Avoid the Temptation of Toxic DWV Products

Concerns About Firestopping and Inspection of Plastic Piping Step-by-Step

firestopping

CONCERN

Firestopping means 'Fire Proof'

MISUNDERSTANDING

If a PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC) project is firestopped correctly, the toxins from the PVC will never be an issue . . . right?

GET THE FACTS

Firestopping should really be called 'fire resistant.' It is commonly thought to make the building 100% safe from toxins. However, even when the proper products are installed properly it only limits the movement of flame, smoke and toxins from one part or compartment of the building to another. When the PVC/ABS gets to elevated temperatures, they still emit the toxic gases. Learn more.

inspection

CONCERN

Inspection

MISUNDERSTANDING

The firestopping was inspected by the city or county, so therefore it must be correct . . . right?

GET THE FACTS

While inspections do take place by the 'Authority having Jurisdiction' it is not an end all be all inspection. Firestopping is often misunderstood and may be lacking in appropriate enforcement in our building codes. In order to perform a quality inspection, a percentage of each of the penetrations must be destroyed and inspected to verify the depths of installations, materials and components. A visual inspection of a completed firestop is difficult to confirm whether it was or was not installed properly. Learn more.

costs

CONCERN

Cost of installation

MISUNDERSTANDING

PVC install over CI Install saves a large amount on the job

GET THE FACTS

In the scope of the entire project the cost of installing cast iron over PVC after proper firestopping and other installation requirements are followed is insignificant. The safety of those inside (children, elderly, etc) is worth the additional slight cost for the project. Can a value truly be placed on human life? Learn more.

off-gasing

CONCERN

Polyvinyl Chloride Pipe and fittings off-gas Hydrogen Chloride during combustion

MISUNDERSTANDING

Chlorine or the Chloride in PolyVinyl Chloride Pipe is harmful to people and has been utilized and outlawed in warfare. When PolyVinyl Chloride Pipe and fittings combust (or even get to elevated temperatures), it releases Hydrogen Chloride gas and other toxins into the air. In a recent study, it was found that PVC releases a maximum value of 709ppm of Hydrogen Chloride gas.

GET THE FACTS

The EPA Acute Exposure Guideline Levels state the above information and 709ppm is in the AEGL 3 category for a maximum of 10 minutes of exposure…They also define this level as the following: "AEGL 3= Life-threatening health effects or death" Learn more.