Calcana Garage Heater Install - venting not approved by City of Calgary

Hi, I had a gas Calcana radiant tube garage heater installed by a professional gasfitter.

The model is Calcanas CAL-40A M and is natural gas.

It is draws air from the outside and vents to the other side of the garage. It has a blower in it so air is forced through the system.

I had a City of Calgary inspector over to have the permit signed off, and he has said the exhaust venting is unacceptable. The vent was piped to have 2 elbows to allow it to ‘Z’ down to clear part of the ceiling before it goes outside beneath the soffit.

The inspector doesn’t like the 20" of straight pipe between the 2 elbows. He has referenced the installation manual which only shows 2 elbows butted up to each other and says you can’t have the extension between the elbows. I’ve talked to the manufacturer over the phone and the guy I talked to said yes there’s no issue with the straight section between the elbows, but that they’ve had issues in the past where the inspector won’t approve the install because the manual does not show it with the straight section.

Now, I’m a mechanical engineer, and I’m not saying I know what should be acceptable because I don’t deal with HVAC or gas systems, but from my technical perspective I can’t see a physical issue or concern with the straight section, especially because it goes down and out, and not up and out. The added straight section would have similar effect as adding an extra 20" of lateral pipe to the vent, which would be fine. The vent system would have less head pressure at the output that if you had 2 elbows butted up and going straight out, so I agree with the manufacturer that it should be approved.

So, I’m not sure what to do now. I guess I can re-route the vent, or drop the heater down, but it would be an eyesore and there’s a man door going into the house that would almost be blocked by the vent line, so it’s not ideal…

Has anyone had similar issues or can someone suggest what I should do? My thoughts were to try to have the manufacturer, Calcana, talk directly with the City. Or is there something in CSA B149 that would explain why this installation is okay?

I will try to upload some pictures and the manual, it looks like I can’t directly attach files here.


I recommend a clear conversation with the manufacturer on what they approve and get that to your mechanical inspector.

The big issue with going outside the recommended guidelines is typically condensation deterioration on any tube heater.

In addition, double check BTU demand to gas line size and have the gas pressure checked and documented.

Maybe there’s some confusion because the two sides don’t agree on how your venting was setup. One says it’s good and the other says otherwise, so I suggest getting to the root of the problem and get the specifics on what you really need to do to adhere to the guidelines set by the City of Calgary.

It won’t be the first time an inspector has decided on their own that something is not up to code. Ask the inspector for the specific code reference, and look it up for yourself, a library may have a copy, the company that installed the heater probably does as well.
If you disagree with the inspector’s interpretation of the code, send a polite letter stating the facts to the chief inspector copies to the chief gas inspector if there is one.

Like most inspectors they know what they see in the book. To be fair the book including all manufacturers of all products used in home building is about three stories tall by now. The only way to deal with this and end up with what you have is to have written documentation from the manufacture to show the building inspector. The manufacturer already knows there is some difficulty so they should provide you with a copy of the redrawn instructions for exhaust installation ( prior to adding it to the instruction book they send out with the product) Talk to them.