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  • Tricky sidewall/chimney water heater question

    I live in an old (1896) 15 foot wide 3 story townhouse which is joined on both sides to other houses. I'm trying to solve a very strange venting problem and get rid of the need to use my regular chimney.

    The furnace and regular rented 40 gallon natural gas water heater both currently exhaust together into a chimney pipe in the basement. The pipe runs up behind a box wall on the first floor and then on the second floor goes through my son's room with no box around it - just a big black hot pipe that goes almost up to the ceiling before turning 90 degrees and connecting to a brick chimney that starts there and go up through an attic bedroom and through the roof. Very weird.

    I'm replacing the furnace with a high-efficiency model (Trane) which will vent out the front of the house. I'd really like to get rid of the need to vent my water heater up the stove pipe running through the house so I can get rid of it from my son's bedroom. I've considered going tankless but the cost and scaling issues are scaring me off. I'd go with a tanked power vent but everything I read talks about how noisy they are.

    What I'd really like to do is vent my traditional gas water heater out of the back of the house through an old coal entrance doorway and run a chimney of some sorts up the exterior wall to roof height, kind of like a plumbing stack. But I've never seen anything like this and don't know whether it will pass code (I'm in Toronto, ON).

    Do you have any advice or workarounds for this strange situation?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Tricky sidewall/chimney water heater question

    www.duravent.com. 1-800-835-4429. that may not work in canadaland. they have an email function. breid...........

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    • #3
      Re: Tricky sidewall/chimney water heater question

      also chimney probably will not draw right with wh only. my guess is that it wasn't functioning right in the first place. you will need a reline kit. carbon monoxide. who is doing the new furnace? you will be wise to get someone that is licensed to look this over. we have a power vent water heater. it's not any loader than our power vent furnace. breid................

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      • #4
        Re: Tricky sidewall/chimney water heater question

        Install a electric water heater

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        • #5
          Re: Tricky sidewall/chimney water heater question

          Going the new outside chimney route (if it is even allowed by code) will cost you WAY MORE than a power vented gas water heater. Your best bet it to have a power vented gas water heater installed (as you are doing with the furnace). If you can tolerate the noise from the furnace, you can do the same for the water heater. Going electric will be almost silent, but be prepared to high hydro bills (even higher when Toronto goes to the new off peak/on peak billing). If you call the gas company they can give you suggestions, but be prepared, they may LOCK OUT your gas meter if they find something they don't like! (eg. if your masonry chimney isnt lined)

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          • #6
            Re: Tricky sidewall/chimney water heater question

            Thanks for your kind insights.

            I've abandoned the idea of going with a chimney out the old coal door and will likely go with either a new b vent up 3 floors through the existing chimney or a powervent. A tankless setup is a possibility but from everything I read here are an expensive way to go with much possibility of problems down the line. I'd like to keep it simple and I'm leaning towards the b vent update. I'm waiting for a quote to see how expensive it will be.

            Thanks again.

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