Pull-down stair in garage

I see these every once in awhile. Do you educate the client on the options for installing a pull-down ladder in the garage?https://www.sandiegothermalinspection.com/sandiego-home-inspection-blog/2017/1/19/pull-down-ladders-and-garage-fire-separation

Improper stair sets in the garage are a required reported item in Texas. Here we have a lot of HVAC and WH’s in attics above garages or accessed by PD stairs in garage ceilings.

So the ceiling is not part of the separation when wh is in attic?

Only the garage ceiling is required to be fire rated. An improperly rated PD set in a garage ceiling is a required write-up as is improperly rated ceiling covering.

No requirement I am aware of that requires a fire rated ceiling throughout the home because a WH is located in the attic, even a gas WH. Most homes here (relatively newer ones) have the HVAC equipment in the attic space as well. I’ve done homes with two gas water heaters and three+ gas heaters (HVAC) located in the attic space.

Are they putting drain lines on the drain pans for the HVAC and WH?

I have comments for all pull-down ladders, in the garage or otherwise.

The darn things are almost always missing required nails, or have broken pieces, or otherwise are falling apart.

Yes. First pic is an example pair of 50 Gallon WH’s. Drain pan lines are on the back side, combined, and brought out to the exterior next to the two TPRV discharge lines.

Second pic is one of two HVAC units in the attic. Primary condensate lines are combined in the attic and brought down to a vanity drain, above the trap, on the second floor bath below. The secondary condensate drains are routed to the soffit and discharge over a window. Both HVAC’s also were equipped with a float switch in the secondary drain to shut the unit off in the event of a dual back-up condition.

HVAC units in an attic are bad enough if not properly equipped to prevent overflow into the attic but I would never want a WH in an attic, let alone 100 Gallons worth? Very rarely (never that I recall on new construction) have I found any type of sensor in the drip pans. I always recommend they add one for obvious reasons.







Yep, got a whole quick phrase list of issues already written up and just remove that which does not apply.

Agree, WH, AH in the attic just a poor design.

I thought you were referring to wh and HVAC in garage attic with access from garage. It’s very common to have the HVAC in the attic here. The wh, not so popular.

I don’t know why builders here seem to prefer placing the HVAC and WH’s mostly above living area spaces instead of above the garage on single story homes?? The garage ceilings here are not always built with storage in mind and wind up being wasted space other than to store boxes and light things that tend to be problematic in attics.

Here the two story house designs with one story attic spaces are generally not conducive to placing anything in the one story areas. Builders also try to maximize available conditioned and unconditioned spaces by placing HVAC and WH’ in attics. I believe more in “functionality” rather then “pretty” but most people appear to prefer “pretty” instead since they are not aware of the possible issues with it.