something that will not last forever) and make them remove and install something more durable - and much, much, much more costly. All it would take is to prove that metal rusts out, plastic deteriorates, bearings wear out, etc., prove the contractual agreement, and then get a judgment that would put the contractor out of business. They wouldn't even have to wait until there is a problem with the equipment since a physicist can prove that the equipment is doomed for eventual failure. Ok, perhaps there are more kinds of people that would make such a claim - those that intend to take the money and run.
Few people will accept all liability for the equipment for a reason you previously stated: Lawyers. If a contractor states that he is accepting all liability, and then someone is hurt on the equipment (whether accidentally or intentionally), guess who has already accepted all liability? The contractor. That would be a really big burden off of the owner! A person making a contract should minimize the use of boundless words such as "complete" and "forever" when making contracts since it will be construed in a court of law at exactly that.
As a side note, I find it humorous at how the politicians do their best at making laws and still don't get their points worded correctly. For example, a bill that is currently being pushed through our state deals with changing the wording of the laws regarding driving automobiles. It appears that the current law is worded in such a way that the automobile, not the driver, is breaking the law when doing certain acts. But now how is an officer supposed to ticket an automobile? If he does, is the automobile supposed to show up in court? Technically the officer couldn't ticket the person because there was no law against a person doing the certain acts, just the automobiles couldn't do them. Hm-m-m-m.
02-06-2004, 07:33 AM
Goes back to the whole commom sense and birth right thing. No. you're right, forever is unreasonable and completely unrealistic. I once long ago had that whole "If you sign off on this then you may do the part of the proceedure that you wish." It had to do with a piece of equipment which had a 24/7/365 use. It was for indemnified art. It was a sort of catch 22 issue. (no immediate control replacement). "When in doubt, Jump it out." I look forward to hearing more from you in the future Sadlier. Thanks for the dialog. Tempro...
02-11-2004, 07:46 PM
I gess it is suppose to make it more efficient reub would be so proud
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