building codes of a room converted into a sauna?


I am renting a room in a very cool apartment building. I know the owner of the building so even though what I am considering may sound inadvisable, I intend to pull it off.
I am about to rent two ajacent apartments in the building and remove a wall. This leaves me with a extra kitchen that I desire to make into a dedicated occasional sauna. (perhaps fired up 2-3 times a month) (dedicated meaning not used for anything else)
1) What would standard building codes say to this?
2) If I ignored the building inspector (which I plan on), what damage could happen? (perhaps I could keep it less humid?)
3) Can I heat it with a 1500 watt space heater, or two of them on separate circuits? (That seems a bit weak to me.)
I have posted a picture of what a similiar kitchen looks like here:
http://www.musicalfurnishings.com/sauna.jpg
Thanks!!
Tor
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Why go to all that bother??
There are portable saunas sold all the time. You put them together in an hour or two.
If you want to build one, fine. Make it portable so you can take it with you. And you don't have to worry about the building inspector.
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Sat, Nov 19, 2005, 11:07pm (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@mail.com (tor) burbled: <snip> I know the owner <snip> 1) What would standard building codes say to this? 2) If I ignored the building inspector (which I plan on), what damage could happen? <snip>
You're planning all this, and the owner still lets you live there?
How the Hell would any of us know what the building codes are where you are?
You "could" collapse the building.
JOAT Just pretend I'm not here. That's what I'm doing.
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Come on,
This is a fantastic idea, and I don't think I will collapse the building. I have a friend that makes his apartments kitchen into a makeshift sauna during parties. He boils different herbs in water on each of his four burners on an electric range, drops a blanket over the doorway - presto! sauna. Seems to me if I kept it drier I could keep from damaging the cabinets (old crappy solid fir) and subfloor/walls.
I intended on just making some cedar benches, installing a door, sealing it and pulling the fridge and stove (gas). I can't remember if I can make 220 up from two my 110 service. Both apartments have 4 20 amp breakers (new electrical as of 2002).
"Why go to all that bother?? "
I live in an apartment building, this is my only alternative. A portable sauna does me no good. This kitchen is just sitting there. Its not very large either, but large enough that I am worried about how many watts I will need to warm it up, say in one or two hours. It would seem that 3000 watts could get it warm.
There is a old oven vent in the ceiling (3.5") that I plan on sticking a bathroom fan on, to clear the air after a sauna is though.
The way I see it, this room will see less abuse that my current bathroom, which receives two or more showers a day with no airvent or window. All original walls and trim. Everythings fine since 1922. (the walls are lath and plaster (concrete-like) in the whole building. I just want to do what I can to prevent any damage.
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A sauna has dry heat. Your friend has simply made a steambath.
tor wrote:

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Not getting a permit can cost a lot more than the project if the local governing body finds out you don't have one.

Have a look at this site, it explains a lot about saunas and steambaths. http://www.saunafin.com /. According to that site the humididty shouldn't be a problem if what your are building is an actual sauna. I'm not selling these but we've installed a couple of their kits and they are nice.

It'll depend on size of the sauna and how long you want it to take to heat up to around 180 degrees f. The smallest heater listed on the above site 4.6KW. The largest sauna recommended for a 5KW heater is only 5'x5'. If you are putting the sauna in what was once a kitchen, you may have a 220 range plug somewhere that could be used for a larger heater.
Mike O.
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Thanks Mike,
I really am not very worried about the code, mainly just my relations with the owner. He's a great guy. I am not really altering much at all.
Yeah, thanks for looking up those heaters, that doesn't fair well with my plans. ouch. The room is 7x6x9, and there has never been 220 in there. The building has these very cool "MasterChef" 1940's stoves still in here. I can't use that for a heat source unless there is some amazing way to vent it. (though, there is that oven vent shaft... 3.5 inch pipe in the ceiling)
Perhaps an offical gas sauna heater vented out that pipe? Then I am really making a sauna, not a halfassed sauna. (the halfassed was sort of my goal, as to not really upset the owners) I'll take a look on craigslist all the same.
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Man, now I am getting worried that I can't easily get enough heat in there. Gas sauna stoves are rare (none on craigslist) and need careful consideration. (something you can guess I am not full of) How hard is it for me to wire a 220 service up safely? (two small panels with four breakers each) It is not being used unattended, so I do not feel the need for it to be really legit, only safe. It seems that is my only way to safe heat.
tor
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your inviting a disaster.

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I don't think so. Perhaps I'll hire someone to hook up the 220. I hope I do not need to run it all the way from the main breaker. I am unsure how these apartments are wired. There are four more spaces in the box here in the room for expansion.
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The wiring to the sub boxes in the apartments is probably not adequate to add a high current 220 v circuit. You'll almost certainly have to run to the main panel.
tor wrote:

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I don't think so. Perhaps I'll hire someone to hook up the 220. I hope I do not need to run it all the way from the main breaker. I am unsure how these apartments are wired. There are four more spaces in the box here in the room for expansion.
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Your friend can say goodby to his insurance. There's a high likelyhood you are going to burn the place down, and this will not be covered by insurance. Don't forget to tell your friend that.
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Most newer hottubs come with the option to wire them to 220 thus using less electricity plus boosting the pump force. I would suggest some type of cover to keep the heat and humidity in tub till time to use it. Also to reduce the humidity, if you have the option of installing some type of bathroom fan that could be vented out would keep the humidity from peeling the paint off the walls. You need to have the hottub on a seperate circuit preferably a 40 to 50 amp circuit. If you have tennants below you, you might want to check where the loadbearing walls are because you are adding a lot of weight with a full tub. If it was me I would want to plumb in some type of drain line in case of some type of leak. If it is close to where the kitchen sink is then plumb it directly into that drain line.

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wrote:

It would be a safe bet that (despite your otherwise reasonable suggestions which I snipped...) you should refrain from offering electrical suggestions.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

[snippage]
I heard that if you grab a giraffe by the trunk and pinch the lip, you can wrestle him to the ground.
er
--
email not valid

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Mike,
Thanks for the thoughts. That damn main panel is a long way off. shoot. hmmmmm.
t
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