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I am going to begin installation of my first whole house structured wiring project. I have been doing a TON of research but I am having trouble finding good information on correct fire stopping techniques. My builder was very adament that I follow good practices can anyone give me a link or some advice?


1) I will be installing two 2" conduits from the basement to the attic. One conduit will contain my current wiring for the second floor and one will be left empty to allow for future expanstion. What would be the correct firestopping technique for this?


2) Do only room to room and floor to floor stud holes need caulked?


Thanks in advance for the help. I am sure there will be a ton more questions when I actually get started!!! This forum is great.
 

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First off, install a 3 or 4 inch (or larger pipe, if possible). You can never have too large a conduit, and any bends in the conduit will effect how may wires can be fed through. Also, caulk all openings through which the pipe pass.

Steve
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_b1228
Well seeing as how my walls are only 4" wide (2x4 framing) I don't think I can drill a 4" hole :)
Actually a 2x4 is only 3.5" wide...So you'd really be doing a trick drilling a 4" hole into it ;)


Robert
 

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Why listen to your builder? Listen to your city inspector! Ask him what is required. Most residential building codes do not require a fire break in a less than 3 story structure. Might need it if you were going from the garage to the House and had a fire wall between them. Unless you are worried about this don't spend any money. I think your builder doesn't want to do anything that is out of the ordinary and is sending you on a wild goose chase to mess with you.


Quick search turned up this:

http://cableorganizer.com/3m-fire-pr...rier-cs195.htm


But this is for commercial applications.


Good Luck,


Steve
 

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My understanding of building codes is that only penetrations between a garage and the living area requires a fire stop. I am not sure about the 3 story home issue though (may not apply anyway). Your local building inspector can definitely answer this question for you though.

As far as the conduit, your size limit should really be about 2.5 inches so as not to affect the integrity of the 2 x 4's that you are drilling through. Since you're putting in the conduit anyway, instead of 2 runs, put in 3 or 4. It's not a lot more work and it will allow for further expansion. I would cap both ends of any unused conduit also. Another recommendation, would be to install nail guards at the 2x4's where the conduits pass through. This will prevent any nails or drywall screws from getting into your conduit or your wires.
 

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Size of the studs depends on the type of house being built and the wall. Many upscale houses being built in the Washington, D.C. area in the last several years use 2x6 studs (which are 5-½ inches wide) for exterior walls (and also many interior walls). Alternatively, you may be able to have the framers build a chase, in which case, you can install any diameter size pipe you like from the basement to the attic.

Steve
 

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steve...good point there, I forgot about the 2x6 possibility.


The chase is also a good idea, this could be put in anywhere and would not require much space. In the back of a closet, or maybe around a bathroom where space might already be wasted could be turned into a chase for you...


chris
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven McCaa
Why listen to your builder? Listen to your city inspector! Ask him what is required. Most residential building codes do not require a fire break in a less than 3 story structure. Might need it if you were going from the garage to the House and had a fire wall between them. Unless you are worried about this don't spend any money. I think your builder doesn't want to do anything that is out of the ordinary and is sending you on a wild goose chase to mess with you.


Quick search turned up this:

http://cableorganizer.com/3m-fire-pr...rier-cs195.htm


But this is for commercial applications.


Good Luck,


Steve
Fire stop codes vary widely depending on where you live. You do need to check your state and local ordinances which as the above poster mentions is best done by calling your local inspector. In some slimilar threads from a few months ago it appears that at least several states require fire stops between each floor as a minimum. Without knowing for sure I would think this is a pretty common requirement. Given how inexpensive fire rated caulk is (about $10 a tube) I would seal every penetration even if code did not require it.
 
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