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Old 10-13-2009, 03:02 PM   #1
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


This might be kind of a dumb question but I have a gas hot water tank that vents out into my chimney. I think the chimney flue has been open for years - it was stuck open. I just managed to close it by cleaning the crud off the mechanism...but do you hav to leave it open for the hot water tank gas vent? Will the vapors still make their way up and out the chimney if the flue is closed?

thanks

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Old 10-13-2009, 06:15 PM   #2
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


It needs to be open or you will get CO poisoning. AND the chimney should have the proper size liner or the fumes will attack the mortar and deteriorate it and cause a huge problem and repair $$.

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Old 10-13-2009, 06:36 PM   #3
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


another dumb question - it is safe to burn wood in the fireplace if the hot watr tank is vented into it right?
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


No. The fumes and moisture from a water heater can deteriorate ANY unlined chimney. Don't believe most codes and building inspectors and insurance companies allow that either.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:09 PM   #5
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


really? so all these people that have water heaters vented into the chimney aren't using the fireplace?

when i bought this house it was clear that the fireplace had been in use as there was ash inside. i'm a little confused...apparently, the fireplace was inspected in 2005 and certified for insurance purposes.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:41 PM   #6
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


Gas burning appliances in my area have to be vented into a lined chimney. Wood has to have its own chimney. Codes may be different in your area. The liner protects the masonry chimney.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:12 PM   #7
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


Your chimney should and probably does have two stacks.

Older chimneys have terracotta liners.If your chimney was recently inspected your 'liner' is surely quite fine.

The fireplace should have its own flue. Closing the damper,as you did,is the right thing to do when not using the fireplace,

The fire place damper has nothing to do with your furnace or water heater.

MIKE
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:25 PM   #8
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OK thanks that is starting to make some sense. I'm a new homeowner and I don't know anything about this stuff. So the hot water tank is usually vented into its own stack up the chimney?
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:58 PM   #9
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


Usually, yes. But it is still recommended to have that part of the chimney lined. You probably have separate chimneys.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:48 PM   #10
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


His chimney was just inspected. It is lined-Perhaps with terracotta Perhaps with steel-The expert looked at it and deemed it safe.

Relax-With a new (older) house surely there are plenty of real problems to worry about.-MIKE-
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:41 PM   #11
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


Quote:
Originally Posted by trees View Post
This might be kind of a dumb question but I have a gas hot water tank that vents out into my chimney. I think the chimney flue has been open for years - it was stuck open. I just managed to close it by cleaning the crud off the mechanism...but do you hav to leave it open for the hot water tank gas vent? Will the vapors still make their way up and out the chimney if the flue is closed?

thanks
You should have a clear understanding of this system of evacuating poisonous gases up the chimney. I do not share ,"oh,mikes" seemingly casual approach to this subject. There are no more important issues then a properly maintained chimney.
If your house has a fireplace, it should have two separate flues. One flue is dedicated to the fireplace. There should not be anything else vented into it.
The other flue vents gases from your heating system and your hot water heater. These two pipes converge together near the basement wall and one pipe enters the wall opening which should have a seal around the pipes perimeter.
If the house has always had natural gas heat and hot water the flue pipe should have been sized to it. If the house originally had oil heat and was converted, the flue should be stainless steel or the gases will corrode the clay liner. This deterioration can fill the base with pieces of the liner and cause carbon monoxide to get into the basement.
The fireplace chimney flue should be examined and cleaned every year if you consistantly use the fireplace. While the chimney cleaner is up on the roof, he should check both flues for deterioration. If he says the flues need repair, call in someone else to confirm the issue as chimney cleaners are notorious thieves.
Make sure you have both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the basement. Better if they are interconnected.
Ron
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:23 AM   #12
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gas hot water tank vent & chimney flue


thanks for this. I did check into it a bit more and yes there are two flues in the chimney - one for the hot water tank and the other for the fireplace. The furnace is vented directly out through the wall. The stack coming out on top of the chimney for the hot water tank appears to be stainless steel, so I think everything is fine.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
You should have a clear understanding of this system of evacuating poisonous gases up the chimney. I do not share ,"oh,mikes" seemingly casual approach to this subject. There are no more important issues then a properly maintained chimney.
If your house has a fireplace, it should have two separate flues. One flue is dedicated to the fireplace. There should not be anything else vented into it.
The other flue vents gases from your heating system and your hot water heater. These two pipes converge together near the basement wall and one pipe enters the wall opening which should have a seal around the pipes perimeter.
If the house has always had natural gas heat and hot water the flue pipe should have been sized to it. If the house originally had oil heat and was converted, the flue should be stainless steel or the gases will corrode the clay liner. This deterioration can fill the base with pieces of the liner and cause carbon monoxide to get into the basement.
The fireplace chimney flue should be examined and cleaned every year if you consistantly use the fireplace. While the chimney cleaner is up on the roof, he should check both flues for deterioration. If he says the flues need repair, call in someone else to confirm the issue as chimney cleaners are notorious thieves.
Make sure you have both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the basement. Better if they are interconnected.
Ron

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