Question of the Day - #95 What’s the solution?

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Question of the Day - #95 What’s the solution?

Postby RDavidson » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:32 pm

A designer of townhouses for empty nesters calls you with a question about sprinkler requirements for his proposed townhouse project. She says both P2904 and NFPA 13d permit only one valve to shut off both domestic and sprinkler lines in the dwellings. Each system is required to have a drain valve on the system side of the main valve. Some of her potential clients have stated that they go south for the winter and turn the heat in their unit to its lowest setting or off in some cases. They wish to drain their water pipes including sprinklers and put antifreeze in drains so that they won’t freeze. The designer asks if that is acceptable to you. You tell her that as long as everything is on and working when you do your final inspection and issue a CO you don’t care what they do after you leave.

Fast forward six months. The president of the townhouse association that you recently approved calls to tell you that some of their townhouse units have no fire protection because the owners have shut off the heat and water and gone south for the winter. He tells you he is concerned about a fire starting in one of these units and spreading uncontrolled into adjoining units. He points to new Minnesota Rule 1300.0225 that says the building must be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition and tells you the section also authorizes you to do an inspection and require corrections. What do you do? If the owners tell you that turning on the water will result in freezing pipes and water damage and you will be responsible, what do you say? Do you tell them they must turn on the heat? If you write an order to correct the situation, what actions taken by the owner would satisfy you as putting the building into compliance?
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