Zehnder ComfoTube code issue
I am an architect working with a contractor/homeowner who is currently building a new home for his family in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He has installed a Zehnder HRV with associated Comfotube piping and insulated air intake and exhaust according to Zehnder’s layout and specification. However, our HVAC inspector will not approve the system as it does not meet their ducting requirements – it is not UL listed nor is it a type 0 or type 1 assembly.
It suffices to say that we are all extremely frustrated because at no time did Zehnder acknowledge that their system may not meet code. Not on their website, not when the order was placed and verified, and not on delivery. A simple, “heads up,” would have sufficed and would have allowed us to work with our inspector to find a solution before the system was installed.
We recently learned that Zehnder does have a UL listed product available for situations such as ours and they have agreed to cover the costs for the removal of the Comfotubes and the re installation of the UL listed system should it be necessary. We also learned that this has been an ongoing problem with Zehnder systems in certain markets throughout the U.S.
Has anyone out there had a similar problem? We will be applying for an Alternative Means and Methods exception and hope to have the system approved as is. We would like to avoid using the UL listed pipe, as it seems less robust and efficient as the Comfotube and would cause additional construction delays. Any advice as we apply for the exception would be appreciated. And if we specify Zehnder products in the future, we will make sure to talk with the code officials early in the process!
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