Significant changes to commercial cooking appliances in the 2021 International Fuel Gas Code
The 2021 Significant Changes guides are available for the International Building, Residential, Fire, Energy Conservation, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes. This valuable series can help any code user save time by zeroing in on the most critical changes in the 2021 International Codes. The Code Council’s technical experts provide summaries, analysis and graphics for these changes making them clear and easy to understand.
2021 International Fuel Gas Code
A modification to Section 623.2 (Commercial Cooking Appliances) states that an unnecessary exception for commercial cooking appliances within dwelling units has been deleted.
The exception was created because some consumers were demanding commercial cooking appliances in their homes as this has become a popular trend. Also, at least one state government modified the adopted IFGC to permit commercial cooking appliances to be installed in dwellings if an engineer designed the job. The marketplace has taken care of this demand, because appliance manufacturers currently offer many commercial-style appliances that are duel listed as both commercial and household appliances. This dual listing is already addressed in Exception 1. There is no reason to risk occupant safety by installing commercial-only appliances in dwellings when there are many appliances listed for dwelling (household) installation and have the commercial features and capacities that consumers want.
Exception 2 permitted cooking appliances listed only for commercial applications to be installed in a dwelling if a licensed professional engineer designed the kitchen installation and followed the manufacturer’s installation instructions. This is a contradictory statement, because the manufacturer’s instructions generally prohibit the installation of commercial appliances in dwellings; thus, the engineer could not design an installation that complied with the appliance manufacturer’s instructions. This is also contrary to Section 301.3, which requires appliances to be listed and labeled for the application in which they are used. Commercial ranges that are not listed for domestic (household) use are not listed and labeled for use in a dwelling; therefore, it is a code violation whether or not it has the blessing of the design engineer. The typical appliance nameplates state that a commercial appliance is not intended for domestic use, so installation in a dwelling would be a violation of the manufacturer’s instructions as well as Section 301.3. Commercial cooking appliances are not suitable or even safe within dwellings for multiple reasons, including, for example, that they require large clearances to combustibles, they might have much higher input ratings and surface temperatures, they might require non-combustible floors, they might lack some safety features required for domestic appliances and they might require exhaust systems similar to what is required in restaurants. This conflicted exception is not necessary because of the allowance of Exception 1 and the allowance in Chapter 1 for the code official to grant alternative approval for installations that meet the spirit and intent of the code and that are deemed equivalent to what the code specifies. For example, there have likely been cases where the code official has approved the installation of commercial-only appliances in extraordinary homes where the kitchen was built and operated like a restaurant and children were not present.
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