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    Loose stair newell, resist 250LB load on any direction

    Loose stair newell, resist 250LB load on any direction

    New postby RICHARD TAN on Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:51 am

    Loose stair newell, resist 250lb load on any direction?
    RICHARD TAN
     
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    Re: Loose stair newel, resist 250LB load on any direction

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:52 pm

    Hi Richard,

    Yes (mostly 'yes' I should clarify), because the newel post supports the end of the top of the guard, and the guard is required to resist a load of 200 pounds (not 250 pounds) as "a single concentrated load applied in any direction at any point along the top", with the newel post being the end of the top rail.

    From the Florida Building Code - Residential, with 2006 Revisions. (bold and red text are mine for highlighting)
    - Table R301.5
    - - Minimum Uniformly Distributed Live Loads
    - - - (in pounds per square foot)
    - - - - Guardrails and handrails d .......... 200 (pounds live load from heading)
    - - - - - d. A single concentrated load applied in any direction at any point along the top.

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    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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    Re: Loose stair newell, resist 250LB load on any direction

    New postby RICHARD TAN on Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:41 pm

    Hi Jerry,

    How can I test the newell for 200lb load in any direction. I have move the newell with my hand and it was loose. The builder told me to prove that the newell did not meet the requirement.
    RICHARD TAN
     
    Posts: 60
    Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:43 am

    Re: Loose stair newell, resist 250LB load on any direction

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:37 pm

    Hi Richard,

    RICHARD TAN wrote:How can I test the newell for 200lb load in any direction. I have move the newell with my hand and it was loose. The builder told me to prove that the newell did not meet the requirement.


    I always loved challenges by builders as that gave me free rein to destroy their house in proving what *they* told *me* to *prove*.

    Go get a large fish weighing scale, a heavy duty rope, a long lag screw eye hook, and ... okay, be nice to the builder as he will not like you making holes in his pretty walls ... so instead of drilling and screwing a hook into a stud, use a couple of 2x4s with a threaded eye hook through it, say 1/2 inch by 6 inches, 4 1/2 nuts and 2 1/2 washers. Drill a 1/2 inch hole through the two 4 foot long 2x4s, install 2 nuts on the threaded end of the bolt and one washer, run the bolt through both 2x4s, install the other washer and the other 2 nuts, tighten it all together. You will use that to span across a doorway to pull against, you will need a helper to hold that in place.

    You will also need a come-along ( http://www.arizonatools.com/tools/come- ... /AZTM1TON/ ) type hand ratcheting winch (know by various names), hook one end into the eye hook which is through the 2x4s, hook the other end in one end of the heavy duty fish weigh scale, tie the rope to the other end of the heavy duty fish weigh scale, then tie the other end of the rope around the newel post.

    All you have to do now is to start jacking the hand winch tighter and tighter until the heavy duty fish weigh scale reads 200 pounds, be sure to support the weight of the hand winch and rope as you do not want it to ad weight to the scale. Do this from any and all directions you can. Remember, that newel post is required to resist a load of 200 pounds in *ANY* direction:
    From the Florida Building Code - Residential, with 2006 Revisions. (bold and red text are mine for highlighting)
    - Table R301.5
    - - Minimum Uniformly Distributed Live Loads
    - - - (in pounds per square foot)
    - - - - Guardrails and handrails d .......... 200 (pounds live load from heading)
    - - - - - d. A single concentrated load applied in any direction at any point along the top.


    Take it to 200 pounds and go have lunch, then do it from another direction, and go have another lunch, then from another direction, etc., it should not fail from any direction, at any time, after any number of tests.

    I suspect that once the builders sees you pulling on that newel post with a rope and a winch he will ask how he can fix it. If it does not fail (pull out) at 200 pounds from each and every direction you test it from, but it becomes looser - then it has failed anyway. If that newel post hangs in there and does not get any looser, write it up as having passed the 200 pound test *at this time, which does not mean it will not fail later*, as you do not want to be responsible when it does fail. Make sure to measure "how loose" the newel is before you start your testing, i.e., you document that "the newel post moves 1/4 inch to the left of the direction of egress (down), 1/4 inch to the right of the direction of egress, 1/8 inch in the direction of egress, 3/8 inch upward, etc.", then perform your test and repeat the above measurements in the same directions.

    You can verify the weigh scale accuracy by going by a local gym and pulling on a 200 pound weighted bar bell, note the scale reading and mark it with a marker, taking a photo of the scale reading and the weight being pulled against to serve as back up documentation prior to the test. Another way to "calibrate" your weigh scale would be to go where there is an accurate weigh scale, hang some tools on you until you weigh 200 pounds, then pull yourself up using the weigh scale - when the accurate weigh scale you were standing on reads -0- pounds, have someone mark your weigh scale, it has now been "calibrated" to the 200 pound setting. That does not mean your scale is accurate anyplace else, but it is at that 200 pound calibration mark.

    Also, to be nice, wrap the newel post with a towel so the rope does not damage the finish on the newel post.

    If you need help and your client is up for it, I will do the testing with you (I already have the Come-along, ropes, support stand, but I would need to get and calibrate a heavy fish scale).
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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