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Can I vent a gas water heater through a rim joist?

0 votes
I have a new gas water heater I would like to use for my radiant floor. It is in a cement basement in a corner about four feet below the rim joist.

Is there a way I can vent it up at a slight angle and have the pipe exit the house through the rim joist. It would end a few inches outside the house about two feet above the ground level. It would come out in a corner between the garage and front porch

I don't have a way to plumb a vent clear up through the ceiling without moving the tank to the far side of the house.

Thanks for your input.
asked in Heating System by cec (120 points)
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1 Answer

0 votes
Hi Cec,

I need some information to answer this question; what type of a gas water heater did you purchase? Is it a natural draft (with a draft hood) or power vented model (with blower assembly mounted on its top)?

Just click "comment" below. Thanks,

answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)


Thank you for your answer Cec: "It is a natural draft type"
Unfortunately the answer is "no".
Water heater must be listed / approved by its manufacturer for side-wall venting. Natural draft water heaters require a chimney (that clears the roof) for venting purposes. It would have to be a power vent type water heater in which case you would run a PVC vent pipe through the rim joist. 
You can call your water heater's manufacturer and ask if this particular model can be converted for side wall venting but I doubted you’d get a positive answer.
If you can still exchange your appliance for a power vented unit, you could safely proceed with this installation. Let me know if you have more questions. 


Thank you for your help.
You are welcome. Come back any time.