Colorado Contractor Spencer Bell Installs Faster, More Flexible Firestop Sleeve
Spencer Bell has been a fan of HoldRite plumbing brackets and the TestRite DWV testing system for years. So recently when he heard that HoldRite had innovated the cast-in-place firestop sleeve process, he didn’t waste time learning more about it.
After having learned about the product, the plumbing manager for a large mechanical contractor in Colorado, sees huge benefits to HoldRite’s HydroFlame Pro lab-tested UL-listed cast-in-place firestop solution, and looks forward to trying it on upcoming projects.
“I love the adjustability to it,” he says. “You can adjust the length of it to whatever thickness of slab that you have.”
The cast-in-place firestop features a telescoping PVC design with an incorporated mid-body seal for water damming, and locator whiskers on the cap to find the sleeves after the concrete has been poured.
What’s most interesting to Spencer is that HydroFlame Pro offers flexibility in terms of pipe size and pipe straightness.
“With some of the competitors out there, there’s no forgiveness when it comes to the inside diameter of the sleeve and the outside diameter of the pipe that’s passing through it. If that pipe isn’t perfectly straight you are really causing some headaches for yourself.”
He adds, “HydroFlame offers the flexibility to not have to be dead center in that sleeve or straight up and down.” He explains that the mid-body seal on the inside of the pipe can accept a range of pipe sizes.
Another plus he says is the product’s incorporated water dam, which comes included on the HydroFlame, unlike competitive products. The mid-body seal prevents water from going down the sleeve and ruining the floor below.
Finally, having color-coded whiskers on top of the sleeve cap is another time-saver he says. “So, when they do a concrete pour you know where the sleeves are,” he says. “Otherwise you’re going through the floor with a hammer trying to figure out where the sleeve is.”
When it comes to specifying firestop sleeves, Spencer says there tend to be two schools of thought: choosing the cheapest product or choosing smarter products that may cost more but are also more efficient. With HydroFlame, he adds, the efficiency and flexibility of the product offer a lot of promise.
“I lean on whatever’s easier for the guys in the field. So, if it costs a little bit more money for something but it’s a heck of a lot more efficient, that’s my preference.”