In our November 2004 issue, Larry Collins of RainSoft inquired about meeting the local fire marshall’s requests. He reported:

…We recently installed water softening equipment in a high-rise condo maintenance room. The local fire marshall is insisting we insulate the equipment so it conforms to a fire spread rating of 25 and smoke spread rating of 50 (if we cannot provide proof that it already does).
RainSoft’s engineers cannot supply this information as this is a rating that conforms to HVAC and not softeners. Our equipment is ISO 9001 manufactured along with NSF, UL, WQA Gold Seal and IAMPO but none of these certifications are satisfactory to the fire marshall.

We received further enlightenment from one of our readers which may help:

The issue brought up by Larry Collins is one not covered by the water industry standards, but it is important to the electrical safety and fire prevention standards people.

The National Electrical Code (NEC), Section 725-2, lists a class 2 transformer as one approach to meeting the electrical and fire requirements. Through the recent years, many equipment suppliers have resorted to a listed class 2 transformer to provide power to their equipment.

Also (and probably more relevant to Mr. Collins’ concern) Section 300-21 of the NEC specifies that any openings in walls, ducts, etc. be closed and sealed with materials rated for that application. UL, CSA, ETL and other agencies certify such materials and their web sites list manufacturers and suppliers who have materials that conform. If an installer is running pipes, electrical or equipment items through enclosures, they need to investigate these materials for finishing the installation.

John Schlafer


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