need help: AC Ductwork in garage


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Old 07-16-12, 08:57 AM
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need help: AC Ductwork in garage

We had home inspection due to pending house sale (we're the sellers, but sale fell through). Anyway, one of the items was a comment regarding fire hazard in garage due to vinyl flexible AC ductwork; (about 20 feet worth). AC was retro fitted in our house and evidently this is pulling in fresh air. Comment below is copied & pasted from report:

"All air conditioning ducts that presently run through this garage have to be
correctly protected as per fire safety standards, consult a contractor on repair
options and costs"

Is there fire resistance insulation or something I can wrap the ductwork in, or do I have to wrap flexible steel sheets around the duct work?? Let me know & thanks, attached is a picture
 
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Old 07-16-12, 09:42 AM
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The big question is are you trying to bring your house up to meet the current codes? Current code does not allow ducting like that in a garage. I think that rule took effect in 2001 or 02 in my area. Prior to that flex duct was permitted in a garage so depending when the house was built or ductwork installed it may be grandfathered in and OK. Current codes also require arc fault breakers for bedroom circuits, something that most homes over 10 years old do not have. Really old houses are OK with the old two prong outlets because that's how it was done when the house was built. The rules for deck construction and hand rails have also changed in the past 10-15 years. Basically there is a lot that may not meet current code if you choose to go that route.

If you just want to do that duct I think replacing it with rigid steel would be easier than trying to encase the flex. If you want to enclose the existing you can frame in around it and cover with sheet rock and mud & tape the joints.
 
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Old 07-16-12, 09:47 AM
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My first thought was frame it in and drywall but I would be talking to the local building inspector first to find out what the requirements really are, no point expending time, effort and money unless you know ahead of time they will be worth it.
 
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Old 07-16-12, 12:21 PM
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thx for replies... agree it was ok when house was built (1978) and A/C was installed in 1996. Township inspector told me on phone few minutes ago that the ductwork should be protected since it enters the house through the ceiling and into another room on the other side. He suggested boxing it in with 5/8" sheetrock.. be easier than retrofitting metal ductwork.

Another example, the inspector stated all 3 of our attached decks needed "repair" because our balsturals are not < 4" apart which is current code. Ours was built when code was < 6". Ours avg 5.5" apart. Not fair using the work "repair", how about code compiant when built but not under 4" code now.
 

Last edited by tyanks1; 07-16-12 at 12:42 PM. Reason: further detail
 

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