Furnace, Water Heater Vent Pipe Clearances and Locations

Gas burning appliances vent pipes produce heat when discharging exhaust gases to exterior.
Temperature of the vent pipe is transferred to the surrounding area and all the materials that are in the vent pipe vicinity. Problems start arising if those materials are combustible and located to close to the furnace, water heater vent pipe. If you apply heat to a combustible material for some period of time (that varies between materials), its point of ignition will gradually get lower and eventually little heat will be required to start a fire – that’s why you need a clearance between the vent pipe and a combustible material.

Solid (Wood/Coal) Fuel-Burning Stove Chimney Venting

As with every fuel-burning appliance, proper venting is always critical, and to enjoy your solid (wood/coal) fuel-burning stove, you have to get it right. This guide is just an explanation of basic safety / code requirements for the solid fuel burning stoves. However, you should always consult stove installation with your local building code enforcement … Read more

High Efficiency Furnace Plastic Vent Pipe Types

Plastic vent pipe types listed below have been certified by the American Gas Association for use in furnaces classified as Category 4. These particular types of furnaces use positive pressure vent systems (exhaust gas temperature less than 1400F above the dew point temperature) and are always equipped with an induced draft motor which removes exhaust … Read more

Gas-Appliance Chimney Placement and Termination

Furnace and / or water heater chimney requires proper placement and termination to safely discharge exhaust gases from the appliances combustion (fuel burning) process. Improper chimney placement and termination is often responsible for back-drafts, excessive corrosion of the chimney pipe walls, condensation, and Carbon Monoxide contamination of your house.
The rule explained on the pictures is just one of the several that have to be applied when installing the chimney. Make sure that you have a licensed professional performing gas water heater & furnace flue sizing calculations while replacing or adding any of those appliances in your home.
Natural (gravity) and motor […]

Brick Chimney Crown – Almost Never Done Right

Brick Chimney Crown

A brick chimney crown – also known as a chimney termination cap, cement wash, or just a chimney cap – seals the chimney top opening around the flue and sheds rainwater / prevents moisture from deteriorating the chimney.
For the chimney crown to fulfill its purpose, it must be properly shaped and installed.
Unfortunately, after looking at hundreds of brick chimney on new and old houses, I’m wondering if the actual purpose of the chimney crown is ever taken into consideration. The overall appeal of the chimney crown and its complement of the house’s structure from the moment […]

Gas Water Heater and Furnace Chimney Flue Size Calculations

Chimney Flue Size Calculations
The following gas water heater and furnace chimney flue size calculations are based on Peoples Gas “Construction Guide for Gas Usage” in the city of Chicago and National Fuel Gas Code. Before applying any of the following rules, you must check your local building code requirements, and appliance manufacturer installation instruction.

Have you checked your house brick chimney lately… or whatever type of the chimney you have?
Did you have a new furnace or water heater installed / was your house chimney flue recalculated for those new appliances?

Make sure that you chimney flue size / diameter is correct; […]

Chimney Inspection | Home Inspector Tips

Chimney inspection - start from examining your chimney from the ground, binoculars may be helpful

House chimney inspection

No climbing on and leaning the ladder against your chimney stack while performing chimney inspection!

You are going to start chimney inspection by examining its structure from the ground. Depending on chimney’s height, position, roof pitch, and clearances around the house, you may be able to perform most of the chimney inspection from the ground level using a pair of good quality binoculars.
House chimney inspection – masonry chimney
For a brick chimney inspection (it would also apply to stone and cinder block) – check the condition of mortar lines between the bricks, and the bricks themselves. Heavily deteriorated / missing mortar […]

Chimney Flue Requirements, Furnace and Water Heater Venting

House chimney the wrong way

Proper furnace / water heater venting is an extremely important issue, which depends on the performance of the house chimney / chimney flue or other exhaust assemblies. The conditions explained in this post also apply to the wood burning appliances.
Consequences of improperly assembled vent pipes, problematic chimney flue, deteriorating chimney walls can be sometimes fatal – fire and Carbon Monoxide poisoning are topping the list.
Therefore, combustion products from your furnace, water heater, wood burning fireplace, and any other appliance that requires some kind of an exterior vent / chimney, have to be properly properly discharged to the exterior.

Certain requirements […]