Water heater piping to bottom of unit

I’m currently at an inspection and I’ve never seen an exhaust setup like this on a water heater. The unit is fully blanketed and taped shut so I cannot see the manufacturer’s label. I would love to know more about this, does anybody know anything?

Research power vent water heater‘s.

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It’s a shame questions are getting buried on the forum.


Looks like the intake may be obstructed.

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Look up direct vent water heaters.
Is that actually concentric pipes?
Do U have a photo of the outside wall showing this vent?

The insulating blanket looks easy enough to remove, and re-tape.



There are many types of direct vent power vent and combination power vent direct vent water heater‘s. Without more visual information it’s impossible to tell what you have. The link above may help.


Agreed. Done it several times.

But not in California :-). Our water heaters are strapped to the wall, often with the straps over the insulation, making it basically impossible to remove.

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As far as I know, no manufacturer’s recommend additional water heater blankets, they are redundant


Many experts argue that heat loss in a gas water heater goes up the flue and therefore a blanket accomplishes no purpose.

Some local codes and utility company regulations may prohibit insulation blankets. Too often, the Do-It-Yourselfer has good intentions but unknowingly creates hazards by:

Covering safety warnings and operating instructions. (These labels are not to be removed from the heater and placed on the blanket or elsewhere.) Covering controls, access areas, shut off devices, temperature and pressure relief valves, etc.
Blocking air passages required for combustion or draft resulting in unsafe operation. Consequently, the water heater manufacturer does disclaim any liability for problems associated with the use of insulation blankets.

Blankets for older fiberglass insulated electric water heaters make sense, especially since electricity is a much more expensive method to heat water than gas.


Thank you!

This is not a power vented system.

The intake is on the exterior of the house.

The insulated blanket increases the R-value for “standby loss”, it has nothing to do with flu losses.

There are other things you can do to prevent loss up the flue pipe, such as Bimetallic flue dampers etc.
ScreenHunter_291 Oct. 16 10.57


Good point. But should come with a note:
My recollection is that bimetallic flue dampers were withdrawn from the market more or less, after CO incidents and lawsuits, due to a lack of a fail safe.

Yup, they worked if used properly, but too often not…