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    Attic AHU

    Attic AHU

    New postby Timham on Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:14 pm

    Hi Codeman!
    Coral Gables 2015 construction (11/13 start date) has 3 of 6 AHU's in the attic, including filters.
    It also lacks adequate access, no lighted path, no walkway or proper clearance/work space.
    Is this allowed?
    Thanks again for this great site!
    Timham
     
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:10 pm

    Re: Attic AHU

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:59 pm

    Timham wrote:Coral Gables 2015 construction (11/13 start date) has 3 of 6 AHU's in the attic, including filters.
    It also lacks adequate access, no lighted path, no walkway or proper clearance/work space.
    Is this allowed?


    Hi Tim,

    Three AHU in the attic, and six total - must be a nice house ... oh, wait, that's right ... it's in Coral Gables ... where they pride themselves on 'nice houses'.

    To your questions, as best possible with the limited information about each:

    First, this one:
    - Q. Is this allowed?
    - - A. Yes, no, and maybe - mostly depends on more information, but I will provide some information as I go so you can see what applies and what does not apply.

    - Q. has 3 of 6 AHU's in the attic, including filters.
    - - A. Yes, this is allowed ... provided the AHU allow it ... and if the attic is a sealed and is an unvented attic with SPF on the underside of the roof sheathing (which is quite likely in a house of that size), then the attic is considered as being "conditioned space" and basically any AHU is permitted to be installed in "conditioned space".

    - Q. It also lacks adequate access,
    - - A. If it does not meet the following, then, yes, it lacks adequate access and is not code compliant:
    - - - From the 2014 FBC-Residential:
    - - - - SECTION M1305 APPLIANCE ACCESS
    - - - - - M1305.1 Appliance access for inspection service, repair and replacement.
    - - - - - - Appliances shall be accessible for inspection, service, repair and replacement without removing permanent construction, other appliances, or any other piping or ducts not connected to the appliance being inspected, serviced, repaired or replaced. A level working space at least 30 inches deep and 30 inches wide (762 mm by 762 mm) shall be provided in front of the control side to service an appliance. Installation of room heaters shall be permitted with at least an 18-inch (457 mm) working space. A platform shall not be required for room heaters.

    - no lighted path,
    - - No lighted path is required, however, a light is required in the area of the appliance (also, a receptacle outlet is required within 25 feet of each AHU appliance;
    - - - From the 2011 NEC:
    - - - - Lighting outlets: 210.70 (A)(3) (too much to type and not able to copy and paste off the not-user-friendly-online-NFPA codes pages but states in storage and equipment spaces and specifically includes attics, and specifically states that the lighting outlet is to be installed at or near the appliance and that the switch is to be located at the usual point of entry to the space)
    - - - - Receptacle outlets: 210.63 (too much to type and not able to copy and paste off the not-user-friendly-online-NFPA codes pages but states within 25 feet of the appliance)
    - - - and
    - - - From the FBC-Residential for lighting and receptacle outlets:
    - - - - M1305.1.3.1 Electrical requirements.
    - - - - - A luminaire controlled by a switch located at the required passageway opening and a receptacle outlet shall be installed at or near the appliance location in accordance with Chapter 39.

    - no walkway
    - - (see above at lacks adequate access ... to save duplicating the same section)
    - - - SECTION M1305 APPLIANCE ACCESS
    - - - - M1305.1 Appliance access for inspection service, repair and replacement.

    - or proper clearance/work space.
    - - (see above at lacks adequate access ... to save duplicating the same section)
    - - - SECTION M1305 APPLIANCE ACCESS
    - - - - M1305.1 Appliance access for inspection service, repair and replacement.
    - - and
    - - From the 2011 NEC (for any appliance or equipment which is supplied by electricity:
    - - - 110.26 (which states that the working space is to be a minimum of 30 inches wide by 36 inches in front of the access to live parts - the service area of the appliance)

    Those should serve as starting points to decide if the installation is in compliance with the code or not, and, if not, a friendly and inquiring visit to the building department to meet with the building official to learn from them as to what pages you should be on to be on the same page as them (that's the nice way of saying ... this is what I found in the code, is it the same thing you find in the code, and if not, why not - we are using the same code, are we not).
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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