Buying House, Urgent problem with HVAC /HWTVenting


Old 09-02-01, 05:56 AM
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My current entry door is a double steel door with glass (64" total width, doors only). The glass has only one layer and the door faces west so it does not insulate well. I want to replace it with the best entry I can buy.

1. Do you think fiberglass is, in general, better than steel, from quality, insulation, and beauty point of view? What brand do you recommand and its cost? I am looking for ones that offer limited life time warranty. If the door comes with factory baked color of my choice then I'll be really happy.

2. Should I replace it with another double door or a single door with two sidelight pieces? What are the pros and cons for each design? Either way I think I will use small glass openings on the door or side pieces. Your thought?

3. Home depo estimates $500 for double door installation (replacement). I think it is reasonable. Your comment?

Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 10-25-01, 03:00 AM
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I'm buying a house in King County Washington and I'm in the end of my house inspection contingency time period. I have only 2 days to submit my response and lift my purchase contingency. I need help....

My House inspector descovered a "code" problem with the exhaust vents for the house furnace and water heater (they are connected into one line and it is a "forced" venting system). The house in only 4 1/2 years old. But it appears like the builder installed the venting system without the right clearances at the point where the long horizontal exhaust vent line exits the garage wall. There is a small fan right at the inside of the wall where the vent exits and then the vent line terminates right on the outside wall under the eave of the house. Over the last 4 1/2 years the combustion gases have "corroded" the uderside of the eave and pealed the paint etc. There is the possiblity that gases are getting in through the "bird holes" under the eve and migrating through the attic space above the garage and perhaps into the house??? The vent line exit is less that 12 inches below the inside base of the eve (tucked up under the eve overhang). There is no way to lower the vent. OR, no way to go up through the roof because I've been told that no fan exists that can deal with that kind of vent line configuration (bends etc).

I'm getting conflicting "code" interpretation. And I've had a Heating and Cooling contractor out who has told me that the right way to fix the problem is to install a new +90 funace and a new waterheater. I guess the garage configeration is such that you can not get a verical vent and so you are required to have a horizonal run of venting that now needs to be plastic and up throught the roof.

Anyway, a new furnace/water heater could cost 6K to 7K. I need to figure out if I will ask the sellers to credit me this cost. And I need definate proof that the situation that exists is out of "code" and unhealthy for my and my family.

I would appreicated any help/advice anyone would have on my situation. Also specific "code" paragraph references. On Friday 11/26 I hope to have a meeting with the city building inspector, the builder, my house inspector, the sellers real estate agent, my agent and a HAVC contractor etc. I don't really know anything about these systems and any advice would be helpful.

Thanks you... Laurie R. M.

Old 10-25-01, 11:15 AM
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Call code enforcement. They will tell you the code in your area. They will also force the current owner to repair all safety vialations. You can't be forced to buy an unsafe house. My sister-in-law went through that. They treatened to sue after the code inspector forced them to do thousands of dollars worth of repairs. My sister-in-law backed out of the house because of other contigencies. She never heard from the owners after.
Old 10-25-01, 11:00 PM
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Make sure

whomever visits your home has the latest updated version of NFPA book #54...The National Fire Protection Association book is the bible for all areas in heating systems.At the same time make sure gas piping has been installed according to their guidelines.Try surfing for National Propane Gas Association and the NFPA..State and local codes may have the final word.Tonight I'll print some guidelines on installation.My NFPA.54 manual is a 1996 addition but should help.PDF
Old 11-02-01, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
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The furnace and the water heater is probably alright, it's the flues that have concerns. In every application I've seen with forced venting, a separate flue and fan for each applaince. One safty feature that is mandated is, if the fan fails to come on, it prohibits the appliance from coming on. The reasoning for this is, if the fan does not come on, the gases cannot get out of the house. I don't see how they could have wired the fan for both appliances and meet code. As far as a fire or carbon monoxide problem, it's not likely. The fan reduces the flue stack temperature to where you could probably put tissue paper up to it and it won't catch fire. Carbon monoxide once it's outside, even for a brief periiod ot time, bonds with other molecules radiply. I almost certain the house has a carbon monoxide detector in it and if there was a problem, it would have been dealt with. The peeling of the paint is due to the acids in the flue gases that are condensing on the eave. As far as not being able to put the flue stacks through the roof, don't hire this guy. the furnace and water heater shoud have come with instructions with diagrams for different configuration for flues, vertical and horizontal. Even if the ceiling or the roof was made of cement a flue could be brought through it. The only barganing chip you have is the configuration of the flue. The cost for reconfiguration is considerably less than replacement heating and water heating systems. Probaly around a $1,000.
Old 11-03-01, 03:55 AM
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Your problem is with the venting system and not the equipment. The pealing paint is effected by acids in the flue gases but more than likely due to the high temp. of those gases. The flue itself cannot be to code with a power vent on the furnace then adding a H2O heater. They would need to be isolated. The termination also should not be against a combustible surface and yes gasses will get into the attic space. If the wind direction were towards that side of the house, the concentrations would be high. Since homes are not tight it could be noticed inside the home although with dilution from opening and closing doors, bath exhaust fans etc. you probably would not notice it. It doesnít make it any more or less safe you just wouldnít notice it.

If the contractor says replace the equipment w/90% efficient unit it might be because of the fact that the flue is at such a low temp. The PVC flue pipe has a zero clearance to combustibles. It may have been his sole fix or a suggestion to accommodate your application.

Codes are gonna be somewhat different in all areas due to interpretations by the building departments and individual inspectors. An installation guide can be located here and would probably be fine in all parts of the country.

Single wall (metal) vent pipe needs a 6Ē clearance from combustibles. Dual wall needs 1Ē. Assuming thatís what you have. Iím guessing the home is a 2 story. If thatís the case the flue can be resized and run up the outside walls above the upstairs roof. The guide for height above the upper roof is 2í up and 10í around for proper draft. It can also be run through the over hangs as long as you have the proper clearances.

Maybe this helps or confuses the issue even more. If you want, scan and e-mail me the write-up from the inspector and Iíll help to interpret what you have. They rarely stick their neck out so much of what they write can scare the pants off folks unnecessarily.

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