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  • Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

    Cleaned a fireplace chimney, 22 F. outside, finished at 9 p.m.

    Neither water heater nor furnace were even burning!
    So much heat is lost from the water tank up the flue 24/7, does anyone make a water heater which can close a damper to stop heat loss?

    That warm air constantly convecting up their vent is also pulling frigid air into their basement, chilling their basement and furnace.

    Any recommendations?

    Thank you.
    RoBERT the chimney sweep
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

  • #2
    Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

    when you get into the commercial line of heaters, they have dampers on top the draft diverter.

    problem is they can be finicky and cause the heater to stop if they don't properly open.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
      when you get into the commercial line of heaters, they have dampers on top the draft diverter.

      problem is they can be finicky and cause the heater to stop if they don't properly open.

      rick.
      I avrage about 30 emergancy calls a year on no hot water to condos due to flue dampers I persanaly cant stand them I havent found one that works good
      SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
        when you get into the commercial line of heaters, they have dampers on top the draft diverter.
        problem is they can be finicky and cause the heater to stop if they don't properly open. rick.
        Thank you.
        Are there any such heaters for residential use?
        The houses in their area are 10 years old. About 2,000 sq. ft.

        The constant heat loss is terrible.
        I suggested they enclose their water heater and furnace in a utility room so the piped-in make-up air does not fill the whole basement.
        I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
        It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
        "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

          I couldn't find the old flue blower I had years ago in Michigan, but this might be a solution.

          http://www.scfab.com.au/index.php?pa...age=austenitic
          Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

            Originally posted by speedbump View Post
            I couldn't find the old flue blower I had ...
            I thought you were talking about me.

            This damper would close the water heater vent to stop the constant convective pulling of cold air into the bottom of the water heater, that air sapping heat from the hot water and exhausting the heat out of the house.

            If the damper could close the vent above the water heater, at least the lost heat would warm the basement.
            I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
            It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
            "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

              I believe it was called "Ameritherm" Inline vent dampers that opened and closed based on the heat from flue gases using bimetallic dampers that would straighten and so open when the gas burner turned on. The problem is carbon would build up on the dampers and plug the flue. I don't know if they are still sold. Haven't seen one in years, and wouldn't put one in if they are still available.

              Sorry, not much help.

              Ahh.... They're toast.

              http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...nt-damper.html
              Time flies like an arrow.

              Fruit flies like a banana.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

                if you plug vent where will you get "lost heat" to warm the basement? when wh calls for heat power damper will have to open or wh will shut down if everything is installed to snuff. there were a lot of those installed here in the 80s. there were also just about as many uninstalled. as the rickster said they are finicky. breid............

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

                  I thought you were talking about me.
                  What I was looking for was a gadget that installed in the pipe at the top of the heater. It has a stack of tubes that the exhaust gasses flowed through which heated them, then the fan would blow the heat into the basement. It worked very well to help heat the basement, but it wasn't a damper by any stretch. Here is one: I just found it using Magic heat. Here's the link since I'm not able to put in images.
                  http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...1508_200331508
                  Last edited by speedbump; 12-02-2010, 09:50 AM.
                  Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    when you get into the commercial line of heaters, they have dampers on top the draft diverter.

                    problem is they can be finicky and cause the heater to stop if they don't properly open.

                    rick.
                    I agree with the unreliability of the auto dampers. several of the B.W. 100 gal gas w.h.'s I service at the High School have them switched to always open.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

                      On an electric water heater, damper is closed all the time,
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                      attributed to Samuel Johnson
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

                        Originally posted by speedbump View Post
                        What I was looking for was a gadget that installed in the pipe at the top of the heater. It has a stack of tubes that the exhaust gasses flowed through which heated them, then the fan would blow the heat into the basement. It worked very well to help heat the basement, but it wasn't a damper by any stretch. Here is one: I just found it using Magic heat. Here's the link since I'm not able to put in images.
                        http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...1508_200331508
                        the magic heat is great on wood and coal stoves and I have heard on some oil burners, but In in my experience with using one for the past 30 years would not think they would that great of an addition on a residential water heater, as I really doubt if the flue temperatures are really hot enough for the proper operation or to take advantage of the magic heat, heat exchanger,

                        if the heat exchanger was mounted before the Draft hood it would work better, but I am not sure what that alteration would do to the "UL" rating of the appliance and if it would meet code. if that alteration was made,

                        another thing one needs to watch out for is cooling the flu temperatures to much, so one does keep the draft working,

                        also if there is a gas furnace, on that flue there is a good chance that there is a built in "draft hood" on the furnace as well dumping room air up the chimney as well,

                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                        I have never dealt with power vented water heaters but wonder if that may not be the better approach to solving the problem,

                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                        because as long as you have the draft hoods on an appliance your just venting up room temperature air into the chimney, (keeping the draft intact keeping the air moving and the chimney warm),

                        a "furnace or appliance room" may be the way to go, with it own exterior vent for combustion air,

                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                        now I was under the impression that a gas appliance and wood burning appliance (I am guessing here since you sweep the chimney), was not to share the same flue, is that correct, or did I read some thing into the original post that was not there?

                        I do not think one said what type of chimney it was, but is the flue a lined flue?
                        I is my understanding a gas appliance should not be using an unlined brick chimney any way, do the moisture that is produced, and the acids that eat the mortar out of the bricks.
                        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                        attributed to Samuel Johnson
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

                          Originally posted by BHD View Post
                          the magic heat is great on wood and coal stoves and I have heard on some oil burners, but In in my experience with using one for the past 30 years would not think they would that great of an addition on a residential water heater, as I really doubt if the flue temperatures are really hot enough for the proper operation or to take advantage of the magic heat, heat exchanger,
                          if the heat exchanger was mounted before the Draft hood it would work better, but I am not sure what that alteration would do to the "UL" rating of the appliance and if it would meet code. if that alteration was made,
                          another thing one needs to watch out for is cooling the flu temperatures to much, so one does keep the draft working,
                          also if there is a gas furnace, on that flue there is a good chance that there is a built in "draft hood" on the furnace as well dumping room air up the chimney as well,
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          I have never dealt with power vented water heaters but wonder if that may not be the better approach to solving the problem,
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          because as long as you have the draft hoods on an appliance your just venting up room temperature air into the chimney, (keeping the draft intact keeping the air moving and the chimney warm),
                          a "furnace or appliance room" may be the way to go, with it own exterior vent for combustion air,
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          now I was under the impression that a gas appliance and wood burning appliance (I am guessing here since you sweep the chimney), was not to share the same flue, is that correct, or did I read some thing into the original post that was not there?
                          I do not think one said what type of chimney it was, but is the flue a lined flue?
                          I is my understanding a gas appliance should not be using an unlined brick chimney any way, do the moisture that is produced, and the acids that eat the mortar out of the bricks.
                          You are correct on everything.
                          Each unit must have its own flue. Only a furnace and water heater may share a common flue sized to handle both simultaneously operating.

                          So much heat is constantly "siphoned" out of the basement, pulling in frigid replacement air, that it chills the water heater and furnace and basement and heating ducts - everything.

                          I wish there were a way to close a damper and stop the 24/365 draft.
                          I could connect an electric damper to the furnace which must open before the furnace can light, but know of no way to do it for the water heater.
                          And the water heater is what creates the constant draft.

                          The power vent seems the only way to correct this problem.

                          Even though electric heating is 100% efficient, and an electric water heater has no draft loses, is it still morexpensive per gallon of water heated than a gas water heater?
                          If I could get a 50-gallon electric water heater for free or little money, I'd run a 220-Volt circuit and operate it.
                          Then seal the gas water heater flue. Our furnace has a powered draft combustion so needs no draft diverter. (I assume it does not make use of the water heater's downdraft diverter.)
                          Last edited by Robert Gift; 12-02-2010, 03:07 PM.
                          I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                          It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                          "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

                            I don't think the power vent is the answer. You still get a draft out the vent. I have a buddy that put a drier vent over his p.v. outlet and said it cut the draft off. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. when the P.V is running it is using a blower to pull conditioned air out of the home. another problem.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sweeping at 8 p.m. Warmed hands over water heater vent.

                              Originally posted by saysflushable View Post
                              I don't think the power vent is the answer. You still get a draft out the vent. I have a buddy that put a drier vent over his p.v. outlet and said it cut the draft off. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. when the P.V is running it is using a blower to pull conditioned air out of the home. another problem.
                              How unfortunate.
                              Could the manufacturer not easily place a flap valve on it to prevent any convective loss?

                              I thought Power Vents brought their own air in through 3" schedule 40 PVC and exhausted through another 3" PVC.

                              I would do just as he did as long as the drier vent could not freeze shut from water condensation. Have a screw keeping it slightly open to allow a small warming draft to keep it from freezing and have CO alarm in the basement.
                              Does the PV detect backpressure and not allow ignition?
                              I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                              It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                              "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                              Comment

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