Water Heater vent question


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Old 12-31-11, 09:59 AM
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Water Heater vent question

My son told me they were having occasional problems with their gas water tank blowing out during high winds. I looked at it and it has 4" vent pipe going up a couple of feet, then a 90 degree ell, and then going out through the wall. The person who had installed it had simply popped an SELKIRK RV series type B vent cap into it, never anchored it in...In fact this thing was 3" OD cap, so it apparently "fell out" from time to time. My question is from the looks of it this cap was for roof ventilation., which can't be done in this house....So I want to afix a cap of some sort on this pipe. It sticks our from the wall about 2 feet or so. Should I put a 90 degree ell and use a cap like this, or use a different cap??
 
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Old 12-31-11, 04:25 PM
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Catalog - Gas Vent - USA (SA04001)

The vent cap at the top is what was on there....although undersized.....What I am asking is if this can be mounted vertical OR horizontal???? The 4" pipe simply sticks out the side of the house. I can put a 90 deg ell on this pipe and then mount a 4" cap like shown (RV) or, if is there a better option??? I simply can't let it stay open like it is......birds will get in and the wind is a problem too...
 
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Old 01-01-12, 10:00 PM
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OK, I will try one more time to get some advice....probably should have pics, but let me explain what I have. I am NOT familiar with this sort of stuff, but am learning. What we have is a natural gas water tank installed 2-3 years ago by people who knew little more than me. They came up and turn out to the wall with a 3" pc of double wall pipe, which sticks out of the house about 28". It stick out past the eave of the house and had a cap on it, which I installed with screws as they had just slipped it in. The things that bother me and I could use some advice on....The hole that the pipe is coming through (wood and siding) is slightly larger than the pipe, with no caulking or any time of anchoring device. It sits there and can be moved in and out, which I do not like, nor do I like the gap around it. This is an old house, very much outdated, and hard to work on....I want to make this better than what it is...Is there a sealing compound I should use, or a device or both here? Heat does not seem to be a problem but this requires a 1" gap , which is there but it sits on the wood....and the length of the pipe, should it be past the eave of the house??? Should I turn the pipe up someway for the cap to work better or is that a big deal? I want to anchor this thing, seal it up, and be as safe as possible given what they have.......
 
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Old 01-01-12, 10:43 PM
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It is not legal at all. I would not mess with it. It cant be vented out the side atmospherically and under a eave. even if you extend it.

Some direct vents are piped this way and are atmospheric but still cant vent under a eave. Plus it needs the proper thimble.

Advice would be to find a new place to vent, and if its not feasable with a atmospheric vent then install a power vent water heater. With a power vent you can find a more sutable side wall...etc.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 01-01-12, 11:22 PM
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Wow....hate to hear that...These kids have NO money and have a number of other things I am attempting to deal with....It has worked OK except for the cap falling off but I knew it wasn't right. There is not a lot of options for this if it has to be moved..at least not right now. I am hoping to help them rebuild the bathroom this spring ( this is in a "closet" in the bathroom of all places...) Maybe we can run the proper vent then. This old house is a nightmare to work with....Should be razed in my opinion, but it is all they have. I will check out the power vent....By that you mean a new water tank all together??? In the meantime, best to leave it alone, or any harm in adding the "thimble"?
 
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Old 01-01-12, 11:29 PM
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Noway to go up into the attic with B vent and through the roof?

Closet? Possible its going out from lack of combustion air???

IMO its worth spending money on health and saftey issues. Venting under eaves can draw CO in the soffets and kill everyone. You know, you wake up dead....

Not trying to be funny really, just saying.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 01-02-12, 09:10 AM
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The pipe extends about 10" past the roof edge, was going out due to high winds. The folks who put it in meant well, but did not screw the cap on. The original tank that was replaced also had been vented from the wall, but the end wall. When the bathroom was changed around they moved the tank location. It had a device that must have been similar to the "thimble" you suggested, but they did not use one. The closet is really just a sectioned off area with a plastic slide door that only covers about 2/3 of the opening, ventilation is OK, but I share your concerns. I checked and the pipe is moving the gases outside and since it it beyond the roof it is working, but like many other things with this house it was half arsed....I have cleaned up a lot of foolishness such as insufficient wiring problems(12 ga. wire for dryer circuit for one), but plumbing, insulation, and this continue to be issues. As to venting out the roof, getting to the attic is difficult, and moving around even more so. Hard to describe this home exactly but in our state it is referred to as a Jinny Lind home, (no outside studded walls, no soffets etc. ) although some upgraded have been done. The other wall could be used, will see if perhaps that might offer a better solution. Until such time as we can do this right, was going to give them a co detector, just wondering if the water vapor in the bathroom would interfere with it...Will check and see. Thanks for your replies. I am trying to help these kids, but it is a bit overwhelming.
 
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Old 01-02-12, 09:45 AM
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Exclamation

I am hoping to help them rebuild the bathroom this spring ( this is in a "closet" in the bathroom of all places...) Maybe we can run the proper vent then.
Just my opinion, but that could be too late. This is a safety item, safety should never be put off till later when it's more convenient. I see an option in addition to the one lawrosa had. It wouldn't be my first choice, but maybe you could install an electric water heater right away if getting a properly installed gas water heater vent is out of the question. The electric model will certainly cost more to operate, but you would have no venting issues.
 
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Old 01-02-12, 10:12 AM
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I considered that a couple of years ago when the current tank was having issues with the thermostat (failed but covered by warranty) and then the themocouple failed but that was my fault. I could put an electric tank in, but given the large amount of hot water they use it would break them up. At that time the vent was not an known issue to me, frankly venting from the side of a house did not seem a problem, as the old house I was raised in was vented this way...but I see now there are potential problems with it. I pretty much have to make what they have work for a while, as it has already, but need to make it safer. I was hoping I could modify the current vent to be safer, by sealing it, maybe running a 90 upwards to get it beyond the roof, etc. but from from what you fellows are saying that does not seem to be an option. I cannot physically get into the attic, it has to be accesses from the outside by way of ladder. I have a neighbor who has done some work for me up there already by adding a studded wall into one of the bedrooms....he could give me an idea what is possible with that. If this is possible, how far does insulation have to be away from a vent pipe when in the attic?? I know blown in insulation was added years before , but have not seen it myself.
 
 

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