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Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

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  • Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

    I just replaced my old gas furnace with a new one. It sits in a small hallway closet next to my water heater.

    As shown in the attached photo, the old furnace (shown on the left of the photo) had its flue coming out of the top of the unit, while the new furnace has it coming out of the right side where the water heater is located. So the furnace ducting is now blocking the water heater, which is not a problem.

    But when I eventually replace the water heater in a few years, I'm wondering if it's going to be a big deal to remove/replace this ducting, especially for a water heater installer or plumber who does not normally do hvac work?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

    Nope, no problem, A plumber already has to hook up water heater flues, so removing the furnace flue is no stretch
    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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    • #3
      Re: Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

      It really isn't a big deal, very easy to take apart and put back together. You really should not install an appliance to where any part needs to be removed to change out or repair. But, sometimes with so many other restrictions you have to do what you have to do.
      AllurePlumbing.com
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      Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

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      • #4
        Re: Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

        it's just an easy job for the plumber for a problem like that.
        How to find the Best Australia Plumbing Services?

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        • #5
          Re: Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

          I just noticed another issue: The gas line coming out of the right side of the furnace is blocking the space needed to remove the water heater. As you see in the attached photo (with furnace cover removed), the gas line in the furnace is hard-piped to an elbow that connects down to a flex line. This elbow would need to be removed to allow the water heater to come out, as it is already a very tight fit in this small closet. I did not expect this furnace replacement to create challenges for the next water heater replacement. Now, in addition to the duct removal/replacement, the gas line is another thing to deal with. I wish I noticed this before the contractor left.

          Perhaps two better solutions would be to 1) use a shorter nipple that crosses through the furnace so the elbow does not extend out so far, or 2) just bring the flex connector through the furnace wall and into the furnace. Do either of these alternatives sound reasonable?
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

            You are worrying for nothing. You cannot extend a flex connector through a wall. I cannot really see your pic on my phone, but again the plumber will have no problem moving anything out of his way. It may be an extra little pain in the neck but easily planned for if they look at the job first.

            I don't see a problem with at least calling the company and asking them if something can be done on their dime rather than you paying that much more for a water heater swap.
            AllurePlumbing.com
            • leak detection
            • drain cleaning
            • utility locating
            • conductor fault locating
            • and other specialties.

            Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

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            • #7
              Re: Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

              Originally posted by Gettinit View Post
              You are worrying for nothing. You cannot extend a flex connector through a wall. I cannot really see your pic on my phone, but again the plumber will have no problem moving anything out of his way. It may be an extra little pain in the neck but easily planned for if they look at the job first.

              I don't see a problem with at least calling the company and asking them if something can be done on their dime rather than you paying that much more for a water heater swap.
              You may be right, I may be over-reacting. After spending some time scoping this job, and then spending thousands of dollars to get it done, I am just kicking myself for a couple things I did not anticipate.

              Anyway, thanks for letting me know that you cannot bring a flex line into the furnace. That means a shorter nipple would be a workable solution, as only another inch or so is needed for clearance.

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              • #8
                Re: Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

                Are both of those appliances connected to the gas line with stove connectors?
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Furnace flue ducting blocks water heater

                  Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                  Are both of those appliances connected to the gas line with stove connectors?
                  Both the furnace and water heater are connected to the gas supply using yellow flex connectors and ball (shutoff) valves. They were just replaced new along with the furnace.

                  If you were referring to something else as "stove connectors", please let me know and I'll try to answer.

                  I should add that I am in CA and I believe our code requires flex connectors.
                  Last edited by AverageHomeowner; 07-15-2012, 07:58 PM.

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