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Author Topic: Penetrations in walls, floors, & ceilings  (Read 2398 times)

Jonathan Johnson

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Penetrations in walls, floors, & ceilings
« on: February 21, 2014, 04:43:30 pm »

It's been discussed before elsewhere in these forums, but I thought I'd bring it up here, too, as a reminder for everyone.

Whenever you are installing wiring (either permanent or temporary) and you must pass through (penetrate) a wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural components, building codes will require that the penetrations do not compromise the fire rating of the components.

This means that when you run that wire through that wall, at the very least you must seal the opening to prevent the spread of smoke & flame. Depending on the wall, it may be as simple as sealing the hole with ordinary caulk, or it may require using conduit and intumescent seals. Exactly how you do it will depend on the fire rating and construction of the wall as designed by the architect or engineer and the requirements of your code official.

If the wall or floor has been constructed as a fire barrier (usually identified as such on blueprints), then you may be required to have an engineered plan for sealing penetrations and use special fire-rated materials. Fire ratings are usually listed in protection time; a wall rated for 30 minutes may only require minimal penetration protection; a wall rated for 2 hours will require extensive penetration protection.

Passing a wire through a vent equipped with a smoke damper is a big no-no. In the event of a fire, the wire will prevent the smoke damper from closing properly, allowing the fire to progress much more quickly. Same goes for fire doors (like the ones with the magnetic doorstops that release the door to close when the fire alarm sounds).

Pounding a hole in the wall with a hammer not only makes it nearly impossible to seal properly, it's poor workmanship.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 04:46:25 pm by Jonathan Johnson »
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Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

frank kayser

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Re: Penetrations in walls, floors, & ceilings
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2014, 07:14:36 pm »

Jonathan,
Might as well throw the fire rating of the cable into the discussion.  Especially with the "quick add on" or "quick fix" folks may run a non-fire rated cable in a plenum space and then poke it through the fire wall.

frank
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Penetrations in walls, floors, & ceilings
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2014, 09:43:38 pm »

we have to use that redish fire caulk/pads here in cali. the hole(s) are cut and a piece of conduit is inserted in the hole(s). fire caulk is but around the conduit and the hole(s). after the wire(s)/cable(s) are run in the sleeve fire caulk must be used to seal the conduit on both ends. if additional runs are done the old fire caulk must be removed and new fire caulk put back in.
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Kemper Watson

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Re: Penetrations in walls, floors, & ceilings
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 09:32:36 am »

we have to use that redish fire caulk/pads here in cali. the hole(s) are cut and a piece of conduit is inserted in the hole(s). fire caulk is but around the conduit and the hole(s). after the wire(s)/cable(s) are run in the sleeve fire caulk must be used to seal the conduit on both ends. if additional runs are done the old fire caulk must be removed and new fire caulk put back in.

Same here in Ga. For all trades. No more gaping holes around the tub drains
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Brad Weber

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Re: Penetrations in walls, floors, & ceilings
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2014, 01:02:16 pm »

Passing a wire through a vent equipped with a smoke damper is a big no-no. In the event of a fire, the wire will prevent the smoke damper from closing properly, allowing the fire to progress much more quickly. Same goes for fire doors (like the ones with the magnetic doorstops that release the door to close when the fire alarm sounds).
I once had an installer mention the great cabling route he had found between two rooms and being suspicious a couple of us went to check it out only to find that he had run all the cable between the rooms though a smoke damper.  I'm just glad he said something and as a result we caught the situation and could correct it before it became a problem.  It also led to some additional training for all the installers.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Penetrations in walls, floors, & ceilings
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2014, 01:02:16 pm »


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