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sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94594
08/03/05 10:27 AM
08/03/05 10:27 AM
mpelectric  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1
I failed an inspection because the inspector said we did not seal all penetrations we drilled through 2 x 4 studs. We are in the habit of filling the holes penetrating the top plate with foam and have never had any problems. Now on our last rough in inspection it was failed because we did not foam the holes going horizontaly through the walls. Does any one need to do this also our does any one know th code that says I have to do this.

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Re: sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94595
08/03/05 10:38 AM
08/03/05 10:38 AM
foestauf  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 49
Thats a building issue. Maybe it's a local municipality code.
But yeah we only foam holes that transfer between airconditioned space and non-airconditioned space.

Re: sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94596
08/03/05 01:03 PM
08/03/05 01:03 PM
Tiger  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
Where required by the AHJ in this area, I've only sealed vertical penetrations, not horizontal. I use fire-rated caulk and leave an empty tube on the project at eye level so the inspector can see what I used. I hope you're not talking about expandable insulation foam, which I don't think is fire rated. I've heard of inspectors making guys dig out silicone and install the proper product.


Re: sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94597
08/03/05 06:22 PM
08/03/05 06:22 PM
foestauf  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 49
No expanding foam is not fire rated. Fire retardent but not fire rated.
Don't need to fire stop verticle holes.
Only need to fire caulk where you penetrate a firewall. Even if knocking out holes for boxes you have to firecaulk entire way around the box heh. My only complaint about multi-family is dealing with firewalls.
Thankfull the unit that I'm on atm has nothing that goes through firewall:-) It's the other guys units that have to penetrate hehe.

Re: sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94598
08/03/05 07:03 PM
08/03/05 07:03 PM
HLCbuild  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 209
Herndon,Va USA
I'm a general contractor and I've had to do this in 2 jurisdictions. They were both local codes. One was every hole in every stud. The other town said caulk the holes shut every 8 feet so the wall was made up of 8ft x 8ft areas. They were looking for "draft-stopping" which is different from fire-stopping. In most residential single family homes you can use caulk, rockwool, or other similar products. When you get into a fire-rated classification, the products change.


Re: sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94599
08/03/05 07:15 PM
08/03/05 07:15 PM
Jps1006  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
Northern IL
As an EC, we have never had to do anything to our holes. That is the job of the insulator or GC. But then it was just the top and and bottom plate. Except once when they wanted every hole caulked with fire caulk at the begining of a townhome project. Turns out there was a lack of understanding on someone's part, several hundred dollars of caulk later.......they really only needed the top & bottom.

Re: sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94600
08/03/05 11:37 PM
08/03/05 11:37 PM
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,166
This draft stopping with spray foam is always interesting when you get a fire inspector arguing with an environmentally minded building inspector.

Take some out in the yard and light it with your lighter ... but be ready to drop it and get away. Hold your breath. The flame spread and toxic smoke problems far outweigh any small saving in energy you might achieve over rock wool or fiberglass IMHO. I have seen homes with a dozen empty cans laying around between the electricians, plumbers and window/door framers. That's a lot of extra nasty smoke in a fire.

Greg Fretwell
Re: sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94601
08/04/05 07:21 AM
08/04/05 07:21 AM
harold endean  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Boonton, NJ
Here in NJ I believe it is required to seal up the openings. It is to prevent the spread of fire and also for energy conservation. It gets inspected by the building inspector in my towns.

Re: sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94602
08/04/05 08:55 AM
08/04/05 08:55 AM
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL

Originally posted by Jps1006:
As an EC, we have never had to do anything to our holes. That is the job of the insulator or GC. But then it was just the top and and bottom plate.

+1 for this. Never had to plug horizontal holes, unless they penetrated a fire rated wall (most of our resi work, that's the furnace room only), and then the insulators did it.

Re: sealing drilled penetrations(residential) #94603
08/06/05 11:17 AM
08/06/05 11:17 AM
Paul O'Connell  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 56
Allen Park, Mi. USA
What the code calls for is fire rated walls, ceilings and floors. It is also required when you run through cold air spaces. In apartments the fire rated walls would be those walls seperating units. In single family dwellings the only rated walls I know of would be those walls seperating the dwelling from the garage. In our area then it would be top and bottom plate, air handling spaces, and the garage dwelling seperation wall.

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