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  • CHAPTER10
    CHIMNEYS AND FIREPLACES

    SECTIONR1001
    MASONRY FIREPLACES

    R1001.1 General.

    Masonry fireplaces shall be constructed in accordance with this section and the applicable provisions of Chapters 3 and 4.

    TABLE R1001.1

    SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS FOR MASONRY FIREPLACES AND CHIMNEYS

    ITEMLETTERaREQUIREMENTS
    Hearth slab thicknessA4″
    Hearth extension(each side of opening)B8″ fireplace opening < 6 square foot.12″ fireplace opening ≥ 6 square foot.
    Hearth extension(front of opening)C16″ fireplace opening < 6 square foot.20″ fireplace opening ≥ 6 square foot.
    Hearth slab reinforcingDReinforced to carry its own weight and all imposed loads.
    Thickness of wall of fireboxE10″ solid brick or 8″ where a firebrick lining is used.Joints in firebrick 1/4″ maximum.
    Distance from top of opening to throatF8″
    Smoke chamber wall thicknessUnlined wallsG6″8″
    ChimneyVertical reinforcingbHFour No. 4 full-length bars for chimney up to 40″ wide.Add two No. 4 bars for each additional 40″ or fraction ofwidth or each additional flue.
    Horizontal reinforcingJ1/4″ ties at 18″ and two ties at each bend in vertical steel.
    Bond beamsKNo specified requirements.
    Fireplace lintelLNoncombustible material.
    Chimney walls with flue liningMSolid masonry units or hollow masonry units grouted solid withnot less than 4-inch nominal thickness.
    Distances between adjacent fluesSee Section R1003.13.
    Effective flue area (based on area of fireplace opening)PSee Section R1003.15.
    ClearancesCombustible materialMantel and trimAbove roofRSee Sections R1001.11 and R1003.18.See Section R1001.11, Exception 4.3′ at roofline and 2′ at 10′.
    AnchoragebStrapNumberEmbedment into chimney Fasten to BoltsS

    3/16″ × 1″Two12″ hooked around outer bar with 6″ extension.4 joistsTwo 1/2″ diameter.
    FootingThicknessWidthT

    12″ min.
    6″ each side of fireplace wall.

    For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2.

    Note: This table provides a summary of major requirements for the construction of masonry chimneys and fireplaces. Letter references are to Figure R1001.1, which shows examples of typical construction. This table does not cover all requirements, nor does it cover all aspects of the indicated requirements. For the actual mandatory requirements of the code, see the indicated section of text.

    1. a.The letters refer to Figure R1001.1.

    2. b.Not required in Seismic Design Category A, B or C.

    For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm.

    FIGURE R1001.1

    FIREPLACE AND CHIMNEY DETAILS

    R1001.2 Footings and foundations.

    Footings for masonry fireplaces and their chimneys shall be constructed of concrete or solid masonry not less than 12 inches (305 mm) thick and shall extend not less than 6 inches (152 mm) beyond the face of the fireplace or foundation wall on all sides. Footings shall be founded on natural, undisturbed earth or engineered fill below frost depth. In areas not subjected to freezing, footings shall be not less than 12 inches (305 mm) below finished grade.

    R1001.2.1 Ash dump cleanout.

    Cleanout openings located within foundation walls below fireboxes, when provided, shall be equipped with ferrous metal or masonry doors and frames constructed to remain tightly closed except when in use. Cleanouts shall be accessible and located so that ash removal will not create a hazard to combustible materials.

    R1001.3 Seismic reinforcing.

    Masonry or concrete chimneys in Seismic Design Category D0, D1 or D2 shall be reinforced. Reinforcing shall conform to the requirements set forth in Table R1001.1 and Section R606.

    R1001.3.1 Vertical reinforcing.

    For chimneys up to 40 inches (1016 mm) wide, four No. 4 continuous vertical bars shall be placed between wythes of solid masonry or within the cells of hollow unit masonry and grouted in accordance with Section R606. Grout shall be prevented from bonding with the flue liner so that the flue liner is free to move with thermal expansion. For chimneys more than 40 inches (1016 mm) wide, two additional No. 4 vertical bars shall be provided for each additional flue incorporated into the chimney or for each additional 40 inches (1016 mm) in width or fraction thereof.

    R1001.3.2 Horizontal reinforcing.

    Vertical reinforcement shall be placed within 1/4-inch (6.4 mm) ties, or other reinforcing of equivalent net cross-sectional area, placed in the bed joints in accordance with Section R606 at not less than every 18 inches (457 mm) of vertical height. Two such ties shall be installed at each bend in the vertical bars.

    R1001.4 Seismic anchorage.

    Masonry or concrete chimneys in Seismic Design Category D0, D1 or D2 shall be anchored at each floor, ceiling or roof line more than 6 feet (1829 mm) above grade, except where constructed completely within the exterior walls. Anchorage shall conform to the requirements of Section R1001.4.1.

    R1001.4.1 Anchorage.

    Two 3/16-inch by 1-inch (5 mm by 25 mm) straps shall be embedded not less than 12 inches (305 mm) into the chimney. Straps shall be hooked around the outer bars and extend 6 inches (152 mm) beyond the bend. Each strap shall be fastened to not less than four floor ceiling or floor joists or rafters with two 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) bolts.

    R1001.4.1.1 Cold-formed steel framing.

    Where cold-formed steel framing is used, the location where the 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) bolts are used to attach the straps to the framing shall be reinforced with not less than a 3-inch × 3-inch × 0.229-inch (76 mm × 76 mm × 5.8 mm) steel plate on top of the strap that is screwed to the framing with not fewer than seven No. 6 screws for each bolt.

    R1001.5 Firebox walls.

    Masonry fireboxes shall be constructed of solid masonry units, hollow masonry units grouted solid, stone or concrete. Where a lining of firebrick not less than 2 inches (51 mm) thick or other approved lining is provided, the minimum thickness of back and sidewalls shall each be 8 inches (203 mm) of solid masonry, including the lining. The width of joints between firebricks shall not be greater than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm). Where a lining is not provided, the total minimum thickness of back and side walls shall be 10 inches (254 mm) of solid masonry. Firebrick shall conform to ASTM C 27 or C 1261 and shall be laid with medium duty refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199.

    R1001.5.1 Steel fireplace units.

    Installation of steel fireplace units with solid masonry to form a masonry fireplace is permitted when installed either in accordance with the requirements of their listing or the requirements of this section. Steel fireplace units incorporating a steel firebox lining shall be constructed with steel not less than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) thick, and an air-circulating chamber that is ducted to the interior of the building. The firebox lining shall be encased with solid masonry to provide a total thickness at the back and sides of not less than 8 inches (203 mm), of which not less than 4 inches (102 mm) shall be of solid masonry or concrete. Circulating air ducts used with steel fireplace units shall be constructed of metal or masonry.

    R1001.6 Firebox dimensions.

    The firebox of a concrete or masonry fireplace shall have a minimum depth of 20 inches (508 mm). The throat shall not be less than 8 inches (203 mm) above the fireplace opening. The throat opening shall not be less than 4 inches (102 mm) deep. The cross-sectional area of the passageway above the firebox, including the throat, damper and smoke chamber, shall not be less than the cross-sectional area of the flue.

    Exception: Rumford fireplaces shall be permitted provided that the depth of the fireplace is not less than 12 inches (305 mm) and not less than one-third of the width of the fireplace opening, that the throat is not less than 12 inches (305 mm) above the lintel and is not less than 1/20 the cross-sectional area of the fireplace opening.

    R1001.7 Lintel and throat.

    Masonry over a fireplace opening shall be supported by a lintel of noncombustible material. The minimum required bearing length on each end of the fireplace opening shall be 4 inches (102 mm). The fireplace throat or damper shall be located not less than 8 inches (203 mm) above the lintel.

    R1001.7.1 Damper.

    Masonry fireplaces shall be equipped with a ferrous metal damper located not less than 8 inches (203 mm) above the top of the fireplace opening. Dampers shall be installed in the fireplace or the chimney venting the fireplace, and shall be operable from the room containing the fireplace.

    R1001.8 Smoke chamber.

    Smoke chamber walls shall be constructed of solid masonry units, hollow masonry units grouted solid, stone or concrete. The total minimum thickness of front, back and side walls shall be 8 inches (203 mm) of solid masonry. The inside surface shall be parged smooth with refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199. Where a lining of firebrick not less than 2 inches (51 mm) thick, or a lining of vitrified clay not less than 5/8 inch (16 mm) thick, is provided, the total minimum thickness of front, back and side walls shall be 6 inches (152 mm) of solid masonry, including the lining. Firebrick shall conform to ASTM C 1261 and shall be laid with medium duty refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199. Vitrified clay linings shall conform to ASTM C 315.

    R1001.8.1 Smoke chamber dimensions.

    The inside height of the smoke chamber from the fireplace throat to the beginning of the flue shall not be greater than the inside width of the fireplace opening. The inside surface of the smoke chamber shall not be inclined more than 45 degrees (0.79 rad) from vertical where prefabricated smoke chamber linings are used or where the smoke chamber walls are rolled or sloped rather than corbeled. Where the inside surface of the smoke chamber is formed by corbeled masonry, the walls shall not be corbeled more than 30 degrees (0.52 rad) from vertical.

    R1001.9 Hearth and hearth extension.

    Masonry fireplace hearths and hearth extensions shall be constructed of concrete or masonry, supported by noncombustible materials, and reinforced to carry their own weight and all imposed loads. Combustible material shall not remain against the underside of hearths and hearth extensions after construction.

    R1001.9.1 Hearth thickness.

    The minimum thickness of fireplace hearths shall be 4 inches (102 mm).

    R1001.9.2 Hearth extension thickness.

    The minimum thickness of hearth extensions shall be 2 inches (51 mm).

    Exception: Where the bottom of the firebox opening is raised not less than 8 inches (203 mm) above the top of the hearth extension, a hearth extension of not less than 3/8-inch-thick (10 mm) brick, concrete, stone, tile or other approved noncombustible material is permitted.

    R1001.10 Hearth extension dimensions.

    Hearth extensions shall extend not less than 16 inches (406 mm) in front of and not less than 8 inches (203 mm) beyond each side of the fireplace opening. Where the fireplace opening is 6 square feet (0.6 m2) or larger, the hearth extension shall extend not less than 20 inches (508 mm) in front of and not less than 12 inches (305 mm) beyond each side of the fireplace opening.

    R1001.11 Fireplace clearance.

    Wood beams, joists, studs and other combustible material shall have a clearance of not less than 2 inches (51 mm) from the front faces and sides of masonry fireplaces and not less than 4 inches (102 mm) from the back faces of masonry fireplaces. The airspace shall not be filled, except to provide fireblocking in accordance with Section R1001.12.

    Exceptions:

    1. 1.Masonry fireplaces listed and labeled for use in contact with combustibles in accordance with UL 127 and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions are permitted to have combustible material in contact with their exterior surfaces.

    2. 2.Where masonry fireplaces are part of masonry or concrete walls, combustible materials shall not be in contact with the masonry or concrete walls less than 12 inches (306 mm) from the inside surface of the nearest firebox lining.

    3. 3.Exposed combustible trim and the edges of sheathing materials such as wood siding, flooring and gypsum board shall be permitted to abut the masonry fireplace sidewalls and hearth extension in accordance with Figure R1001.11, provided such combustible trim or sheathing is not less than 12 inches (305 mm) from the inside surface of the nearest firebox lining.

    4. 4.Exposed combustible mantels or trim may be placed directly on the masonry fireplace front surrounding the fireplace opening providing such combustible materials are not placed within 6 inches (152 mm) of a fireplace opening. Combustible material within 12 inches (306 mm) of the fireplace opening shall not project more than 1/8 inch (3 mm) for each 1-inch (25 mm) distance from such an opening.

    For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm.

    FIGURE R1001.11

    CLEARANCE FROM COMBUSTIBLES

    R1001.12 Fireplace fireblocking.

    Fireplace fireblocking shall comply with the provisions of Section R602.8.