Venting heater into chimney shared with fireplace?


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Old 02-13-13, 08:44 PM
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Venting heater into chimney shared with fireplace?

Hello my first post looking for some advise. Here is my setup. I have a gas hotwater heater in basement that vents into my wall then into my masonry chimney right above my fireplace and damper (first floor) then out the top.

The damper is sealed closed with a set of vent free gas logs in the fireplace that we use. Nothing mixes because damper is sealed.

im looking to get either vented logs or just keep these but let them vent out. It's for looks only when we have company.

My question is if I open the damper and turn on the logs is it ok to have that burning and the hotwater heater vent about 2 feet above the fire? I have heard that either the hotwater heater burn off(exhaust) will come down into house instead of up the chimney or can cause a fire mixing with the burning logs.

Guessing if I can't burn the logs with heater venting into chimney above I would need a heater with direct vent and just allow logs to vent thru chimney alone?

Thanks for any info, will be calling in a pro if its not a "sure open the flue and its fine" lol
 
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Old 02-13-13, 08:55 PM
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I'm not a chimney guy but:

Are you sure they share the same flue ?

It would seem that if a fireplace was installed and a hot water heater that a double flue chimney would have been installed.

In the event that there is only one flue then I would say that you can not open that damper.
 
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Old 02-13-13, 09:05 PM
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Yes same flue if I look up the chimney with damper open I can see where the water heater vents into chimney flue it's just one. I wish they were separate I would already be set lol
 
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Old 02-13-13, 09:09 PM
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That is unfortunate.
Where is the heating system vented ?
 
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Old 02-13-13, 09:20 PM
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Heating has a blower that runs right out the side of the house. Gas logs are not to old. Looks like damper has been sealed for years with hot water heater only using chimney.
 
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Old 02-25-13, 02:58 PM
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Is there any way that you could extend the water heater flue (using metal flue pipe) up to the top of the chimney?

When you are using the fireplace I donít think the water heater exhaust would come back down; I would be concerned about when youíre not using the FP even with damper closed. Is the FP damper air tight? You can check it with several matches. Close the damper, hold matches in FP, light them all at once and blow them out, watch the smoke. If it continues to go up and around the damper then under certain weather conditions it would be possible for exhaust to come back down as well. Install a Carbon Monoxide detector nearby if you havenít already.
 
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Old 03-01-13, 05:43 PM
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Thanks for the reply bugman, here is a little more info. I did the match test and nothing went up (I didnt think it would) because that the damper is sealed shut, it's actually closed and sealed with a fireblocker foam.

So the mason fireplace on main lvl has vent free gas logs, the damper door is sealed shut. In basement the gas water heater runs into concrete wall then connects with/into existing fireplace chimney (no liner just the terracotta) right above my sealed damper door and out the top.

Guessing they never used the fireplace, sealed it up and just used it for the water heater vent.

I'm looking to make this vent free log set vented because the smell just annoys me, my digital CO detector always reads "0" when burning.

So my options? Possible to run 2 flex pipes up my existing chimney to the top, one coming from water heater into wall and up chimney and other from an opening I would make in damper?

Possible to vent the hot water heater out of the side wall of basement and run it up in metal pipe next to the chimney?

Possible to run metal pipe from the water heater into wall and up inside chimney and just let the log vent in the existing chimney alongside the heater metal pipe without and pipe/liner?

wish they would have installed a water heater(only 2 years old) with a blower then I could just run that outside horizontal and use the chimney for fireplace by itself.

New homeowner learning as I go lol. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
 

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