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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    105

    Default Improper vent connection?

    Inspected a home where the HVAC system is 13 years of age. Unit installed using original flue pipe that vents through a chimney (home built in late 40's). The flue pipe running from the furnace to the first connection appears as in picture. The top of the smaller pipe lays inside larger pipe by less than 1 1/2 inches and there is a one inch gap along the bottom. I wrote this up as being improperly vented with the possibility of back drafting into attic, closet and living quarters. Was I correct in this? Realtor ( of course, knows everything....) says that it is proper because the age of unit (I laughed inside).....

    AND 6 year old water heater in a closet inside a drain pan....with no drain to plumbing or the exterior. He also claims that due to the age of the unit and house, it doesn't have to drain out ......

    Could someone please clarify what I already believe to be true.....

    Thanks in advance!
    Greg

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  2. #2
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Improper vent connection?

    Hi Greg. Good call on the vent pipe. Looks like from the photo that the pipe almost has a neg. flow.

    If we over look everything just because it was old and that was the way they did it back then. whats the point of the inspection. Look likes that vent pipe has a condensation problem.

    Best

    Ron


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Improper vent connection?

    Condensation problem or the fact that its probably rain water coming in since there is no chimney cap....another item the seller refuses to address......and since the flue pipe is on a downslope, where else is any caught water going to go....but down the flue.....


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,478

    Default Re: Improper vent connection?

    Greg,

    A little difficult to see from your pics. Is the flue pipe on the right of pic #1 a larger, single-walled pipe? Does not look like a b-vent. Both pipes should be the same size.

    As Ron noted, the right flue pipe it looks like it goes downhill. Is this an optical illusion caused by camera position or does it go downhill?

    I think an approved liner is required in masonry chimneys, certainly must be properly sized and masonry chimneys are often too large and may not draft correctly. Whenever a gas appliance is vented into a masonry chimney, I recommend review by a licensed heating contractor.

    Maybe the water heater did not require a drain pan, but what is the use of a pan without a drain pipe?

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Improper vent connection?

    Hi Greg,

    The realtor should not be questioning your findings, your findings are for the consumption of your client, who along with your advice should be basing decisions, not the realtor on behalf of the client.

    Anyway your reporting of your findings are reason for further investigation in so far as the venting connections and to call for need of repair of the drain pan.

    Cheers,


  6. #6
    Jack Murdock's Avatar
    Jack Murdock Guest

    Default Re: Improper vent connection?

    The vent in the attic does not meet the requirements of NFPA 54 (2006) page 54-88 section 12.8.4.1 regarding single wall pipe in an unoccupied attic. Somewhere in here it states 3 screws at each joint.
    54-81 sect 10.28 covers water heaters in closets bathrooms bedrooms etc where is the combustion air coming from? section 9.3.2.1 is the standard method for determining air for combustion.
    Hope that helps.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    745

    Default Re: Improper vent connection?

    Is there a device that cuts the water heater off if it detects water in the pan? The wires look like they go down to the bottom.

    Also why even put a drain pan if you are going to notch it out?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: Improper vent connection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Murdock View Post
    The vent in the attic does not meet the requirements of NFPA 54 (2006) page 54-88 section 12.8.4.1 regarding single wall pipe in an unoccupied attic. Somewhere in here it states 3 screws at each joint.
    54-81 sect 10.28 covers water heaters in closets bathrooms bedrooms etc where is the combustion air coming from? section 9.3.2.1 is the standard method for determining air for combustion.
    Hope that helps.
    The 2006 IRC does not even allow it in the attic. (underlining and bold are mine)
    - G2427.7.6 (503.7.6) Installation. Single-wall metal pipe shall not originate in any unoccupied attic or concealed space and shall not pass through any attic, inside wall, concealed space, or floor. The installation of a single-wall metal pipe through an exterior combustible wall shall comply with Section G2427.10.15. Single-wall metal pipe used for venting an incinerator shall be exposed and readily examinable for its full length and shall have suitable clearances maintained.


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    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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