Good one, Charley.
I usually run the furnace and water heater, together (especially if they vent to the same flue) to check for back drafting and CO.
Ran into one, a couple of days ago that is typical.
1973 ranch, in pretty good shape.
Replaced the furnace last year with an Amana cat 4, vented out the side with PVC.
The water heater was also replaced (in 2003) and was still connected to the clay lined brick chimney. 93 degrees outside. My CO meter registered 7 ppm at the vent hood of the water heater (wonder what it would be if the temp outside had been 0 degrees?).
Then ran into a big ‘disagreement’ with the agent. Explained that a water heater (conventional draft, 40 gallon, cheap a** GE) did not produce enough heat to warm the clay and brick. Hot air (including CO) goes up the flue, gets cooled by the clay liner (with the big ol’ brick and concrete heat sink behind the clay), falls back and has no where to go but back out the water heater’s vent hood.
She didn’t like that. But, I explained it to her AND the clients at the same time. Explain, clearly and understandably. That is the key.
BTW: Realtor could not understand how the HVAC company could replace the furnace and not line the chimney flue to accomidate the change, with regards to the water heater.
I did some checking, called the furnace guys and asked (I knew them).
They stated that they explained the potential problem to the owner, back when they replaced the furnace. The client didn;t want to pay the extra $200 to have the chimney lined to accomidate the water heater BEING SAFE!
The HVAC people made the seller sign a realease, stating that they had been made aware of the problem and were holding harmless the HVAC contractor for any CO back drafting.
Also seemed that the basement CO dectecor went off, every now an then, during the winder months. They just took out the battery. They thought it was a big bother.
The client was happy, though. :mrgreen:
Hope this helps;