glass handrail

I have a question regarding handrail glass thickness required for a handrail installed California.
The code says that the glass shall be at least ¼” thick tempered glass, but it seems to use the 1/4 “ as a rule of thumb due to the many possible scenarios for the installation of glass railing, for instance the farther apart the horizontal supports and the vertical supports are the thicker the glass would have to be. So it seems that the ¼ dimension is more of a catch all dimension for glass supported on all four sides and not taking any load other than impact.
3/16” glass was mistakenly installed in a deck handrail the horizontal glass supports are 31” apart and the vertical supports are 50” apart so the 3/16” glass has an unsupported area of 10.76 square feet per panel. The Building department has told me that if I can show that this works by the calculations set forth in the glazing industry standards that I will not be forced to change the glass. The rails and post all meet the requirements for loading.
Can anyone do the calculation to tell me if the installation above meets the code.
The standards are in Section II page 41 of the Glazing Industry Standards.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,

With all due respect Roger, this sort of thing really bothers me, and I pray you are none of the following…

If you are the contractor… you need to make it right and install the correct glass that was specified in the plans. You need to stop cutting corners before someone dies!

If you are the homeowner… you need to hold the contractor accountable. Someone’s life may be at risk… eventually! How would you feel if it was your child???

If you are an inspector… double shame on you… and I hope you are found out before someones dies from your shamefull ways.

I don’t think he intends to break any codes or rules all he is asking is this: does the size glass I installed meet code or not. I assume he is being responsible enough to find this information, so he can do the right thing. Somehow you assume he is trying to cut corners. I just didn’t get that from his post.

All the math as far as unsupported area vs. glass thickness is complex to figure out as I’m not an engineer…The math that seems important is pretty simple I think 3/16 is less than 1/4. Put the 1/4 in there, have someone else put the correct thinckness in there, or replace the glass with something else safe, and hope no one goes through it before it’s remidied.

Not trying to sound harsh, but dangerous is dangerous.

Call someone here and find out.

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