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hot water tank and B-vents


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My water tank is leaking and flooded my basement. The insurance company has been to the house and are assessing the damage.

I called Direct Energy (rental) and they sent someone to determine whether the tank can be fixed or needs to be replaced.

The technician indicated that a new tank is indeed required. HOWEVER, he cannot install it until I bring the vents up to code ... apparently, it is now a requirement to upgrade to B-vent. This is going to cost me about $800 in just vents!!! The tank Direct Energy would replace at no cost since it is a rental.

I have been researching the code and regulations and it seems that this regulation is not in effect until January, but that could be just my interpretation (and lots of wishful thinking!).

Does anyone know anything about this?

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The water heater is connected to the gas furnace ...

To replace it, they would need to bring the vent that connects it to the furnace, which is done through another vent ... so that other vent would also need to be brought up to code ... and any other vent that is part of that chain ... resulting in many, many feets of B-vents.

Direct Energy would not charge for the new tank ('cause it is a rental) but they would charge labor and parts for upgrading all the vents. And since it is apparently code to have B-vents (a new thing I believe), they cannot proceed without doing that work first.

I'm trying to find info to determine whether or not it's true the new code regulation is in effect and therefore the vents must be changed. If the vents do not need to be brought up to code, then I can have the water tank replaced at no cost to me!

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Originally posted by sirch

$800 in vents? Hell, you can buy a water heater cheaper than that. And what's with renting water heaters, it must be a northern thing.

You might be able to get an on demand system for a little bit more than that kind of money these days, and tell them to keep their lousey tank.
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Originally posted by ING

The water heater is connected to the gas furnace ...

Do you mean their vents are connected together?

Do they offer high efficiency water heaters to rent?

$800 seems high to connect B-Vent, unless all your vents are single wall through out the house.

Frank

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Hi,

The rule is that there must be a B vent if the appliance is installed in a concealed or cold location. It's not a new rule - it's been around as long as I've been in this business (12 years). So, if the water heater is located somewhere in the middle of the house, in a closet or small room that gets all its combustion air from the interior of the house, then it's within conditioned space and, as long as it's not in a concealed location, such as in a wall and inaccessible, there can be a single-walled vent from the collar to where the vent transitions to a "B" vent and passes up through the house. However, if the furnace and water heater are in an unheated (cold) location, then that vent should have been a double-walled vent all along.

Unless someone seriously screwed up with your home, the vent from terminus above the roof all the way to the room where that furnace and water heater are located is already a B vent and all you need to chance is that portion of venting from the collar to the B vent - that's typically about $150 worth of material; add $150 for the fat-guy-climbing-into-his-truck fee and then add the charge for the hour or so of on-site labor it will take for him to remove the single walled stuff and replace it with double-walled stuff. I'm thinking $450 to $500 is reasonable, but, who knows, you might actually have single-walled stuff all the way up through your house.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

However, if the furnace and water heater are in an unheated (cold) location, then that vent should have been a double-walled vent all along.

Mike

I don't think I have ever heard of this before. What would you define as being cold? Under 32 degrees? Where might I find information about the requirement for all B vent?

Thanks

Jeff

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