Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Unpermitted uninspected HVAC installation blocks plumbing access to bathroom
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Unpermitted uninspected HVAC installation blocks plumbing access to bathroom

We recently replaced a 40 year old furnace. When we got estimates, my son specifically told the contractor that installation must be up to code. When he said this, he was equating "up to code" with "properly permitted and inspected", and, indeed, the contractor told him his installations always pass inspection - which implies permitting and inspection while not actually saying permitting and inspection.

Lo and behold, the guy didn't pull a permit and his installation is not up to code - or at least I don't see how it could be.

The main issue is that instead of venting the furnace from below he chose to run the return air out the side and up through the ceiling. In doing this, the ducting for the return air has totally blocked the plumbing access to the bathroom. There were other issues that I have corrected at my own expense - such as replacing the cheap flue he used for the exhaust vent, which gets hot enough to burn and is less than 3' from the floor, well within questing toddler reach, with double-walled flue.

Given that he has already cut a hole in the side of the furnace for the return air vent, is there any way to fix this now without having to replace the entire furnace? The furnace is a Bryant Model 310AAV/JAV. There is plenty of head space above it. I can't upload a picture, the "upload" facility on this site keeps crashing. Basically it is in an oversize (for just the furnace) utility closet with the return air vent coming out the left side as you are looking at it from the hallway. The return air ducting is blocking the plumbing access panel. The thing is only 3' tall so there is plenty of headspace to have put the return air vent under it. There was also the option of running the return air ducting out the right side as you are looking at it and through a coat closet next to it to the wall in the hallway.

I really know NOTHING about HVAC and relied on the contractor to do a proper job. We specifically asked about inspection, but even if we hadn't, since when are you supposed to tell a contractor to pull permits when that is required by local law?

This doesn't look right, and I don't see how a blocked plumbing access panel - the only access to that plumbing in fact - would be allowable according to code. It certainly isn't allowable according to common sense.

I have no idea what to do at this point. Help?

Re: Unpermitted uninspected HVAC installation blocks plumbing access to bathroom

I hope that you have not paid this guy. get a real licensed contractor to come a fix it with permit and inspection , then deduct what ever you paid the second guy from the first guy bill. and pay him the balance. never use guys that are not licensed.


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