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boiler in my garage

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by ssupercoolss, Feb 3, 2008.

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  1. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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    dont freak out yet - read. i understand you cant put a solid fuel appliance in a garage. but what makes a "garage" a garage, and not a "mechanical" room? i've been searching here for a while and cant quite figure this one out. my "garage" is hardly a garage. before i bought the house, at least one third of the garage was taken to make the kitchen bigger. so my garage is approximetly 7' wide by maybe 10' long. these garages are really funny too...my nieghbor still has a full size garage. you have to pull your car in, because there is a cut out in the wall for you to open the drivers door. passenger has to get out before you pull into the garage. but anyways - is my garage still a garage because it has a big overhead door, and enough space to fit some bikes and a ton of wood pellets? or is my garage no longer a garage because you can not fit a car in it?

    i am not trying to be a smartass or anything like that, and not planning on doing anything illegal either. but i will post my findings when i speak with the building inspector.

    if i were able to put a wood boiler in this room, vs my basement, it would greatly widen my options.

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  2. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    You know, I was thinking about this, and it occurs to me that you could chisel a hole in the slab and install a vertical pipe, thereby guaranteeing that no car could drive in, but not restricting your ability to use the large door to bring in wood or pellets.

    Joe
  3. Sting

    Sting Feeling the Heat

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    It may be as simple as laying a single course of solid 4 inch cement block - inline to the threshold - just inside the overhead door.

    And that can aways be easily removed if you ever wish to restore the "garage"
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    When does it become an issue? When you sell your house? When your garage burns down? Are there places where the authorities come knocking on your door demanding that you quit violating the Code?

    Apparently not in NYS. This picture is an obvious code violation in a commercial building (plain stovepipe "chimney" in a bar) clearly visible from the state highway. If this guy can continue to operate a business in a manner that is clearly a threat to public safety, how could anyone justify hassling homeowners over technical (but safe) violations of applicable codes?

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  5. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Homeowners typically don't fight fines in court - they just pay up. So hassling homeowners is a much better revenue generator for the gov't! (true, but disturbing)

    Joe
  6. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    Depends on who you ask.

    NFPA defines it as " a building or structure in which not more than 3 self propelled passenger vehicles are or may be stored and that will not normally be used for other than minor service or repair operations on said vehicles"

    DOE says something like a space large enough to accommodate a car with a door 6 foot wide and 7 foot tall.

    Around here folks put in "John Deere" rooms to park mowers, etc in the basement.

    I'd say any space where mowers, or tools with gasoline could be used or stored would be a bad place for a solid fueled appliance.

    Insurance companies also have various versions of where, if at all, solid fuel appliances may be installed.

    Your local building department AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) would be the best bet. Get him to quote the building code page and article number.i

    hr
  7. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Safety, building code, insurance, liability, affordability, what is practical -- rarely in sync. My gassification unit is in my workshop, an old barn, which is nothing but flammable. Without claiming this is the model of safety, I live where there is no building code and my insurance carrier will not insure the building for reasons unrelated to the boiler (like it could fall down sometime in the next 100 years). So, in the workshop/barn is where it goes.

    One caution though -- if and when you ever sell the place, and the boiler may be located or installed in violation of code or you know something is not done correctly or safely, fully disclosure to the buyer along with a safety warning, "as is - where is", etc. to reduce the risk of getting your rear-end bit in the event the buyer or property is injured, damaged, death etc. in the future by reason of the boiler. If you live in an area where you have to bring up to code in connection with a sale, you may be between a rock and a hard place.
  8. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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    i do think it will be possible for me to do this. i just have to convince or prove this room is no longer a garage. i have 2 sheds for storing flammables, lawn tractorsand the like, away from the house which is the best place for them in my opinion. i wont be able to do this task with out pulling a permit and talking with my insurance company. 2 reasons. (1) one of my nieghbors doesnt like me. i think i know who it is, but she forgot to sign the annonomous letter she sent me about my dog. (2) i used to be very good friends with the building inspector, and i think we are still ok, i dont want to put him in a bad position with me doing this with no permit.

    my township required me to get a permit to reline my flue. you would be amazed what my township requires a permit for.

    it would be back to the drawing board for my wood boiler idea, trying to get a boiler into my basement, going through my house, down my narrow staircase, and making a 90 degree turn........
  9. Sting

    Sting Feeling the Heat

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    What about installing a new "handy" access to the basement - something wide and covered - maybe ever hand dug in from that same attached garage- then you would also gain some additional close wood storage.
  10. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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    my basement is completly underground. the garage definetly looks like the best place for the boiler for many reasons.

    i dont use the garage for a garage. i really should call it a big mud room.

    it will only require getting the boiler off of my truck and moved about 12 feet.

    i will need an additional flue in my basement (anywhere for that matter), my foundation is stone and close to 2' thick.

    the garage is above grade, and the chimney would only have to go through a cinderblock and brick wall.

    i will spend a ton less on class A chimney, probably only 15' versus 30'.

    at first i was looking at a wood/oil unit that would be able to share the 6"flue that i have in my basement. i am concered about getting a unit weighing 700 lbs to my basement, there is no way for me to get a unit weighing in at 1400 lbs to my basement.
  11. solarguy

    solarguy New Member

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    Who says you can't put a boiler in a garage? I would want to see that in writing.
    Providing your 18" off the floor with any source of combustion you should be all set.
  12. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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    i believe its nfpa code. if i am not mistaken its "no solid fuel appliance should be installed in a garage"
  13. solarguy

    solarguy New Member

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    >i believe its nfpa code.

    I'm going to check that out because NFPA does allow gas & oil fired equipment to be installed
    in a garage. If you can install gas & oil why not solid fuel?
    I'll post what we find including the code section.
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I've been told both that you need to be 18 inches above the floor and that it's a no-no in an attached garage. I don't know which is the case, but like you, solarguy, I don't see any difference between a flaming gas or oil burner and a wood burner, other than you can't kill the fire on the latter with the flip of a switch.
  15. solarguy

    solarguy New Member

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    Concerning fossil fuel equipment, the code doesn't reference any difference between attached or detached garages, only private, public & service.
    In our other home we had a wood stove in the garage 18" above the floor & an office above. The fire inspector said thought I had you but looks like your legal. That was 7 years ago so maybe there has been a code change dealing w/ solid fuels. I'll get back to you Wednesday after I research this, out of the office tommorrow.
  16. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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    thanks solarguy, i appreciate you looking into it, as i have called the building inspector in town here, and i have him scratching his head a little. he said he will look into it, i wonder if i get the same answer from both of you.

    from some of the previous post i have read on here, no solid fuel in a garage because you actually have to open the door to the appliance to feed it, i guess exposing the flame. dont take that as gospil, though, just because i read that somewhere. but....for gas and oil installed in a garage do they require outside air for combustion? if not, than it really doesnt make sense to me. i know you cant fix stupidity, but i can think of many ways to blow up my garage, with an oil/gas burner in my garage. but i would do any of them.
  17. eekster

    eekster New Member

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    Anything in the garage or eleswhere, depending on the circumstances, should have combustion air. My boiler is in the garage and it is pretty tight. I made sure there was combustion air. When the boiler is running hard ( when it is cold out) youcan feel air being drawn through the duct.
    Keith
  18. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Maybe the first issue is to make that room "not a garage" by definition would lack of a garage door be enough ? install a double door to load in wood and take the garage door out. It seems to me if a car cannot fit into the space it cannot be a garage anyway.

    Good thing we don't have inspector looking for that around here as I know quite a few people with wood stoves in garages, large sheds and pole barns.
  19. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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    i will have to wait to hear what the building inspector comes back with, like i said he is kind of a friend of mine, so i know he will try to work with me. but at the same time i cant do anything that would put him in a bad position. i pretty much invisioned what tony mentioned. maybe a french door type set up. i kind of hate to lose the garage door though, although i had planned on a nice new one this fall. the only problem i face with framing out garage door area is the fact that my house is brick. there are a lot of houses in the neighborhood that have turned the garage into a room, and from the outside, did an awful job with some type of siding, and it looks terrible.
  20. Jersey Bill

    Jersey Bill Member

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    I found no restrictions to boilers in a garage (assuming that its not a "hazardous location") in the 06 international mechanical code or the building code.
    In fact, in the mech code, there was no reference to solid fuel boilers at all.
  21. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    if you have a driveway just put some of those concrete type things used in parking lots infront of that big door (garage door) and lock that door. who is to say if its a garage if you cant enter it with the door obstructed like that. not to sound smart but just hang a sign saying (this is my boiler room thanks for asking). but for real you should be good if the one wall connected to your house is a fire wall and you cant enter the big door with any motorized vehicle. i do see your point of not getting someone u know in trouble for soming shaddy.i just cant believe that it is this complicated of a issue. good luck
  22. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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    i think most of it is going to come down to what the building inspector is comfortable with. i am fairly confident he is not going to come back to me with "nope, cant do it." i would say he is going to say, "ok, heres what you need to do." he knows that i dont use it as a garage - my vehicles will not fit in the garage without doing considerable damage to the house/vehicle. but if i were to sell the house, thats a different story. i think just like many people have said here, its going to be a matter of preventing a car from entering the garage. i am going to give him few days to look into it, dont want to bug him too much. but i will definetly post the outcome here, maybe to help someone else out in the future.
  23. Jersey Bill

    Jersey Bill Member

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    Yep, I found it in the 2006 edition of NFPA 211
    Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances
    Under Chapter 12 Solid fuel burning appliances

    12.2.4 Solid fuel-burning appliances shall not be installed in any garage.

    I think that its about the door. There are plenty of garages that have been converted into living spaces. If there is a "garage door" like the kind that a car can get through, then its a garage. If there is a man door, even a twin 3'0" (6 ft wide) then its a room other than a garage. (IMHO)
  24. solarguy

    solarguy New Member

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    I'm waiting on a decision from the State Fire Marshalls Office concerning a garage wood boiler installation, I should hear back on this Thursday. I have talked w/ several Buidling Inspectors about this & they don't see any issues but the jurisdication does fall with the Fire Department.

    In order to keep an installation legal the proposal is as follows:

    Frame off & build a boiler room inside the garage with the only access to the "boiler room" being from outside the garage. The room would be big enough to maintain the clearances as stated by the manufacturer. The installation would be classified as a "confined space" therefore air for combustion would be required. This would prevent any flammable vapors or fumes inside the garage from being ignited by the wood boiler.

    We'll wait & see what the big guns have to say about this.
  25. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    If the walls are built to fire-code, and a proper fire-rated door is used, it shouldn't be an issue even if the room opened into the garage. The fire wall would separate it from the garage, just like the house itself is separated from the garage by a fire wall.

    Joe
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