Duct Systems in the Uniform Mechanical Code Duct Systems in the Uniform Mechanical Code

If you are having any kind of duct work put into your home, you will need to understand the relevant parts of the Uniform Mechanical Code and how it will affect your particular duct work. The Uniform Mechanical Code is a series of rules which determine how duct systems such as HVACs should be installed and maintained. This system was designed to enhance the safety of the public, and is intended to be used as a rule book for managing the duct work in places where it may affect the general public.

The Uniform Mechanical Code

This code does not only regulate duct systems, but also any mechanical system that is used by the general public. This includes heating, refrigeration and combustion. It lists the safety regulations that have to be used when installing pipes, boilers, exhaust systems, and ducts, among other things. Each state has adopted a version of the code, but there is no universal system, so you need to check that you know what parts of the code are relevant to your area before you can use it to install duct systems. Also, the Code is rewritten every three years or so, in order to include the newer models that have been developed in the last 36 months. It is therefore recommended you get an up-to-date Uniform Mechanical Code for your particular state before you start installing your duct work.

Duct Systems in the Code

In the Uniform Mechanical Code, the chapter dealing with the installation of ducts is chapter 6, titled "Duct Systems," although there is relevant material included in other chapters (such as sizing in Chapter 17, for example). There are around 14 pages of rules and regulations concerning the laying of ducts in a home. These chapters were changed in 2006 to allow smaller duct HVAC systems to be installed in the home. The second section (602) deals with the types of materials that the duct systems should be composed of, making particular note of potential combustibles being used as part of the duct system. Most states require that the flame spread index of materials used in the ducts should not exceed 25, although there are a number of exceptions.

Further into the Code

The third section handles the quality of the materials being used, with the Code requiring specific qualities be used by the installer. This then leads on to the fourth section, which handles the actual installation of the ducts, detailing the protection and support of the ducts, and other information. The fifth section handles insulation of the duct. The latter is a requirement of the law, and there are various different methods of insulation, which the Code describes. The Sixth section discusses dampers for smoke and fire, and the seventh then illuminates more ways of protecting the ducts using ventilation and other skills. Everything that you need to know about installing the duct system into your home in described in the Uniform Mechanical Code.

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