I have a new AHJ that is absolutely adamant that there can be zero contact between fire lines and electrical work - wiring, Romex, fixtures, conduit, low voltage, phone line, etc....
We all know the dangers and risks associated with CPVC systems when they come in contact with your normal residential type wiring. Everyone has gotten good at 'staying away from the orange pipe.'
But this AHJ is now requiring our above ceiling inspection on every type of job be the final inspection prior to cover up. This is to ensure that nobody has the opportunity to touch our pipe with their work (yes, this includes PVC, Pex, copper, HVAC as well) after he has signed off on our install.
The only code that I can find to support him is in NFPA 13 stating that non-system components can not be supported by sprinkler piping. I think we all know and appreciate this rule as well.
His opinion is that he can not sign off on a system knowing that there is contact with an electrical component. This component could somehow energize the steel piping network and electrocute his responding fire fighter who first touches the FDC to hook up his hoses. Having a zero tolerance policy for contact helps him sleep at night.
I personally told him that the theory is ridiculous because the steel pipe and all the electrical components are all typically supported by steel hangers, attached to the same steel building... His same theory applies to the next person who touches a ceiling grid, fixture, register, or maybe flush a toilet or touches a door knob!
But he won't take it from me. If his opinion is out of line, he needs to hear it from an electrical and fire engineer. I'd love some solid evidence that some occasional incidental contact with high or low voltage wiring poses no real threat to electrocuting a fire fighter.
The electrical system has its own integrated safeties to keep from energizing other building components, right?
A little formal advice here will save every (local to my area) contractor a whole lot of headache. We can get our AHJ back to being a fire inspector instead of a building inspector. Thanks for your considerations!
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