Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

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Have you changed your Water Heater Air Filter recently?

     Hopefully the title of this blog doesn't sound right to any homeowner out there.

     As sort of an addendum to my last blog about improper installation of water heater burner compartment doors, I want to share an unusual water heater installation.  As the diagram below shows, gas water heaters, unless they are a sealed combustion type heater, get their combustion air from holes around the bottom of the heater.  (I wish I had a little bit better picture for you---but I think you can get the idea from this one.)burner diagram

 

 

 

     This next picture shows the carpet in the room fitted nicely around the base of the heater---completely blocking the air intakes.  Now this may be a "unique" air filtering system (bad idea), or it may be starving the heater of adequate combustion air leading to a flame producing large amounts of carbon monoxide.   For more information on the dangers of Carbon Monoxide please see Steve Smith's blog: Carbon Monoxide: The Odorless, Silent Killer.water heater   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

      Obviously, for the heater to function properly and receive optimal amounts of combustion air, the air intakes can not be blocked and all of this carpeting must be removed from around the heater.  Too bad----it looks so nice and neat, doesn't it?

Charles Buell 

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Seattle Home Inspector

 

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Comment balloon 3 commentsCharles Buell • March 17 2008 11:05AM
Have you changed your Water Heater Air Filter recently?
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Hopefully the title of this blog doesn't sound right to any homeowner out there. As sort of an addendum to my last blog about improper installation of water heater burner compartment doors I want to share an unusual water heater… more
And behind door #2…
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Most water heaters have an outer door and an inner door to the burner compartment. The "outer" door is usually in place but quite often I find the "inner" door out of place. These doors require.. more
But I "Love" my shiny chrome drains!
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Chrome trap fittings ain't what they used to be. I have seen fifty-year-old fittings still going strong and fittings less than two years old with holes in them. The problem is that the gauge (and possibly the quality… more
I developed a hematoma doing the laundry!
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Most people that own their own homes have washing machines. The vast majority of these washers still get connected to the water supply with rubber type hoses. Over time these rubber hoses, due to being under constant pressure, can develop… more
Your "whatchamacallit" is going to freeze!
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Outside water faucets are called lots of things: hydrants, sill-cocks, hose faucets, and hose bibs. What you call it is mostly a regional thing. Today's modern "outside faucets" are designed to be "frost-free" and have an… more
How about some "View" murals on those walls----please?
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I did a blog the other day about tilting at windmills Today I was driving down the street and saw what to me epitomizes the idea. What occurred to me is that there is a fine line (or at least a very large grey area) where it becomes… more
I'll have a DRIP coffee please… to go.
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Galvanized piping is still very common in older homes. It was pretty much abandoned as the first choice of supply plumbing and drainage system plumbing in the early 1950's. It originally had a life expectancy of anywhere from 40-50 years,… more
I smell something-----eewwwww!
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Some times as soon as I walk in a home my nose will alert me to possible problems. This particular house had an "unusual" odor about it that might have been the result of it's being vacant for a year, but somehow it seemed different… more
This Mole-Hill IS a Mountain!
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While this started out as a blog about moles, and kind of a follow up to my previous blog about Secret Tunnels in your lawn ---it is actually more about, or equally about, the Internet, believing, and priorities. When trying to get good… more
HELP----I c a n ' t… br… e… a… t… h… e…
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I love it when Steve anticipates my upcoming blogs so that I can link his blog to mine to provide additional information on the topic. In this case it is about Whole House Ventilation in new construction. In the home that this blog is about,… more