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Thread: Venting a Power Vent water heater??

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Murphy625's Avatar
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    Default Venting a Power Vent water heater??

    So after a bit of research, it would seem that I'm going to go with a power vent water heater.. I'll probably buy a used unit on craigslist or something... It would seem that I only need to extend my gas line in the basement, re-route some copper pipe, and knock a hole through the brick for a pvc vent pipe.

    My question is on the venting requirements. Would I be correct to say that I need the bottom of the vent pipe to be 12 inches above grade or above max snow level (whichever is greater?) ? And would I further be correct to say that if vent is 2 feet below and 2 feet to the side of a window or any other hole that I'm good?

    The drawing I saw said 12 inches for grade, and 12 inches for windows. (no intakes present)

    One other question... How do you guys make a nice round clean hole for a 3 inch vent pipe through a brick home? I would think that using a chisel would be ugly.

    Thanks,
    Last edited by Murphy625; 07-22-2013 at 09:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    99.9% of WH that are removed are because they leaked...or were replaced after a long time because the owner was worried it would start to leak soon. Not a fan of buying a used one...

    The neatest way to bore through hard materials like that is to rent a concrete boring drill. A diamond bit the right size, and you'll have a nice clean hole in no time.

    The safest way to determine where it's acceptable to locate the vent, the required slopes, distances, and placement varies by brand and model. They're all similar, but you really need the instructions for the one you're going to install before you start boring holes.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Althea Jack, why don't you try writing your question in English? What you wrote makes no sense at all.

    Murphy 625, very big gamble buying a used water heater. Anytime you buy something used, the rule is "AS IS" That means if it doesn't work, you are stuck with it. As Jim pointed out, there's gotta be reason it was replaced. I know it's tempting to save some money, but you very well can end up the big loser.
    Last edited by Gary Swart; 09-19-2013 at 11:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I'll probably buy a used unit on craigslist
    Normally when a water heater has been pulled, it's because it either was leaking, or quit lighting.
    Fifteen years is a good life for a gas water heater.

    For a nice hole through brick, I like the idea of hiring a contractor with a wet diamond bit. It's the cleanest hole you can get, and it doesn't damage the brick around it.
    You can rent the tool, but not the expiernce .

    You have to look at the water heater cost as a divided by 15 year cost. It doesn't hurt as much when you look at it that way.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Murphy625's Avatar
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    Update:

    I purchased a water heater from a homeowner who never installed it. Its a Kenmore Economizer 40 gallon with power vent.
    It was never installed or hooked up to anything. Paid $300.. does have a dent in sheet metal in back..

  6. #6
    Master Plumber kcplumber's Avatar
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    I wouldn't install a used water heater even if I got it for free. I hard pipe all water heaters and install expansion tanks so it takes some time and materials to do it right. Just buy a new unit, a decent amount of water heaters leak before the end of the warranty.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    It's and interesting point that KC Plumber brings up. Some places prefer flex piping for water heater while other places mandate hard plumbing. In my area we use flex piping and there is no requirement for strapping the tank to the wall. Makes sense to me as any movement would be absorbed by the flex, and we don't have a history of earthquakes that amount to anything. But, you always need to follow local code requirements regardless of personal feelings. Now, KC's comment that he wouldn't install a used heat even if it was free, makes perfect sense for a professional. He has to stand good for the installation. From a DIY stand point, ordinarily I'd agree (as I previously stated) However, if the unit was never used and for $300, it might be worth rolling the dice.

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