Learn and explore tips on how to properly vent a gas water heater and safely remove exhaust gases to the outside atmosphere.
Professionally installed venting system is important for all gas water heaters so they can operate safely and adequately remove products of combustion and water vapor out. To answer the question; how to properly vent a gas water heater, use the checklist below which provides the answers for:
How and where are you going to install your gas water heater is very important as the proper venting will provide better heating performance and safe operation.
If you don't know how to vent a gas water heater properly, consult the local or national plumbing codes and manufacturer instructions, and keep in mind that combustion and ventilation requirements will determine where the unit will be located; is the area confined, unconfined or your gas water heater is located inside the small rooms and closets. You can also call a professional to do it for you, or get a few free estimates from local plumbers by filling out the form here.
Confined areas are considered as areas with less than 50 cubic ft for every 1000 BTU of the total input for gas-fired appliances. Lots of air has to be provided for water heaters located in confined spaces or small enclosures. Two permanent openings are needed for normal venting, one 12" of the top and one 12" of the bottom of that enclosure. The size of the opening is determined by the total BTU input of gas-fired appliances inside that room.
If the air is supplied from the adjacent room, the total volume of these rooms has to provide enough fresh air for combustion and ventilation.
If the air is coming from the outside, it can be transferred directly or using vertical and horizontal ducts, which should be with the same cross-sectional area as the free area of the opening.
For an unconfined space, or open area, indoor air is used for combustion, and the requirement for proper venting is the minimum of 50 cubic feet for every 1000 BTU of the total input of all gas-fired appliances located there.
Water heater vent system and air supply requirements are as described, and it is essential to locate the heating unit as close to the chimney and venting system as possible. The venting system must be able to run from the water heater to the exit with the minimal length and elbows.
Ensure that there is proper drafting at the draft hood on the top of the tank type atmospheric water heater. If there is a problem with the correct venting check the following:
Chimney has to be clear and free of any obstructions and according to the codes, for the proper venting products of combustion. Chimney has to be certified for this purpose. How to properly vent a gas water heater? For the proper connection to the chimney follow the next requirements:
Atmospheric gas water heaters with the vertical venting must be installed with UL listed type B vent pipe and according to the manufacturer instruction. Vent pipe must be terminated in a vertical position with a listed cap only, and it can be combined with the chimney as long as the proper draft is established.
How to properly vent a gas water heater? The recommendation is to follow codes, standards, manufacturer instructions and tips provided here.
For example, 90-degree elbow installed on the top of the water heater draft hood can reduce the efficiency of vents by 50%. This is why it is important to allow a rise of ten vent diameters off of the top of the unit and before the first elbow.
Due to the Carbon Monoxide and fire hazard, check the venting system at least once a year.
This is what you should check during the inspection:
Another tip on how to properly vent a gas water heater is to check the draft in the water heater. Let the unit run for 15 mins put a match flame around the relief opening of the draft hood, and if the steady flame is drawn into the opening, this indicates proper draft. If the flame flutters or is blown out, combustion products are escaping.
Water heaters are equipped with the thermal switch designed to shut off the gas supply in the event when the water heater is exposed to the flammable vapor or due to the poor combustion caused by the blocked vent or insufficient combustion air.