Alaskan_Son

Tempered glass behind toilet

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A client and colleague of mine recently had a meeting with an inspector at one of our jobs who asserted that we needed to be using tempered glass above/behind toilets.  Anyone else run into this?  Don’t believe I’ve ever heard of this being requested or required before.  
 

The IRC is a little cryptic and unclear to a certain extent with its wet room requirements and what constitutes being in the same room (a separate toilet room or toilet alcove for example) and I’d be curious what your experiences and opinions are.  In this particular instance though, the inspector was actually calling the toilet itself a body of water.  It does make me wonder why he didn’t also call out the window above the kitchen sink.  

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I haven't run into that specific situation before, but it sounds to me like that inspector is either mis-interpreting the code, or over asserting his/her authority. I took a quick look at the IRC, 2015 edition since that's what Pennsylvania currently has adopted, and didn't find any mention of toilets being listed a a "hazardous area" requiring safety glazing.  I was specifically looking at R 308.4.5 Glazing and Wet Surfaces.  My interpretation of that section is basically anything closer than 60 inches to a bathtub or shower would require tempered glass.  Does that window you are discussing fall within that limitation perhaps? 

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To be honest, I wasn’t actually there, and there are 2 toilets in the house that could be considered.  One of them is within 60” of the shower and the other is not.  It’s actually in a totally separate room.  I believe it’s the one in the separate room that was the real question.  

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Yeah, definitely seems odd that they would require that.  especially in a separate room.  I even looked at the list of other hazardous locations defined in the code, and none of them seemed likely to even be possible in that scenario you described.  (less than 18" to floor,  less than 24" from a door, adjacent to walking surface, ramp or stairs etc.)

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The one within 60" of the shower & <60" above the floor is required according to our FBCR 2017 R308.4.5

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9 hours ago, Alaskan_Son said:

A client and colleague of mine recently had a meeting with an inspector at one of our jobs who asserted that we needed to be using tempered glass above/behind toilets.  Anyone else run into this?  Don’t believe I’ve ever heard of this being requested or required before.  
 

The IRC is a little cryptic and unclear to a certain extent with its wet room requirements and what constitutes being in the same room (a separate toilet room or toilet alcove for example) and I’d be curious what your experiences and opinions are.  In this particular instance though, the inspector was actually calling the toilet itself a body of water.  It does make me wonder why he didn’t also call out the window above the kitchen sink.  

Is there something other than R308.4.5 that the inspector has referenced? And, is the inspector the same person who does the plan review and issued the permit? Does your permit come with any notes from the plan review that mentions this issue?

In such cases where a site inspector has made a questionable judgement I usually ask for a written interpretation of the code as it pertains to this issue from the building department. This process gets the department to review / debate it internally and provides clear, written guidance going forward. Remind them that such interpretations should be written and posted by the department to be publicly available for all future applicants.

 If they decide the inspector has overreached, it provides the building department with an approach to ensure consistent interpretation to all reviewers and inspectors in their department.

I've found often enough that just asking them to do some additional work is enough to get them to re-evaluate such decisions. 

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1 hour ago, robdyck said:

Is there something other than R308.4.5 that the inspector has referenced? And, is the inspector the same person who does the plan review and issued the permit? Does your permit come with any notes from the plan review that mentions this issue?

In such cases where a site inspector has made a questionable judgement I usually ask for a written interpretation of the code as it pertains to this issue from the building department. This process gets the department to review / debate it internally and provides clear, written guidance going forward. Remind them that such interpretations should be written and posted by the department to be publicly available for all future applicants.

 If they decide the inspector has overreached, it provides the building department with an approach to ensure consistent interpretation to all reviewers and inspectors in their department.

I've found often enough that just asking them to do some additional work is enough to get them to re-evaluate such decisions. 

 

This job was actually outside of city limits.  It was a private inspector and he didn't actually end up writing the items up.  He just basically gave a warning.  He was pretty insistent though.  Like I said, he was actually claiming that the consider the toilet itself a body of water just like a tub, shower, hot tub, or pool. 

 

Anyway, it's not so much that I was worried about how to deal with it, I was mostly just curious if anyone else has ever run into the issue.  Doesn't look to me like anything has changed in the code and this is the first time I've heard mention of it in all my years.  Just making sure I wasn't missing anything.

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11 hours ago, ACADuser said:

The one within 60" of the shower & <60" above the floor is required according to our FBCR 2017 R308.4.5

Yep,  I bet this is the one.  

 

609434717_ScreenShot2020-02-27at8_21_41AM.thumb.png.0f598f53a6382efa8a110776b139fa08.png

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11 minutes ago, dshall said:

Yep,  I bet this is the one.  

 

609434717_ScreenShot2020-02-27at8_21_41AM.thumb.png.0f598f53a6382efa8a110776b139fa08.png

 

To be clear, we have no problem with that one.  I checked with my colleague to verify though and the inspector WAS adamant that this one needed to be tempered as well...

Window.thumb.png.95643a44b065306e5752b5c0094e8283.png

 

...and again, he specifically cited the toilet itself as the source of the hazard.   I guess it looks like a little whirlpool bath to him :)

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I think he is wrong.  I would ask him to cite the code.

I have never tempered the window in this situation.

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It's not the device that is the problem. It is the wet floor caused by getting in and out of the tub or shower. If you slip on the wet floor, the 5' code prevents you from sticking your hand through the window as you fall. Maybe the inspector comes from a home where the toilet floor gets wet.:)

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10 minutes ago, jscussel said:

Maybe the inspector comes from a home where the toilet floor gets wet.

:lol:

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2 hours ago, Alaskan_Son said:

...and again, he specifically cited the toilet itself as the source of the hazard.  

Well, yeah.. Flip up the toilet seat too hard and there you go. ;)

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I don't think it's required either.

Assuming you are IRC, R308.4.5 makes no mention of toilets.

 

None of the glazing in your plan is requited to be tempered. (Though if you flip the sink and the window, the window might possibly need safety glazing.

 

Nearly related and FWIW, I found this clarification from ICC enlightening.

Glazing and Wet Areas clarification.pdf

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8 minutes ago, kMoquin said:

I don't think it's required either.

Assuming you are IRC, R308.4.5 makes no mention of toilets.

 

None of the glazing in your plan is requited to be tempered. (Though if you flip the sink and the window, the window might possibly need safety glazing.

 

Nearly related and FWIW, I found this clarification from ICC enlightening.

Glazing and Wet Areas clarification.pdf


This is perfect Kevin.  Thank you.  I was looking for some commentary info. online but couldn’t find any.  I’ll need to just pick up or download a copy. Thanks again :)

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It might be in the code but I haven't seen it enforced around here. Gee someone might fall out that window, very dangerous. I don't think my head would fit.

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Mike, I think this inspector took to many dives off the toilet :D That is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Like Scott said to tell him to name code with that requirement.

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Michael - how did this resolve?

(Now that it's popped back in my feed I'm curious.)

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2 hours ago, kMoquin said:

Michael - how did this resolve?

(Now that it's popped back in my feed I'm curious.)

 

I mentioned earlier in the thread, but he didn't actually write the items up.  He just gave us a sort of warning for future and since I wasn't there at the time, there really wasn't/isn't anything for me to do about it.  I was just posting here out of curiosity as to what others may have run into.  If it comes up again, I definitely have some ammunition with that ICC clarification commentary. 

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On 3/19/2020 at 12:19 PM, Alaskan_Son said:

 

I mentioned earlier in the thread, but he didn't actually write the items up.  He just gave us a sort of warning for future and since I wasn't there at the time, there really wasn't/isn't anything for me to do about it.  I was just posting here out of curiosity as to what others may have run into.  If it comes up again, I definitely have some ammunition with that ICC clarification commentary. 

When they wrong, they always give the warning to get out of it. I was doing a job in one screwed uptown, I knew it going in that the inspectors there is a pain in the ass...Sure enough, when I had a framing inspection this guy was walking around for 1 hrs n she wrote 2 pages of BS. When I looked at it I said " wtf is all this" he said this is what needs to be repaired...I said now put a code violation next to each item so I can check if it needs to be fixed or not... So he started stuttering and changed his tune said this was only suggestions, I was gonna tell him where to put his suggestions but I kept it back...after all done and said out of 2 pages there was one item that needed to be fixed and I knew about it and forgot to tell the guys to fix it.

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My son built a large commercial building in New York and he had to pay someone many thousands of dollars just to build it or there could be trouble. He said that's the way it is in that area.

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