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Old 04-20-2019, 01:16 PM   #1
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What is this thing in my basement?


I'm relocating my washer and dryer and where I want to penetrate for the exterior dryer venting there is this 5" insulated duct which is attached to a vent box on my floor. Picture attached.

Looks my furnace already has combustion venting and there is also a 5" exterior vent tied into the furnace return plenum.

Any ideas what this is for?




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Old 04-20-2019, 01:18 PM   #2
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


That's combustion air from outside.

Was the furnace replaced? It may have even been moved.

Does your furnace have two plastic pipes? Do you have a gas or propane water heater down there?
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:26 PM   #3
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


Mind the quality my phone is ancient.

Yeah to the gas water heater and this is the other ducting I have. No plastic pipe like I see with the new high efficiency furnaces.

Furnace was replaced maybe 8 years ago.

Also not attached, I couldn't get a photo of the 5" duct that comes out of the back of the furnace front the supply plenum.

If I keep the furnace room well ventilated can I hijack that pipes penetration?

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Old 04-20-2019, 01:37 PM   #4
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


Your furnace and water heater take combustion air from the basement.

Many basements aren't tight enough for a separate combustion air intake to be required, but it was likely put there to comply with code so you shouldn't remove it.

The 5" pipe going to the return is there to ventilate the house, not supply air for combustion. You can damper that one down if you think the house is being over-ventilated.
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:39 PM   #5
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


Quote:
Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
Your furnace and water heater take combustion air from the basement.

Many basements aren't tight enough for a separate combustion air intake to be required, but it was likely put there to comply with code so you shouldn't remove it.

The 5" pipe going to the return is there to ventilate the house, not supply air for combustion. You can damper that one down if you think the house is being over-ventilated.
Well that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the information I know what i need to do now.

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Old 04-20-2019, 06:50 PM   #6
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


That exhaust venting has a few issues. It looks like it would be illegal around these parts.

Cheers!
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:59 PM   #7
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


Looks like it's going into a flex chimney liner (which is okay?) and the water heater venting doesn't have enough of a slope.

i don't know the codes - anything else?
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:09 PM   #8
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


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Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
Looks like it's going into a flex chimney liner (which is okay?) and the water heater venting doesn't have enough of a slope.

i don't know the codes - anything else?
If it's a rated chimney liner, it's not so bad, although it could still be done better. It looks more like aluminum flex, which is thinner.

Clearances to combustibles on the C-vent don't look good either. Sizing also looks weird.

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Old 04-20-2019, 08:07 PM   #9
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


If it's illegal in ontario it's probably also illegal in alberta.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:36 AM   #10
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


Im suiting our the basement so during the renovations Id like to fix it then. What do I need to do?


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Old 04-21-2019, 10:14 AM   #11
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


The pipe coming up through the floor is combustion air from the outside? So it goes under the concrete slab and comes out to daylight? Presumably high enough that it doesnt get covered in snow? OP - have you identified where that pipe exits your house?
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:30 AM   #12
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


Your venting from the furnace looks a bit odd/bush league but it probably meets code OK.

Alberta is very lenient about codes and I lived in Calgary for awhile and know all about what goes on there.

The vent from outside to the floor is a combustion air vent and is code and must be there.

If you get a high efficiency furnace in the future and replace the water heater with one that vents thru the wall and is sealed combustion you may be able to get rid of it. It is harmless and I would just leave it alone.

The venting from the furnace we normally do in a B vent which is a pipe within a pipe vent but you can use single wall venting in some areas. depends on the local codes and inspectors and like I said "anything goes" in Alberta.

Normally the water heater attaches to the main pipe at a 45 deg angle and looks nicer but yours is OK. If the flex pipe to the chimney is approved liner material then it OK.

We used to use them on York Concept 2000 furnaces back in the 80's and it is OK.

The slope to the water heater is OK and as long as it is slightly sloped upward the fumes travel upward by the suction/draft of the chimney. Hard to tell what the slope is from a pic.

If the duct above the pipe is rusty and metal and not wood then the clearances are OK. If it is wood then it should be protected by metal with a 1" air gap.

I suspect you have no real problems now. As long as a permit was taken out and it was inspected when it was installed you should be OK.

If you are scared now then call a gas inspector and have it checked. Maybe it was never inspected or a permit taken out.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:13 PM   #13
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
If the duct above the pipe is rusty and metal and not wood then the clearances are OK. If it is wood then it should be protected by metal with a 1" air gap.

I suspect you have no real problems now. As long as a permit was taken out and it was inspected when it was installed you should be OK.

If you are scared now then call a gas inspector and have it checked. Maybe it was never inspected or a permit taken out.
It is hard to tell from pictures, that's why it's hard to be sure of much.

Here we have 1" clearance to combustibles for B-vent, 6" for C-vent, or looks you said 1" air gap with a metal shield. The best option for the OP would probably be just to remove the combustibles in that area, if that's what they are.

Often permits aren't pulled at all. I know that our relations are far more strict then Alberta's, so what's illegal here can very well be legal there. We don't need permits on a replacement though, in most cases.

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Old 04-22-2019, 01:31 PM   #14
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


On a replacement??

Any new unit whether in a new house/install or retrofit needs a permit where I am. All gas water heater replacements too.

Heat exchangers can be replaced with no permit or inspection.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:49 PM   #15
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Re: What is this thing in my basement?


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Originally Posted by schreibdave View Post
The pipe coming up through the floor is combustion air from the outside? So it goes under the concrete slab and comes out to daylight? Presumably high enough that it doesnt get covered in snow? OP - have you identified where that pipe exits your house?
Out through the exterior siding through a louvered vent.

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