BCAB #983 - Fireplace Liners, Section 9.22.
March 22, 1988
Re: Fireplace Liners, Section 9.22.
With reference to your letter of February 23, 1988, regarding steel fireplace liners. To answer the questions raised:
1. While Section 9.22. does not elaborate on what is meant by a "steel liner", we would consider it to be a manufactured steel item capable of effectively substituting for a firebrick liner. For this purpose it should at least protect the same areas for which firebricks are required by the Code.
2. & 3. Steel liners are included in CSA-A405-M87, "Design and Construction of Masonry Chimneys and Fireplaces", but are covered in detail under a new standard, CAN/ULC-S639-M87, "Standard for Steel Liner Assemblies for Solid-Fuel Burning Masonry Fireplaces".
It would be reasonable to expect the authority having jurisdiction to ensure that the liner is adequate for this purpose, and while this new standard is not yet referenced in the Code, we consider it an acceptable procedure to use the document as a guide, certainly for metal thicknesses. We would also point out that some units are already being tested and listed to this standard by accredited certification agencies.
4. Under normal circumstances a manufacturer's installation instructions should be followed, but in dealing with an unlisted liner, requiring a degree of judgement from yourself, you have a problem. If a manufacturer is producing a unit with installation instructions which in your opinion, will not provide the basic performance intended by the Building Code, then you have no obligation to accept such instructions. Your responsibility is, as far as can reasonably be expected, to ensure that the installed unit provides an adequate level of safety. For this purpose you do not need specific authority from the Code.
In the case of a tested and listed unit, the agency shares responsibility, but you would need to ensure installation in accordance with the terms of the listing.
We feel that your final comments are dealt with under the answers provided.
J.C. Currie, Chair