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Code says no wood burner in garage

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by BillsWS, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. BillsWS

    BillsWS Feeling the Heat

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    Had a home inspection today. I mentioned to the home inspector that I planned to put a gasifier in the garage and he said code changed about a year ago that you can't have any wood burning appliance in your (I assume attached only) garage. I am in Michigan. Have you seen this where you are?

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Been code for places that adopt the BOCA International Building
    Code for a long time. Attached or not.
  3. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    In stall properly after he leaves, be careful, you should be ok... Your decision
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Frozen Canuck likes this.
  5. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    BB is right. Dont violate code & give your insurer an instant out in the event of a claim. Btw the insurer will happily keep all the premiums you paid.
    hobbyheater likes this.
  6. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I think it's been this way in Michigan for quite some time, certainly more than a year. Perhaps your inspector just became aware of it.

    Walling off a section and installing an exterior man-door seem to be the easiest way around this while still maintaining insurability...
  7. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    No need to violate code here!
    What is the definition of a garage from the OnLine Merriam Webster dictionary?
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/garage

    Definition
    Garage = a shelter or repair shop for automotive vehicles

    If you do not store or repair an automotive vehicle, then it is not a garage and a wood stove is just fine!

    Having a garage door does not make it into a garage. You can put up a temp wall in front of the garage door, if the inspector does not like it!
  8. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    Separate from the fire safety angle, and although smoke wasn't a problem, I ended up building a wall to make a separate boiler room just to contain the dust from cleaning the boiler, and dust from the wood itself.
  9. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I suspect BOCA has their own definition of a garage, which supercedes Merriam Webster. I did a quick search, which turned up nothing obvious, but I am sure there is a section of the code for definitions. Exactly what constitutes a "garage," with respect to the code, is certainly defined there.
  10. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Also the way the inspector interprets the code, which is another item to contend with!
  11. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Also why not just got to the NFPA web site and setup a free account to sign up for free access to NFPA 1 the code that covers property safety?

    NFPA - free access to view National Fire Potection Association ---- Codes & Standards Free Access
    http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages

    What is NFPA 1?
    NFPA 1, Fire Code, advances fire and life safety for the public and first responders as well as property protection by providing a comprehensive, integrated approach to fire code regulation and hazard management. It addresses all the bases with extracts from and references to more than 130 NFPA® codes and standards including such industry benchmarks as NFPA 101, NFPA 54, NFPA 58, NFPA 30, NFPA 13, NFPA 25, and NFPA 72. Official document scope
  12. arbutus

    arbutus Burning Hunk

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    Does the NFPA cover the required distance between a detached boiler building / woodshed and a dwelling?

    I recently called the Michigan mechanical code department and confirmed that a wood boiler cannot go in a garage, but I could install it in a shed if I observed clearances and required air volume and ventilation requirements.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Look for NFPA 12.2.3 and 12.2.4.
  14. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Always been that way as long as I have been involved in this biz. No wood fired equipment in any space where flammable liquids may be stored or a vehicle may be housed. Note the word "may". I have had numerous local inspectors tell me that if it is possible to get a vehicle, and I mean ANY vehicle, into the space in question, you may not install any wood burning equipment.
    That being said, I ran a wood burning hot air furnace in my garage for probably 7-8 years in the late 70's early 80's (back in the day....) with nary a problem and my car was parked only 4 feet away from it. Ventilation is key and I'm not saying I would do it again. Too many things have changed in the insurance industry and on the code/inspection side of the coin.
    flyingcow likes this.
  15. arbutus

    arbutus Burning Hunk

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    Heck, you can drag a moped into your living room, and most people have some cooking oil in the kitchen.
    I'm curious what your reply was, and if the inspector made you tear out an overhead door.
    BoilerMan likes this.
  16. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    A few years ago we installed a heating system for a lady who had begun construction of a garage in Grand Traverse County and then decided to add a second floor living quarters and finish the ground floor level for rental or in law space. The inspector would not let us put the boiler (gas) on the lower level without it being in a separate room that was non-accessible from the main area. The only way you could tell it was originally intended to be a garage was the overhead door. The floor is finished, curtains in the windows, sofa, full bath, kitchen area, dining area....the works. Looks just like you walked into any other house except for the overhead door. Rather than take out the O/H door the owner elected to go with the separate room with double 5/8" drywall on both sides and just run with it that way. The access to that room is via a door not located in the former "garage".
    It was really a pretty painless way to circumvent the problem when it came down to the bottom line and it worked out well.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    A few have been known to build permanent concrete pylons in front of the roll up door and get passed on inspection. Pre-agreed with the inspectors.
  18. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Is there any re-bar in the concrete?
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Bumpers don't care. ;lol
  20. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    No but it is alot easier to knock it down after the inspector is gone. LOL
  21. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I knew that was where that was going............





    btw, I once worked in a commercial building that had been converted from a residence. The over head door had been framed in and was still over the suspended ceiling! Take out a tile and there is a garage door there opener and all LOL.

    As far as getting a vehicle in a place, I can remove the glass from my sliding glass door and get a car in through there if I really wanted to. And I have stored my motorcycle in the boiler room before, it will go through a standard 36" door, outside access or not.

    TS
  22. WireNut

    WireNut New Member

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    This is an interesting thread to run into. I was looking to put my new wood boiler in the garage, but now it looks like I can't do that. I'm not overly worried about the insurance angle, it's a detached garage and I'm 4 doors down from the firehouse. I don't want to get shut down by a building inspector because of
    "NY Code - Section 27-848.08: Wood burning appliances: Installation"

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/ADC/27/1/14/19/27-848.08

    It does indeed say I can't install in the garage. What I'm wondering is if a wood boiler is a "wood burning appliance". The first line in the law says:
    "Scope. Wood burning appliances include factory-built fireplaces, fireplace stoves, room heaters, and fireplace inserts."

    A wood boiler is none of those, and it would seem is therefore not covered under the law here. I doubt I'll get an ok from the building inspector if I ask him, and I wouldn't blame him for covering his own butt by saying no on something he's unsure of. Does anyone have any experience on a wood boiler in a garage in NY state?
  23. curtis

    curtis Member

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    I just got done talking to my local inspector about putting my garn in a pole barn that would have a garage door on it. I told him the pole barn will be just for the boiler and wood storeage and he said no problem. I asked what about the garage door and he said that is fine, it will be considered a mechanical building.
    Wildo likes this.
  24. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    It says "include(s)", not "is limited to." If they said "Wood burning appliances are factory-built fireplaces...," then maybe you'd have a leg to stand on.

    Things I like include wood stoves. That doesn't mean I don't like beer.
  25. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    Guys quoting NFPA, BOCA, or IBC is missing the point as to what year your local jurisdiction uses. One State might use 2006 version of a particular NFPA code and the 2009 version of another. The other issue with NFPA is that the code can allow something in one section, but take it away in another. From a practical stand point, the central issue with garages is the storage of gasoline and/or vehicles/equipment that uses gasoline. Wood burning devices create an open flame ignition source for these vapors. If you are not a code enforcer, be careful on your interpretation. Also don't rely on message board for insurance contract interpretation. Be safe and do your research as to what is allowed in your local jurisdiction.
    Joful likes this.

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