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Gas water heater inlet/outlet plastic rings melted
<span>I installed a 40 gallon 36,000 BTU GE water heater in Feb of this year and last week I noticed the plastic rings around the inlet, outlet and anode rod were melted. After reading another post on this topic I think that the issue could be related to the microwave vent fan and bathroom vent fan that I have, since it is likely that when they both run in my 1,000 sqft house that I am creating negative pressure which is drawing exhaust back into the house from my chimney. To complicate the issue more, about a month ago I decided my central air system needed more return air than it was getting, so I added a return register in the basement where the water heater is located, but no output register. My guess is that this is also contributing to the issue.
<span>I never had this issue during the winter when the furnace was on, so I’m pretty sure my recent change to the return duct is causing the issue, the question is, how do I correct this? Should I just add an output from the duct work in the basement?
<span>Also, is it true that I need 2x the surface area for the central air return system as the output from the system?</span><span style="font-size:12pt"> </span>