Floor Registers

Floor Registers

PostBy: SteelerCoal On: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:26 pm

I've been reading some posts, and am finding what I think is conflicting information. I'm hoping someone can clarify this for me. I'll be installing a LL Pioneer in my finished basement soon, and was thinking of putting some registers in the ceiling of my basement up to the first floor of my house to circulate the heat. However, I read in this post Stove In Basement-Bulkhead Tips? that cutting holes in the ceiling/floor is a violation of fire code.

However, I read in this post Heat Circulation with Diagram some suggestions about adding additional floor registers from the basement to the first floor to help circulate the heat.

So, is it OK to install the registers or not?
SteelerCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer Top Vent

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: coalkirk On: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:39 pm

In most areas it is a violation of firecode. There are fire damper type registers that have a spring loaded door that will snap shut in the event of a fire. Those would be fine. Not a common item you'd find at home depot. I'd google search for them.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: Devil505 On: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:43 pm

I've had multiple floor registers, that I cut in, for over 25 years & it definitely helps heat circulation. That being said, it may well be a violation in your locality. In terms of the danger,i t is that you are providing quick ways for a basement fire to spread upstairs through these registers. My home has just one level above the basement & easy emergency exit from any window, plus I have multiple fire & CO alarms. I guess it's a trade off but it works for me. Check with you local fire dept & codes & make you decision. In terms of heat distribution, it makes a major difference.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

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Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: SteelerCoal On: Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:22 pm

I guess I should check my local code, or fire department. I found one of these fire damers here
http://www.wamhomecenter.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=6509&idcategory=0
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
. But in the description it says "Many local codes require that exhaust fans installed in fire-rated ceilings must be protected by dampers, which, in case of fire, protect against the spread of heat and flame."

I have a drop ceiling (tiles are not fire rated) and wooden floor joists on my first floor. So, it sounds like the code may not apply to this situation? I probaly need to check to be sure. What 'cha think?
SteelerCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer Top Vent

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: Devil505 On: Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:50 pm

new2coal wrote:So, it sounds like the code may not apply to this situation? I probaly need to check to be sure. What 'cha think?


I think you have to make your own decision based on what your fire dept & codes say & then way that against the actual risk.

Two points:

1. It will be very difficult to get a uniform heat distribution on you main floor unless you provide additional ways for the heat to get up there & for the cold air to be returned to you basement. (directly to the stove fans inlet would be best, creating a heat loop)
2. Whatever you decide, always make sure you provide at least 1 (I prefer 2 ..they're cheap enough) working fire/smoke and CO detectors per floor.


If you are respectful of the danger that any heating device brings with it, & install & operate you coal appliance correctly, you will never have a problem & the actual danger is no more than presented by a gas or oil burner, imo.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: Horace On: Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:16 pm

Cutting holes through the floors may be a code violation?! Crap!

My house used to have a forced air system that the previous owners removed, including ripping out the duct work. This is a ranch house with a Harman in the basement. They covered all the holes in the floors with boards. When I discovered this, I punched out every one of them. In two of the bigger cold air returns, I have 8" fans in the cavity between basement ceiling and main-floor floor blowing the air up. This works like a charm. In one of the rooms upstairs, when I shut the door I can feel the cold air coming down through the holes that used to deliver heat. The small holes are too small to use fans.

I've done this for years and it works great. I have CO and smoke detectors all over the place since the fans would distribute it very quickly. Never thought of the fire-spreading angle; now I'm a bit worried.
Horace
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman ST8-VF8 / Frankenstove

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:45 am

Horace wrote:I've done this for years and it works great. I have CO and smoke detectors all over the place since the fans would distribute it very quickly. Never thought of the fire-spreading angle; now I'm a bit worried.


The way I look at it is that if you have a fire significant enough to spread through those floor vents, you have a major problem anyway! The only thing he floor vents will do is shorten the time for your whole house to be engulfed. If you have a ranch or other low house, you & your family can jump out a window instantly so I think the trade off (increased risk vs comfort) is acceptable, Every house & person is different though.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:19 pm

A few thought on this subject.. what is the difference between a hole cut in the floor covered with a grill, and the hot air duct cut in the floor, covered with a grill?? The ductwork.

Most hot air heating systems have metal ducts hooked to the holes in the floor, which are covered with the grill.. The metal ductwork can't burn..

A simple hole cut in the wood flooring in a joist space is creating a 'chimney' or path for flame to burn..

So, for peace of mind, why not buy a roll of aluminum flashing and cover the bottom of the subflooring, and the sides of the floor joists for a few feet around your heat distribution 'hole in the floor'.. This will eliminate the fuel adjacent to the 'hole' and make the 'hole' virtually identical to a hot air duct opening..

Just a thought...
Greg L
..
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: SteelerCoal On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:42 pm

Greg,

I have a drop ceiling in my basement. I was going to install a register/grill in one of the ceiling tiles and connect a short run of duct through the floor joists and install a floor register/grill in the room above. I was actually considering doing a second one into another room also.

As far as building codes, if I use duct work is it within code? Does the code issue only come into play if I am not using a duct?

Thanks
SteelerCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer Top Vent

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:59 pm

new2coal wrote:As far as building codes, if I use duct work is it within code? Does the code issue only come into play if I am not using a duct?


I'll throw my 2 cents in here because I have a similar setup (suspended ceiling with floor registers above) but I used egg-crate ceiling panels in the suspended ceiling & registers in the floor above. Big help with air circulation but I don't think any direct path through the floor above, (whether lined with ductwork or not) is in code. The concept, as Greg said, is that your are providing a chimney into the next level for a fire to spread more rapidly.
(If the duct is closed to the basement below, as in a central heating system, there is no "chimney" to the next level for fire to follow)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:58 am

Have to wonder devil with split level house's like ours if a floor register is going to be that big of a deal since we have the stairs wide open connecting the first floor and basement together? I can't see how an 8x10 inch register is going to create any more of a chimney affect for a fire then what a 36" wide open stair case is going to create?
Adamiscold
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Sr. Old School

Re: Floor Registers

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:44 am

Adamiscold wrote:Have to wonder devil with split level house's like ours if a floor register is going to be that big of a deal since we have the stairs wide open connecting the first floor and basement together? I can't see how an 8x10 inch register is going to create any more of a chimney affect for a fire then what a 36" wide open stair case is going to create?


Absolutely agreed Adam. From an additional danger standpoint, I have never worried about a few additional routes for air circulation. Now building codes may take a different view, but I am only interested in actual safety, not bureaucratic guidlines .
( I suppose the thinking is it depends on where the fire is & where the floor registers are located, but a little common sense is invaluable!)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

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