Venting Hot Air?

Home Inspector with The House Whisperer

Hardly... WH Vent Disconnect

This partially disconnected water heater exhaust flue is discharging unwanted exhaust gases (including carbon monoxide) into the garage as shown in this photo.

In this Walnut Creek house, there was a bedroom above the garage ceiling... not good, if exhaust gases accumulate and there's a breach (gap, hole) in the ceiling.

A requirement of a properly installed water heater exhaust flue is that the beginning of the exhaust duct sections be mechanically secured with three sheetmetal screws to the water heater (putty color) draft hood. 

In the event of an earthquake or the exhaust flue is accidently bumped, the screws help keep the integrity of the exhaust vent from coming apart.

In the photo, it appears that the water heater installer used aluminum tape to secure the vent to the water heater's draft hood... It doesn't take much exhaust gas heat to soften the tape adhesive; and separate the vent from the draft hood.

Home inspectors should thoroughly inspect the installation of water heaters.




Comments (4)

Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Wow that could be one dangerous situation, I suppose that is the value of an inspection.

Jan 05, 2012 01:57 PM
Pablo Lopez
ALLIANCE Home Sales of New Jersey, LLC. - Clifton, NJ
BROKER-Owner, ABR®, SFR®, CRS® ePro®

great advice thanks for sharing the blog post.

Jan 05, 2012 02:14 PM
Brian Rugg
Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-818-6700 - Georgetown, TX
Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est

Hello Glenn:

All I can say is YIKES. Hot water flue pipe disconnected is a recipe for disaster.  Good catch.

Jan 05, 2012 02:28 PM
Mary Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro - Roswell, GA
Top Agents Atlanta Metro

Wow, that is pretty dangerous, just put the carbon monoxide and hot air right into the interior space!!!

Jan 05, 2012 04:00 PM