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Old 04-01-2010, 09:55 PM   #1
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Default Is this water heater install legal?

I recently got my mother-in-law's water heater replaced and it was damaged during some flooding a few days later. Not wanting to spend another $900 on a new water heater and install I sent pictures to a friend (who mostly does HVAC work but also a ton of home improvement) who pointed out some issues with the install. Since there was a permit fee involved (Massachusetts) but no inspection that I know of do I have any kind of argument as far as a reinstall if I pay for the new water heater? Please see attached pics.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

DSC00914.jpg   DSC00915.jpg   DSC00919.jpg   DSC00920.jpg   DSC00921.jpg  

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Old 04-02-2010, 01:07 AM   #2
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I could be wrong but I thought you were supposed to use flex lines on both the cold and the hot?

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Old 04-02-2010, 02:22 AM   #3
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I'd be concerned with the horizontal venting, rigid vs. flexible line as Chris mentioned, and no pressure relief valve, unless that is the doohicky mounted above the water heater, and if so, is mounted incorrectly. Since there are no pictures of the entire tank, I'd also make sure is was securely mounted.

One thing is certain, it is not a clean install, and looks more like a kid building an erector set!
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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Default water heater installation?

The venting appears to be O.K.,Besides the shotty at best workmanship,the water heater should have Dielectric Unions at the Inlet & outlet ports of the water heater.It should have a copper pipe on the temperature & pressure relief valve that terminates no less than 1" no more than 3" from the floor(check with your local code official)I would strongly recommend that you call the owner of the company that installed this for you,send those photos to him & ask if this is standard issue for the work their company puts out & if so you would like it corrected to code & further more I would not use them ever again !the work is extremely subpar.
If you change what you need to can charge what you need to.Lets be professionals ;make a good living,protecting the health ,safety & welfare of the public~
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:56 PM   #5
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Default Water Heater Install - Legal ??

I am based in the U.K. - England - And I am qualified and registered with the
[National] ONLY Governing Body that is ` Certified` to Install - Maintain and Inspect/Certify as `Safe` - GAS APPLIANCES - Here in the U.K. the Water Heater would be `Very Suspect` on initial visual inspection regarding the Vent
[we call it a `Flue`].
As it connects to a Horizontal Vent which is `obviously` Fan Controlled - we would be IMMEDIATELY testing the Heater for correct dispersal of the `products of combustion` - ENSURING that the `Flue Gasses were being completely cleared into the `Main Vent` [Flue] and discharged safely out of the building.
The reason that I say that the Vent [Flue] would be `Very Suspect` is because we would want to see a LONGER VERTICAL section of Vent [Flue] pipe from the `Draft Diverter` to the first bend. [ Ideally]
As the horizontal vent is obviously `Fanned` - it may well `PASS` the testing [?] - We would be Testing the ENTIRE VENT [Flue] and ALL APPLIANCES connected to it - PARTICULARLY with ALL APPLIANCES running at the same time - To ENSURE ALL combustion gasses were `CLEARED` correctly.
[Testing for `Spillage` of Combustion Gasses] - BUT another U.K. Regulation which is applicable to this installation [in the U.K.] is that there MUST be an
`Electrical Interlock` between the Vent Fan and the Gas Control to the Appliances connected to the Fanned Vent [Flue] - To PREVENT ANY GAS APPLIANCE from OPERATING - IF the VENT FAN SYSTEM should FAIL.
As the `Combustion Gasses` can ONLY BE EXTRACTED / VENTED if the FAN is
OPERATING - It would be considered `Immediately Dangerous` - AND WOULD BE - if there was ANY POSSIBILITY of Gas Appliances being able to operate IF the FAN FAILED. I assume that the other Appliance is `likely` to be a `Furnace` or` Warm Air Heater`??
In this example - without the fan operating and with a `Horizontal Vent [Flue] and without a Vertical Section of Vent Pipe from the `Draft Diverter` - the Combustion Gasses WOULD immediately `SPILL` out into the area that the Water Heater is located in !! - It would NOT be `O.K.` if that was a Garage !!

There would also be an `issue` about the Vent Pipe [Flue] going through the WOOD paneling and I assume a WALL behind that - Although the Vent pipework MIGHT be `Twin Wall` construction [?] - in the U.K. there MUST BE 1" [25mm] of CLEARENCE from any COMBUSTABLE material [wood] - AND where a VENT PIPE [Flue] passes through a WALL it MUST be `SLEEVED` and the Sleeve SEALED to the WALL with the Sleeve / Vent sealed with [Flexible preferred] a `Fire Rated` material - IF the Wall is a `partition`- within a Building, - THIS is a `Short / Simplified version of this Regulation / Code - it is Very Detailed when viewed `In Full`.

I thought that my `Colleagues` in the Plumbing, Heating and Gas Industries in the U.S. would be `Interested` in this Information [?] AND I would be VERY INTERESTED to see their comments about this. Can you let me know IF you have `Similar Regulations / Codes to what I have quoted here ??

Incorrectly installed or tested Gas Appliances CAN / DO KILL PEOPLE !!

I cannot imagine that there are `Vastly Inferior` Safety Codes [ Regulations] in the U.S. - Our Regulations / Codes have been `formulated` after VERY extensive testing - some in `Laboratory Conditions` BUT MOST in `Mock Up` Buildings - carefully built to simulate exact `Living Conditions`- by Government Scientific Experts in `Gas Utilisation`.
To work with Gas in the U.K. you HAVE TO pass both `Technical` and `Practical` Exams - AND we are `REASSESSED` every 5 Years - and `Tested` on the Regulations /Codes that have Changed or have been `Brought in` during the preceding 5 Years - These Exams / Assessments are HIGHLY TECHNICAL - You MUST have `up to date` registration - for which we also have to PAY /RENEW every Year - OR we CANNOT LEGALLY work with GAS. - Also there are Separated Areas in the Gas Industry - Domestic Installations - Non Domestic Installations [ Commercial and Industrial] and also Liquid Petroleum Gas has a separate section.
Within these `Sections` there are too many sub sections to mention here - to work on ANY Section AND Sub section - you will have to PASS an Exam - Firstly on the `General Safety` of the ENTIRE SECTION and them - PASS an Exam on EACH of the Sub sections - And you are ONLY allowed / Licenced to work on those areas where you has PASSED the Exams AND are Registered with the U.K. Governing Body - GasSafe. - P.S. These Exams [plus days not earning] are `Expensive`.
I know that I am `Posting` VERY Long comments on this Forum - I do TRY to make them `shorter`. Please `Post` your comments on this - CHRISM.

Last edited by CHRISM; 04-22-2010 at 04:37 PM. Reason: ADD INFO.
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:29 AM   #6
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Hi ChrisM,
I found your comment on post in question.
I doubt that it is a fan assisted vent.
This would most likely be a gravity vent.
You are probably right about the clearance from combustible material.
It's 1" for double walled vent pipe and 6" for single wall vent pipe.
From what I can see in the photos a horizontal vent such as that pictured maybe okay and acceptable according to the Uniform Plumbing Code.
The total horizontal run of a vent, plus the vent connector , shall not be greater than 75% of the vertical height of the vent.
The other vent from the another appliance is probably a forced air heating unit. The horizontal run would be considered the vent connector.
and shall have a continuous rise of not less than 1/4 inch per foot.

Floor furnaces with gravity vents are very common in some of the older homes here. I've seen and replaced horizontal vents that ran some 20 + feet before it went up the outside of the the house.

It seems that In the UK they require a lot of certifications. Here in San Diego the Contractor is responsible for proper installation. Unfortunately there is a lot of work done by untrained and unqualified people.
The local building Dept only inspects work when permits are pulled and a lot of work gets done with out permits.

And yes your posts are some what lengthy, but that's Okay. More info is better than not enough. I'm impressed by your thoroughness in a subject.
I apologize for my writing skills , Not one of my stronger skills.
Took me awhile just to compose this.
. . . . . . . . . . -(@@)- . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . ----o00--()--00o----. . . . .

a.k.a. Krazedav

Last edited by Mr_David; 10-23-2010 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:22 AM   #7
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"Thank You Mr David", You wrote well - I am VERY Surprised about the Horizontal Run of Gas Vent [Flue] Pipe - This would Definitely FAIL a `Full Flow Flue Test` - and BECAUSE of that WE in the UK Gas Industry would
class this as `IMMEDIATELY DANGEROUS`- Because of the Horizontal Section - it would be `CONDEMED` - without even being Tested - As We
would consider the Installation `COMPLETELY INCORRECT` !!

I am SHOCKED that Safety Requirements can be so different between our two
Nations - In the UK the Gas Utilisation Industry has carried out DECADES of
Testing - replicating exact Domestic, Commercial & Industrial `Scenarios` for
the Testing of EVERY KIND of Possibility that could occur on a Gas Appliance
and Distribution System.

Because of those DECADES of Tests we have the `Gas Safety & Use Regulations` - these are designed to STOP Deaths, Injuries & Damage/ Explosion, Fire etc.
If OUR Testing shows that for example `Horizontal Sections` of Gas Vent Pipe
DO NOT allow the `Correct Evacuation` of Flue Gases from an Appliance - and
therefore - ARE NOT ALLOWED to be Installed [Natural Draft] - I wonder WHY
the U.S Gas Safety Department [I don`t know correct name] - does NOT KNOW these SAME FACTS regarding the DANGER of said Horizontal Gas Vents ??

WE rate that kind of installation as a `KILLER` from the MOMENT that a Gas
Appliance was connected to it !!

Thanks again for You reply - "Sorry" that I did not see it for such a long time.

"Regards" CHRISM.

P.S. I have no idea WHAT has caused my Paragraphs to `Disrupt` as above -
Sorry I do not have time NOW to `Edit all of this !!

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