TO APPROVE OR NOT TO APPROVE – THAT IS THE QUESTION

Recently our company applied for a mechanical permit from Montgomery County Building Regulations, Division of Plumbing.  When we received the permit, there was a notice pertaining to the presence of carbon monoxide detectors in homes with
attached garages and/or the installation and/or replacement of fuel fired appliances. In this case, it was in reference to the replacement of a gas water heater.

A section of the Residential Code of Ohio which became effective on January 1, 2013, is rather ambiguous in nature pertaining to the inspection for a carbon monoxide detector when the inspector is doing an inspection of a replacement water heater. The language in the code is inferred, rather than required; however, according to Montgomery County Building Regulations they will inspect for the presence of a CO detector. The inspector would specifically be looking for them in the vicinity of the bedroom group in the home even if the work being done is in a completely separate part of the house.

There are various ways the inspector could handle this:
1. include a notice to the owner on the plan approval that the work being done will lead to a requirement for the CO detectors to be installed.
2. include a notice of non-compliance meaning that a requirement for the installation of the CO detectors is included.
3. include a notice on the certificate of approval for the work done that the approval includes a notice for the requirement for the installation of the CO detectors.

Are they going to come back to your home to inspect for the CO detectors? The answer we were given was ‘no’. But, for the safety of our customers, and in order for our customers to be in compliance with the Code, we are strongly recommending that in the absence of a CO detector, a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector be installed. This unit would take the place of an existing smoke alarm, instead of adding a second alarm. One unit we found is manufactured by ‘Kidde’, product 3P3010CU, and may purchased at Home Depot, Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers.

The decision “to approve or not to approve” is in the hands of the inspector until the language of the Code has been corrected. It is unlikely that the approval for the water heater would be denied in the absence of the CO detector. The water heater installation itself would be the determining factor in whether or not the inspection passed.

If there are any questions, you may call Montgomery County Building Regulations, Division of Plumbing for further clarification. (226-4611)