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Water Heater Location


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I took this picture at this morning's inspection in a 1920's era home in the Old Fourth Ward. It is a view from the kitchen of the hall to a bedroom.

At the front left of the picture you can see a door, at the center right a gas cold water heater and at the end of the hall a door to a bedroom. In my mind if the door from the kitchen to the hall is closed you now have a gas appliance in the closet of a sleeping room.

If the door from the kitchen to the hall is removed is the cold water heater placement OK? If the door is not removed is it OK?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!!

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I see a valid concern, but technically, the appliance is in the hall, not in the bedroom.

Yes, removing the kitchen door would reduce the risk. Until someone decided they wanted the door back. You are right to point out the risk.

In my mind, I would recommend closing off the water heater with a closet door there and adding an air supply from outside. But that might not be practical. The tank sticks out too far into the hall.

We just call them 'water heaters' but I guess they are 'cold water' heaters.

Oh yeah, the TPR discharge pipe is kinda .... missing. [:)]

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I see a door between the water heater and the bedroom. That means the water heater isn't within that bedroom.

I can't confirm any issue from just the photo other than the missing TPR drain John pointed out. That heater looks like it might be protruding too far into the hall.

Marc

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I see a valid concern, but technically, the appliance is in the hall, not in the bedroom.

Yes, removing the kitchen door would reduce the risk. Until someone decided they wanted the door back. You are right to point out the risk.

In my mind, I would recommend closing off the water heater with a closet door there and adding an air supply from outside. But that might not be practical. The tank sticks out too far into the hall.

We just call them 'water heaters' but I guess they are 'cold water' heaters.

Oh yeah, the TPR discharge pipe is kinda .... missing. [:)]

No need to worry about the missing TPR drain line. There is another TPR on the 1/2" outlet line that's piped to the crawl space.

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Oh yeah, the TPR discharge pipe is kinda .... missing. [:)]

No need to worry about the missing TPR drain line. There is another TPR on the 1/2" outlet line that's piped to the crawl space.

That is wrong, too. The TPR valve has a temperature probe that has to sit in the top of the tank. The one in the tank might blow ahead of the one with the discharge tube.

I call it a scalding hazard because a curious kid could flip the lever and get a shot in the face.

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Oh yeah, the TPR discharge pipe is kinda .... missing. [:)]

No need to worry about the missing TPR drain line. There is another TPR on the 1/2" outlet line that's piped to the crawl space.

That is wrong, too. The TPR valve has a temperature probe that has to sit in the top of the tank. The one in the tank might blow ahead of the one with the discharge tube.

I call it a scalding hazard because a curious kid could flip the lever and get a shot in the face.

John,

I was just being a little facetious. I attached another photo of the same water heater just for fun. What a mess.

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. . . Flue is upside down . . .

I've never understood this particular qualm that home inspectors seem to have with the vertical orientation of single-wall vent piping. As far as I can see, there's no such thing as "upside down" when it comes to this product. The most common argument I hear is that the flue gases are more likely to stay in the pipe if the joints "point in the direction of the flow." This is a very silly argument. The thing that keeps flue gases in the pipe is negative pressure, not the orientation of the joint.

I submit that you can orient the pipes either way and that, in fact, there's a slight advantage to installing them with the crimped end pointing down -- it keeps condensation inside the pipe instead of spilling out at each joint. This is the way that the interior liners of B-vents are arranged and it's the way that stovepipe vents are arranged. Why not arrange the water heater's single wall pipe the same way?

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Just for fun....

I see:

Missing cold water shut off.

Missing draft hood.

Missing equilateral attachment at joints.

Lack of proper vent/draft hood clearances to combustibles (pipe).

Probable combustion air issue since you need 50 cu. ft. of air space for every 1k btu's of equip. rating. This water heater is probably 40k btu's and I doubt that "hallway" has 2k cu. ft. of space.

Missing seismic restraints/ earthquake straps if required there.

Missing discharge pipe.

Is the inlet/outlet really reduced to 1/2"?

But hey, it's working just fine, right?

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. . . Flue is upside down . . .

I've never understood this particular qualm that home inspectors seem to have with the vertical orientation of single-wall vent piping.

arranged.

Seems to be a regional thing. I believe Jim once said most all flues in his area are female-into-male on on uphill run. 'Bout 99.67% in this neck of the woods are oriented the other way.

Guess when we see someone differ from the 99.67%, we assume it's wrong.

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Just for fun....

I see:

Missing cold water shut off.

Missing draft hood.

Missing equilateral attachment at joints.

Lack of proper vent/draft hood clearances to combustibles (pipe).

Probable combustion air issue since you need 50 cu. ft. of air space for every 1k btu's of equip. rating. This water heater is probably 40k btu's and I doubt that "hallway" has 2k cu. ft. of space.

Missing seismic restraints/ earthquake straps if required there.

Missing discharge pipe.

Is the inlet/outlet really reduced to 1/2"?

But hey, it's working just fine, right?

Did you notice the standing water on top of the unit? There is an almost impossible to reach cutoff valve behind the water heater and it was in the off position when I took the picture. Odd don't you think? But it gets better. There was also water leaking from the turned off hot water supply at the adjacent laundry area.

So, if the water supply is turned off to the water heater and there is a leak at the water heater piping and at a hot water faucet and no flow to some cold water faucets do you think we have a plumbing problem?

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. . . Flue is upside down . . .

I've never understood this particular qualm that home inspectors seem to have with the vertical orientation of single-wall vent piping.

arranged.

Seems to be a regional thing. I believe Jim once said most all flues in his area are female-into-male on on uphill run. 'Bout 99.67% in this neck of the woods are oriented the other way.

Guess when we see someone differ from the 99.67%, we assume it's wrong.

Wasn't me that said that. 99% of the ones I see have the crimped end pointing up. I just don't understand why.

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. . . Flue is upside down . . .

I've never understood this particular qualm that home inspectors seem to have with the vertical orientation of single-wall vent piping.

arranged.

Seems to be a regional thing. I believe Jim once said most all flues in his area are female-into-male on on uphill run. 'Bout 99.67% in this neck of the woods are oriented the other way.

Guess when we see someone differ from the 99.67%, we assume it's wrong.

Wasn't me that said that. 99% of the ones I see have the crimped end pointing up. I just don't understand why.

Uhm, I thought that's what I said. It's what I meant. Should have said female over/onto male. Anywho, we do it the opposite way here; male into female on an uphill run.

As to why, we should ask Mycroft.

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. . . Flue is upside down . . .

I've never understood this particular qualm that home inspectors seem to have with the vertical orientation of single-wall vent piping.

I was taught to do it that way!

"Neatness and consistency provide lasting results," or words to that effect.

Actually, though if you think about it, that's the designer's intent. All the furnaces and water heaters and dryers as well start with a 'male' end (either crimped or sized to fit inside the next section).

The guy in the picture 'screwed up' from step 1, no draft hood. So he gets to the end of the run (assuming it went through the roof) and OOPS

.... how do I install the rain cap (female)?

That's the point when he should of started over, but they seldom do. Lets just 'butcher' the end of the pipe to make it fit.

If the way the pipe was fitted (down) was all you could see, its a safe bet the rest is screwed up too.

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