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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Question Freon lines strapped to exterior sheathing / siding nail damage

    Good morning gentlemen.

    When it comes to Freon lines installed in wood framed 2x4 exterior walls - is there a best practice for keeping the lines as close to the sheetrock (interior) as possible? Is there a building code that addresses this or a resource for HVAC best practices?

    I am a framing contractor currently having issues with an HVAC contractor on a set of apartment buildings we are building in Texas. His Freon lines were installed in the same stud bay that had a "floating" butt joint (siding that had to be nailed through plywood only, the nails would not be nailed into a stud). Specs on the siding required 2" nails 1" and 3" from each of the butt joint. So this stud bay would have multiple nails penetrating 1-1/4" past the sheathing into the stud space.

    Before the HVAC contractor began his work I warned him of this condition and advised him to install his Freon lines in a different stud bay. I also told him that if that was not an option he should take extra care to install the Freon lines flush to the sheetrock side of the stud bay. Sheetrock would be installed before we installed our siding and there would be no way for our siding installers to see where exactly the line sets were in the wall.

    He disregarded all coordination efforts AND strapped his lines to the exterior sheathing. Lo and behold he has a bunch of nails in his lines and wants us to pay the damages.

    Who's at fault in your opinion? I have worked with many HVAC contractors and never seen anyone install their line sets flush with the plywood.



    Name:  line sets strapped to outside sheathing.jpg
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    Thank you

    Dylan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,193
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    The yellow romex should be behind a nail plate to protect it from getting nails in it as well

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Medford, N.Y.
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    If you have anything in writing or a witness to said "warning" then the fault lies w/ the HVAC guy. A 2" x 4" up against the plywood would of helped,yes?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Tell the GC he needs a new HVAC installer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    IMC code
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Raleigh,NC.
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    448
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    no metal straps. actually, my method is no straps or hangers on the vertical run.
    a "held line is less likely to move if a nail hits the side of it. the strapping, to something increases the chance of vibration noise transfer to the stud cavity (speaker box ). the liquid line should not touch anything, much less something metal.
    never behind a set of cabinets or places of higher likelihood for nails. He was warned!!!!!!!!! You did your due diligence, in my opinion. apartments are--------------who can do it the cheapest and I need not say more.
    i once saw a lady trying to hang a picture using a 20 penny finishing nail, put a hole in the suction line of a non-strapped, run right down the center of a full 14 1/2 inch cavity! At best, it is still vulnerable but in less danger.
    remember, with electronics; when its brown,its cooking and when its black, its done!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
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    Are there any prints or engineered drawings for the job?
    If you were a real tech, you'd solder a relay on that board and call it good to go.

    I do a triple evac with nitro to remove non condensables.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    987
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    Yes the codes states "stuff" that can be damaged needs to be protected. "Stuff" = anything that can be installed in the walls, refrigeration lines, plumbing, electric,

    However the big question I see is who is supposed to provide the protection. Issues such as this I put in writting all contractors involved gets a copy

    Was/Is there a general contractor? They should have been involved in the pre-work discussion

    As BB stated were there drawings?

    Were the interior walls still open, as in the picture, when the exterior siding, was installed? I don't install my lines like this but and I do add protection (Pipe, plate, mark were lines are) when I believe there could be damage done. If the interior wall was open when the siding was installed, then the sidding applicator in my opion is "partially" at fault. Becuase the sidding guys could have looked and marked the exterior wall where the refrigeration lines were. The HVAC guy could have marked the exterior wall also. Unless this is some special siding application the siding could have been installed differently such that the but ends, ended in a different stud cavity (such as trim off a few inches or start from the other corner)

    In this open forum that all I care to post at this time, Good luck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Northern NV
    Posts
    1,249
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    If you informed him of the issues prior to the install and have witness or perhaps an email or text, then you are in the clear.

    Plumbers used to piss me off greatly when we'd do a walk thru to discuss where I needed to run ductwork through joist spaces with the emphasis on this is my ONLY available place to go, I'd come in to do a rough in and they'd have one copper line right in the exact center of the space! top to bottom and side to side.... I normally don't get too excited, but these occasions were enough to make me go postal.

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