Unvented gas furnace near return

There is an invented gas furnace near a return vent. Is this an issue that should be noted/called out? I could see a potential issue if gas ever leaks at furnace and enters the system.

(I have disclosed the improper installation of the yellow gas connector running through wall).


Tyler Vogt

Did you look that up?
So what did you report as a defect?

As for the gas entering the return; what type of gas is being used, LP?

What was the other heat source installed in the house?

It would be propane (LP) gas. There isn’t currently gas supplied to home. And the HVAC is electrical powered heat pump.

You want to inform your client of the dangers of unvented gas appliances.

The fact that it is LP can add another element to the discussion from a safety perspective.
LP is heavier than air and a leak will create a dangerous pool on the floor of a confined space.

A check of the installation manual will confirm that it is in an acceptable location or one that was merely chosen for convenience (close to a gas line). Off the top of my head I’d agree the location is suspect.


OK, so there is a concern with the gas that is heavier than air.

A heat pump will not ignite it, if that is what your thinking.
There are gas detectors that can address your concerns of leaks.

The HP running at the same time is why I was asking. Actually the airflow from the HP will dilute the LP which will otherwise just sit on the floor being more combustible.

As for CSST; did you look inside the return and inspect the pipe for fittings, or installation damage?
It needs to be secured to protect from damage (the return grill is blocked by the CSST which may result in damage from yanking on the pipe while opening the grill.

As for it passing through the wall, I recommend you look that up CSST installation for yourself. You will learn more about CSST more than just to this question…

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Looks more like an appliance connector to me than it does CSST.


Yea, I didn’t have my telescope handy… :wink:

Guess we need to go look for those connectors.

Not sure if it’s a local gas co requirement or building code but in Oregon you aren’t supposed to have any gas burner within 10 feet of a return duct opening.


Hey Matt, Hope you are well.

Is this what you are referring to?

My reference:


Yep… that’s it. I always remember it because one of my guys once missed it and I ended up refunding a fee. In his defense I don’t think I knew it until then. This was probably 15+ years ago. Like many things once I pay I tend to remember :slight_smile:

It’s an easy one to slip you by when the return is around a corner other otherwise not obviously close. Not often but sometimes in my area in a condo/townhouse they’ll put the water heater in a small closet in an upper hallway and have the return air duct in the ceiling outside. I’ve seen it on new construction several times where it got by the installer and the AHJ.


It still passes through the wall with no shutoff accessible though!


But but but we are not code inspectors!

Pulled out my telescope, looks like CSST. :wink:

Yes that is correct, but he said he had that part covered.

This is a case where the inspector does an inspection, calls things out, doesn’t know why they are calling it out, comes here for someone else to do their job. Responses are to make them “think”, not just get the answer. They should have access to the Code if they are going to report Code violations as they see them. Everyone else here posted copies of the information readily available on the net. There are also several archived threads on just these same issues here on NACHI. Just search for it, here or any search engine.

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Have to agree with Ryan on this one, which confirms other issues.



How did you get that so clear?
My downloads get compressed I guess.

Thank you for the responses and help.

I’m certainly not coming here for anyone to do my job for me, just to ask other inspectors to share their knowledge because I certainly don’t know everything or consider myself an expert (Home Inspectors are considered generalists in Oklahoma). I never quote code in my reports, but do use the phrases such as “best practice” when needed.

Thank again,


Maybe someone should ask the local resident,
Mouse or dust bunny???


I thought it was an excellent post. I think many will benefit.


“This is a case where the inspector does an inspection, calls things out, doesn’t know why they are calling it out, comes here for someone else to do their job.”

I believe it is called, “knowing and utilizing your resources.”

Maybe we should wade around the internet for answers, because we all know that only experts are allowed to post things on the internet and if it’s here it’s obviously true.

We all have varying backgrounds with different fields of expertise. This MB is a wealth of knowledge and experience. And some here are willing to share.

Unfortunately there really are some “stupid” questions and I know that when it’s obvious that an individual really has no business being an inspector it’s difficult to encourage them to proceed. One in particular is intent on operating in my market area.

I personally am hesitant to ask questions here primarily because of the caustic responses that some members provide. (But I do upon occasion search the forums for the info I need)

I’m not sure where this rant is going. Just maybe we can be a little more tactful in our response to any questions, myself included.