Gas company technician asked me to take a look at hot water tank and there he issued me Warning B Red tag and gave me 5 weeks to fix the issue. Issue in related to clearance from combustibles (TSSA code 8.18.t1 t.86) (something about 6 inch clearance from combustibles). Area should in red rectangle is what technician was concerned about. My water heater is old (2010) and was here when I bought the house in 2014. A few contractors I asked to want to sell me new water heater. Is it an easy DIY or should I ask for a contractor to fix it ?

Red rectangle is the area of concern

Red rectangle is the area of concern

  • 1
    Its hard for me to tell is that vent going into the larger pipe, I would be more concerned with a single wall pipe going horizontal with no seal. I would see if the larger pipe T can be lowered and rotated then reduce the height of the stack coming off the water heater.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 5 '18 at 15:56
  • How big is your electric service? Jul 5 '18 at 16:28
  • electric service ? This is gas powered water heater. 50 gallon one.
    – user87412
    Jul 5 '18 at 16:31
  • The warning is because you have very hot exhaust going from the top of the water heater thru a metal pipe (conducts heat) right next to a wood (combustible) stud. Over time heat build up from the pipe could cause a fire to start. Jul 5 '18 at 16:33
  • Also OMG what lazy **** installed that? Nice butchering of the wood - too lazy to re-orient the t junction on the main exhaust stack... Jul 5 '18 at 16:34

What size is the vent pipe. Most water heaters use a 3" or 4" flue pipe. If it is larger, and it does look larger than that in the pictures, you could resize it to the correct smaller size, which would yield a little more clearance. Also ask the gas company's inspector if you can replace that single wall pipe with double wall "B" vent of a smaller size (correct size) and also nail a sheet of 5/8" fire-shield drywall to the butchered wood. Another thought, if the other flue pipe is the one to the left in the top picture, you could cut that pipe, install a pipe flue tee of the correct size and eliminate the flue pipe that is in question. You may need to hire a professional sheet metal person or HVAC company to perform this change since The pipe after the connection point would have to increased slightly.

  • All nice suggestions. Thanks. I will update about the size after measuring it.
    – user87412
    Jul 5 '18 at 19:04
  • These are 3" pipes.
    – user87412
    Jul 8 '18 at 15:14

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