Don't assume???????

You have solved a problem by just seeing part of the big picture and recommending a contractor to come and (repair as necessary).

I had a good example of this last week almost missed a life threating problem myself. Part of the problem was very obvious even to the blind. Owner recently had a WH installed with the flue pipe traveling down hill to a old masonary chimney in a basement it was back drafting completely it was blowing the flame on my Bic lighter out before I even got it close to the draft hood.

To complicate the carbon monoxide problem even more there was a upflow 80% gas fired forced air furnace installed along side the WH. The return air duct connected at the bottom of the furnace had a grill installed taking return air from the basement and distributing CO through out the home.

The return air grill and the improper flue pipe on the WH I saw in about 2 seconds what I did not see imediately was the flue pipe on the furnace had a 45 degree rise connecting to the same masonary chimney in the basement with a short run between the outlet of the furnace and the masonary chimney. I assumed the natural draft from the furnace was performing as intended so I did not do a draft test with my Bic lighter. Visually it appeared to be fine wrong wrong wrong.

It took a while before my brain bell started to ring as I had already been on the roof with my spider man shoes One chimney penetration was all that was visible WHOA is me I have two chimneys inside one in the living room and one in the basement 20 feet or more from each other.

Next stop to the attic I go. WHOA again the chimney from the basement has been terminated in the attic Ya know the one with the two flue pipes connected to it in the basement and the return air grill about 5 feet away HMMMMM

Bottom line don’t assume;-)

Had something similar about 1 year ago. did the outside , did the inside , fire place blocked off, no big deal 1920 home, notice the chimney caped off. Ok. went to the basement did the look around electric water heater gas furnace . turned it on ( still looking around then it hit me . What in the hell is the gas furnace venting into? shut it off .
Went back out double checked . Nope not flue outside .
Scratch my head turned to the agent and said we have a problem. asked her if this home was a flip no she said it is a estate sale , the owner had passed away. WOW . now i was curious . Tag the furnace with a note not to use . this thing had be capped for a while . makes you wonder what the person passed away from doesn’t it.

First off great catch and thanks for the reminder. Very helpful specifically to this issue and a reminder to keep all three of my eyes open. Glottal always be careful and NEVER get lazy… Even for a moment. Thanks for sharing

Thanks George but I have a question for you this was a sword with two edges.
My question is if you put in your report the initial observed problem back drafting of the flue pipe on the WH and the return opening too close to the source of CO and called for a contractor to repair. Those two repairs being addressed but not the blocked chimney who has the libility the HI, the contractor, or both;-)