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  1. #1
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    Default water damage to auto from furnace vent

    My landlord just had a high eff. furnace installed in our duplex ....the venting was exausted into the drive way ....the clerance was less than 10 inches from my car door .Now my car has been damaged by steam entering into my car and damaging my electrical systems. is there anything in the Iowa codes that may help me resolve this problem ?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    photos????


  3. #3
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Yes, post some photos of the driveway, the vent, your car and also the brand and model of the furnace.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Sounds like a possible insurance claim.

    I had a fall due to a wind storm in the alleyway near my property and basically destroy a new SUV on the neighbouring property. They tried to go after me, but I looked into it with my insurer and the apartment landlord's insurance was responsible to pay for (damage) replacement.

    Just a thought!


  5. #5
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Lawrenson View Post
    Sounds like a possible insurance claim.

    I had a fall due to a wind storm in the alleyway near my property and basically destroy a new SUV on the neighbouring property. They tried to go after me, but I looked into it with my insurer and the apartment landlord's insurance was responsible to pay for (damage) replacement.

    Just a thought!
    That is what I was going to suggest, but ... it depends on the insurance you have, and if you have a renters policy your policy may only cover personal belongings within your rented space (house, apartment, ?).

    However, the landlord should have an umbrella policy ("should have") which would cover stuff like that so the landlord does not have to pay out of pocket for it.

    And, lastly, the contractor which put it in should have an insurance policy to cover stuff they, or their work, damages (again "should have").

    The code is basically only going to state where the exhaust is placed with regard to stuff (openings, etc.) with the structure, and with (to some extent) walkways (which might include driveways) and public walkways (being as you are renting, that may or may not be a public area, depending on what you are renting (house or apartment) and the specific area.

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Yes, post some photos of the driveway, the vent, your car and also the brand and model of the furnace.
    I will try to post pictures some time today


  7. #7
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Thats water vapour being exhausted, not steam. Big difference fwiw.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Before everyone jumps on the band wagon to lynch the property owner, wouldn't it be prudent to look at what is going on first?

    First I would question that the car was affected by the furnace exhaust. 10 inches is a long way for the vapor to saturate the car's interior and effect the electrical system since it warm, rises and dissipates. A real foggy day will have more water/vapor/humidity in the car than the furnace would produce. In Iowa (being cold) the heated air containing vapor may look massive when it really is not. I would suggest that a leaking window (front or rear) may be the cause of the electrical problems if in fact it is water related at all.

    The coincidence of the furnace installation and the cars problems may be just that, a coincidence. The time factor for the furnace, just installed, and the onset of electrical problems is really questionable connection. Just having a haircut and the electrical problem makes almost as much sense.

    Difference between steam and vapor from Mr Wizard.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTKmWp7ek2A


  9. #9
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Garry,

    Isn't that exhaust somewhat corrosive?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Isn't that exhaust somewhat corrosive?
    It sure is - that's why it's vented in plastic pipe - it'd destroy anything else. I have also seen regs that say the venting should not create a public nuisance - seems to me that corrosive vapors eating away at a car's exterior would qualify as such.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  11. #11
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    It sure is - that's why it's vented in plastic pipe - it'd destroy anything else. I have also seen regs that say the venting should not create a public nuisance - seems to me that corrosive vapors eating away at a car's exterior would qualify as such.
    That was my thinking too ... not just "water" damaging the car's electrical system.

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

  12. #12
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    There may be a link... but MAY BE and IS are a long way apart.
    Water vapor ten inches away from the car EXTERIOR (even corrosive vapor) and damaged wiring on the INTERIOR is a big leap. I'm thinking at least a little visual connection would be in order before making the leap.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  13. #13
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    There may be a link... but MAY BE and IS are a long way apart.
    Water vapor ten inches away from the car EXTERIOR (even corrosive vapor) and damaged wiring on the INTERIOR is a big leap. I'm thinking at least a little visual connection would be in order before making the leap.
    Jim,

    There have been greater leaps made here with even less visual connection ...

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Don't see how this is the home insurers responsibility.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Don't see how this is the home insurers responsibility.
    Because homeowners insurance covers everything on the lot.

    Years ago I when I did construction work I had my work van parked on the driveway (like I did every night) and in the morning I discovered that some not-so-nice people had tried to steal everything they could out of it (the trail of evidence indicated that a car probably drove by while they were they and they left) - because the truck was parked on the insured lot (homeowners covers more than just the home), *everything* stolen or damaged was replaced and covered under our homeowners policy.

    My automobile policy never kicked in (and would not have covered much other than some minor damage to the van doors where they were pried open).

    Check your homeowners policy and see what it covers.

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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Your assuming its covered when it may not be. Specific perils or exclusions of policy.
    The insurer may deny coverage as it may be wear and tear and not due to exhaust. Its alleged it was a result of exhaust.
    Deductible may be more then the cost of repair.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Your assuming its covered when it may not be.
    No one is "assuming" it is covered.

    Insurance was something suggested to be checked on, homeowners, landlords, contractors, etc., if you read the previous posts.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Because homeowners insurance covers everything on the lot.
    Pardon me; I took your comment as an assumption on your part.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    I agree with Jim. There wasn't anything in the original post that included damaged exterior. I think its highly unlikely interior electrical problems could be caused by a car sitting close to an exhaust vent.
    A few questions come to me..
    The car has to be parked that close to the house / vent?
    Windows left down in car? If the outside temps are cold enough for furnace to go on, it seems too cold to leave your windows down. If windows are rolled up, then the likelihood of vapor from exhaust vent getting into the car interior go way down.
    Cars manage to survive in the elements 24/7 just fine without moisture damage.
    They manage to go thru car washes where water is sometimes forced at unnatural angles at the car - without moisture damage.
    I would think the exhaust vapor from the furnace would dissipate rapidly, and the corrosive properties would too.
    Still waiting for photos from OP.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Fwiw I just had to replace the fuse panel in the VW. It sits outside so its exposed to the elements and since we use deicing salt on the roads up here that could have been a contributing factor.

    Cost was $800, half of that was labour, fwiw.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Garry,

    Isn't that exhaust somewhat corrosive?
    Yep, though I am looking at it from the stand point of time and distance from actual exit point. The discharge point as apposed to some distance that it dissipates and becomes diluted and neutralized. Then there is the OP statement "My landlord just had a high eff. furnace installed in our duplex " which leads me to question the actual length of time that the car was exposed. Added to that, if there was going to be a reaction to the acidity of the exhaust I would expect the car door would be damaged before the electrical system. OP "Now my car has been damaged by steam entering into my car and damaging my electrical systems."

    It would be an interesting to see any research on the dissipation of exhaust gasses in relation to time, distance and temperature gradient...

    Something for you to work on over the holidays Jerry.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That is what I was going to suggest, but ... it depends on the insurance you have, and if you have a renters policy your policy may only cover personal belongings within your rented space (house, apartment, ?).

    However, the landlord should have an umbrella policy ("should have") which would cover stuff like that so the landlord does not have to pay out of pocket for it.

    And, lastly, the contractor which put it in should have an insurance policy to cover stuff they, or their work, damages (again "should have").

    The code is basically only going to state where the exhaust is placed with regard to stuff (openings, etc.) with the structure, and with (to some extent) walkways (which might include driveways) and public walkways (being as you are renting, that may or may not be a public area, depending on what you are renting (house or apartment) and the specific area.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Pardon me; I took your comment as an assumption on your part.
    Guess you missed my first post on it?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    www.AskCodeMan.com

  23. #23
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    I have a pic of damage to concrete from a dripping gas exhaust. If the pipe is installed correctly tho, the moisture should flow back to the furnace.

    It seems reasonable that the cloud of vapour on a cold day in Iowa could blow under the car and condense in the engine compartment.

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

  24. #24
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    ....
    It seems reasonable that the cloud of vapour on a cold day in Iowa could blow under the car and condense in the engine compartment.
    As the vapor moved away for the source would it not, on a cold day, condense? Meaning it would drop and not rise. Not to mention dissipate latterly as it moved from source.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Fwiw I just had to replace the fuse panel in the VW. It sits outside so its exposed to the elements and since we use deicing salt on the roads up here that could have been a contributing factor.

    Cost was $800, half of that was labour, fwiw.
    I just Googled VW fuse problems and this came up..
    Volkswagen named in class action over fuse box/alternator cable assembly | Got a Class Action?

    and this
    Top 280 Complaints and Reviews about Volkswagen Beetle


  26. #26
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Jim,

    There have been greater leaps made here with even less visual connection ...
    Now there may be a true leap. OP has a VW? Or maybe it was a call to the "Psychic Connection" that made the clarification. I had been trying to work it out on my Ouija Board, but with no success.


    Links are interesting though.... Problem??? What problem???? If we don't recognize it as a problem then there is no problem!!!


  27. #27
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Thanks Jack. My VW is the Golf Turbo Diesel 2011 model. Never any recall on my model for that type of problem. Just past the warranty period on the car.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Garry,
    The links were for Raymond and his problem with a VW, and had nothing to do with the OP and his unknown type of car.
    By the way, the OP has not returned with photos.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Garry,
    The links were for Raymond and his problem with a VW, and had nothing to do with the OP and his unknown type of car.
    By the way, the OP has not returned with photos.
    That's what a leap of faith is about. Transference from Raymond to OP. . But then would it be funny if the OP was a VW.

    Pictures. Don't hold your breath. Would have been interesting.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 12-11-2014 at 08:10 AM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I have a pic of damage to concrete from a dripping gas exhaust. If the pipe is installed correctly tho, the moisture should flow back to the furnace.

    It seems reasonable that the cloud of vapour on a cold day in Iowa could blow under the car and condense in the engine compartment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    As the vapor moved away for the source would it not, on a cold day, condense? Meaning it would drop and not rise. Not to mention dissipate latterly as it moved from source.
    All we know is "10 inches from the car". Anyway I won't try to argues the OP's case for him. Am not a lawyer or a scientist. Just saying there is a possible link. We don't even know which wiring was affected.

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

  31. #31
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Despite what specifications and regs say I happen to believe that lateral exhaust pipes need to be further away from things than usually listed.

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    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  32. #32
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    Default Re: water damage to auto from furnace vent

    Make sure not to leave the car running to warm up when it's parked near the vent. It can cause vehicle exhaust fumes from being drawn into the combustion air vent.


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