Install water heater's PVC vent pipes inside existing chimney

Home Maintenance Questions and AnswersCategory: PlumbingInstall water heater's PVC vent pipes inside existing chimney
Question by Dariusz Rudnicki

I am looking to replace my old chimney vented gas water heater with a AO Smith Ventex gdpe50 high efficiency 90% power vent heater. The plumber wants to route this using the chimney but I am not sure reading this if that is possible/would cause issues. What are your thoughts?

1 Answers
Dariusz Rudnicki Staff answered 1 year ago

The chimney can be used as a chase for your water vent pipe but only if it’s not used for anything else anymore (other fuel burning appliances). Because it is a condensing type water heater, it requires an air tight PVC vent pipe to discharge exhaust gasses and condensate discharge assembly. Therefore it cannot be just vented into a regular chimney even if the chimney is properly lined.

Dariusz Rudnicki Staff replied 1 year ago


So the gasses need to be exhausted outside of the chimney? It sounds like I might be better off with a regular 0.67 Energy Star gas water heater at this point (non power vented). Such a heater could simply replace my current one (chimney vented), correct? I don’t think it’s worth the investment at this point to spend $1,000 more for the heater (after the ES rebate) and another $1,000 or so for the PVC vent pipe installation.

Dariusz Rudnicki Staff replied 1 year ago


So the gasses need to be exhausted outside of the chimney? It sounds like I might be better off with a regular 0.67 Energy Star gas water heater at this point (non power vented). Such a heater could simply replace my current one (chimney vented), correct? I don’t think it’s worth the investment at this point to spend $1,000 more for the heater (after the ES rebate) and another $1,000 or so for the PVC vent pipe installation.

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