Questions on framing wall near furnace

I am starting to finish my basement. The first step in this process is framing a wall to close off the furnace and equipment into a utility/storage room. I have studied several books and read through this great group. I hope I can count on some advice from this group as my project progresses, I will keep the group updated with my progress.
My first question is about the placement of the wall. In order to maximize the size of my finished basement I want to place the new wall near the furnace. The problem is all of the ducts. I found a spot to place the new wall about 5 feet from the furnace but the main hot air duct from the furnace would run perpendicular and intersect the wall. I am wondering how people deal with the top plate of the wall in this kind of situation. Should I slightly lower the furnace duct by around 1 inch to give me clearance to install an un-interrupted top plate? Or can I just frame around the duct and not use a proper top plate? The wall is not load bearing but will run perpendicular to the joists.
My next question is about the Ontario Canada building code. Does anyone know what the minimum distances are for the proximity of a wall to a furnace?
Many thanks,
-Sean
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Most installation manuals list a furnace's clearances. Heat on the outside of ducts is not normally a fire hazard, but heat from a flue pipe can be. Talk to the guy who normally does your service. I saw a wall that was next to a flue pipe for 20 years and the wood finally dried out so much that it caught fire.

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Frame around the duct, its a lot easier. You can just run the top plate up to the duct, then continue it on the other side. Its being screwed to the ceiling joists anyway. As far as the clearances for the furnace, usually the furnace installation instructions have the minimum clearances around a furnace. But keep in mind what kind of access you need if you have to service it. You said one of your walls is 5 feet away, which is plenty.
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And ... you will need to have adequate ventilation to furnace enclosure, which local officials can specify to you. They can also tell you what you need for fire-retardancy of surfaces "visible" to heat-sources in there- with emphasis on the area above.
Bear in mind that future equipment service may include R&R of major items. E.g. the furnace. You might be well advised to plan now for any water that might be released in there- maybe even provide drainage. DAMHIKT.
HTH, J
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Thanks for the advice,
I have a high efficiency furnace with a fresh air intake vent into the room (ventillation should be OK). There is also a floor drain near the furnace for water probelms. I will check my furnace documentatuion for minimum clearance. I am leaving a large area (more than 8 feet) in front of the furnace for sevicing and I will install a large door to this area to permit removal of equiptment some day.
Sounds like it will be sufficient to run the top plate up to the side of the duct, stud on both sides of it, and continue the top plate after the duct.
Mikepier, you mention screwing the frame. Is it better to nail or to screw the wall together?
-Sean
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Sean M wrote:

I meant if he is running a top plate, like a 2X4, it will be securely fastened to the ceiling joists, whether he uses screws or nails. I thought the OP was concerned about the integrity of the top plate if he did not run it continuosly across the ceiling joists because of the duct being in the way.
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Mikepier wrote:

Hi, Top securely fastened is some times not a good idea. Floating wall or you have to cut at least 3/4 inch shorter studs. What if the house is built on soft soil? I wouldn't like buckling walls. If there is a duct in the way you make U shaped frame to g around the duct. Tony
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wrote:

You can screw the framing together ... but I'd urge you to buy a cheap compressor and framing nailer for this project. Easier, much faster. Use 3 1/4 inch nails.
You can get a ramset from Rona or Home Depot ... 28 bucks or so. Use yellow cartridges, and two inch nails to fasten the bottom plate.
Ken
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Just make sure whatever enclosure you make leaves enough room to facilitate repair and eventual replacment of the furnace. Don't build it so small that they'd have to rip it apart to fix the furnance WHEN it eventually needs repair! Look really carefully at how everything's attached and think about what it'd take to replace it. No sense boxing it in so tightly that they can't get to that ONE set of screws needed to pull it apart...
As for framing, if the wall's being attached at the top to the joists then you can probably just frame around the ducts. There might be some sense in moving a few things around but take care you don't negatively impact how the system operates. As in, don't move, resize or re-route ducts without knowning how it'll affect the airflow efficiencies and noise. But if the ducting really runs in a way that's a big waste of space then have an HVAC tech make suggestions on how to remedy the situation.
-Bill Kearney
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screws not only being removeable but holding betterare always superior. use galavinized ones in basement so they cant rust
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Thanks for the great advice everyone!
-Sean
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wrote:

Frame around it.
To improve circulation of heat, drop a couple of cold air returns to floor level.

Furnace room entry door is 32 inches.
Clearance from furnace is 6 inches, clearance from front (service) of furnace is 24 inches. Clearance from hot air ducting is one inch. If yours is a gas hot water heater, check to make sure you have a proper vent. Clearance is one inch.

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Check under the removable front cover of your furnace. The "name plate" with the serial number should provide the minimum wall clearances for that particular unit.

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