WHEN IS A SLEEVE NOT A SLEEVE WHEN DEALING WITH FIRESTOP? (part 2 on sleeves)
A sleeve is not a sleeve (or should we say not allowed in a firestop assembly) when it does not comply with the requirements of the submitted UL listed detail. It could be non compliant for a variety of reasons:
- Wrong size
- Wrong gauge
- Wrong material (galvanized, plastic etc)
One unique thing about sleeves is that often times you will see that they are OPTIONAL. Bear in mind that they are not ALWAYS optional. If the UL listed assembly does not mention a sleeve, then it can not be used with that detail. If it does not say OPTIONAL then it MUST be used in order to remain compliant. The other choice you have is to find a different UL listed assembly that accurately matches your field condition. Optional means just that, you can have a sleeve or not, as you wish.
The explanation behind why this is important will take us to a discussion about how all this stuff is tested, but in order to give you an answer and keep that answer short, let’s just say that anything metal will conduct heat and any additional heat will impact how the firestop will behave in a fire scenario. Sometimes that is good; and sometimes its not. Another easy explanation of why, is simply to say that if the field condition does not match the paperwork, the installation is non-compliant and you are putting your company in a position of liability if you attempt to use it.
Let’s discuss what we mean when saying that the paperwork has to match. That means:
- The size of the sleeve (both the diameter and the gauge)
- The size of the pipe and any insulation thickness
- The annular space (space between the inside edge of the sleeve and the outside edge of the penetrating item)
- Everything else listed in the detail (yes it all has to match- thickness of the concrete, hourly rating materials used to firestop the assembly…)
The sleeve that is attached to the concrete formwork is often a thin sheet metal sleeve. The requirement in the listed detail often will say something like Schedule 10 or heavier…if the installer is using a thin sheet metal sleeve and this is what is required by the submitted detail, it will not be compliant.
In our next blog post we will look at some examples. If you missed our last post on sleeves check it out here.
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Our mission is to make a colossal impact on the level of life safety of your building and on the talent of your people. We provide consultation, training, quality control and third party special inspection related to firestop and passive fire protection. We consult for the building industry in the New York/New Jersey (NY/NJ) metropolitan area, as well as across the United States and internationally.