hot water tank venting with pvc




The hot water tank is vented by way of some fan I have never seen to this point. Also is vented through pvc out the side of the house. Could someone please tell me what the fan is, and am I right to say pvc should not be used?

It is a power vented hot water heater.

If you have the manufacture name, do a search on power vented water heater under that name.

This looks like an attempt to get a normal convection water heater to exhaust without a chimney. Check with Manufacturers installation manual for approved venting. Maybe available on web. There could be several issues with this install:

  1. is there a proving device that will control the gas valve if the fan fails?
  2. where does the condensate go?
  3. The exhaust hood is normally not used and it is a sealed connection.

Food for thought

The install it self appears not installed professionally. I will research the fan. But I am still concerned with the pvc?

Some models do use a draft hood with the firect vent fan.
Here is a Richmond that may be the same as the one in original post.

Richmond (Small).jpg

PVC is fine.

As Jason mentioned, plastic (PVC or ABS) is ok to use as a venting material on powervented hot water heaters. They work by sending a huge amount of air in with the flue gases that it decreases the temperature of the exhaust going through the vent enough that it will not comprimise the vent.

As Donald and Micheal mentioned, research the fan as it may or may not be approved for use with that DHW

Thanks to all you for your post’s. I have a better understanding of this set up.


I’ll have to agree with others, either research it before your final reporting to your client or defer to a Plumbing Pro to make the call.

I’ve seen Richmonds, AOSmiths, Bradford-Whites with Power-Vent systems, and none of them used PVC as vent material and always Sidewall design.
It may be acceptable design by the Manuf’s and just not used in our area, but it would make me uneasy.

You’ve seen some of the posts, showing the quality of some installations…
Need I say more.

Greg, that photo I posted is my water heater and I have the installation guide.
You are correct that the local AHJ may not permit it but he would be on shaky ground.

I have deferred on the issue do to the fact that it exhaust within 3 feet of a window. I do not mean the basement window.
Thanks again to all

The Illustrated Home 1175.jpg

Hello! Welcome to the year 2020 (almost)
CPVC is why that straight “pvc” piece is turning brown. It is not allowed to be used for venting of any exhaust. Most device manufacturers have added a sentence to “never use CPVC for venting.”
2 families are currently suing over CO deaths of family members because of CPVC used as
venting exhaust gases.
Regular PVC will likely be outlawed soon as well.
Everyone is running scared and trying to not get sued. Each plumber should now refuse to hook up any new devices if cPVC is the venting material.
The theory to date is that the acidic properties of sulfuric acid in the exhaust is reacting with the CPVC to cause: cracking, breaking, melting, warping, etc.
New guidelines reccomended for US and Canada to get rid of this crap should be common knowledge soon.

Ask the manufacturer, Mathew.