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dj1
Re: Stupid Codes
johnjh2o wrote:

Here is one that has always bugged me. Gas water heaters that are in the garage must be 18" off the floor. The reason being is gasoline fumes if present, is down near the floor and the flame from the heater could ignite them. (That I understand) But they allow a gas dryer to sit on that same floor.

Couldn't agree more. It's hard to lower and raise a 50 gal tank off the stand, if you're working alone. Besides, today's water heaters have flame guards.

They always add new codes, never remove old codes that don't make sense or no longer practical.

Douglas
Re: Stupid Codes
A. Spruce wrote:

Now, this instance isn't really about stupid codes, it is about a failed inspection system. None-the-less, it furthers my long standing rant that the requirement of permits is NOT for occupant safety, as it should be, it is about revenue generation for the municipality. Permits are also grossly expensive, another clue that it's about the money and not public safety.

Exactly!! I cannot agree more I live in probably the most permit-requiring cities in the country, It is pretty ridiculous, for example one of my friend's daughters was once shut down because she was running an "illegal business" for having a lemonade stand and not having the proper permit (mind you she was 8 and the officer made her pack up and go inside) now that is just one example but the whole permit system is nothing other than a way for the local government to make a few bucks.

Douglas
Re: Stupid Codes

Oh and this thread also reminds me of a property that I was recently looking at. In my area we have a code that if stairs have more than 4 treads then they need at least one arm rail. Well, in this particular property it evidently did not have the arm rails so in order to "bring it up to code they tacked three 2x4s together and then tacked it to the runner using two roofing tacks (you can imagine how sturdy it was) but apparently that was "up to code" and had passed a safety inspection

ed21
Re: Stupid Codes
Doug18 wrote:

Oh and this thread also reminds me of a property that I was recently looking at. In my area we have a code that if stairs have more than 4 treads then they need at least one arm rail. Well, in this particular property it evidently did not have the arm rails so in order to "bring it up to code they tacked three 2x4s together and then tacked it to the runner using two roofing tacks (you can imagine how sturdy it was) but apparently that was "up to code" and had passed a safety inspection

If built as described, the rail still doesn't meet code even if it passed. Minimum loading requirements apply & I doubt if roofing nails would do it.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Stupid Codes

Just reading old topics- got one to add. I was recently called on to build a few temporary structures- a door landing, a couple small stairs and a few handrails- just to get a property to pass code so the owner could get a CO. The next day I was back out there removing them. The tough part was figuring out how to attach these with minimal damage to the house while still being strong enough to not fail inspection. One lower newel was simply a 2X4 stake driven into the ground (PT lumber of course- not that it really mattered!) and screws attached to brick moldings since we didn't want to put holes in the vinyl siding. Everyone (except the GC who had to spend a couplke hundred out of his pocket) was happy but if anyone falls the insurance company is going after the GC- I had no contract and was paid in cash so I was never there- I swear it!

Phil

Fencepost
Re: Stupid Codes

Posted this as a reply in another thread, but thought maybe it was appropriate to cross-post here.

Some years ago in a nearby town a two-story commercial building was "remodeled." Everything from the second floor up -- walls, ceiling, roof structure -- was torn down. The second floor was then supported with cribbing and everything underneath -- walls, slab, foundation, footings -- was removed. After sitting there for several months with nothing but the second floor up in the air on cribbing due to the need to address some environmental issues (leaking underground fuel storage tank), the "remodeling" continued with new foundation, walls, and roof structure, but of course keeping the original second-floor floor structure.

But since the second floor was kept and the footprint of the building didn't change, it qualified as a "remodel" which meant that the owners avoided having to meet new setback requirements and didn't have to pay thousands of dollars in impact fees for "new" development, as they would have had they completely torn the building down and started over.

ed21
Re: Stupid Codes

That happens all the time with buildings that are non-compliant with present day zoning. Quite common with waterfront properties, but depending on current voodoo, the building may have to be raised above flood height.

A. Spruce
Re: Stupid Codes

Sticking with the intent of the thread, codes are supposed to be in place to make structures safer for the occupants. The problem is when codes prevail over common sense. Sure the code was written for a reason, and yes, it should be a guideline, but that is all, it is a guideline by which to measure the real world application with the intrinsic need. Most inspectors can't see past their code book to understand that.

A side rant:
Code writers can stick fluorescent fixture up their ass! LED is a much better option, in all ways, it is cheaper, more environmentally friendly, truly energy efficient, and much more. Fluorescent is not only a hazardous waste, it is NOT an energy efficient lighting source, unless it is left on 24 hours a day. Fluorescent lights have to warm up, and during that 3 to 5 minute warm up phase, they suck energy like a banshee.

Fencepost
Re: Stupid Codes
A. Spruce wrote:

Fluorescent is not only a hazardous waste, it is NOT an energy efficient lighting source, unless it is left on 24 hours a day. Fluorescent lights have to warm up, and during that 3 to 5 minute warm up phase, they suck energy like a banshee.

I may be wrong, but my understanding is that the "sucking energy like a banshee" only happens in the first fraction of a second. For an HID (mercury, sodium, metal halide "yard light" type) or older style fluorescent, the inrush is longer, like a second or three. There will be a massive current draw during that time, after which it immediately stabilizes. That inrush current may be well above the 15A rating of the circuit, but it is over before the wires get a chance to overheat so it's safe.

Now in that next 3 to 5 minutes that it's warming up, the fluorescent light IS very inefficient -- the lumens per watt may initially be lower than for a traditional incandescent bulb -- but I don't believe it's drawing a greater amount of current than when it's at full brightness.

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