BCAB #1404bar - Combustible Water Pipe Penetrating Horizontal Fire Separations, Clause 3.1.9.1.(1)(b) and Article 3.1.9.2

August 17, 1995

BCAB #1404   

Re: Combustible Water Pipe Penetrating Horizontal Fire Separations, Clause 3.1.9.1.(1)(b) and Article 3.1.9.2

Project Description

This appeal concerns the use of combustible CPVC water distribution pipe in buildings where it will pass through horizontal fire separations.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.1.9.1.(1) requires pipes that " penetrate a membrane forming part of an assembly required to have a fire resistance rating, or a fire separation, shall be sealed by a fire stop system". The fire stop system, when tested in conformance with CAN4-S115-M, "Standard Method of Fire Tests of Fire Stop Systems", has an " F rating not less than the fire protection rating required for closures in the fire separation.". Article 3.1.9.2. further requires pipes to be noncombustible when they partly or wholly penetrate an assembly required to have a fire resistance rating except as permitted in Article 3.1.9.4. Sentence 3.1.9.4.(2) permits combustible water distribution piping not more than 30 mm in diameter to partly or wholly penetrate a vertical fire separation (wall) without being incorporated in the assembly at the time of testing as required by Article 3.1.9.2. provided it is sealed in conformance with Clause 3.1.9.1.(1)(b). In other words, up to 30 mm plastic water pipe can penetrate fire rated walls as long as it is sealed with an S115 fire stop material.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the particular brand of CPVC water pipe has been tested in a floor assembly (horizontal fire separation) in conformance with Article 3.1.9.2. The test was conducted in conformance with CAN4-S115 and also conforms with Clause 3.1.9.1.(1)(b). It is the appellant's position that because the pipe penetration conforms to both Clause 3.1.9.1.(1)(b) and Article 3.1.9.2., Sentence 3.1.9.4.(2) is not applicable.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that combustible water distribution piping is not permitted to penetrate a fire rated floor assembly unless the floor assembly has been tested incorporating the combustible pipe. Such a test must be done in accordance with CAN4-S101-M, "Standard Methods of Fire Endurance Tests of Building Construction and Materials", not the CAN4-S115-M firestop assembly test.

Appeal Board Decision #1404

It is the determination of the Board that the combustible water pipe penetration of a horizontal fire separation must be tested in conformance with CAN4-S101-M in order to comply with Article 3.1.9.2. The "assembly" referred to in Article 3.1.9.2. is the floor or wall assembly through which the pipe passes, not the fire stop system protecting the penetration.

George R. Humphrey, Chair