Water heater flue problem?


  #1  
Old 11-16-07, 10:29 PM
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Water heater flue problem?

I replaced an old, leaking water heater (at the tank) about 2 years ago. This was an old w/h and just died due to age.

I replaced it with a Richmond 50 gallon gas water heater. About 1 year later, I had to replace this new one due to leaking around the inlet and outlet pipes. It looked like the pipe dope had oozed out and allowed the water to seap past the threads.

It has been about 3 months or so since I installed this second water heater. I was down in the basement the other day and glanced at the water heater. I noticed the plastic rings around the inlet and outlets were distorted from heat. It made me think that could have been what caused the last one to leak, but I had a friend look at it and he subsequently looked at his in his recently built home and his were also distorted, but not as bad as mine.

I noticed took the piping apart to make sure there weren't any obstructions and there weren't. I have 3 inch piping to a 3 in hat on the water heater. There also seems to be sufficient draw on the water heater too, but when it is running you can place your hand right next to the area where the air is drawn into the hat but it is very warm air and you have to move your hand due to the heat, within 5 - 10 seconds or so.

Here are some photo's of the distored plastic rings and of the piping. There is probably 6 inches of rise over about a 4 foot section to the main pipe up the house for the 3 inch pipe you see. This does have a 4 to 3 inch reducer into the main pipe up the house, but the hat is 3 inches and so is the pipe to the main pipe running up.

I'm concerned with the warping and the heat. I've read that there needs to be good draw, and I think I have that. Should I be concerned with the warping? Could I increase the size of the pipe to 4 inches from the hat to the pipe up the house? Would this help - since the hat only has a 3 inch opening I'm not sure this would do much. I've posted some links to photos.

http://members.cox.net/chvyfn/IM001422.JPG
http://members.cox.net/chvyfn/IM001423.JPG
http://members.cox.net/chvyfn/IM001424.JPG
http://members.cox.net/chvyfn/IM001425.JPG

Any suggestions/comments are appreciated!
 
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Old 11-17-07, 03:39 AM
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The proof of your problem in in pictures three and four. There is an elbow directly attached to the draft hood. To be done right, you need to come straight up off the draft hood a minimum of six inches before any elbows, then 1/4 inch per foot rise from there.

What is happening with the current setup is the flue gases are spilling out of the draft hood causing the plastic to melt. The spillage is a health issue as well.

One thing I couldn't tell from the pictures is where does the vent pipe go to? Does it go directly into a chimney or into a flue of another heating device?
 
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Old 11-18-07, 06:19 PM
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Hank is on to this. A quick test is to run some hot water so the burner comes on. Now, take a match, light it , then blow it out, so you now have a match stick smoking. Hold it near the hood. The smoke should be clearly drawn into the hood. If not, that confirms a draw problem.
 
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Old 11-18-07, 07:25 PM
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I had even tried the match test before my post. It did draw the smoke in. The hat it self at times has not been real hot to the touch, but at the same time the pipe at the bend and beyond was very very hot.

The pipe runs into I think it's own chimney. The vent for the furnace is seperate, and the fireplace is on another side of the house. I had taken the pipes apart to make sure there were no obstructions. I could see straight up the pipe for about 15 feet or so. It was a double walled type.

I will change the setup to have more of a extension off the waterheater. It will be tough due to other pipes in the way that really can't be moved. I could maybe route it between 2 other pipes, but I almost need a immedate 6" to 3" reducer, rather than a 6 to 5, and a 5 to 4 and a 4 to 3. The length of all these combined makes it too long to go this approach. Do they make a simple, short 6 to 3 inch reducer?
 
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Old 11-18-07, 08:18 PM
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I checked my water heater that was installed more than
a month ago. When the burner is on, I put my hand next
to the hat and I feel almost nothing. If you feel quite hot
then there must be some exhaust gas spilling out there.

Plus, my heater has bigger than normal burner - 50K BTU.
The two plastic things do not change shape either.

Originally Posted by chevyfan
I replaced an old, leaking water heater (at the tank) about 2 years ago. This was an old w/h and just died due to age.

I replaced it with a Richmond 50 gallon gas water heater. About 1 year later, I had to replace this new one due to leaking around the inlet and outlet pipes. It looked like the pipe dope had oozed out and allowed the water to seap past the threads.

It has been about 3 months or so since I installed this second water heater. I was down in the basement the other day and glanced at the water heater. I noticed the plastic rings around the inlet and outlets were distorted from heat. It made me think that could have been what caused the last one to leak, but I had a friend look at it and he subsequently looked at his in his recently built home and his were also distorted, but not as bad as mine.

I noticed took the piping apart to make sure there weren't any obstructions and there weren't. I have 3 inch piping to a 3 in hat on the water heater. There also seems to be sufficient draw on the water heater too, but when it is running you can place your hand right next to the area where the air is drawn into the hat but it is very warm air and you have to move your hand due to the heat, within 5 - 10 seconds or so.

Here are some photo's of the distored plastic rings and of the piping. There is probably 6 inches of rise over about a 4 foot section to the main pipe up the house for the 3 inch pipe you see. This does have a 4 to 3 inch reducer into the main pipe up the house, but the hat is 3 inches and so is the pipe to the main pipe running up.

I'm concerned with the warping and the heat. I've read that there needs to be good draw, and I think I have that. Should I be concerned with the warping? Could I increase the size of the pipe to 4 inches from the hat to the pipe up the house? Would this help - since the hat only has a 3 inch opening I'm not sure this would do much. I've posted some links to photos.

http://members.cox.net/chvyfn/IM001422.JPG
http://members.cox.net/chvyfn/IM001423.JPG
http://members.cox.net/chvyfn/IM001424.JPG
http://members.cox.net/chvyfn/IM001425.JPG

Any suggestions/comments are appreciated!
 
 

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