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#39157 06/10/04 05:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
triple Offline OP
Cafco 300
Fire resistive material
Issue # D-339
UL file R 13348
Isolatek International
Stanhope, New Jersey 07874

This fire proofing material has been added to all the ceilings of the hospital I am wiring. The building inspector is complaining because I had to "moderately" compress this stuff in order to install my boxes. The boxes are hung from b-line beam clamps, which suspend them approximately 1/2" below the beam. The Cafco material (which varies in depth from ¼ - 1 ½”) was not scraped off but instead sandwiched between the top of the J-box and the bottom of the I-beams. This inspector cannot tell me what thickness of this material needs to be maintained but says it depends on the beam size. Where can I find more info? The building inspector wants me to space all (100+) J-boxes down from their current position. This would take ALOT of time and the already installed conduits are going to resist this movement. How "unworkmanlike" the resulting mess would look is of no concern to this person.

Unless this product is brand-new, there must be electrical materials in existence that automatically hold all boxes and conduit down 1-2 inches. Regular beam clamps would require time consuming spacers. Where can I find such products specifically made for installation in fire resistive material?

#39158 06/11/04 06:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
This is a prime example where lack of knowledge on the part of the electrical contractor has led to problems. Please spread the word that there is a BUILDING code out there, and the electrical code is subservient to it! The integrity of fire partitions is much more important than "neat and workmanlike", as is the integrity of all structural members of the building.


Check with the engineer or the inspector prior to drilling any engineered truss or lumber, seal all penetrations you make through fire rated partitions, and never assume your work is the only trade in the building.

About your problem:

There may be an allowed size and number of openings or compressed points on the fire barrier you have compromised. Or, there may be a fix for the problem you have created. The manufacturer and/or the engineer will have the answers to these questions.


#39159 06/13/04 01:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
triple Offline OP
Is this material really so new that nobody on this forum has run across it yet?

Earlydean, this stuff is a fire proof insulation type covering that is sprayed onto the steel, overhead beams. It was installed at varying depths even on the same beam. Some areas of a beam might have less that 1/4-inch while two feet away it is 2-1/2 inches. Obviously the "professionals" that installed it do not know its proper depth. Also, like I stated previously, the health care building inspector has no idea. The minimum depth could be 1/8 inch for all he knows but is leaving it up to me to track down the answers. The previous EC foreman on this job asked these questions of the inspector before me and then proceeded to pass on the information (as he understood it) to me. Apparently there was a miscommunication somewhere along the way.

The boxes cannot simply "float" in the air Earlydean no matter what the building code says. I wasn't scrapping off the insulation but instead was using a hammer to force the beam clamps into position. I can only assume you have never had any experience with this material since you don't seem to understand my situation.

How do you know that I have "compromised" the fire barrier? Not even the inspector that looked at the situation with his own eyes knew for sure if there was a problem. If there is something you know about this material that you have not told me yet then please pass it on. If you actually know NOTHING about it then why have you gone off on a rant? Why are you assuming that I am in the habit of doing whatever I want on a jobsite without regards to rules or fellow contractors? I am probably one of the most code/rule compliant people you could have the “pleasure” to work with (and, in fact, I get allot of ribbing from friends and fellow workers for being such a stickler).

Hopefully, Earlydean, you are just having a bad day. If you normally fly off the handle and make assumptions based on next to no information then I'd hate to be a coworker/neighbor/friend of yours.

#39160 06/13/04 05:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 91
if its that grey stuff that they spray on bare steel, no its not new and every job we've been on we SCRAPE IT OFF. your inspector is being anal, go over his head and ask the next in line what an electrician has to do to install a box . p.s. i love it when someone says he is tired of people not knowing what the codes are and then says he's not sure himself!? good luck!

#39161 06/13/04 09:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
If you do not scrap that gray spray on fire proofing, you will not get a good mechanical grip on the steel to secure your boxes or condiut. IMO that stuff should be sprayed on after the rough in inspections and coversare installed on all boxes. That way the applicators can cleanup the mess made when a lot of that stuff is knocked down by almost every trade as the install thier work. This is a continuing problem. Ask the inspector which code you are to not comply with. The requirements for securly installed electrical work or scrapes in badly scheduled work.


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