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Water heater venting into an unlined chimney

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From Todd Beaulieu:

Thank you for this useful information in chimney flue sizing!

Sadly, I recently discovered that our water heater was (apparently) incorrectly installed, venting directly into the old chimney, w/o a liner of any kind. We’ve been struggling to keep the pilot lit.

Paid over $600 so far in the past year on “warrantee” replacement parts from Sears. Their most recent visit led to this discovery (after how many visits???). The worst part is that we purchased the home like this and don’t have the receipts. I’ll bet anything that Sears installed it. And we’re left stuck!

I asked the guy if we could vent the heater out the side of the house, as our Trane heating unit does. He said no, that we’d need a heater designed for that. At this point it occured to me that it might be cheaper to buy a new heater that vents directly, than to pay to have the chimney fixed.

What do you think? Thank you!

asked in Gas Water Heater by darekrudy (21,730 points)
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