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I ended up epoxying the holes closed and so far have not had any negative consequences.


I'm guessing that your water heater has a draft hood, and is not sealed combustion. When your whole-house fan is operating, it drops the pressure in the house, and probably in the basement also. If so, it can easily reverse the draft on your water heater even with a perfect venting system. This is not an immediate problem if the combustion is clean, which it ...

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