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Old 05-29-2010, 07:43 PM   #1
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Gas Hot Water Heater


Hi everyone,

I am having some issues with the exhaust from my gas hot water heater. I will give as many details as I can, but if I forget something, let me know!

My hot water heater sends its exhaust through my chimney. It is currently the only thing using the chimney, as my furnace is a new high efficiency.

The hot water heater ducting is connected to a flexible metal tube that runs to the top of the chimney, and out.

I seem to be getting some air backing up, and it's affecting the flow of the gases out of the house.

If I leave a basement window open, the problem goes away.

I feel I will need to install some kind of vent coming inside, but as it is a brick house, that wont be happening anytime soon.

Can I install some sort of in line fan to push the gases out the chimney? Would this work?

Any input is greatly appreciated

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Old 05-30-2010, 03:19 PM   #2
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Gas Hot Water Heater


Is this a sudden issue?
How long has the HWH worked with this arrangement?

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Old 05-30-2010, 03:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Is this a sudden issue?
How long has the HWH worked with this arrangement?
Hello and thanks for the reply,

My wife and I bought this house in August of 2008, and this is how it was set up then.

This is a recent problem as of this week. It started when the air conditioning was turned on.

It never set off any carbon monoxide detectors or anything, so I am sure the house is safe. I still have the window open.
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Old 05-30-2010, 03:40 PM   #4
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Gas Hot Water Heater


The first thing I would do is to check to be sure that birds or squirrels or wasps haven't nested in the pipe. Check to see if there is a screen and or weather cap that terminates the flu pipe. If not there should be.
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Old 05-30-2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
The first thing I would do is to check to be sure that birds or squirrels or wasps haven't nested in the pipe. Check to see if there is a screen and or weather cap that terminates the flu pipe. If not there should be.
There is (a top), and it seems clear to me (no nests, debris, etc)

And I believe it to be clear, as the pipe does the job it's supposed to just fine when the window is open. It's definitely an air pressure problem. Is there such thing as an inline fan that I could use for this?

Last edited by undervenued; 05-30-2010 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 05-30-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
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Is there such thing as an inline fan that I could use for this?
I don't know for sure. I doubt you can place a positive draw on that type of flu without running the risk of blowing out a pilot light. If the burner has an electric-start then maybe!
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Old 05-30-2010, 05:59 PM   #7
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Gas Hot Water Heater


You don't have enough make up air coming into the basement to give the water heater enough oxygen and allow the combustion gases to go up the chimney.

Did you make the house more towards airtight, for example improve the weatherstripping on windows upstairs?

Does the central air conditioner suck air from the basement, perhaps due to a loose duct?
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Last edited by AllanJ; 05-30-2010 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 05-30-2010, 06:12 PM   #8
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You don't have enough make up air coming into the basement to give the water heater enough oxygen and allow the combustion gases to go up the chimney.

Did you make the house more towards airtight, for example improve the weatherstripping on windows upstairs?

Does the central air conditioner suck air from the basement, perhaps due to a loose duct?
That is possible....

Another thing I just thought of: I have all of the vents closed in the basement, as we rarely use that area. I wonder if opening them would help to keep some of the air down there?

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