I have been told recently by a potential buyer of my home that due to the gas hot water heater in my utility room, with electric washer and dryer, that I need separate venting to bring it up to code. The room has two outside windows, and the door opens into my dining room. I live in Texas.

My own contractor who remodeled this old home 3 years ago mentioned nothing of this. What type of venting is he speaking of?

  • The water heater has a vent coming off the top of it, right? And the Dryer is electric?
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 3, 2016 at 18:47
  • i'll have to look at the hot water heater when I get home... the guy said he smelled residual gas and in that, I need to have a vent installed in the room to 'meet code' I don't smell the gas... nor did my neighbor when I had him come over... I'm frustrated.
    – Rachel
    Mar 3, 2016 at 19:13
  • and the dryer is electric with outside air vent.
    – Rachel
    Mar 3, 2016 at 19:13
  • 1
    a photo would really help explain the situation
    – Roberto
    Mar 4, 2016 at 1:31

2 Answers 2


He's talking about a combustion air intake. Fuel burning appliances are not allowed to draw combustion air from habitable rooms. So it's possible that a combustion air intake may be required.

Check with your local building department, to determine if one is required in your situation.

If the dryer vent and the heater exhaust through the same duct, that's definitely a problem. Though hopefully that's not what you're talking about.

  • 4
    +1 Especially with the dryer in the room you could get a situation where the dryer creates a back draft in the water heater flue, pulling fresh air in from there and leaving exhaust gases inside your home.
    – BMitch
    Mar 3, 2016 at 19:40

The dryer and the water heater don't share a duct to the outside do they? If so that's definitely not right.

The gas dryer can vent straight out an outer wall. The pipe coming out of the top of the water heater is a flue. It should attach to a chimney that goes up to the roof in order draft properly.

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