Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Water Heater spillage

Options
I have spillage from the draft hood of my two year old gas water heater. I have CO meters in place and have never had any issues with elevated CO. Here is a photo of the setup...https://imgur.com/a/nZpqQax
I took the exhaust vent apart and held some tissue paper up to the vent and it held the tissue paper against it which tells me it has a natural draft. Ive looked down the chimney and it appears clear. However, the clay liner is misaligned (photo link: https://imgur.com/a/T2D6ZVj) Im trying to figure out how I could improve the exhaust flow to avoid any spillage. Thanks.

Comments

  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,040
    Options
    Your chimney liner is not intact so by code it must be relined to contain the flue gases. Just ensure it gets sized properly. The vent connector on the water heater should be increased to 4" per the code sizing charts.. No tape on the vent connectors by code. The base of the chimney may still be blocked. The tissue test can give a false positive even with a pencil sized hole. You may have something else in the house, such as an exhaust fan, that is depressurizing the CAZ pulling to that one side. Note that CO alarms are merely death alarms and do nothing to warn against less than lethal CO exposure. You'd need unlisted low level CO monitors. Combustion analysis will tell you how appliances are firing.
    MikefromBostonGordy
  • MikefromBoston
    MikefromBoston Member Posts: 10
    Options
    So I am assuming that there is no "easy" way to realign the existing clay chimney liner? Increasing the vent connector to 4" would probably make it come into contact with the hot water line coming out of the tank so that would have to be altered. I dont have an exhaust fan. The furnace is in the same room as the water heater but that is pulling in air from an intake outside of the room and from the returns.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,075
    Options
    Show how the furnace is pulling in air for combustion from the returns.
    MikefromBoston
  • MikefromBoston
    MikefromBoston Member Posts: 10
    Options
    JUGHNE said:

    Show how the furnace is pulling in air for combustion from the returns.

    https://imgur.com/a/H9g8aUd
    So the large grate is the cool air intake for the furnace. It has a filter in place behind the grate. It is located on the wall just outside of the utility room. In the pictures showing the water heater venting, you see the backside of a wall with exposed 2x4's. The grate is located near the floor of that wall. The other grates in the ceiling are returns that were located on the first floor but when previous owner took a wall down, he cut the returns in the basement and screened the cut ends and left them in place along the floor joists. The remaining returns are located on the first floor. If that makes sense
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    Options
    I concur with @bob Harper. There is more than one miss aligned flue tile. This will allow co to spill into the home depending on flue breach location, and chimney proximity.
    MikefromBoston
  • MikefromBoston
    MikefromBoston Member Posts: 10
    Options
    Gordy said:

    I concur with @bob Harper. There is more than one miss aligned flue tile. This will allow co to spill into the home depending on flue breach location, and chimney proximity.

    A friend suggested wrapping the water heater vent in high heat insulation to improve draft.. Would this at least prevent CO from entering the interior environment?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,613
    Options
    Just this past weekend a 57 year old man was working on his coal stove while it was running. His wife thought they were not feeling well and called 911. By the time they got their the husband was dead, the wife was passed out...she survived. The stove had a blocked flue.

    This happened in Wales, MA small town on the Ct line near Sturbridge.

    Don't fool around with this.

    Everyone thinks it wont happen to them

    insulation will not fix your problem
  • MikefromBoston
    MikefromBoston Member Posts: 10
    Options
    > @EBEBRATT-Ed said:
    > Just this past weekend a 57 year old man was working on his coal stove while it was running. His wife thought they were not feeling well and called 911. By the time they got their the husband was dead, the wife was passed out...she survived. The stove had a blocked flue.
    >
    > This happened in Wales, MA small town on the Ct line near Sturbridge.
    >
    > Don't fool around with this.
    >
    > Everyone thinks it wont happen to them
    >
    > insulation will not fix your problem

    I understand the dangers of CO. I have multiple CO meters within the house and have had the fire department come out with their meters to check for CO (zero readings). This spillage was discovered by an energy auditor performing a home energy assessment on a hot and humid day where the air was heavy and less likely to form a good draft. He indicated the CO levels were minute but that I would need someone out to inspect the water heater and sign off on it prior to performing any insulation upgrades to lower my gas/electric bills. I’ve contacted the original installer but of course, this is a busy time of year and I am getting the run around. In the meantime, I’m looking for a way to possibly improve the draft and prevent the small amount of spillage while I sit here and wait for a proper tech to come out and assess the situation.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,331
    Options
    Hello, Would there be a way to run B vent inside of the chimney? That might be a lot less work than fixing the mis-aligned flue tiles, and would allow the vent to be properly sized for the water heater, so that it could draft better. Not having sized it, I wonder if you could use 3" B vent up to the point of it connecting to the other vent before entering the chimney. That would have less risk of interference with plumbing. Also, when fixing the vent, might it be possible to shorten the initial vertical leg so you can get more slope on the horizontal part? I see evidence of condensation on the current vent that could probably be fixed with better slope and draft.

    Yours, Larry
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 494
    edited October 2018
    Options
    Is your chimney too big? Have you checked using the seven times rule? If the water heater vent is 3", the chimney needs to be no larger than 50 square inches for proper draft. I would also confirm that there is sufficient combustion air, and, that there are no competeing appliances, exhaust fans, etc. that may be using any available combustion air as make - up air......
    MikefromBoston
  • MikefromBoston
    MikefromBoston Member Posts: 10
    Options
    MikeL said:

    Is your chimney to big? Have you checked using the seven times rule? If the water heater vent is 3", the chimney needs be no larger than 50 square inches for proper draft. I would also confirm that there is sufficient combustion air, and, that there are no competeing appliances, exhaust fans, etc. that may be using any available combustion air as make - up air......

    I have not checked into that but I can measure later on. It appears bigger than a 7"x7" opening.
  • MikefromBoston
    MikefromBoston Member Posts: 10
    Options

    Hello, Would there be a way to run B vent inside of the chimney? That might be a lot less work than fixing the mis-aligned flue tiles, and would allow the vent to be properly sized for the water heater, so that it could draft better. Not having sized it, I wonder if you could use 3" B vent up to the point of it connecting to the other vent before entering the chimney. That would have less risk of interference with plumbing. Also, when fixing the vent, might it be possible to shorten the initial vertical leg so you can get more slope on the horizontal part? I see evidence of condensation on the current vent that could probably be fixed with better slope and draft.

    Yours, Larry

    According to the manual it calls for minimum of 12" rise from the draft hood which is probably what its at now. And are you saying I should run a separate vent into the chimney for the water heater?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,075
    Options
    Are your return air grills on the first floor, that is so as not able to affect the combustion air in the furnace room?
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,331
    Options
    Hi, Seems to me the most certain venting would be to have a separate vent for each appliance, but would both vents fit into the chimney? If they wouldn't fit, then a single combined B vent would be the way to go. At present, with single wall pipe and an oversized chimney, it's no surprise it isn't drafting very well. B vent would take care of both the problems of misaligned tiles and keeping exhaust gasses hot enough to draw properly.

    Yours, Larry
  • MikefromBoston
    MikefromBoston Member Posts: 10
    Options
    > @JUGHNE said:
    > Are your return air grills on the first floor, that is so as not able to affect the combustion air in the furnace room?

    Some on the first floor and a couple in the basement.
  • MikefromBoston
    MikefromBoston Member Posts: 10
    Options
    > @Larry Weingarten said:
    > Hi, Seems to me the most certain venting would be to have a separate vent for each appliance, but would both vents fit into the chimney? If they wouldn't fit, then a single combined B vent would be the way to go. At present, with single wall pipe and an oversized chimney, it's no surprise it isn't drafting very well. B vent would take care of both the problems of misaligned tiles and keeping exhaust gasses hot enough to draw properly.
    >
    > Yours, Larry

    So is a B vent double walled? Or what is the difference between B vent and single wall? And would I still be ok with 3" vent coming out of the water heater? I also have single wall pipe coming out of the furnace and that too has water corrosion from draining back down the vent.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,613
    Options
    @JUGHNE brings up an excellent point. Any return grills in the same space or near the same space as the water heater can be an issue.

    Just temporally you could check for spillage both with and without your furnace fan running....just to see if your return air could be affecting the water heater
  • MikefromBoston
    MikefromBoston Member Posts: 10
    Options
    > @EBEBRATT-Ed said:
    > @JUGHNE brings up an excellent point. Any return grills in the same space or near the same space as the water heater can be an issue.
    >
    > Just temporally you could check for spillage both with and without your furnace fan running....just to see if your return air could be affecting the water heater


    I checked when furnace is running and not running and spillage seems the same. On the draft hood there’s a ring that kind of encircles the opening at top of water heater. Except there are two small open slots on this ring and it’s seems like the spillage is coming from those small opening. At least, when I hold a mirror in front of those spots, it fogs it up.