Question of the Day - #42 Covering Req'd Pex Sprinkle Pipe

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Question of the Day - #42 Covering Req'd Pex Sprinkle Pipe

Postby RDavidson » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:30 pm

P2904 requires that nonmetallic pipe used in residential sprinkler systems be protected from exposure to the living space by a layer of not less than 3/8” thick gypsum board or ½” thick plywood unless exposed piping is permitted by the pipe listing.

One of the major brands of PEX has the following in their installation instructions:
Note: In accordance with UL and C-UL listings, provide protection for the tubing and fittings. The minimum protection consists of either:
One layer of 3⁄8" (9.5mm) gypsum wallboard
A suspended membrane ceiling with lay-in panels or tiles weighing greater than 0.35 lbs. per square foot (1.7kg per square meter) when installed with metallic support grids
1⁄2" (13mm) plywood soffits
One layer of 1⁄2" (13mm) plywood

Note: Do not rough-in the tubing and leave it exposed.

So it seems that you won’t be able to leave the basement ceiling exposed if you use this major producer of PEX piping to sprinkle the basement. Do you believe the cost of covering the PEX was included in the cost estimates used to advance fire sprinklers? Why didn’t anyone point this out? Do you suppose somebody intentionally withheld this information or was it an honest omission of facts?
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