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Is it ok


pete
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Is it ok to remove the draft hood when adding a barometric damper? I called this setup out based on the backpitch; but I was unsure about the draft hood issue. We see this in older homes mostly, most plumbers do not seem to consider that newer water heaters seem to be taller.

Pete

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Pete,

There is a school of thought that barometrics are more effective and safer than draft hoods. I've heard the arguement made, and it sounded reasonable. The guy who made the arguement advocated removing the draft hood, always. However, I am not well-versed enough in this area to give an informed opinion as to how valid that idea might be. I sure don't know if it's "allowed" by the powers that be.

Is that the barometric pointed downward? I've never seen one that didn't face horizontally.

You are of course correct about the pipe. Heat doesn't flow downhill well.

Brian G.

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Looking at the unused draft hood, it appears that the flue connector is too large for the new unit. I would assume that if the hood is supplied, the manufacturer expects it to be used.

If you got the model #, we can probably get the installation specs. I contacted GE in the past about an unrelated issue with the "Smart Water" line and they were quite responsive. I was told this line is exclusive to Home Depot and they are usually D-I-Y installed, or installed by HD's "Home Services" and improper installation voids the warranty.

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I think I was in that basement last Friday!!! The same exact situation. It was obvious that the older heater was smaller and when they upgraded to a taller, 100-gallon heater (5 1/2 bathroom house), they used the old vent pipe chimney connection. The owner said it was all inspected and approved but I still noted that the flue pipe pitch was improper and correction is needed.

I don't feel that the draft hood condition is a problem, just the negative pitch.

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Originally posted by pete

Is it ok to remove the draft hood when adding a barometric damper?

The direct answer to your question is NO

Gas water heaters venting naturally require a draft hood to break the draft from the burner and protect the flame from downdraft disturbances. Simply said, it keeps the flame and pilot light in a protected calm enviroment.

Altering the manufactures original design can have disastrous consequences and is NEVER recommended.

Barometric dampers are generally associated with oil fired water heaters that use a different principle of fuel delivery and venting.

Here is the reason why we like to see barometric dampers installed horizontally.

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Can you see why the barometric damper has been rendered useless as installed?

The vent connector pitch or slope should be 1/4" per foot to ensure proper venting.

When I see fresh pipe wrench marks on gas lines (as shown in your photo) in that location; I know the gas lines were done by a homeowner.

Overall your installation get an 'F' and I would recommend to shut down the appliance immediately and have a licensed contractor remedy the work.

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Rob C is absolutely right! The removal of the draft hood is extremely dangerous in this case. How is the pipe fastened to the heater? Does it terminate into a lined chimney? Why didn't the tradesperson install a proper, safe gas valve? ETC. Think about what the hood is intended to do and can it do it when it is sitting in the background. There is no doubt in my mind that the skilled homeowner installed this incorrectly.

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That's not a barometric damper. A barometric damper would have some sort of door mechanism to maintain a steady draft. I have three natural gas boilers all installed just like that water heater (except w/ proper pitch) and they pass a pretty demanding boiler inspection every year. Ok..they never pass, but they never fail for the the drafting arrangement. I have so many friggin safety devices installed they look like spacecraft and it takes four people to hold down all the manual reset buttons while lighting the pilots. I installed all of the boilers and the manuals all outlined that type of set up.

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Chad, they are boilers, not water storage tanks. Likely they are not the same configuration and working pressures etc.. Apples and oranges. It would be interesting to hear from someone in Arkansas where the requirements are different, as they are in Mi and Chicago. Main point, I think, is Mfg recommendations and a good understanding of what all this stuff really does.

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I believe some demand units do not require draft hoods. These units have a whole different combustion area that facilitates changes in the property(s)of the flue gas. The unit in the picture does not have a barometric damper. The unit pictured has a helix flame diffuser intended to swirl and complete the combustion process, while transfering heat(btu) into water tank and rise to hood and mix with ambient air for cooling and exhaust purposes. The picture would indicate an extremely hot fitting and partial ongoing combustion while on the way to the opening in the horizontal pipe and subsequently into chimney. This unmixed gas would be corrosive and likely would condense within the pipe and cause failure. In my opinion this whole setup is wrong. 'course different areas have different practices: some good and some bad. Most water heaters have been fairly standard for several decades as to configuration and size. Dollars to donuts this is a "bob villa" special installation

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As I was explaining th epitch problem to the client and the realtor was making faces I spotted the install papers nearby. I said to the client I bet somewehre in the first 5 pages it says something about why this is wrong. Page 2 said that it was all wrong and could lead to explosion or death from exauhst gases entering the home.

I think that stuff about no draft hood (from Joe L) is recommending using direct vent type of appliances that draw outside air for combustion and then vent directly out. That is definitely what I am putting in my own house. Now I have to convince the Town that I am insulating and drywalling the attic to make it conditioned but not to make it living space (big diff on taxes).

Thanks for the input,

Pete

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