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Old 03-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
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Water heater intake conversion


Hi everyone, I have a water heater in my basement hat has a fan powered exhaust vent. the Water heater is in an open space in the basement, with no restrictions to the combustion air inlet at the base. Since the combustion air inlet pulls in heated air from the basement (this is burning heated air), is there an easy way of introducing external fresh air for the water heater alone?. I am considering building a small enclosure with a door around the heater and have a vent piped to outdoor air, so the water heater can pull in external air for combustion.
Is there an easier way or some conversion kit that can be wrapped around the base with a vent that can be tied into another fresh air intake?
any ideas or code requirements for the enclosure would be appreciated

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Old 03-30-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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Water heater intake conversion


IT is very dangerous and illegal to modify the intake and would completely void the UL and CGA/AGA gas approvals so no it cannot be done. You can seal the room and bring in outside air but would need to drill a 4" hole in the wall and bring a insulated pipe in from it to near the heater. Would not really save much $$ in fuel and that room would be very cold but would alllow you to close up the room.

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Old 03-30-2013, 11:31 AM   #3
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Water heater intake conversion


thanks Yuri, i was considering the enclosure more, when i bought the house the inspector suggested that an external vent and enclosure be added to allow the water heater to use external air rather than the heated air in the basement,to reduce room heating costs.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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Water heater intake conversion


well he is dreaming and does not know that is not mechanically possible or safe etc. there are tankless heaters that are sealed combustion/use outside air and considering that the average tank htr lasts about 10 yrs and are quite expensive a tankless may last longer and be better. then you can mount it to an outside wall and as long as the venting is possible ( not always possible due to clearances/codes etc ) a tankless may be a better option.
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