Water heater "air box?"

Ran across this for the first time yesterday. Noted top of water heater height did not allow typical air space, so I’m assuming this allows for it. Noted during furnace inspection, much warm air was escaping back into room through bottom of “box” which doesn’t seem correct. Also, unlined brick chimney was being used for venting both gas appliances. Do others call this out as needing to be properly lined?

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That looks badly wrong for the following reasons:

  • Draft hood will leak Carbon monoxide into the room/basement
  • Vent does not rise to the chimney
  • Unlined chimneys venting fosil fuels should be further evaluated by a licensed sweep (A liner would be required for a new installation)

This whole set up looks like the work of someone who knows enough to be dangerous



I 2nd Gerry comments PLUS:

I will add this “contraption” of a venting system is most likely NOT approved by the W.H. MFG! That is the first place you go to (install manual) for any natural gas burning appliance. If it isn’t in that manual (which should be next / on the w.h) then another issue. I bet it’s NOT designed for that mess and will void any warranty per the MFG.:frowning:

That mess could be a CO killing machine… No draft hood, not proper slope , oversize chimney (7 times rule) , non lined ( the picture shows the lack of mortar and degradation of existing mortar in the unlined chimney . Over sized breach connection . Probably a room too small to adequately supply combustion air and dilution air too… Is this in an enclosed room? :frowning:

If you need any more info don’t hesitate to ask… :smiley:

I recommend you check with the W.H MFG website for great info on how to install and maintain , plus warranty info…