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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Default OK for a Boiler Room to be off of a bedroom?

    I own a two family home in MA. I currently have tenants on the first floor unit. Off of their bedroom is a ~7ft X 7ft utility room with two small gas boilers and two gas 40 gallon gas water heaters. Is this a safe situation? The utility room is separated from the bedroom by a wood panel door. There is also a duct in the utility room. The home was built in 1970.

    I have fitted the bedroom with a Carbon Monoxide detector, but am curious as to whether anyone has or has seen a similar situation? Is this against code? Is it safe?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: OK for a Boiler Room to be off of a bedroom?

    Codes vary, so you may want to check with the local building dept.
    Per the International Residential Code gas fired boilers or water heaters can't be in a bedroom or get combustion air from the bedroom. The utility room can't be used for storage.
    I don't know of any requirements for a fire rating, but if the boilers serve more than that unit their might be.
    Sorry, that's as close as I can get to an answer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    198

    Default Re: OK for a Boiler Room to be off of a bedroom?

    I agree with ed21---you should contact your local town hall to see if a building permit was taken out for the install---often the local Fire Dept. does boiler room inspections, or will answer questions over the phone.

    Any room that size with all that equipment doesn't sound good---there are specific regs on the amount of clearance room from each boiler to combustible walls & ceilings, the adeuqate freedom of movement of the service tech to check the pilot lites and burner flame thru the observation hole, etc.

    There are also regs as to the amount of COMBUSTION AIR that must be present (boilers need a lot of air to burn the fuel properly---so many cubic inches of vent duct in and out for every 1000 btu/hr of boiler size)---there must be supply & return vent piping to provide adequate air.

    Proper chimney & flue piping must also be present.

    If you have the installation manual for the boilers (get the brand name & model #), they have a lot of info on standard code issues for an install--if not, the info is ****** if you Google "installation manual", along with the boiler name & model #.

    The HVAC person that services your equipment should be able to tell you a lot if anything's out of code (small service charge here).

    Also Google "Massachusetts code for gas utilization equipment in large boilers" for general info--this covers large boilers at Mass. code 248 cmr 7.0---small boiler code is located at 248 cmr 4.0-8.0 of the Massachusetts State Fuel Gas Code ($25)---I can't find it ******, but it may be free at your local library.

    Many towns also add their own code ordinances in addition to the state codes.

    Another resource would be the Yellow Pages under "Building Inspectors", but this would also incur a charge.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 10-13-2008 at 08:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    6

    Default Re: OK for a Boiler Room to be off of a bedroom?

    Thanks- There is a duct that brings in fresh air from outside- the boilers run quite cleanly, minimal soot. I've had my plumber in and out of there quite a few times and also an HVAC guy, neither of which has expressed any concern over the room. However, I had one of the water heaters replaces not too long ago, and the inspector was wary about giving my plumber the ok on the permit because of the bedroom being there, but he let it slide. I just don't know now if it is worth the risk having it as a bedroom.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    6

    Default Re: OK for a Boiler Room to be off of a bedroom?

    Reply to ED21- When you say the gas fired boilers can't be in a bedroom, does that mean they cannot be in a utitlity closet that is off of a bedroom? In my case, they are two seperate rooms connected by a door.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: OK for a Boiler Room to be off of a bedroom?

    If you would have to enter this utility room from the bedroom it wouldn't be allowed around here.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: OK for a Boiler Room to be off of a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjo View Post
    Reply to ED21- When you say the gas fired boilers can't be in a bedroom, does that mean they cannot be in a utitlity closet that is off of a bedroom? In my case, they are two seperate rooms connected by a door.
    The code just says in the bedroom. Yours is not in the bedroom, just accessed from it.
    Other codes other than IRC could be involved.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Pacific Northwet
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    Default Re: OK for a Boiler Room to be off of a bedroom?

    I can't answer for any codes that might be involved, but if it was my situation I'd want at least 5/8" gypsum drywall in that room and a steel weatherstripped door, as well as sealing any penetrations in the wall (pipes & electrical boxes). That would provide fire protection as well as air infiltration protection, similar to what's required for separating garages from living space.

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