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Old 04-19-2019, 08:47 AM   #31
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Update. Had a couple inspections yesterday with inspector B and asked him about this issue. Apparently thereís a code in the mechanical code book thatís not in the plumbing code book. Because of the size of the chimney, 8x12 I think he said, it is oversized for the btuís of the furnace and heater. Somehow the 4/3Ē vent fcks with the math and needs to be a 4Ē not tapered down to 3Ē.

Iím not a HVAC tech, understand very little of the trade and code. In plumbing and drain cleaning, there are many codes I agree with, but some I think are totally unnecessary and only there for permit revenue.
Good point. Yes when an old chimney is oversized with more efficient devices which run cooler. Heat equals convection & velocity, less heat convection & velocity. Mostly though it works in reverse. Smaller diameter piping less heat and velocity loss.

For instance, 100,00 total BTU may be fine in a single story structure with an 8" flue, not much chance for loss. Now a 2 story structure with an 8" flue, to much heat and velocity loss. Convection stops and vent gases pour back into and around a bonnet. Reduce the size of the flue to 6" and the heat loss and velocity are not affected. Been a while since I've sat and done the math. Have seen it happen when people go from a 40% efficient furnace with a brick chimney to an 80% connected to the same brick chimney. You have to use the old chimney as a liner for a metal B vent.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:00 PM   #32
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Good point. Yes when an old chimney is oversized with more efficient devices which run cooler. Heat equals convection & velocity, less heat convection & velocity. Mostly though it works in reverse. Smaller diameter piping less heat and velocity loss.

For instance, 100,00 total BTU may be fine in a single story structure with an 8" flue, not much chance for loss. Now a 2 story structure with an 8" flue, to much heat and velocity loss. Convection stops and vent gases pour back into and around a bonnet. Reduce the size of the flue to 6" and the heat loss and velocity are not affected. Been a while since I've sat and done the math. Have seen it happen when people go from a 40% efficient furnace with a brick chimney to an 80% connected to the same brick chimney. You have to use the old chimney as a liner for a metal B vent.

Question, out of curiosity, does outside conditions, factor in? He checked the draw, as we always do and it was drawing perfectly. He uses dust, we use a lighter. Single story house. Also if both the heater and furnace fire at the same time, is that a factor?

I thought the reason for liners was due to more moisture because of the higher efficiency. You donít want moisture getting into the nicks and cracks during winter. Expansion contraction. Not draw...

I guess itís similar to drainage. When I see a kitchen line only on a 4Ē underground 50% of the time a jetter is needed. I always give the customer the option of me attempting, but they have to pay either way. Itís rare I see it, maybe once every couple of years.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:47 AM   #33
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Sorry, been out on vacation.

Work harder when I am out. Glad to be back to work...…..



Yes outside conditions make a difference, but I don't believe they are addressed directly in any code. If any code did I think it would be under the IECC possible the mechanical code. I can't recall anything in the IMC.

Heater & WH firing at the same time would tend to eliminate a possible drafting issues, more heat more velocity. Less chance of vent gasses cooling & falling.


I have seen this in new construction as well with an ultra tight home and not enough combustion air being drawn in.

Yes a liner is for keeping moisture down but it is a two fold game.


Under the right conditions (seems to be more of an issue during summer) I have seen more than one WH not draft and spill out CO into the basement. I believe cooler indoor air affects what would be in the winter a natural tendency to draft upward with hotter air and vent gasses.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:47 PM   #34
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most appliances ( water heaters, boilers, furnaces, etc) have the size chimney and distance sizes in the installation booklet, with all the higher performances now its even more critical to follow them so you dont have problems...that big oil guzzler in that big chimney was no issue, till you install an efficient gas unit that exhausts less than half the heat to old one did, each job you do has to be looked at and sized to what your putting in or you will have problems..
a chimney on the exterior of the house is different than one on an inside wall, as now you have the outside climate affecting draft either by chilling or heating the chimney flue way..almost all gas appliances now should not go into an unlined brick or mortar chimney, should be lined with stainless steel liner...
different municipalities have their own add ons, but if you stick with the manufactures specs you should be good and any inspector should agree with the manufacture..
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:04 PM   #35
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Funny you bring this thread back up today. Tomorrow’s reinspection. This time we’re meeting with the mechanical inspector.

We found a true 4” vent hood and installed it last week. To be honest, I don’t understand the math behind it, but when we had the combo hood it sucked the flame of a bic lighter in nice and hard. When we put the true 4” hood it barely sucked it in at all. Weather on both days of installation and first inspection were pretty close. LL is going to install a couple carbon monoxide detectors.

With what I saw, if that were my house with my kid and wife.... the combo hood would be going back in after inspection.... if I were to actually pull a permit in my own house that is.
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:37 PM   #36
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most appliances ( water heaters, boilers, furnaces, etc) have the size chimney and distance sizes in the installation booklet, with all the higher performances now its even more critical to follow them so you dont have problems...that big oil guzzler in that big chimney was no issue, till you install an efficient gas unit that exhausts less than half the heat to old one did, each job you do has to be looked at and sized to what your putting in or you will have problems..
a chimney on the exterior of the house is different than one on an inside wall, as now you have the outside climate affecting draft either by chilling or heating the chimney flue way..almost all gas appliances now should not go into an unlined brick or mortar chimney, should be lined with stainless steel liner...
different municipalities have their own add ons, but if you stick with the manufactures specs you should be good and any inspector should agree with the manufacture..
We called Rheem, talked with the rep and he said the combo vent was within manufacture specs for our situation.... but the Bible says....
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:20 PM   #37
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Funny you bring this thread back up today. Tomorrowís reinspection. This time weíre meeting with the mechanical inspector.

We found a true 4Ē vent hood and installed it last week. To be honest, I donít understand the math behind it, but when we had the combo hood it sucked the flame of a bic lighter in nice and hard. When we put the true 4Ē hood it barely sucked it in at all. Weather on both days of installation and first inspection were pretty close. LL is going to install a couple carbon monoxide detectors.

With what I saw, if that were my house with my kid and wife.... the combo hood would be going back in after inspection.... if I were to actually pull a permit in my own house that is.

the funnel or reduction in hood created a venturi like effect, the velocity was more through a smaller hole and created a good suction that pulled the bic lighter flame, once you opened up the hood to full 4 inch you cut the velocity and created less of a suction, that is my understanding of it as learned over the years, it may not be the engineered answer...
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:51 PM   #38
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the funnel or reduction in hood created a venturi like effect, the velocity was more through a smaller hole and created a good suction that pulled the bic lighter flame, once you opened up the hood to full 4 inch you cut the velocity and created less of a suction, that is my understanding of it as learned over the years, it may not be the engineered answer...
Exactly my understanding too!

Tomorrow I hope we get an education. I know the mechanical inspector, but he probably doesnít remember me. I use to cable his main line as a prevent. I like the guy, no dummy like my plumbing inspectors.

I only know plumbing mechanical vent code, not actual mechanical vent code.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:13 PM   #39
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So inspector A showed up instead of the mechanical inspector. Both my Master an I were pissed! Got a sticker, so LL was happy. We had all kinds of questions ready for the mechanical inspector ready. My plumbing inspector A can’t explain the code.... it’s just in the book. In reality, his job isn’t about following code, his job is a revenue generator. That is a fact straight from plumbing inspector B’s mouth. If they don’t get x amount of reinspection fees they don’t have a job.
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:50 PM   #40
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You donít have inspectors??!!?!! Really? The official who determines if the plumbing work was performed in compliance with the health and safety of the nation... they donít inspect?

Only thing they inspect around here is rough plumbing when we are doing a new house or reno. They only inspect the PVC : So your telling me to even install a water heater you need an inspector to check it out to make sure it was installed right ?
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