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Old 07-05-2016, 11:52 PM   #1
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Default Power vent venting with foam core PVC

I am wondering if I have missed something concerning the
installation of power vent units...

I Gave someone an estimate tonight
and they claimed that others who also estimated their heater replacement today mentioned that if someone installed foam core pvc pipe vent, they would have to remove it and install Sch40 pvc to meet code....

I would normally run Sch 40 myself but I have on occasion run into foam core installs before...and I have never noticed a problem with it..
I have never considered tearing out the whole line and re-doing it and am wondering about this....

so is this an issue and concern that has slipped by me, or is the other plumber just trying to pump the homeowner for another 700 bucks??.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:12 AM   #2
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is there anyone still on this site since being booted off last month??
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:45 AM   #3
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My problem with foam core piping being used as venting material is that the **** can easily have a crack in it that normal pvc wouldn't normally have.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:59 AM   #4
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I usually use regular PVC for the venting. But I do use foam core for all my drains. Some man specs say it's ok.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:01 AM   #5
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And what a ***** getting signed back up here. There should be a note saying "must use a computer to log in and reset password"
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:49 PM   #6
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I talked to my Rheem guy today and they claim it has always was supposed to be sch40 heavy duty pipe used for power veinting..... They claim that if a unit runs hotter than normal it will melt the inside of the pipe and it will cave in on itself blocking the vent....



I have never seen this happen before and have never seen a picture of what they are talking about happenning.... You would think that the water heater companies would have some sort of warning right on the outside of the box stating the vent MUST be run in sch40 but I have never seen one to this date..

anyway I go out today and sure enough a big tract home plumber in our town has run the whole line out of foam core about 9 years ago.... All the line had to be was 2 inch but he ran a 3 inch line and I wonder if that is how they skirted this issue...

.I cut out about half of the line and replace it with sch 40 and give him a price to replace the rest on another trip which probably will never happen.....

but I made a note about the situation
and the pipe looked perfectly fine to me..


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Old 07-06-2016, 06:51 PM   #7
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M.M., the company I work for used to run foam core. Now we run solid core. Some new inspectors in town caught the fact that bradford whites manual allowed foam core, but then changed over to solid core.
With that being said, if there were lots of issues with foam core we wouldn't have used it.

From what I have seen with foam core failing, is on OLDER water heaters, when they are not running efficiently and working harder producing more heat. (Same goes for dysfunctional w.h.s, or maybe t-stat too high?) Most common I've seen has been slight discoloration from white color to a tan color. I have seen a vent that got dark brown in color. The pipe was fine but the FITTING had a spot that collapsed, still enough to breath good though.

I guess my take on it is foam core is OK (even tho specs say no). IF you maintain your w.h. yearly. Most homeowners don't do that, so to be on safe side 10 years down the road the solid core will supposedly handle the hard working w.h. and not be a fire hazard too.

I'm sure you knew most of this, but just wanted to share my experiences
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paultheplumber1
I usually use regular PVC for the venting. But I do use foam core for all my drains. Some man specs say it's ok.
Don't want to derail the thread, but why do you use foam core for drains?
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonapprentice View Post
M.M., the company I work for used to run foam core. Now we run solid core. Some new inspectors in town caught the fact that bradford whites manual allowed foam core, but then changed over to solid core.
With that being said, if there were lots of issues with foam core we wouldn't have used it.

From what I have seen with foam core failing, is on OLDER water heaters, when they are not running efficiently and working harder producing more heat. (Same goes for dysfunctional w.h.s, or maybe t-stat too high?) Most common I've seen has been slight discoloration from white color to a tan color. I have seen a vent that got dark brown in color. The pipe was fine but the FITTING had a spot that collapsed, still enough to breath good though.

I guess my take on it is foam core is OK (even tho specs say no). IF you maintain your w.h. yearly. Most homeowners don't do that, so to be on safe side 10 years down the road the solid core will supposedly handle the hard working w.h. and not be a fire hazard too.

I'm sure you knew most of this, but just wanted to share my experiences

I dont know all that much, its all a blur and I just stumbled onto this issue
yesterday..... Like I said they oversized the power vent line to 3 inch and reduced it down in the last 4 feet to 2inch.... Perhaps with the extra volume and oversizeing the line, its not a concern

I have also seen some 25 year old stuff that basically had turned brown inside and it seemed that sometimes the glue in the joints became fragiel and the 3 inch fittings would break loose when fooling with them

but I have yet to see an actual closure in the pipe....or a picture on the internet of one in a real world setting....maybe its a one in 10 million occurrence.....

It makes me wonder if sometime down the road they will expect older brown crusty vent lines to be replaced when installing a new unit...
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:00 AM   #10
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Solid core here.


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