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help - water heater venting issue with direct energy - Update No hotwater!

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  • Aug 2nd, 2011 7:05 pm
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[OP]
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Sep 20, 2005
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help - water heater venting issue with direct energy - Update No hotwater!

I had a technician come over from direct energy to have my older water heater replaced for a bigger and new tank (just moved in - first time home owner). The technician inspects the tanks and tells me that i need to have the venting done for safety reason, which is understandable. He then tells me that I have to pay for the venting, quoted me $250-$300 to have it done. He shut off the hot water and unless i get it done the water hot water wont come back on. Im confused at the moment, doesnt renting a water heater cover all costed associated with running the tank, and does it really cost that much to replace a few pipes?

What are my options? Do i have to just swallow this cost?

Update - Post 12
14 replies
Newbie
Apr 29, 2005
91 posts
2 upvotes
They ran that scam with us too. But I told the guy, " if you turn off the hotwater, I'll just turn it back on when you leave."
He left it on. Especially since it was summer and the furnace wasn't using the vent at the same time.
Long story short, I called around, ended up with powervented tank instead. Those guys are loud, fyi. But in our basement, it wasn't a problem.
Also, no one from DE contacted me about it at all. Took almost 2 months before I called to have them come take their rental away. That was my last dealing with them as the current tank is purchased.
Jr. Member
Feb 9, 2006
130 posts
27 upvotes
If he is replacing tanks then yes you need the venting replaced.....is it a $300 job, of course not but they have licenses and you do not. If you want a tank from them you will most likely swallow the cost.
Sr. Member
Jul 26, 2010
831 posts
54 upvotes
eastern Ontario
but the existing setup may be ok if no changes are being made , so shutting the thing off right away is BS. Venting would be needed to be upgraded when new tank is installed. He was just trying to force you into the upgrade.
Member
Feb 25, 2004
253 posts
27 upvotes
I spoke to the guy from DE about this when my water heater crapped out, I laughed when he told me the price so he said I could grab the the ABS pipes myself and the cement. cost me about $30
Deal Addict
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Mar 8, 2002
3791 posts
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Ottawa
darkmagician wrote:
Jul 30th, 2011 7:50 pm
doesnt renting a water heater cover all costed associated with running the tank, and does it really cost that much to replace a few pipes?
I think you should read the rental agreement.
...Our commitment includes:
Service and repair of the water heater with no service charges or parts replacement charges except in the following circumstances:
iii) where venting, piping, wiring, plumbing, and/or electric service requires cleaning, repair or replacement;
Sr. Member
Mar 17, 2010
600 posts
24 upvotes
behind your left sho…
.

Unknown to some, there's 3 different "venting" pipes that can be used on "power vent" H/W tank technologies.

There's
1 - Regular ABS - which is now against code.
2 - There's the high temp ABS temp - which was code but is now "under code".
Note: In the older days, some techs installed regular black ABS for the cold air intake and the proper "high temp" black ABS for the exhaust pipe.

3 - There's the proper white PVC pipe. White PVC takes heat abuse and cannot split.

Within my region, the new building codes for "new" installed (including replacement of old gas furnace) is white PVC. Its available at my local H/W store for under $50 + glue.

Note: When installing (or replacing) a gas H/W tank, do ensure the utility room has "fresh air" intake as well. For example, 3" loop intake. Thus, ensuring equal air balance within the utility room. And, install smoke detectors and CO detectors in the utility room as well...

And I agree. Stay away from DE.

.
Sr. Member
Jul 26, 2010
831 posts
54 upvotes
eastern Ontario
Spike99 wrote:
Aug 1st, 2011 8:23 pm
.

Unknown to some, there's 3 different "venting" pipes that can be used on "power vent" H/W tank technologies.

There's
1 - Regular ABS - which is now against code.
2 - There's the high temp ABS temp - which was code but is now "under code".
Note: In the older days, some techs installed regular black ABS for the cold air intake and the proper "high temp" black ABS for the exhaust pipe.

3 - There's the proper white PVC pipe. White PVC takes heat abuse and cannot split.

Within my region, the new building codes for "new" installed (including replacement of old gas furnace) is white PVC. Its available at my local H/W store for under $50 + glue.

Note: When installing (or replacing) a gas H/W tank, do ensure the utility room has "fresh air" intake as well. For example, 3" loop intake. Thus, ensuring equal air balance within the utility room. And, install smoke detectors and CO detectors in the utility room as well...

And I agree. Stay away from DE.

.

my understanding is that the problem with black ABS is only as an exhaust vent and therefore 636 must be used for exhaust but for air supply the black ABS is ok. The problem was the ABS would split and/or unglue due to heat of exhaustion and leak fumes. The incoming air vent does not present such heat issues and ABS should be ok.
Sr. Member
Mar 17, 2010
600 posts
24 upvotes
behind your left sho…
38racing wrote:
Aug 1st, 2011 10:21 pm
my understanding is that the problem with black ABS is only as an exhaust vent and therefore 636 must be used for exhaust but for air supply the black ABS is ok. The problem was the ABS would split and/or unglue due to heat of exhaustion and leak fumes. The incoming air vent does not present such heat issues and ABS should be ok.
the problem is that installers would accidentally mix-up the regular ABS with 636 ABS - which looks exactly the same. Thus, both pipes were mandated at 636 rating....

Regardless, the new standard in my area is the white PVC - which is much, much better....

.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
1058 posts
109 upvotes
Markham
The issue with the abs is that the joints would fall apart after time. If the vent was knocked it was common that the joints would fail. A lot of customers may not notice, or realize that it is different, thus causing co poisoning.
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[OP]
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Sep 20, 2005
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Update

So they screwed me up some more. 4 days without hot water.


At first i was reluctant to go with their venting change but one of the pipes is indeed broken and i need to replace it for safety reasons. So i called to go through with the service and they tack a $99 charge to have my warning tag removed on top of the venting service. I was upset because I was never notified about this $99 charge. After back and forth verbal exchanges they removed that $99 charge for me so I told them to go ahead with the venting.

Day after, techician comes around 4pm when our schedule time was 9am-1pm. Very pissed off and I told the tech thats unacceptable, I had to wait all day and wasted the whole afternoon. This tech was honest and straight up with me and apologied. He checked the pipes and the water heater and told me that max DE will charge me for this is $310 + taxes. Hes about to do it, and then notices that i need to have my dry water cut so they can access the venting pipes to be removed. I say go for it cut it. But unlike the first tech that came to inspect, this tech said they are not allowed to cut our dry walls. He tells me DE techs are all lazy and tell their customer different standards. They cant cut for us, what a waste of time if i new that i would have had someone cut the walls first before they came. He tells me to call in and complain to DE, tell them to cut the cost of this service in half (not counting on it).

So what am i suppose to do? Who else can i use to get my water heater running asap. We cant shower or clean without hot water. PLEASE HELP!!!!
bririp wrote:
Aug 2nd, 2011 7:15 am
The issue with the abs is that the joints would fall apart after time. If the vent was knocked it was common that the joints would fail. A lot of customers may not notice, or realize that it is different, thus causing co poisoning.
that was exactly happened to one of the joints. It fell apart and there's chances of Co Poisoning.
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Mar 8, 2002
3791 posts
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Ottawa
darkmagician wrote:
Aug 2nd, 2011 9:28 am
4 days without hot water.
Not much fun, is it? This is the number one reason I don't rent - there's no guarantee that repairs will be done in an orderly manner. I'd much rather pay out of pocket and have a qualified contractor come and do the work as it is required, and they can do everything from electrical, plumbing, wall cutting, whatever it takes to get the job done. With a rented tank, I don't even have that option.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2189 posts
426 upvotes
Find out how much it would cost to buy the tank out from them and terminate your rental agreement. If it is a reasonable price, do it immediately, and then call any reputable furnace/airconditioning company to fix the mess properly.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
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Mar 23, 2008
3772 posts
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Toronto
I don't understand why people rent water heaters. I don't rent my fridge, tv, bath tub, coffee tables, why would someone want to rent a water heater? When these douche bags come to my door all i say is that i own my tank and they leave. There really is no way around that answer......
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