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 whole lot of information and honestly the manufacturer has not been much help. They told me I have a venting issue but when telling them my setup they can't tell me what is wrong.

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    Both the furnace and water heater use inside air for combustion air? Does the draft increase when the furnace turns on (and the heater is off)? Is there a damper in the water heater's exhaust vent? Jan 20, 2016 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


It's a bad & incomplete install & nothing at all to do with the equipment. Get that Contractor back to seal everything up, which is the law. You very likely could & would get exhaust gases with that cold air.

There's absolutely no reason at all that you should feel even the slightest draft. It needs to be fully sealed inside & especially outside. I'm sorry a "pro" left you with this shoddy work...they should've been upfront & scheduled to comeback the next day to finish-up.

If they refuse, then call the Building Inspector to report them & force them back out to do it right.


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