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Very Important warning to all those who had an Hight Effecienchy Gas burner replacement

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Nov 26, 2005.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    During my inspections rounds, I uncovered a situation not discussed before on this forum. The issue is replacing your old gas burner with a high efficiencies PVC vented units. Many times the old Gas burner and gas hot water heater shared the same vent into a masonry chimney . The gas hot water heater’s 3 or 4” vent alone will never draft correctly, in that setup. It used the existing burners heat to draft the chimney. Again the cross-sectional code applies. There is no way a 3” line is going to produce a positive draft in an 8/8 clay masonry chimney. That’s drafting into an area 7 times larger and to make matters worse most chimneys are exposed with 3 walls facing outside. If your installer had read his manual, It clearly states that the gas hot water heaters draft situation is the responsibility of the furnace installer. He has to address the situation. To prove my point there was a Carbon Monoxide sensor laying on top of boxes. No battery installed I asked the owner if she had a battery, which she did. Within a minute it began chirping like a canary. The Gas hot water heater was back drafting Carbon monoxides into the living space. There are 3 ways to correct this issue.
    #1. Run a full length 3 or 4” liner all the way to the top of the chimney, plate the top and attach a termination cap.
    #2. install an inline Draft inducer wired into the controls of the gas burner head. ( forcing or pushing the exhaust out)
    #3. Remove the gas hot water heater and install an electric one.

    This is another example of installers not reading the installation manuals, Not know the responsibilities of the code, or are being to lazy to complete the job correctly. Never having to address the issues because they did the job without a permit. Unfortunately have made the same mistake over and over.
    In emergency situations, furnaces \ boilers can be installed without a permit, providing they obtain one as expeditiously as possible. Most do not and John q public knows nothing till they read somewhere that they could be in a similar situation. If you have a setup like I just described, read the manual and call the installer to right the situation he should have done the first place. If you do not have a monoxide sensor, this is just one other reason you should have one.

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    After the hot water heater back drafts, they get Asphyxiated and do not have to worry about what season it is running.
    One cannot equate wood stove draft logic with a gas fired appliance, with a draft hood. It’s not a closed draft system.
    In the summer, assuming it is warmer, the effect of reversing cold air, is less of an issue, when the burner is not working as much. In the winter the burner heats the flue making it possible for the gas hot water heater, with the much smaller flue to still be able to draft. This is especially dangerous do to the open draft hood allowing back drafts to escape into living space.
    The draft hood system is not closed but open at the flue collar. This issue is addressed in the owner’s manual and revised codes after 1998. Problem is, most of the time, replacements are made without permits and nobody is checking out this situation. The cross- sectional area code, applies to this situation similar to wood stove usage. A 3” gas vent area cannot draft effectively, into an masonry flue having a cross-sectional area, being almost 7 times larger

    #4 solution direct vent the gas heater ( not using the masonry flue) if is listed as being able to be direct vented
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Typing skills lag too far behind the thought process. I cleaned the previous post up. Probably did not explain it well.
    The point is, reversing the flow of cold decending. Naturally in the winter, the air being colder, is heavier making it much more
    differcult to over come and reverse. This is where your burner augments, by heating up the air and flue area. Lighter warmer air in the summer, is much easier to establish a positive draft flow, without the assistance of the boiler
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