Powervent Water Heater Has Cold Air coming into Vent

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Powervent water heaters have become the standard for new construction homes here in Minnesota, but are they really that great? As I mentioned in my last blog post about natural draft water heaters, a powervent water heater is equipped with a built-in fan that pushes the exhaust gas out of the vent with a powered fan. As far as I know, it’s impossible for these appliances to backdraft. If the fan doesn’t exhaust, the water heater won’t light.

The image below of an installed powervent water heater is courtesy of the fine folks at The Family Handyman.

Benefits of a powervent water heater

As you might imagine, the main benefit of a powervent water heater is that there is no potential to backdraft. This doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of a carbon monoxide problem caused by the water heater, but it definitely lowers the potential. The two ways that carbon monoxide could still get into the home with a powervent would be from a disconnected or...

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Product Description

The Superflue® Power Vent Water Heater ENERGY STAR® qualified water heater has been engineered for superior efficiency and to deliver a higher energy factor (EF) to meet the latest ENERGY STAR® qualifications. The Superflue® Power Vent Water Heater is designed with a state-of-the-art gas control with advanced self-diagnostics for quick and easy servicing.

A built-in blower allows for both through-the-wall or through-the-roof venting up to 50 feet to the exterior of your home and is an ideal for those looking to convert from an electric to a gas water heater.

Key Features

Automatic gas control with Power Vent Water Heater Cast iron burners Factory installed, plastic lined nipples Energy efficient electronic ignition CSA International certified FVIR compliant Vents with ULC s636 approved PVC or CPVC...
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We have a Rudd power vent water heater (propane) that's only a few years old. Last month we had a drop in temp and that evening our water heater went into vacation mode and had an "insufficient flame" error. I tried resetting it and it would show the error code after awhile.

Last night, halfway through a shower the water became warm, no longer hot and sure enough the code was on again.

The first time we had a plumber come and and charge us just to flip the stupid thing on. He left and said he couldn't find a problem. No problems until last night.

Any ideas what could be causing this to happen? The pilot does light, so it's not a lack of propane. Both days the temps have been cold, and very windy, but over the past two years there's been plenty of both weather with no problems at all. Just...

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The air that comes out of your dryer carries a lot of moisture withit, and the dryer vent is supposed to carry that hot, humid airsafely out of your home. Now, if there is water in the hose, theremight be one of a couple of things going on. . If part of the vent goes through an area of a significantlycooler temperature, the water may be condensing out of the airbefore it leaves the vent. This can be a problem particularly withlonger dryer vents. . If there is at least a partial blockage in the vent, the airmight be stuck in the hose long enough to cool down so that thewater condenses. If the first one seems to be the issue, I would see if there were away to shorten the length of the dryer vent duct. If you suspect any kind of blockage, it's really important to takecare of that, as it can be a fire...

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How Does a Power Vent Water Heater Work?

A standard combustion hot water heater uses the principle that heat rises to expel toxic combustion gases from the water heating process. However, this requires an outlet like a chimney. A power vent hot water heater uses a specialized fan that draws in air from your indoors or the outside to both push out the combustion gases as well as to help ignite and feed the flame that heats your hot water. The fan works one–way and is built with safety devices that ensure vapors surrounding the heating element do not ignite, and also that the flame doesn’t retreat. This type of water heater is also equipped with sensors that will shut the unit down should burning vapors be detected. Power vent water heaters output between 40,000 to 65,000 BTUs and typically come in 40 or 50 gallon tanks.

What Are the Benefits of a Power Vent Hot Water Heater?

So why choose a power vent hot water heater? As we discussed above, some homeowners...

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Natural gas water heaters offer two distinct choices in style: storage tank or tankless and three choices for venting: conventional, direct vent or power vent.

FACT - Neither a direct vented nor a conventional vent water heater requires electricity. If there is a power outage you will still have hot water.

Conventional Vent

A conventional vent is required on most standard natural gas water heaters. Conventional vents can be either type B, double-wall metal vents or a tile-lined brick chimney. The conventional vent can be shared with most standard mid-efficiency furnaces or boilers. This type of vent draws the air it needs from inside your home. In airtight homes it is important that there is an adequate air supply from outside.

Direct Vent

A direct vent does not require a chimney, but vents through an outside wall and also brings air for combustion in from the outside. Some types of direct vent water heaters must be located...

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Power-vented water heater

Power-vented water heaters work the same as ordinary water heaters, but the exhaust gases are blown out with a small fan instead of rising upwards through metal pipes.

Natural-draft water heater

The hot exhaust gases from a natural-draft water heater rise through an open draft diverter and out through a metal duct.

Natural gas or propane hot water heaters are generally less expensive to operate than electric heaters, but installing a standard vent in a house without an existing chimney is expensive.

It’s easier to run the vent if you install a “power-vented” type of natural gas (or propane) water heater. This type of venting system is different from what you see on most gas water heaters. Most have a “natural-draft” type of vent, where the hot waste gases rise through an open draft diverter and into metal pipes,
which eventually lead to the outdoors. Running one of these vents is complicated and may be expensive....

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I have just had a new powervent water heater installed by a licensed plumber. All looks well and runs well except the fact that there is a big draft coming back into the vent while the blower is not on. Not just some cold air but coming in pretty hard. This does not seem to be right. Forget the fact that I live in Chicago area where it has been 3 degree each morning this week it brings extremely cold air into the room

Details: Installed in Basement along with a high efficiency furnace Both use combustion air - obviously the Water heater would as there is no other option to vent out the side of the house. Full Basement not finished so plenty of air.

Vent goes essentially up and out the side of the house and meets all the venting criteria set aside including slope, length, limiting use of 90's etc per the Kenmore manual. The total run is only about 5 ft plus a few 45's which would make it about 17ft. It has 3" pipe.

Has anyone seen this before, I cannot find a...

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If a water heater backdrafts, it means that potentially hazardous exhaust gases are coming back into the home. Last week I blogged about how to determine if a water heater is backdrafting; that's the easy part. The tough part is determining why it's happening and fixing it. There are many potential causes for a water heater to backdraft, so I'll cover as many as I can think of. In many cases, it's a combination of conditions.

The one guaranteed fix for all of the issues that I'm going to discuss is to install a new powervent water heater that typically vents through the side of the house. Powervent water heaters won't backdraft, but they cost more money, they're more work to install, there's more that can go wrong with them, and they won't operate if the power goes out.

Vent Connector Problems

A vent connector is the thing that takes the exhaust gases from the top of the water heater (draft hood) to the vent. If a vent connector isn't properly installed, the potential...

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Installing a power vent

Power-vented water heater

Power-vented water heaters work the same as ordinary water heaters, but the exhaust gases are blown out with a small fan instead of rising upwards through metal pipes.

Natural-draft water heater

The hot exhaust gases from a natural-draft water heater rise through an open draft diverter and out through a metal duct.

Natural gas or propane hot water heaters are generally less expensive to operate than electric heaters, but installing a standard vent in a house without an existing chimney is expensive.

It’s easier to run the vent if you install a “power-vented” type of natural gas (or propane) water heater. This type of venting system is different from what you see on most gas water heaters. Most have a “natural-draft” type of vent, where the hot waste gases rise through an open draft diverter and into metal pipes,
which eventually lead to the outdoors. Running one of these vents is...

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All water heaters that burn natural gas or propane require a venting system. The process of burning of the gas is called combustion and it creates heat, exhaust gases (including highly poisonous carbon monoxide), and moisture. The water heater's ventilation system removes these byproducts from the home, making it a critical safety feature. In most cases, the type of ventilation system depends on the type of water heater.

Water Heater Venting Basics

All water heater venting systems use a vent duct or pipe—also called a chimney or flue—to bring exhaust gases from the water heater to the outdoors. The duct may be metal or plastic, depending on the type of vent system. Water heater ducts may lead directly outdoors, or they may tie into a larger vent duct that also serves a gas or propane furnace or boiler in the home. This is called a common vent configuration. In many cases, the exhaust from the larger appliance heats up the common vent, improving the flow of the water...

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A selection of the best power vent water heaters to buy. Find out what is the power venting, how it compares to atmospheric and direct venting, how does it work, see the review of the top features, buying and installation tips.

Buying a water heater is a great decision to make, considering that the quality models and the professional installation are not cheap, service that can be expensive and that an average energy consumption of a North American household is between 14% and 20% - a great expense for heating only potable water.

Venting types

You can purchase the tank-type or tankless unit, where the following venting types are used; atmospheric, direct vent, power vent, and power direct vent.

What are the power vent water heaters?

Power Vent model

The power vent water heaters (PV) are designed with the electric-powered blower mounted on top of the unit. With the assistance of the blower, combustion gases are mechanically moved to...

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Hello.
I was wondering if anyone has a solution for this problem.

I recently installed a power-vented natural gas water heater to replace a 20-year-old electric.

The installation was done by me and inspected by both a gas fitter and the local gas company. All is good...

However, there is a significant amount of cold outside air coming in the 2" (system 636) exhaust from the power vent, and its enough to spin the fan on the power vent backwards. (when not running of course)

The vent goes straight up from the water heater about 2' then a 90Deg. turn about 2' to another 90 deg turn about 2' out the wall and there is a 90Deg on the outside that points down and there is a bug screen (supplied with the heater) glued into that final 90.

My question is, is there a flapper, damper product I could use instead of the last 90 to prevent cold air from entering the vent. OR should I try adding another couple 90 deg bends outside or a T?

Having that...

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Water heater condensation is not a leaking problem. Condensation is normal occurrence when the gas water heating appliance is working. How to recognize condensation in water heaters, what to do, can it be stopped and how to troubleshoot problems?

What is water heater condensation?

When natural or propane gas burns in gas water heaters, a lot of moisture in products of combustion is released. So when the water vapor is chilled below the dew point (link wiki), water heater condensation occurs. The dew point is the temperature at which water vapor turns into the liquid state, called condensate.

When the main gas burner is on, the heater produces hot flue gases, which turn into the condensate upon contacting colder surfaces. One of the situations where the condensation might happen is piping cooled by the low incoming water temperature that flows through.

Why it condensates in water heaters?

In order to troubleshoot the water heater...

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Q. "What does bi-directional flow mean?"
A. Bi-directional flow means fluid can flow through the valve in both directions. The inlet and outlet can be reversed and the valve will still function properly.

Q. "What is the difference between an open and closed circulation system?"
A. A closed system is a recirculation loop for water (or other liquid) where once it is set up and running, no new liquid will be introduced into the system, unless the system is shut down for servicing. Most hydronic heating systems, like radiators or radiant floor heating, use a separate boiler or water heater not connected to the main water supply, so the same liquid is constantly circulated through the piping and/or to the radiators back through the boiler or water heater.

An open system is a recirculating loop for heating water when the water heater is connected to the main water supply. As water is constantly being used throughout the house in the kitchen, bath, etc., the...

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Backdrafting at a water heater is a common defect identified during home inspections, and it’s almost always a condition that the homeowner or occupant is not aware of. This happens when the exhaust gases from an atmospherically vented water heater spill out into the room, rather than safely leaving the house through the vent. Exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide and high levels of moisture, so this is always a condition that should be corrected.

An atmospherically vented water heater is a type with a draft hood, which relies on gravity to get the exhaust gases out of the home. Exhaust gas is hot and therefore lighter than the surrounding air, which is what allows it to rise up the vent and out of the house. These are very simple devices that require no electricity to operate, however, this isn’t a very reliable draft method. Today I’m going to share some clues that could indicate a problem with a water heater drafting properly.

Melted plastic at the draft...

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