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Water Heater Venting Problems

I have a natural gas 40 gal. A.O. Smith water heater that was installed in October 2004. It vents out the chimney as did the old furnace that sat beside it. Last summer, 2007, I had a new 95% efficient furnace/ac installed and that had to be vented separately out of the side of the house. That left only the water heater vented up the chimney. One month after the furnace installation, the thermocoupler had to be replaced on the water heater. That thermocoupler was replaced again in January 2008. I have been told that since the chimney has no liner, the water heater can not vent properly. The only solution is to line the chimney or replace the natural gas water heater with an electric, which does not vent. Any ideas to solve my problem?:(

Re: Water Heater Venting Problems

Roger .... i would have to agree that there isn't proper venting for the HW tank ... the chimney is probably too large for proper draw .

It looks as though you have 3 options:

  1. reline the chimney - fairly expensive but you'll be able to use a reasonably priced conventional HW tank
  2. go to a power vented gas unit - more costly HW tank
  3. electric tank - tanks are reasonably priced .... can be cost effective installation though availability of extra 220 capacity in panel is a consideration.

If you do decide to switch over to the electric there is an adjustment of the recovery being a bit slower than gas. Typically a larger capacity of tank is generally considered to offset this.
Hope this helps.:)

Re: Water Heater Venting Problems

Can you run another dedicated vent out through the roof or sidewall ?

Re: Water Heater Venting Problems

The water heater is located in the basement and would be difficult to vent to the roof. Side wall is possible as the new furnace was done this way.

Re: Water Heater Venting Problems

The furnace that you have probably has a forced air vent and integral intake as well. Your conventional gas water heater does not vent this way. This costs $$$. It may sound like a jackleg thing to do but if there is no other equipment or fire places using the flue or offsets in the existing flue you could fish your B vent down the flue carefully and hook it up in the basement. Just consider the liner a chase and you'll get the picture. Fab up an over size storm coller and size the vent properly for the distance and your there.

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