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Old 07-01-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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Direct Vent Issues


Hello

I've been through about 4 water heaters here at this house in 15 yrs since I usually buy them used. My most recent heater ended up leaking from the top (inside). My home is a split level in which my mechanical room in on the ground floor slab in the center of the home. Gas furnace and Water heater reside inside this 'closet' and share a vent through the roof.

So I've been looking for a used heater for over a week now with no luck (and no hot water)

Until today I finally found a used heater from a small store that was never fired up although water was hooked up - they just never connected the Natural Gas to it.

The WH is a Bradford White DS150S6FBN which appears to be a decent WH for 150 bucks. The CL ad has some photos [ http://raleigh.craigslist.org/app/3846524624.html ]of part of the direct vent apparatus that is part of my question.

OK - so my old water heater is a simple natural gas that vents through the top of the house although the heater is on the slab in the center of the home. It sits probably 10 ft from any outer wall and there are many obstacles so horizontal venting appears to be a headache. Vertical venting will also be a headache since the vent is singular (non-coaxial)... and it's quite a long run from the bottom floor through the top floor through the attic etc.

Question: Can I split off the coaxial duct on the heater and vent the exhaust through my existing vertical and either ..

A take air from the immediate environment (the room)
B Run a dedicated duct for combustion air from outside


The old water heater used air from the immediate environment to burn the gas so it really wouldn't make any difference from the way it used to be right?

If I can choose option A ^ maybe I can just remove that top manifold that feeds air to the combustion chamber. Leave the vertical pipe on there and suck air from 5' off the ground inside the room?

Thank you in advance for any help

Water Heater Specs:

product overview
http://s3.pexsupply.com/product_file...N-Overview.pdf
installation instructions
http://s3.pexsupply.com/product_file...BN-Install.pdf
solid vent instructions
http://s3.pexsupply.com/product_file...6FBN-Solid.pdf
flex vent instructions
http://s3.pexsupply.com/manuals/1271..._PROD_FILE.pdf

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Old 07-01-2013, 04:09 PM   #2
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Direct Vent Issues


From the Installation Manual which you need to read:

This is a Direct Vent Gas Water Heater where all air for combustion is
obtained from the outside atmosphere and all flue gases are discharged to
the outside atmosphere.
A vent kit that was designed for use with this
water heater must be used when installing this water heater. If a vent
kit was provided with the water heater, install the water heater with that
vent kit per the instructions provided in the vent kit. If a vent kit was
not provided with the water heater, refer to the label on the water
heater to determine the proper vent kit options. Contact the supplier
that you purchased the water heater from to obtain the correct vent kit.

The Installation Manual should answer all of your questions about how to vent the water heater.

Be certain it is not set up for propane if you are connecting it to natural gas or vice-versa.

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Old 07-01-2013, 04:12 PM   #3
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Direct Vent Issues


Thanks for the reply

What is the difference between air from outside and air from inside if it's for combustion?
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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You only buy used water heaters? Why? Yeah, they're probably cheaper, but you likely never know just how "used" they are. In the overall scheme of home ownership, a new water heater is a trivial expense IMO. And who the heck sells used water heaters anyway? I've certainly never seen any.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:24 PM   #5
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Glad that kind of cost is trivial for you - but it's not for me

I'm a working musician so you can consider me a struggling artist - I do what I can to get by
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:51 PM   #6
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Better being a struggling musician then a dead one because of carbon monoxide..
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:55 PM   #7
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So that's the best info I'm gonna get here is read the manual? I thought it was a discussion forum

I've seen splitting the vents done on a high efficiency furnace so it can't be that unheard of. Care to drop some knowledge or you just don't know huh.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:03 PM   #8
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The vent on the tank your planning on using is a double shell in construction. It has intake air and carbon monoxide going out. The intake air is applied to a specific part of your tank that differs by manufacture. The vent is relatively short and must come with the tank. Using anything that is not supplied by the manufacture or installed per the manufacture instructions may cause your untimely death. But that would be your choice...
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
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Perhaps you might just go with an electric tank they are cheaper and run 240 to it. On the bright side I know you will wake up after a nights sleep.. And they usually last 10 years or so new out of the box.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:10 PM   #10
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BW has a wonderful tech line that will address your specific questions.
Every power vent model is different in regards to venting.
Personal experience is if you vary from their methods/limitations in the manual- expect problems.
Natural and mech. vents can be combined- but again, you need to meet specific design criteria
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzolve View Post
Thanks for the reply

What is the difference between air from outside and air from inside if it's for combustion?
This is a good question. Think about how many ways you can take air out of your home. Your dryer, your bathroom vent, your cooking vent (if vented to the outside) your heater (gas or oil), a fan in your window etc. Now think about where the air comes back into the home, an open window, opening a door, infiltration into the home through cracks and openings. If the make up air is not supplied to the home/appliances you can actually pull the house into a vacuum state. If the easiest place for your home to draw air from is your chimney or through the vent of a fuel burning appliance, guess where your make-up air will come from? I have seen this happen and it can cause all sorts of nasty things not to mention the potential for it to be fatal.

If you think about your home as having a limited supply of air, you can then understand why it is desirable to have combustion air taken from the outside. You do not have to worry about an adequate supply of inside air to feed the appliance... the outside has plenty. A quick Internet search explaining the reason for make up air in a residential home will give you a better understanding of how serious the problem can be. The worst house I was ever in that had a problem like this had windows coated in condensation, mold behind pictures mounted on the wall, and the family complained of the "weekend flu" meaning when they went to work/school during the week they felt fine. However over the weekend spending more time inside the home they began to feel ill. The homeowner didn't want to believe me that they had a problem with no fresh air coming into the home. I finally convinced them to leave a window open in the basement for a few weeks. They called me about three weeks later and told me that the condensation had gone away and they generally felt much better overall. So, make-up air is important especially in new construction and homes that are being sealed up to be more energy efficient.

I hope this helps.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
BW has a wonderful tech line that will address your specific questions.
Every power vent model is different in regards to venting.
Personal experience is if you vary from their methods/limitations in the manual- expect problems.
Natural and mech. vents can be combined- but again, you need to meet specific design criteria

I did not want to be on that future lawsuit....

Safety first folks.... Death does not give you a redo!
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzolve View Post
So that's the best info I'm gonna get here is read the manual? I thought it was a discussion forum

I've seen splitting the vents done on a high efficiency furnace so it can't be that unheard of. Care to drop some knowledge or you just don't know huh.
This is a discussion forum, however if you are installing a piece of equipment in your home that can potentially injure or kill if it is not installed according to codes and the manufacturers instructions then you had better read the manual. There are way too many products on the market for us to give you a set answer because they may not apply to your situation. Additionally if we tell you that you can do something and it specifies in the manual that you are not to do what we are telling you to do then we look like we don't know what we are talking about. Even the most seasoned professionals read installation manuals on equipment that is new to them and to check the manual for the needed specs for installation. In this business, one size does not fit all.

The caveat here is the information on this forum is sometimes incomplete or insufficient and does not supersede your installation manuals, codes, permits or other possible required methods. We can make suggestions but ultimately if you are going to do this yourself, it is up to you to do it safely and according to the instructions.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:27 PM   #14
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Fair enough

Thanks for elaborating a bit

I'll call the manufacturer tomorrow but frankly don't expect to hear anything different than what the manual says for reasons stated above.

Does a coaxial vent tend to cause condensation more than other vent types due to cool and hot air being adjacent to each other.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzolve View Post
Does a coaxial vent tend to cause condensation more than other vent types due to cool and hot air being adjacent to each other.
The cool air coming in won't condensate on the hot pipe going out. What little there will be would likely evaporate during the post run-purge of the venting.

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