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Does One Need To Vent The Water Heater Closet?
A water heater closet is a room that connects the water heater to your house’s hot water system in the US; the Department of Energy regulates this.
They are usually on an exterior wall or sometimes in a basement. However, if you have a hydronic heating system (a natural gas furnace), your water heater closet might be inside your house.
Yes. The water heater closet needs venting. A vented water heater closet is the best way to ensure that your HVAC equipment can perform at its peak so that the entire building can be adequately cooled or heated. It also allows proper airflow throughout the building, which keeps air quality high.
These benefits aren’t theoretical; ventilation will significantly affect your HVAC performance and energy usage, especially if you reside in an old building with poor insulation.
Every water heater closet should have a vented space of at least 10 square feet. This gives the space plenty of air and allows for proper air movement.
It’s also a handy space for storing tools and equipment. You can use the floor as a temporary workbench and the walls for storage.
You need a utility closet with adequate space, some paint to cover up old molding, and some shelving units to organize all your necessary items.
There are even pre-installed doors, which makes them much easier to install.
However, even if your building had a water heater closet, it doesn’t mean that the HVAC system is up to snuff. It could be because of an outdated system or an improperly installed one.
No matter the reason, it’s essential to have a water heater closet in your HVAC system.
Can One Have A Gas Water Heater In A Closet?
Yes. You can have a gas water heater in a closet, provided you do not use the closet for storage or a room in your house.
You can decrease the rate of venting gas if needed, but a licensed contractor must be the one to do it.
If using the closet, ensure proper ventilation and that the closet is not directly next to an oven or stove.
Having heat nearby will keep things cooler and reduce your energy bill.
Heat naturally rises, so if running the heat in ground-level rooms, you will want a water heater near an upstairs bedroom or bathroom to prevent high temperatures nearby from lower temperatures in other home areas.
You can save on your energy bill by reducing the heat loss due to cold floors. If you are already running a gas water heater in your home, you do not need to do anything further.
If you want to know how to hook up a gas water heater or need more information on setting up a gas water heater in a closet, call your local plumbing contractor for help.
Does The Gas Water Heater Require A Louvered Door?
Yes. The gas water heater needs louvered doors for more airflow. You can use louvered doors on gas water heaters to replace them.
Louvered doors lead to increased airflow and combustion efficiency. Close the door, unscrew, remove the screws, and pull it off to remove these louvers.
You can also buy replacement louvered doors online or at any home improvement store in your area.
Besides that, if you can remove the louvered door, check for any moisture on the other side of the insulation.
Check for any discoloration on the surface or any damage to the metal.
If there is a dent or discoloration on the metal, consider replacing the heat exchanger, which you can buy online or at your local home improvement store.
You should also test your water heater to make sure it’s healing properly. If there is no discoloration or other issues, your heat exchanger should work fine.
Before purchasing any replacement parts, ensure that you have your heater model number and serial number to ensure a replacement will suit your needs.
Replacement parts are available online or at home improvement stores. If you cannot find a solution for replacing them, you can look for a gas water heater with louvered doors on its top.
These water heaters need additional space above them with louvered doors to allow more airflow.
Can One Enclose A Furnace And Water Heater?
Yes. You can enclose a furnace and water heater if you’re still doing your basement and walls. You can also do this in a garage or pantry if you have the space and are not planning on replacing your appliances.
Enclosing a furnace or water heater is one of those projects that sounds more complicated than it is. It’s only took me hours to complete and was easier than I expected.
Besides, it comes with some advantages that include:
- Help prevent dryer vent fires
- Keeps the dust and dirt out of your basement
- Keeps critters out of your basement
- Keeps heat inside in the winter and the AC inside in the summer
- It Can help you save money on your A/C bill
- Improves odor control in the basement
- You can do it any time you have the room, so there is no date limitation.
- You can do it without taking out appliances, windows, or walls.
- You don’t need additional plumbing to get the heat and AC indoors and vent outside if you have that option [see Step 4].
- You can do the project in stages if you don’t have all day to spend on it.
How Does One Waterproof A Water Heater Closet?
Waterproofing a water heater closet is easy.
You only have to cover the cement floor and walls with a waterproof sealant. This prevents water from leaking into the hot wiring and causing a potential fire hazard.
It is not rare for water heaters to leak, which can be detrimental to adjacent properties if they are near.
Always ensure you have a qualified professional install the sealant, however. You cannot do this yourself without risking injury or other troubles such as mold growth or cracking due to moisture damage.
The sealant will also not work if it snows or rains.
While the sealant will last for a very long time, I recommend that you replace it after a few years.
Also, ensure you leave enough room between the heater and the wall to allow people to pass through easily.
Now that you know how to waterproof a water heater closet, find out what kind of room you should choose for your water heater.
You can install water heaters in closets. They can also go outside or inside a garage or shed.
You must carefully consider which type of outside installation and interior locations are best suited for your aesthetic needs.
Typically, you will find water heaters installed in a garage. However, you can also install them on the side of commercial buildings or inside a shed.
People usually place them in a garage because they tend to use them a lot during the winter months, and because of their size, it’s easier to conceal them in spaces that you can close off for storage.
There are two major water heater types: gas and electric. Gas water heaters are usually much more expensive, but you can convert them to electricity.
To convert a gas water heater to electric, you must remove it from its current location, deliver it to a local supplier, and then reassemble and convert it.
After the conversion is complete, you can return it to its normal location.
Does The Gas Water Heater Need Ventilation?
Yes. Gas water heaters need ventilation because of the potential for dangerous gases to build up, such as hydrogen sulfide.
They can lead to a buildup of toxic fumes and an explosion if they are not vented properly. This is usually done by venting the unit through an outside wall or using an exhaust fan in the heater’s room.
The EPA recommends that you electrically ground gas water heaters and install them outdoors, if possible.
You should install the gas water heater outdoors and in ventilated areas as much as possible.
When an exhaust fan is not available in the room, you should install and vent an electric gas heater outdoors through the roof.
You should run a dedicated circuit to the heater with a 15 amp fuse or circuit breaker.
If you use a gas water heater in an area that does not have an exhaust fan, you will need to install an indoor-carbon monoxide detector that you can buy at any hardware store or home improvement center.
You should size the vent pipe, so it vents all the flue gases produced by the unit at a pressure of 0.5 inches of water column (WC).
This is the same as the pressure at which water flow through the unit ceases.
A typical 18,000 BTU unit forces about 300 cubic feet of air into its exhaust vent per minute if no other ventilation is present.
You can determine which flow you need by dividing the total amount of gas in cubic feet by the flue gas velocity in cubic feet per minute.
The diameter of the vent pipe is dependent on the length of the pipe run.
The length of the vent pipe should be a minimum of 10 times the height of its vertical run, plus a maximum length of 40 feet for straight runs. The maximum length for 90-degree elbows and tees is 15 feet.
How Do I Vent My Furnace And Water Heater Together?
You can vent your furnace and water heater together by using a crimping tool and a standard water coupling, which you can find in any home improvement store.
Connect the pump inlet to the outlet on your furnace and the intake of your water heater, and connect each outlet to an outside fixture.
Completely turn off all power to your home before connecting each pump, and make sure that neither is running when you connect them; you must turn off both pumps before you connect them.
Check all air and water filters to see if any need replacement, as the air vents from the vents of your furnace can cause a lot of debris buildup in your water heater’s intake.
If you have a gas furnace, examine carbon monoxide leaks and leaks in your gas lines.
Connecting the pumps is a simple process: follow the instructions with your crimping tool. Once connected, you should hear the fans coming from both pumps running.
If you connect the water pumps to a thermal expansion tank, only connect the two pumps to the expansion tank; do not connect any other water fixtures to this tank.
Using a crimping tool, seal off the vent of your water heater and attach it to the vent of your furnace.
This is so that any excess pressure or leakage from your gas lines won’t affect your boiler. The last step is to connect a pump thermostat and a powered thermostat.
You can find these at any home improvement store. These will regulate the power passing through your pumps to only turn them on when you need them to be.
Do You Have To Vent An Electric Water Heater?
Yes. You have to vent an electric water heater. Venting an electric water heater is a critical step when installing the unit.
The unit can build up fumes, and if you don’t vent it, these fumes will either release inside your house or come forcefully into your attic through the gas vent. This can create a dangerous situation.
It is important to remember that an electric water heater requires ventilation to function safely. This is because it heats and stores water for extended periods.
You will need a kit with fittings, a meter to measure the gas flow, and a valve as a switch for the water to vent an electric water heater.
The kits are very easy to install; however, it might be best to call a plumber if you’re not comfortable doing it or don’t have the time.
Here’s How To Vent An Electric Water Heater
1) Make sure the water is off so the unit can cool down before installing.
2) Open your exterior electrical box.
3) Feed the two-inch pipe into the electrical box.
4) Seal the pipe with the seal provided in your kit.
5) Feed the vent pipe up and out of the house, attaching it to a 4″ exhaust flue.
6) Attach an elbow to the vent pipe and run it through a hole in your roof. Seal the elbow with Teflon tape, not caulk, for an airtight seal.
7) Attach a cap to the elbow.
8) Add a pipe cap and tape this joint as well.
9) Follow the instructions in your kit for connecting the gas line. This will differ depending on whether you have natural gas or propane.
10) The kit includes an air admittance valve (AAV) connector.
This connects to your drain line to relieve pressure in the water heater tank and prevent dangerous over-pressurization of the tank, which could cause leaks or even an explosion.
11) Install a water supply line for the water heater.
12) Fit your new water heater with a pressure relief valve to prevent high-pressure leaks and over-pressurization that can damage the water heater.
13) Connect the new hot and cold supply lines to the existing water heating piping with flexible connections.
14) Connect the gas line and electric connection for the heaters.
15) Turn on the water, and check for leaks.
16) Vent the electric water heater.
17) Use the electrical connection to light up your gas pilot light. You should do this when you turn on your gas supply for the first time or if you have trouble lighting it later.
18) Enjoy your new water heater.
Ventilation requirements for natural gas water heater
There are two main natural gas water heater types: A tankless heater and a traditional style.
Regardless of which you pick, they require ventilation to help with efficiency and energy conservation.
The type of ventilation you need depends on the water heater itself, but it’s best to vent it outside or through another ventilated area.
This is what you have to know about ventilation for your natural gas water heater.
Foremost, tankless water heaters need outside venting to avoid any buildup of air inside the water heater.
If the vent connections for your tankless water heater are not exposed to the outside, you need to install a venting fan that will pull hot air out of the water heater and move it outside.
Without proper ventilation, a tankless water heater can become a fire hazard if there’s an air buildup inside.
And for traditional style water heaters, ventilation is usually needed in two ways. The first way is to ensure that you have a venting fan connected to the furnace and the water heater.
This will help the hot air escape from the water heater instead of building up inside.
The other ventilation requirement is that you have an area where air can freely escape outside through a hole in your roof or wall.
You don’t need to go through any special channels; make sure air can freely escape outside.
For both of these water heaters, the amount of ventilation you need depends on your type.
For tanks and traditional water heaters, ventilation should be around 15 square feet per 1,000 BTU of the water heater.
And for tankless and new style water heaters, ventilation should be between 20 square feet per 1,000 BTU and 30 square feet per 1,000 BTU.
This is not a law, so don’t feel like you have to follow this rule exactly. You can use a ventilation calculator to determine how much ventilation you need for your specific situation.
Can One Enclose A Furnace And Water Heater?
Yes. If your water heater is in an enclosed space, like a basement or attic, it is possible to enclose it.
There are two types of enclosures available: an external enclosure and a prefabricated metal enclosure.
An external enclosure is a metal box meant to sit on your old furnace or electric heater and carries the risk that the unit will overheat, burn out and possibly cause a fire.
However, an external enclosure may work for you if you don’t want the running air conditioning 24/7 in the summer or winter heating in the other seasons.
A prefabricated metal enclosure is a box fabricated with very durable material that will not burn. This is the most reputable enclosure and even comes with a ten-year warranty.
The advantages of a metal enclosure show how efficient it provides heat.
Because the doors are tightly sealed, the air temperature inside of your house will remain constant, saving you on heating and cooling bills.
Even if your furnace or water heater is in an open space, a prefabricated metal-enclosed is the best option.
It will save you money on energy costs and keep you from spending hours cleaning up the mess of an external enclosure.
Water heater closet kits are an easy way to get the installation done right the first time.
You can find a perfect kit for your situation, whether you have an old water heater that needs replacing or are building a new home and looking for top-notch features.
Make sure that your water heater closet kit fits your style and requirements, and you’ll have a great-looking entrance to your hot water any time of the year.