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Thread: venting a water heater through a wall???

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mikeyvon's Avatar
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    Default venting a water heater through a wall???

    Building a new house and trying to figure out my hot water. I have thought about tankless (and I still am), but I think I would much rather go with a regular tanked unit. It is me and my wife with 2 little ones. The house will have 1 shower, 1 soaker bath, 1 bath/shower combo, 3 lavs, 1 utility sink, 1 kitchen sink, and a dishwasher. We generally do not use hot water for clothes washing.

    The water heater will go in the utility room on the first floor next to an outside wall. I do not want to vent up to the roof unless it can be done in a 2x6 wall.

    I know of powervents but I hear they can be loud and troublesome.

    What options do I have for water heaters that can be vented out a wall instead of out of the roof?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Everyone makes what is called a "direct vent" water heater. Vents horizontally, does not have a vent fan. They are pricey.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member mikeyvon's Avatar
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    ok good, that is what I thought but was not sure. How pricey is pricey? Any recommened brands? I think I would like a larger unit as our 40 gal unit in our current home does not cut it.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I have used a Rheem Powervent for years. It is not noisy. It vents with PVC or ABS pipe through the side of the house. Newer models can use smaller pipe and run for longer distance. I would suggest you look seriously at them. Tankless are discussed on this forum quite a bit. The majority of the opinions are that they are very costly to maintain, they do not provide very much hot water in colder climates, it is next to impossible to find anyone to service them, and are not at all cost effective. I would suggest you research the archives to read the comments yourself.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Most code officials are very strict about direct vent water heaters or fire places, some don't allow them, you better check first, make sure it is installed to code for your area. Windows, doors, decks, electric services, meters, and many other issues for outlet.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Mikey, Where are you located? Southern US Tankless is a very viable option... Not so much so in the frozen northern wastelands.

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