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Old 02-21-2013, 05:50 PM   #1
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Why can't a water heater vent be extended?


I bought a house 6 months ago. Turns out the furnace and the water heater were both vented improperly under a deck and right next to a side wall. The heating contractor acknowledges the error and is going to redo it for free. The plumber was less accomodating.

But my question...
Trane recommends fixing the furnace problem by replacing the 2" pipe with 3" pipe, and extending the vent and inlet 6' from the house so they get out from under a deck. The vent will be insulated to prevent it from freezing.

State says the water heater vent must terminate within a short distance of the house, and cannot be extended.

Why the difference between the furnace and the water heater?

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Old 02-21-2013, 06:07 PM   #2
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Why can't a water heater vent be extended?


Does State understand your situation? Have you contacted them or just reading their manual?

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Old 02-21-2013, 06:30 PM   #3
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Why can't a water heater vent be extended?


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Originally Posted by Toller View Post
State says the water heater vent must terminate within a short distance of the house, and cannot be extended.
Must or "should"? And does State quantify what "short distance" means?

Do they cite a total limit on the pipe run?
iow... if the WH were installed 6 feet deeper into the house? Then what?
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:35 PM   #4
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Why can't a water heater vent be extended?


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Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
Does State understand your situation? Have you contacted them or just reading their manual?

I exchanged a number of emails with them. They refuse to say anything good about anything that differs from their instructions. I don't know if that is just covering their ass, or if it is real. For instance; I could easily replace the first part of the pipe with 3", including two 45 and one 90 elbow. Common sense is that will significantly "shorten" the run. They say I am free to do that, but it doesn't change the 30' limit on 2" pipe. (Trane on the other hand won't allow mixing sizes).

So I don't know if there is a good reason not to extend the pipe (6' outdoors under my deck, if that wasn't clear) or if they just won't consider changes.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
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Why can't a water heater vent be extended?


Just throwing this out. Maybe the concern is condensate buildup. I have a power vented Bradford white and had to install a condensate drain when I relocated/extended the exhaust.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:08 PM   #6
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Why can't a water heater vent be extended?


This is BS. "Short Distance" is not specific, and left open to interpretation. Any "Engineering" concern that cannot explain the exact reason for their requirements is not worth crap. Take them to task. This is very typical of local "Barney Fife" building inspectors that are political appointees. Speculating what an uninformed person's reasons are for demanding that you do something in a certain way is truly an exercise in futility.
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Last edited by jagans; 02-21-2013 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
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Why can't a water heater vent be extended?


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Originally Posted by jagans View Post
This is BS. "Short Distance" is not specific, and left open to interpretation. Any "Engineering" concern that cannot explain the exact reason for their requirements is not worth crap. Take them to task. This is very typical of local "Barney Fife" building inspectors that are political appointees. Speculating what an uninformed person's reasons are for demanding that you do something in a certain way is truly an exercise in futility.

They make the water heaters. They might well be wrong, or overly conservative, but I doubt they are uninformed.

BTW the building inspector was very sorry that he approved something so obviously wrong, but says he basically assumes the contractor knows the requirements.

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