What's with the lack of understanding of FVIR code?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jrejre, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. jrejre

    jrejre New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I made my earlier post about replacing my natural gas water heater. I couldn't believe the price of the AO Smith XHE 60 gallon high unit. The price from 2 local plumbers was $3600 plus installation. OK, I'm all for engineering overkill, but that's serious overkill for my residence.

    So, I asked about high recovery, larger tank units. I called three major local plumbers and none of them knew that the FVIR is not yet required on tanks above 50 gallons (until July 2005 anyway). They all told me that the units had to have FVIR - which was contrary to the mfg specs on their web sites. So, they are all calling their wholesalers for more details.

    My question for the plumbers here is - isn't this a commonly known/understood code change in the trade?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,874
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    fvir

    It is not only not required, but so far I have not seen any larger heaters that come with it. But the bigger question is that if the heaters do not have it, (unless this is in Canada and they have a different time table, for example), and it is not something you can "add" to the heater as an option, why is it even being mentioned in your price quotations? If someone is using that as a "reason" for a higher price then you might want to check elsewhere for your installation. That price seems pretty stiff, (but since I do not use that brand water heater, I do not know its specifications or price), for a residential water heater installed.
  3. jrejre

    jrejre New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Minnesota
    It was not actually mentioned in price quotes. I asked on the larger units because I really would prefer not to have it. I asked since it will be a requirement even on the larger units in July of this year, I wanted to make sure it was not being included on the latest models.

    The response I got was that ALL residential water heaters have it, must have it... which was not correct. Since I figured that plumber didn't know his stuff, I called the others and got the same (wrong) answer. :eek:

    For those interested - here's the GAMA consumer bulletin on this subject:

    http://www.gamanet.org/gama/infores...n Resistant (FVIR) Water Heaters?OpenDocument
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2005
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,874
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Fvir

    As I said, unless it was for somewhere that had a different timetable, heaters over 50 gallons do not even have it yet, and it is not something that you can buy a bigger heater, and then install it because you think it is required.
  5. LonnythePlumber

    LonnythePlumber Plumber, Contractor, Attorney

    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
    Knowing Codes

    We don't know our codes very well. They didn't use to change so much. The FVIR's are not really a code thing anyway. It's a new appliance thing. It's an agreement between the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the water heater manufacturers association. Even with seminars there is a lot we don't know yet about the FVIR's. So you can criticize away. In Kansas we don't even have pink teflon tape yet.
    Residential plumbers are not often familiar with commercial work.
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