Author Topic: Code challenge  (Read 3054 times)

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Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 187
Code challenge
« on: March 18, 2017, 10:44 PM »
I had a plumber out this afternoon to look at my kitchen/powder room renovation plans and he brought something up that no other plumbers I've spoken with had mentioned:

Quote
AC-310.6.2 Location Near Food Handling or Storage Areas. The doors of toilet rooms in any
establishment regulated by Article III of the Rules and Regulations of the Allegheny County
Health Department shall not open directly into any kitchen or dining rooms, or any room in which
food, drink, or utensils are handled or stored. When such toilet rooms are located adjacent to the
kitchen or dining areas, an intervening vestibule of at least three feet square shall be provided.

I'm planning on moving my existing kitchen into the current dining room, and then putting a small powder room where the existing kitchen is.  Sort of like this sketchup drawing below:

260358-0

Right now, there's no door between the kitchen and dining room.  If I had to, I could put one in (or a double door, perhaps, to keep the swing to a minimum).

But more the point, what constitutes adjacent?   What constitutes a vestibule?  Must I have two separate doors before a door into a powder room?  What if the door is 5 feet away from the door into the dining room?
 
Does that also mean I cannot have any cabinets on the opposite wall of the (ex) kitchen to store things?

I realize this might not be a code that applies to most people on here (maybe @Brice Burrell ?), but I'm curious how you all would approach it.

It's not the end of the world if a powder room isn't in the cards, but it sure would be nice to have one.

Thanks,
Adam
     

 

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Offline rizzoa13

  • Posts: 532
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 10:51 PM »
I've seen many setups like that but it's all up to the building inspector on whether he'll allow it. I'd just call them and ask or better yet go down there in person.

The other option is contract an architect to write off on it. Architects and engineers can supersede or interpret the codes in out of the box ways and sign off on it.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 919
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 12:30 AM »
I think that's applicable only to restaurants ect...

I can't see this pertaining to you unless you're running a bed and breakfast.

Is the Health Department routinely consulted on home building matters during the permitting process up there ?  Meaning is your residence considered an "establishment" and is it subject to "regulation by the Allegheny County Health Department" ?

Me thinks not.

I do think your plumber may be daft, though.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5363
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 03:45 AM »

Quote
AC-310.6.2 Location Near Food Handling or Storage Areas. The doors of toilet rooms in any
establishment regulated by Article III of the Rules and Regulations of the Allegheny County
Health Department shall not open directly into any kitchen or dining rooms, or any room in which
food, drink, or utensils are handled or stored. When such toilet rooms are located adjacent to the
kitchen or dining areas, an intervening vestibule of at least three feet square shall be provided.


The quote above says it applies to "any establishment regulated by Article III of the Rules and Regulations of the Allegheny County Health Department"

The PDF of this article at http://www.achd.net/food/pubs/pdf/art03.pdf says it applies to:

Quote
This Article provides for the regulation of food operations in restaurants and eating establishments, hospitals, nursing
homes, personal care homes, schools, retail stores, food processors, caterers, warehouses, temporary and seasonal
food stands, mobile food units, and other similar food facilities which provide food to the public. Farms which provide
unprocessed food to the public are exempt from this Article

So it seems to me it does not apply to a private residence.

Offline Harry1561

  • Posts: 26
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 05:56 AM »
I had a similar experience when building a livable garage. The solution was to put an exhaust fan in the bathroom.

Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 7184
  • Remodeling Contractor
    • The Green and Dark Blue blog
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 09:42 AM »

Quote
AC-310.6.2 Location Near Food Handling or Storage Areas. The doors of toilet rooms in any
establishment regulated by Article III of the Rules and Regulations of the Allegheny County
Health Department shall not open directly into any kitchen or dining rooms, or any room in which
food, drink, or utensils are handled or stored. When such toilet rooms are located adjacent to the
kitchen or dining areas, an intervening vestibule of at least three feet square shall be provided.


The quote above says it applies to "any establishment regulated by Article III of the Rules and Regulations of the Allegheny County Health Department"

The PDF of this article at http://www.achd.net/food/pubs/pdf/art03.pdf says it applies to:

Quote
This Article provides for the regulation of food operations in restaurants and eating establishments, hospitals, nursing
homes, personal care homes, schools, retail stores, food processors, caterers, warehouses, temporary and seasonal
food stands, mobile food units, and other similar food facilities which provide food to the public. Farms which provide
unprocessed food to the public are exempt from this Article

So it seems to me it does not apply to a private residence.

I believe Alex has this sorted out for you.  This plumber might be more experienced in commercial construction than residential and is getting the codes intermixed. 
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 187
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2017, 12:53 PM »
I spoke with another plumber yesterday.  He confirmed that the rule does apply to residential structures in Allegheny county.
 
He said that it's not very strictly enforced, as long as you aren't directly opening into a food prep area.  He also said that if i put doors in the doorway between the kitchen and other room, then he didn't think that there would be an issue.

Perhaps most importantly, he said that he's never heard of a home inspector calling it out.  Usually they aren't that deep into the rules to know about it.

I'm still working on getting ahold of someone at the ACHD to validate the way this rule applies, and whether my circumstances would be an issue in terms of passing inspection.

Thanks,
Adam



Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 339
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2017, 05:14 AM »
I don't believe it applies, and even if it did it doesn't say you need
a door from the vestibule to the kitchen, only that the door on the
lavatory can not open directly into a kitchen or food prep area.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline SouthRider

  • Posts: 58
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 07:15 AM »
As a former REALTOR in another lifetime I encountered this. It originally came from FHA regulations for FHA approved loans. When FHA (and also FMHA) loans were promulgated central HVAC did not exist in much, if any of US housing.

They were tasked with giving loans to those in primarily rural areas, and to making sure that sanitary conditions existed in those homes.

As a REALTOR in the 80's we found the rule that no bathroom directly open onto a kitchen kind of amusing, but understood the conditions that led to it's creation. That said - it did occasionally create problems in getting loans approved by the FHA as the rule did still exist, most real estate appraisers were aware of it's existence, and were tasked with enforcing it.

My guess is that over time local building codes in some areas adopted it. Even if you get it waived or not enforced keep in mind that if the home is sold in the future it could possibly be an issue for some buyers who cannot get their loan approved on this house. FHA loans are popular because they offer the absolutely lowest down payment of any type of home loan.

I'm sure a pocket door  to the kitchen is out of the question at this point. Have you considered a sliding barn door in the kitchen that would open towards the window?

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 861
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2017, 09:49 AM »
It is extremely unlikely this Code would apply to a residential use kitchen. That however is a common requirement for a commercial kitchen. The section posted by Alex is most likely the applicable definition for the section.
It is important to remember that a lot of odd sounding 'Code' requirements presented by contractors sometimes aren't real. They are contractor myth started by one guy at some point and then regurgitated over and over through the years to newer contractors until they become believed to be legitimate.
I inspect restaurants and I deal with Code issues on a weekly basis. When in doubt always go to the book or AHJ for a definitive answer.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline Dogberryjr

  • Posts: 85
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2017, 10:28 AM »
* Hang door
* Pass inspection
* Remove door

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5363
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2017, 11:07 AM »
All my quote above really says is that this particular article does not apply to private homes.

The situation in private homes could have similar regulations, but written down in other articles.

I am pretty sure though that private homes are not as severely regulated and monitored as professional spaces. To get a definitive answer you'd have to ask the ACHD themselves.

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 187
Re: Code challenge
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2017, 08:30 PM »
Just to wrap up all of this:

ACHD says the rule would not apply, although they strongly discourage opening directly from a bathroom into a kitchen.

-Adam