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Thread: Stupid Codes

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Stupid Codes

    In the city where I work, commercial buildings over a certain size must have designated restrooms for both men and women.

    One company that I conduct business with recently remodeled a large warehouse for their offices. They included several "single-holer" unisex restrooms (with locks on the doors) in the plan.

    In order to pass final inspection and receive an occupancy permit, they had masking tape on the doors with "MEN" and "WOMEN" written in magic marker.

    The inspector signed it off since it complied with the letter of the law. The masking tape was removed shortly thereafter.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  2. #2
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    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: Stupid Codes

    There are lots of really stupid codes out there.

    We still have to have a cut off switch for a dishwasher. They are usually wall mounted right over the DW, and no one ever operates them. We install ours in the deepest reaches of the sink cabinet, tucked up high next to the sink. It meets code and we have one less switch in the backsplash.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stupid Codes

    I have a similar experience: a customer has a small upholstery shop in an old building. There are 3 parking spots: he uses one, and two for occasional designer customers.

    A fire destroyed his shed which was a separate small building.

    Trying to build a new shed, the city, which had no record of the shop and the shed wanted him to dedicate 2 parking spaces for handicap, even though he never has such customers. They also wanted him to put a handicap bathroom in the new shed - taking up about 40% of the space in the shed.
    Last edited by dj1; 11-03-2012 at 10:52 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stupid Codes

    Similar to the handicapped parking spaces at the Ballet studio?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stupid Codes

    Yes Houston, just like the ballet studio, complete with a sign "handicapped parking only", ramp and blue markings.

    There hasn't been a handicapped person in this area for the past 75 years, but the city wants that enforced. Also a handicapped toilet, fully fitted for handicapped.

    What do you think he did? That's right, he did exactly that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    central pa
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    Default Re: Stupid Codes

    My daughter goes to ballet class and my son is handicapped...so I am slightly insulted

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stupid Codes

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Yes Houston, just like the ballet studio, complete with a sign "handicapped parking only", ramp and blue markings.

    There hasn't been a handicapped person in this area for the past 75 years, but the city wants that enforced. Also a handicapped toilet, fully fitted for handicapped.

    What do you think he did? That's right, he did exactly that.
    Handicap is more than just folks in wheelchairs. In most states, anyone who has limited mobility can ask their physician for qualification to get a handicap parking permit. For example, someone with heart disease that limits the distance they can walk could qualify for a permit.

    As for the ballet studio, you can't assume that only highly agile people will have reason to visit.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    South*East
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    1,168

    Default Re: Stupid Codes

    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.
    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    central pa
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    Default Re: Stupid Codes

    i honestly agree with most of the codes how they are written but i have run into a few inspectors that interpret them rediculously. a couple examples are one making us make a bathroom on the third floor of a frat house wheel chair accesible when there was no way for someone in a wheel chair to get to third floor short of being carried up the stairs. couldnt find any justification for it in and code book and he couldnt show me one either but he still insisted it had to be that way

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Stupid Codes

    There are plenty of ridiculous codes out there. One of my worst experiences was when I was hired to finish construction of an owner builder project. The new owner hired me to basically finish the rough shell.

    Once a bonefide contractor was on site, then all of a sudden all the crap that the inspectors had passed before, interestingly was no longer up to par and had to be brought up to code. The three biggies were:
    1 - Well head 3' too short
    2 - Pressure tank within flood plane
    3 - Propane tank within flood plane.

    Why weren't the well issues called when the original owner/builder did them years prior? Why wasn't the tank called when it was installed by the supplier, who said that ALL their tanks were installed the same way?

    Another thing was that the house was on pilings, to elevate it above flood zone, good thing too, because while on the project, the river flooded and was 3' deep under the house. Where the problem arose is that the owner/builder had enclosed the underside with walls to create a garage. This was apparently done without permit, but inspectors failed to red tag the issue and force the guy to remove it. Once it got wet, then it was a big issue and the inspector was giving the full court press to the new owner to tear out the garage walls.

    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.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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