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Direct Vent Water Heater


inspectorwill
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Plumber and Gas Company so I'm wrong but I am standing ground. I am turning here for final clarification mostly for my ego but also for future reference. Came across a water heater with a direct type vent pipe manufactured by State Industries. Interestingly, the water heater had a draft hood which I had never seen on a direct vent type and did not think it was allowed. The pipe appeared many years old and the water heater was 1 year old. The vent pipe has a manufacturer's label stating it shall not be used with any other water heater other than a direct vent type manufactured by State Industries. The GE water heater (manufactured by Rheem) manual was on site and did not provide any installation guidelines for use as a direct vent system. I called it out and the realtor wars began. Finally, the plumber who installed the water heater and the gas company both came out to meet with buyer (my client) and told him it was a good installation. See photos of draft hood with vent pipe, vent pipe label and exterior vent termination. Thanks in advance for any input.

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Will,

I could be wrong, but that just look's like a metal flue to me. The statement about only using State Industry type product could just be a selling "tool". I just don't see the difference between that setup and the typical flue pipe setup I see daily. Well, I guess the pipe diameter is larger. It looks like a natural drafting flue to me.

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I agree with you, Will and have had similar situations. The label on the vent indicates it has been tested and approved for something other than a natural draft appliance.

It also doesn't properly connect to the new water heater draft hood and it doesn't appear that the termination is 5' above the appliance draft hood.

I'll bet the manufacturer's instruction also require a "vent connector" between the draft hood and an approved chimney or approved gas vent.

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I agree,

That's not what it's designed for and they are now using both the inside and outside channels of that flue for exhaust gases. They think it's the equivalent of a double-walled B vent; but a direct vent uses the outside ring for cool intake air and the exhaust flows out through the center flue. That keeps the heat down around the pipe. Now that outer ring is getting hot.

I think you should take a photo. Send one copy to State, the other to Rheem and the other to the AHJ and see what kind of reaction you get.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I agree,

That's not what it's designed for and they are now using both the inside and outside channels of that flue for exhaust gases. They think it's the equivalent of a double-walled B vent; but a direct vent uses the outside ring for cool intake air and the exhaust flows out through the center flue. That keeps the heat down around the pipe. Now that outer ring is getting hot.

I think you should take a photo. Send one copy to State, the other to Rheum and the other to the AHJ and see what kind of reaction you get.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

That's pretty much what I was thinking as well. Both the diameter of the exhaust leaving the water heater and the grill on the outside make it apparent that pipe is not suitable.

Although, I always thought when they use the outer pipe for intake, the bonus is that the combustion air is being pre-heated by the exhaust?...

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Will,

I had a similar situation years ago with 2 bad furnace hook-ups in the same house. The gas company came out and said everything was fine.

I ended up calling his supervisor, he met me on site and he 'red-tagged' both furnaces.

Call the gas company again and talk to the head guy.

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