partition walls around furance/water heater?

Old 11-29-00, 09:56 AM
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I'm preparing for this years winter project of basement remodel. Would like to partition furnance and water heater from larger space. The ceiling (8 feet high) is finished; however ducts, pipes, wiring, etc. run below finished ceiling in this area. My initial thought was to make partition walls approximately 6 feet high on three sides. It would be open on the fourth side facing approx. 10'x12' space where washer/dryer are. Walls would be secured by nailing sole plates into concrete floor and extending vertical studs through ceiling and nail to floor joists above. My questions included 1) what's code say regarding how large/small the space surrounding the furnace must be (and does it make a difference if the wall does not extend completely to the ceiling; and 2) any other suggestions/recommendations regarding potential construction methods. Thanks for any assistance you can provide....sorry for the long post.

Old 11-29-00, 11:10 AM
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Walls not to the ceiling are fine. In fact, they are better than fine because they increase the amount of combustion air available, and thus avoid some code issues regarding combustion air ventilation. You didn't specify whether or not you have combustion air inlet pipes from the outside.

Code requires at least 36" working room, inside the furnace room, in front of the furnace and any water heater or other appliance in the room. Make the door a 36" door to facilitate furnace replacement in the future.

Also check your furnace specs for clearance requirement. E.g., my furnace requires only 1" clearance on the left and right, and 0 clearance on the back. But yours may be different. The idea is not to catch the walls on fire.
Old 11-30-00, 02:50 AM
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Each furnace is different, but about 75% require 1 foot of clearance on the sides and back. Also, walls surrounding a furnace must use X board or Black Board. It is a fire resistance sheetrock. Can be purchased most stores. They call it black board because most have black paper on the. 90 minute rating. Sounds like a good project. Good Luck

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