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Sometimes I have to vent----sometimes the furnace and water heater have to vent.

     This is another one of those posts about why even New Homes need to be inspected.

     Take a look at the picture below.  Note how convoluted the run of the vent pipes are from the water heater and the furnace.  There is nothing about the installation of vent pipes from gas appliances that requires them to look like spaghetti, in fact, the shortest runs with the least number of bends is desirable.

Convoluted venting

     It is difficult to see in this picture, but it is not possible to remove the furnace filter because it runs into the vent pipe.

The filter won't slide out captain!

     To make a long story short, I called to have the venting repaired so that the water heater would vent better and that changing the furnace filter would be possible.  In this next picture we can see the “repair,” by the licensed heating contractor, did improve the venting of the water heater by eliminating the long bending run to the point of attachment.

Improved water heater venting

     But,----once again it was not possible to remove the filter without pushing the vent pipe out of the way.

I STILL can't slide the filter out captain!

     It just made me want to vent!

 

 

Charles Buell

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

 

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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 23 commentsCharles Buell • March 22 2009 11:55AM

Comments

Charlie,

Always weird when the professional you call for does something like that.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Steve, yup---you can always point someone in the right direction by they will often still take a different route to get to the wrong place.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Wow I have to admitt I have not seen a home with venting like that.  Really weird would be to think a professional would do something like that.

Posted by Bob Jakowinicz, Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI RE Adventures (National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz) over 9 years ago

Charles, that is one of the wildest exhaust vent piping I've seen in a long time, if it was not for the pictures I would swear you were just story telling about it. I never like these type of set-up, because when both units are running simultaneously, there is always back drafting at the hot water vent diverter.

                                                                    ~ Life is Good

Posted by Roy A. Peterson, P.R.E.I. (Domicile Analysis of Texas) over 9 years ago

Ah yes, I remember when I had to contend with all that stuff including furnace filters.  I must admit I never saw anything vented quite like that though.  Typically a shaft directly above the furnace would serve as a place for the vent pipe to exit up through the roof.  I'm pretty puzzled by your photos.

Posted by Richard T. Dolbeare, R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist (Keller Williams Realty Maui) over 9 years ago

Bob----and to do it weird twice:)

Roy while running both vents into one is allowed----it can create some problems when everything isn't installed correctly.

Richard, sometimes installers seem to think that these "flexible" connectors mean that they can be flexed any which way.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

It's pretty scarring when the so called licensed heating contractor has no clue. Makes for a great game of he said I say. I can see the conversation now: "HI says this is still wrong". "Well that's just his opinion,  but I'm the one with the license". Gotta love it.

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) over 9 years ago

Suesan----so true, and yet isn't that always the game?:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Wheres the dryer exhaust? Looks like plenty of room right there on the left!

Posted by Dan Callahan (Callahan's Home Inspections) over 9 years ago

Dan, I have heard of dryer vents hooked up to gas flue vents---very dangerous practice.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Hi Charles...That even looks crazy to me and I'm no expert on piping although I do know how to vent.  (I promise not to do it here.)

Kate

Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) over 9 years ago

Kate, I am sure that for you this will always be a safe place to vent if you need to:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Those were outstanding pictures of an outstandingly bad job!

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 9 years ago

Barbara, are you criticizing the work of a licensed heating contractor that has been signed off by at least two jurisdictional inspectors?:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charlie - I hope you didn't turn to stone when you looked at it...

You should be careful not to stultify creativity.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay, I think the HVAC guy was the one that was "stoned."  One definition of "creativity" is taking nothing and making somthing out of it----this is more like taking something and making nothing out of it:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charlie,

I liked your comments about the HVAC guy thinking it was okay and the code guys signing off on it too. More proof of the inadequacy of counting on a code inspection.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Maybe Doc Oct was his favorite character on Spider Man?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Steve----it is all job security.

Jay, it does kind of look like that doesn't it.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Filter?  They must know that nobody changes them anyway. 

Posted by Steve Hall, Make the Call to Hankins and Hall (RE/MAX United) over 9 years ago

AHHHH!----point taken:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Good post. Sometimes you wonder if people think and think again about an installation method before starting it.

Posted by Randy King (Prokore Inspections) over 9 years ago

Randy, sometimes I think that these things happen because of the, "What-they-had-on-the-truck" principle:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

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