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  1. #1
    Matthew Liang's Avatar
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    Default Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    I am a new CAHPI(BC) candidate. I inspected my friend's home today as a practice. I found that the hot water supply pipe near the tank is red plastic. I remember that the hot water pipe has to be copper within 18' close to the tank. Is it okay to use this find of plastic pipe. Sorry that the picture is blurred.

    Any comment is appreciated.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    In my area it's not ok to have pex within 18" oy top of water heater (I'm assuming that's pex). Is that gray pipe you can see in the wall behind heater polybutylene?

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Red, blue or bright white flexible pipe is most likely to be PEX.
    Instead of 'plastic' try to use the correct terms like poly or vinyl or PolyB or Pex or PVC.
    The hard cream colored pipe is CPVC. You will find that occasionally, no longer used.

    PEX can handle the heat of the water heater, and we see it used that way fairly often, such as if a new tank has been installed in an older house. It is incorrect by the rule.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Yes, the PEX can handle the hot water but not the hot exhaust gas from the burner.... You need to see 18" of metal pipe and then the PEX.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Matthew Liang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Thanks everybody for your comments.

    Tom, the gray pipe is PolyB which is used for all the supply pipes.

    So, I can conclude that the red pipe is PEX and it is too close to the heater.


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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    At minimum I always recommend that nothing that can melt or burn be within 6" of a flue pipe.

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Liang View Post
    Thanks everybody for your comments.

    Tom, the gray pipe is PolyB which is used for all the supply pipes.

    So, I can conclude that the red pipe is PEX and it is too close to the heater.
    It is too close to the water heater exhaust, not the heater. You need to be specific with what you are trying to convey to your client.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  9. #9
    Matthew Liang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    It is too close to the water heater exhaust, not the heater. You need to be specific with what you are trying to convey to your client.
    Thank you so much, Scott.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    I know that the post is about the PEX pipe being too close to the water heater so I might be amiss but there might also an issue with the class b gas venting. I have never seen class b gas vent crimped. From the picture it looks like it might have been hand crimped at that.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    I don't think that it B vent in the photo. The B vent probably (hopefully) starts above the photo. Probably single wall, hence the six inch space needed for the pex.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    I don't think that it B vent in the photo. The B vent probably (hopefully) starts above the photo. Probably single wall, hence the six inch space needed for the pex.
    Hi Joe and Jim,
    Thank you for your comment.

    It is not B-vent. It goes up to join the former furnace vent, then to B-vent. See attached picture.

    Actually I cannot figure out what the pipe is at the corner. It is goes up into the ceiling and down to the crawlspace.

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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Liang View Post
    Actually I cannot figure out what the pipe is at the corner. It is goes up into the ceiling and down to the crawlspace.
    Radon mitigation exhaust?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Radon mitigation exhaust?
    Hi Jerry,
    I have no idea about Radon test. This is a house in Vancouver BC Canada close to US border.

    Could someone shed a light on this?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Liang View Post
    Hi Jerry,
    I have no idea about Radon test. This is a house in Vancouver BC Canada close to US border.

    Could someone shed a light on this?
    Matthew,

    Let's hope some of the people who do radon and know about radon mitigation respond - that is something I know little about.
    But I think I know that sucking the radon out of the crawlspace and dumping it into the attic is not a good thing ... does that duct go outside or end in the attic? Heck *I* would not even want a radon duct 'going through the house' in case there was any leakage.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    There's no significant uranium in the ground so no radon threat in that part of the world.

    Maybe it's a dryer vent. Can't tell without more info.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Cool Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Unlisted firestop, improper support, no firestop for pipe in corner regardless of whatever it is. Yes, 6" clearance off single walled vent connector.

    Radon mitigation is under positive vent pressure downstream of the inline blower so it should not be within the structure and discharge into the atmosphere-not attic. Radon mitigation is usually done with sch. 40 pvc cemented joints. INFILTEC Air Leakage Control - Radon Gas Mitigation & Blower Doors - test, testing

    HTH

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Could that pipe in corner be bringing in combustion air from attic. Sorry, I just went back and looked at post, didn't see the part where it goes down into the crawl space. Is furnace in crawlspace?

    Last edited by Tom Rees; 08-18-2012 at 08:04 AM.
    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Report it as an unknown pipe in corner.....

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Report it as an unknown pipe in corner.....
    We know the pipe ... its name of Fred, what we do not know is why Fred is there and why it goes from the crawlspace and up through the ceiling.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Report it as an unknown pipe in corner.....
    Thank you, everybody, for your comment. I came to the house again today and found out that the pipe is a hot air supply pipe from crawlspace to 2nd floor bathroom.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Radon mitigation needs a sealed conduit between the source and the exterior of the structure . PVC is used because it can be chemically bonded at the unions forming a continuous sealed conduit to remove the gas from under the basement slab.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    There should be no combustible form of tubing or piping in the top zone of the Cat. I fuel-fired water heater. That area is all encompasing to its diameter and for a height determined by its listing/approval (instructions) and venting type.Clearance to front of water heater, burner plate, no safe pan or drainage for same, TPRV discharge too high from floor, floor unprotected from same, no conversion to drainage, no proper termination of same; no sed trap before gas valve of appiance, improper shut-off valve, etc. etc.temperature transfer to hvac duct, leakage/spillage to hvac return.There are critical issues regarding the double draft hood, tape, clearances (not just to combustibles but required air space, heat reflective materials, form, sizing, non-support, configuration and manner of vent connector to b-vent system, more tape, etc. and sizing/configuration of orphaned gas-fired appliance venting. Dissimilar metal connections, heat sink, exposed insulation facing, holes in gyp separation, and many other issues referenced in your two other discussion topics wherein you've sprinkled additional photos of the same cluster of defects.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Who makes the rule that it cannot be plastic within the first 18 inches? Is it code or manufacturers installation instructions? Looking for a reference please.

    Yes, I agree that it does not make good sense. Like to have a reference when challenged.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Who makes the rule that it cannot be plastic within the first 18 inches? Is it code or manufacturers installation instructions? Looking for a reference please.

    Yes, I agree that it does not make good sense. Like to have a reference when challenged.
    Depends. Heat sources? Electric water heaters? Gas water heaters?

    http://www.cbsupplies.ca/guides/VG_P...tall_Guide.pdf (go to page 16 & 18)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Ok. Good. Thank you. The PEX manufacturer says must be 6 inches from heat source for PEX.

    Lots of CPVC in my area. Got a reference for other than PEX?

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    The PEX manufacturer says must be 6 inches from heat source for PEX.
    Are you referring to a specific manufacturer when you say "The PEX manufacturer says must be 6 inches" or to that link?

    For CPVC: https://www.ppfahome.org/pdf/PPFA_CP...anual_2006.pdf (go to page 6, Water Heater Connections)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Are you referring to a specific manufacturer when you say "The PEX manufacturer says must be 6 inches" or to that link?

    For CPVC: https://www.ppfahome.org/pdf/PPFA_CP...anual_2006.pdf (go to page 6, Water Heater Connections)
    I was referring to the link you provided. Thank you for the two links.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Plastic hot water supply pipe too close to heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    The PEX manufacturer says must be 6 inches from heat source for PEX.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    I was referring to the link you provided. Thank you for the two links.
    That's not what that link says.

    Page 16 says a minimum of 12" above, and a minimum of 6" horizontally from, a high heat producing element such as recessed lights, vents, etc.

    However, on page 18 it says that a minimum of the first 18" above a gas water heater needs to be metal ... not withstanding that the 6" horizontally shown on page 16 still applies to the PEX beyond that first 18" of metal pipe.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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