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I want to know if this is normal. See attached photo. Can a water heater vent create this much heat? It would appear that the garage ceiling all around my hot water heater vent is being burned by excessive heat- even the textured plaster is falling down!! enter image description here

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    Looks more like damp to me. You may have a leak where the vent passes through the roof up above there. – brhans Aug 9 '17 at 16:43
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This is common in water heater vents. That goes up and eventually goes through the roof. If installed properly the roof vent should last a long time and not leak, but... stuff happens. They leak from time to time, and the leaking water will simply run down the pipe until it hits that drywall you see.

The yellowing isn't from being burned, is just dirty water seeping through the drywall which then loosens the texture on the ceiling.

So, you have a roof leak, not a faulty water heater.

  • The vent piping from the ceiling to the end above the roof should be double wall Type A or Type B depending on the type of water heater you have and the fuel being burned. In some cases you may even need special venting products as specified by the heaters manufacturer. To certain of a proper installation you should a professional water heater company. – d.george Aug 9 '17 at 22:07

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