Fitting New Condo Safety Issues and defects into the Top 10 list is going to be a little tight, but you can find out about many other bad things from the Chicago condos by checking entire Chicago Condo Inspection Manual. You would think that after such a spectacular real estate meltdown, something would change in…
New Water Heater Installation in a Condominium - Chicago Inspection Tips
To start your inspection of a new water heater installation in a Chicago condominium you have to determine what type of a water heater you actually have.
The following water heater installation guidelines will most likely apply in any jurisdiction (please double check). The only difference or rather an addition would be water heater strapping and flexible gas connectors that are required in seismic areas.
Below are 4 most common types of water heater installation in Chicago new condos:
Tank type /natural draft water heater with a metal vent pipe (galvanized steel – make sure there is no aluminum [...]
This part will cover Chicago condo inspection combustion air requirements for the gas furnace and water heater installed inside your condo closet / utility room (not in the building common areas) – this is an extremely important section and you may need measuring tape.
All gas burning appliances require oxygen for a proper, complete and safe combustion process / without creating measurable and dangerous amounts of Carbon Monoxide.
Because Carbon Monoxide has no taste, smell or color you must have a CO detector installed in your condo to alert you about any unsafe levels (check Chicago smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector requirements).
Gas burning appliances vent pipes produce heat when discharging exhaust gases to exterior.
Temperature of the vent pipe is transferred to the surrounding area and all the materials that are in the vent pipe vicinity. Problems start arising if those materials are combustible and located to close to the furnace, water heater vent pipe. If you apply heat to a combustible material for some period of time (that varies between materials), its point of ignition will gradually get lower and eventually little heat will be required to start a fire – that’s why you need a clearance between the vent pipe and a combustible material.
WH PVC vent pipes can be used only with power-vent /exhaust motor equipped hot water heaters also known as an induced draft gas water heaters (also CPVC and ABS but some manufacturer and local restriction may apply to all 3 types).
Kitchen GFCI receptacle
Kitchen GFCI receptacles are required by the 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code) to be installed along the countertop surfaces.
GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Actually, this requirement has been in place since 1996 NEC, and an important thing to remember:
If you have an older kitchen, and for any reason decided to replace a regular electrical outlet – you should have a GFCI receptacle installed as a replacement.
Kitchen Electrical Requirements
Kitchen electrical outlets installed above the countertops require at least 2 small appliance branch circuits.
Kitchen electrical circuits serving countertop outlets must be rated for 20 ampers (#12 wire)
Kitchen GFCI receptacles installed [...]
Proper furnace / water heater venting is an extremely important issue, which depends on the performance of the house chimney / chimney flue or other exhaust assemblies. The conditions explained in this post also apply to the wood burning appliances.
Consequences of improperly assembled vent pipes, problematic chimney flue, deteriorating chimney walls can be sometimes fatal – fire and Carbon Monoxide poisoning are topping the list.
Therefore, combustion products from your furnace, water heater, wood burning fireplace, and any other appliance that requires some kind of an exterior vent / chimney, have to be properly properly discharged to the exterior.
Certain requirements [...]