NY permitting process

NY permitting process

PostBy: Charlie Z On: Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:48 pm

I'm adding a boiler and stove to my 1915 home and I'm trying to go thru the permit/approval process to avoid the insurance company boogey man if something goes wrong.

Is this interesting. It seems in NY, NFPA 211 is no longer the direct basis for requirements. Only UL listed equipment can be installed, and with all of the clearance information stamped on the plate, that's all you need. (It seems I can install a 'direct connect' flue for my hearth stove vs. a full liner, as long as it's UL listed and installed to instructions.)

Obviously, this means all antiques and old cookstoves are illegal. Wouldn't it be nice to have NY posted this little tidbit of info somewhere? We've been looking for a good old cookstove and might have gotten stuck.
Charlie Z
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

PostBy: keyman512us On: Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:48 am

Charlie:
Obviously, this means all antiques and old cookstoves are illegal. Wouldn't it be nice to have NY posted this little tidbit of info somewhere? We've been looking for a good old cookstove and might have gotten stuck.


Very interesting...thanks for posting. Did you ask the AHLJ (authority having local jurisdiction) IF the old cook tops were specifically exempt or prohibited? I would imagine "it's not too publicized"...but in NY to outright "ban" the old cook tops sounds a bit too extreme. I would do some "checking into it". Asking questions there is nothing to lose...assuming you're thoughts are correct..."everyone loses". Unfortunately today...the way "everyone is a lawyer" and therefore the writers of laws,codes,rules, and regs. word them to "include and exclude" at the same time if you know what I mean. If you do a little digging...you might find cook tops can be exempted (you're talking about the basic right to cook your food, not the other one....to stay warm).
If the answer is "No" can't have em'...NY is setting a dangerous precedence and well on it's way to becoming "another California".
This "outlook" is slowly changing here in MA...people are getting tired of the "old Massachusetts".
keyman512us
 

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:23 pm

the trick here is the grandfather laws, if your house is old enough where one of these old cook stoves could have been used who is to say it isn't the same one that has been there from day one?
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520


PostBy: Charlie Z On: Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:40 am

The whole thing is vague; as though legislators made laws that permitting, enforcement and homeowners don't understand or can/will comply to.

I successfully went through the permitting process, which was questioned by everyone, ("why bother? It's a gray area.") and I'll bet we can count the number who have permitted a stove in my town on one hand... It's one of those "don't ask/don't tell" things, apparently.

I have not been able to confirm the non-UL rule, yet. NY doesn't publish it's code on the web, you have to buy it for $75 (I get to pay for it 2x!), and the library has an 10yr old rev. Generally, laws (should) ignore the old stuff as it has no volume -- how many heat with a Royal Oak or Portland Queen Atlantic?

The house is from 1915 - It had 2 stoves (and a privy!) until 1975, one in the 'parlor' and one in the kitchen, with registers for upstairs.
Charlie Z
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:03 pm

I've been trying to understand this "code thing" in general. My understand is still not complete. In general the state law delegates to the local jurisdiction the building codes. Where there has been a particular tragedy, many deaths, etc. the state law might mandate something. The local jurisdiction, county, township, town, borough, city, etc. then decides what the code requirements will be and uses it's law making powers to enforce them. In many places they refer to one of several national building code standards, e.g. "Building Officials and Code Administrators" (BOCA). For fire standard these building codes in turn reference the National Fire Protection Association codes. This is the often referenced NFPA 211. Here's where it gets a bit fuzzy. NFPA 211 gives general requirements but also states, "unless otherwise listed by the manufacturer". That means the manufacturer gets to set the standard and assume the product liability. Now the manufacturer wants to cover his butt so he finds a product testing laboratory to approve his product. There are many product testing labs, e.g. Underwriters Laboratories (UL). UL is a non-profit lab but there are many others that are "for profit" testing laboratories. These testing labs create a testing standard based on their best engineering judgment and field experience. The product is then tested to that standard. What frequently gets misinterpreted is "UL" approved. "UL" approval is meaningless unless it also tells you to what particular standard. It may have an approval for something that has nothing to do with what you are concerned about. For example a stoker motor could have a "UL" approved power cord but that doesn't mean it's somehow "UL" approved for fire safety. Another term to be aware of is "tested to". This usually means the product is tested but not by the laboratory that produced the test standard. The manufacturer might even do it's own product safety testing! The bottom line is, you the consumer has an almost impossible job of making any sense of it.

I welcome comments, especially those with some paper trail to a standard. I'd especially like to understand how "direct vent" coal stoves, furnaces and boilers are "approved". Remember the crap is not finished until the paper work is done!

I once had a vendor try to sell me something that was MIL approved. It had the complete military specification number listed on the label. I looked it up. It was the MIL spec for label printing! It had nothing to do with what was in the can.

Yanche
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: Bob On: Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:52 pm

Yanche wrote:I've been trying to understand this "code thing" in general. My understand is still not complete. In general the state law delegates to the local jurisdiction the building codes.

Yanche


My understanding is that a state can, and in the case of Pennsylvania does, establish codes. However the codes are in fact largely written by someone else (national or regional code agencies).

In Pennsylvania when I built my house in the mid 90's there was no state wide code and the jurisdiction in which I built had no effective codes or inspections. The only inspection done on the house was one mandated by the electric utility before they would supply power. The only governmental approval prior to building was a "zoning" approval and the local conservation district approval of the soil erosion control plan.

All of that changed a few years ago when the state enacted a state wide code and required local jurisdictions to implement local enforcement mechanisms.
Bob
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:52 am

Bob wrote:All of that changed a few years ago when the state enacted a state wide code and required local jurisdictions to implement local enforcement mechanisms.


I'm all for standards but sometimes the "glove don't fit" . If I remember correctly they had to rewrite that law shortly after it was enacted because it effectively made it illegal as an example for a homeowner to install his own hot water heater.

Licensing can have bad consequences too, this effectively squeezes out the legitimate little "handyman" operations. The town of Wilkes Barre near me has had a law that you had to be licensed by them to perform any type of construction within the city limits going back 15 or 20 years. Due to the cost and time involved many small operations would simply not work in the city of Wilkes-Barre, this left many residents with no one to perform small tasks because the only ones that could do so were large operations that had no interest. The only ones left were the shoddy operations that were willing to break the law which was what the law was supposed to stop in the first place.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: Yanche On: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:33 am

NEPAForum Admin wrote:I'm all for standards but sometimes the "glove don't fit" . If I remember correctly they had to rewrite that law shortly after it was enacted because it effectively made it illegal as an example for a homeowner to install his own hot water heater.

Licensing can have bad consequences too, this effectively squeezes out the legitimate little "handyman" operations.
Where I live building codes are enforced by the county. Most small replacement jobs, water heaters, A/C, roofs are exempted from permit requirements no matter who does the job. Where there is new construction or major re-building permits are required. There is a "homeowners" permitting process. I've gotten them for plumbing and electrical wiring on a major kitchen addition. The process includes a written closed book test taken in front of the "chief" inspector. It's a simple test, more of a test to screen out the truly incompetents. The inspector will tell you exactly what you need to do for your job. During the first national energy crisis decades ago I was a recipient of a federally funded grant on solar energy hot water heaters. They paid for a small portion of the cost in exchange for the long term performance data. The requirement was it to be permitted. When I was taking the written homeowners plumbing exam, answering all the questions about toilet flushing and vent pipes the chief inspector took me aside. We talked a bit and he said I passed, because there wasn't a damm thing on the test about solar hot water heaters and I knew more about them that he or anyone on his staff did. He said he would be the one that would inspect the job. Sure enough he was and we had an enjoyable conversation about the job.

BTY the solar hot water heater lasted about a decade, was subject to two product recalls and never lived up to it's hipe. The design was engineered by a local branch of a major plumbing supply house. It finally failed from internal corrosion due to galvanic action between dissimilar metals. Something the design engineer never considered.

Yanche
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea