Fireproof sheetrock???

Old 03-07-03, 05:10 PM
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Fireproof sheetrock???

I am boxing in my furnace area located in my basement. I am framing in this area with 2x4's and plan to put sheetrock in the inside walls, as well as the outside walls. I also plan on insulating the walls to limit the noise. I have a forced hot air system with an oil-fired H2O water heater in this 17'x15' room. I will have 36" of space between the furnace, heater and walls.

Do I need fireproof sheetrock or am I okay with standard sheetrock?

Thanks in advance for the advice.
Old 03-07-03, 05:23 PM
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I've heard Doug say that some codes do require the fire-rated (not fireproof by any means) drywall around furnaces. But I also know that it is not required in my city (in fact, you don't need to drywall the inside of the furnace room at all). So I suggest you call your local building department. It's a simple question that they will answer in a heartbeat.
Old 03-07-03, 07:18 PM
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John is right, in the past I have indicated that some municipalities require the need for a "firewall" not only between a an attached garage and home but also in the "ENCLOSED" mechanical room. In some cases, this involves a metal louvered door or a solid metal door which requires the need for fresh air intake for combustion. Where I live, Detroit area, they are sticklers for this and it was the same in Minnesota.

This is to only extend the amount of time that it takes fire to pass from one area to another, you must construct a fire - resistant wall or ceiling assembly. Fire resistance refers to the ability of a constructed assembly - not the panel itself - to contain a fire and is expressed in intervals of time. Local codes will specify the required rating (45 - minute, 1 - hour, 2 - hour, etc.). Literature from manufacturers details various options, or the code official may suggest an assembly.

In some cases, standard drywall may be all that is required. If a wall contains foam insulation that gives off toxic fumes when it burns or contains a highly flammable material, codes may require gypsum board in place of or under wood paneling. Gypsum itself is nonflammable and contains about 21 percent water, which turns to steam in a fire and reduces heat transfer. Codes typically require higher - fire - rated ceiling or wall assemblies between living areas and nonliving areas where there is a higher risk of fire, such as garages and furnace/boiler rooms.

In these cases, you must substitute 5/8 - in. Type X gypsum board for regular wallboard. It is reinforced with noncombustible fibers that help keep the panel from cracking as the heat begins to turn the gypsum to powder (a slow process).

Do what John suggested and call the City to ensure that you are meeting all requirements for your safety!

Let us know what you found out!

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