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Venting a gas water heater

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  • Venting a gas water heater

    A customer of mine would like to convert his leaking electric water heater to gas. He has the gas line already to the area where the current heater is (he wanted to convert to gas when his current heater went bad when he installed the gas lines in his house) I will obviously need to vent this heater. Can a conventional gas heater be vented through a wall instead of the roof or is a power vent unit required for that situation? If vented through the wall, does the vent have to be run all the way up the side of the house past the roof line or can it be terminated shortly after it exits the wall (keeping in mind conventional gas not a power vent)? I was reading a rheem installation manual i had laying around and it just mentions that if vented through the wall it must be 6 inches away from any combustible materials, no mention of having the vent run up the side of the house. There is no chimney in the house. I've only converted gas to electric not the other way around. What's the best thing to do here? The existing heater is located at the front wall of the basement.

  • #2
    I think i may have answered my own question - A direct vent gas heater. Is this the best solution?

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    • #3
      have to use a power vent unit. even if u run a bvent up the side of the house a cold chimney wont draft, causeing exhaust to spill out in the house.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Theron
        A customer of mine would like to convert his leaking electric water heater to gas. He has the gas line already to the area where the current heater is (he wanted to convert to gas when his current heater went bad when he installed the gas lines in his house) I will obviously need to vent this heater. Can a conventional gas heater be vented through a wall instead of the roof or is a power vent unit required for that situation? If vented through the wall, does the vent have to be run all the way up the side of the house past the roof line or can it be terminated shortly after it exits the wall (keeping in mind conventional gas not a power vent)? I was reading a rheem installation manual i had laying around and it just mentions that if vented through the wall it must be 6 inches away from any combustible materials, no mention of having the vent run up the side of the house. There is no chimney in the house. I've only converted gas to electric not the other way around. What's the best thing to do here? The existing heater is located at the front wall of the basement.
        Theron.

        A couple of points here. I see in your next post you decided a direct-vent is a better choice and that is fine but it is a little troubling to me that you did not know the answers to the other questions. I thought I might hit on a few of those so you will know next time.

        1. The vent which requires 6" of clearance from combustibles is the single wall vent connector. (ameriflex is okay with 1")

        2. You cannot run a single wall vent any further than to the base of the house vent and never through a wall or a ceiling.

        3. A double wall vent (B-Vent) is normally used for the house vent and requires 1" clearances from combustibles. Most manufactures of B-Vent do not want their vents run exposed outside of the building envelope except for the termination. When a B-Vent is installed outside it takes too long to heat up the pipe so the vent will work properly.

        4. Double wall Amerivent must terminate 1' above the roof and 8' from any vertical surface.

        I'm not busting your chops I'm only trying to keep you from making a mistake.

        Mark
        Last edited by ToUtahNow; 04-09-2006, 05:26 PM.
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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        • #5
          mark, you might have read about a tankless installation that i had to redo after it was installed with a repipe and was inspected by the city.

          not only did the installer use the exisiting 1/2'' gas line to hook up a heater that can draw 190,000 btu, but the cat. 3 vent was hooked up backwards with an appliance connector and it terminated 6'' from the ground.

          by the way the gas meter and earthquake valve was also reversed and it didn't register.

          easy soloution was to remove the heater and install it outdoors with the proper vent cap. reverse the meter and run a new 3/4'' gas line. now things are safe and she has more hot water since the burner can now draw the full btu rating.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            I will go with the power vent unit. Much simpler to install and a smaller vent hole (3" vs. 6" - less noticeable). Plus the electric and gas lines are already there. I really like the American Water Heater Company's power vent. I've used it several times before and i like it because it has no electronics, just electrics (relays and such).

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