Okay, I am going to vent for a moment. I think this is the first time I have done this on my blog and this has been going since 2015. I am really frustrated with a certain company’s inability to respond to multiple requests to share information on thier product. At this point, I can only assume that they are not sending me the requested information because it would incriminate them. I could be wrong, but I am very suspicious at this point.
Have you ever seen this material on your jobsite? I’m talking about the white foam that is going through the wall in the picture here.
This is an HVAC line set called Isoclima or Isopolar. You can check it out here. During a recent site walk, we ran into this. I had never seen it before, so obviously I had heaps of questions. I figured it would be simple, contact the manufacturer and get the information we need.
What information do we need?
Well, we know there is a small copper tube inside the insulation, but since it is not clear what type of foam material the insulation is made of; it is not possible to identify what UL Listed detail we can use. The scary part is that whatever insulation this is, may have never been tested in the first place. Even worse, there are some types of insulation that can not be firestopped at all because they won’t survive the fire test. (ASTM E814).
So, I thought it would be easy, simply email the company and ask what material is used for the insulation?….Has it been tested for flame spread and smoke development? Has it been tested to ASTM E814? Three simple questions that let me know how to move forward.
The problem, is that the manufacturer has not responded. I have emailed them once a week for the last four weeks and I receive an automated email response thanking me for my query. I have four of them sitting in my in-box but not a single response to the questions I posed.
That can only lead me to believe that they have not tested it to ASTM E814, which means there are no firestop details. That’s not a HUGE deal, we just need to get the proper paperwork from the firestop manufacturer, except they are going to want to know what the insulation material is and we can’t share that information with them because the company who knows has been utterly non-responsive.
If you find this material submitted for use on your jobsite I would not allow the use until you can confirm it is possible to firestop it when it passes through rated assembly. Bear in mind I am not saying that you CAN’T use this. I’m just saying, without the proper documentation, you are creating a tremendous position liability. As you make this choice you should also be aware that some of these foam insulations are incredibly flammable. Which makes me want to snag a scrap and see what happens when you try to light it. If I manage to get sample and do my test, I will keep you posted. If you decide to do this, be sure to have a fire extinguisher and/or a bucket of water and remove anything combustible from the test area. Be safe, but let me know what the results are.
In the meantime if you encounter anything new on your jobsite and you want to know more about how to firestop it properly…please send me photos and information so we can share it with others who are interested.
All the best and thanks for checking in with us!