This is another one of those posts about how the trades don't talk to each other. We have become so compartmentalized in the building trades that I am wondering how it is possible to get anything right. I think a certain amount of basic info about all of the other trades should be incorporated into the training for each individual trades.
Otherwise we end up with plumbers that would install new plumbing like this installation.
I don't think it is possible----or at least will be very difficult----to get this burner out of the furnace for repairs or servicing. A different configuration of fittings could have allowed for both trades to do their job, but because the plumber didn't know the requirements of the Heating Contractor, didn't care, or hadn't had his coffee yet, they have made the job of the Heating Contractor very difficult. Whatever the reason----the Heating Contractor is not going to be very happy.
Perhaps all trades should be required to take a basic Home Inspector Training Course ---ROR
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board