BCAB #1299 - "Aqua-Therm Air Handler" Heating System for Single Family Dwelling

February 18, 1993

BCAB #1299

Re: "Aqua-Therm Air Handler" Heating System for Single Family Dwelling

Project Description

The project in question is a forced air heating system in a single family dwelling. The heat source is a fan coil unit supplied with hot water from the dwelling's domestic hot water system.

Reason for Appeal

Certified Aqua-Therm air handling units (fan coil heat exchangers) were approved for use under the 1985 B.C. Plumbing Code by Plumbing Product Approval #P-309. A number of conditions were attached to this approval, one of which was a limit on the total floor area of the dwelling of 1900 square feet. Sizing and installation guidelines and heat loss methods were also appended to the approval.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the design of a heating system for a single family dwelling does not require written certification from a professional engineer and does not require detailed heat loss calculations. He also contends that the 1900 square foot limitation of Plumbing Product Approval #P-309 is a trade restriction and discrimination against fan coil combination heating systems.

The appellant considers the building official's responsibilities should be limited to visually inspecting that a cycle timer is installed, the temperature setting of the dual purpose domestic hot water tank is correct, the installation does not exceed the 100 foot limit on supply and return piping and the output of the tank is 20% more than the rating of the fan coil unit.

Building Official's Position

The building official would not approve the Aqua-Therm heating system installation until the minimum design information listed on the "Heat Loss Calculation Methods" appended to Plumbing Product Approval #P-309 were submitted.

Appeal Board Decision #1299

It is the determination of the Board that the building official has the authority to require the submission of heat loss calculations for a heating system in a dwelling unit. Article of the 1985 B.C. Building Code requires a certain level of heating and Article requires that sufficient information be provided to show the proposed work will comply with this requirement. The information provided must be to the satisfaction of the building official. The Code does not preclude a request for the information to be provided by a professional.

In accordance with Sentence 1.4.1.(1) of the 1985 B.C. Plumbing Code the Aqua-Therm Air Handler was approved under Plumbing Product Approval #P-309. Part of this approval included a limitation of 1900 square feet on the size of the dwelling in which such a unit is used. The Board has no authority to waive or alter such requirements.

George R. Humphrey, Chair