Home & Garden

Water heater venting pipe flaking

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 7th, 2017 12:46 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 21, 2017
104 posts
9 upvotes

Water heater venting pipe flaking

1. Is this pipe called the water heater venting pipe?

I had no idea this was happening until I stuck my head behind the pipe to find out why there are metal flakes on the ground.

2. Is this normal wear and tear?

3. Why is this happening and how do you prevent this from happening?

4. How do I know if the venting pipe is not flaking behind the walls?

5. What's the approximate cost to fix this and which trade fixes this?

Thanks
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  • water heater venting pipe flaking.jpg
32 replies
Sr. Member
May 11, 2009
504 posts
124 upvotes
curiousgeorge1000 wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 1:32 am
1. Is this pipe called the water heater venting pipe?

I had no idea this was happening until I stuck my head behind the pipe to find out why there are metal flakes on the ground.

2. Is this normal wear and tear?

3. Why is this happening and how do you prevent this from happening?

4. How do I know if the venting pipe is not flaking behind the walls?

5. What's the approximate cost to fix this and which trade fixes this?

Thanks
That's actually really dangerous! You should get some foil tape from Home Depot first thing in the morning and wrap that pipe up. You need to call an HVAC professional asap. No that's not normal. That's an exhaust vent. It really should only be connected to the hot water tank. What else is it connected to? A dryer?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 21, 2017
104 posts
9 upvotes
Ohmare_Q wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 1:41 am
That's actually really dangerous! You should get some foil tape from Home Depot first thing in the morning and wrap that pipe up. You need to call an HVAC professional asap. No that's not normal. That's an exhaust vent. It really should only be connected to the hot water tank. What else is it connected to? A dryer?
It looks like it is connected to the gas furnace.
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Sr. Member
May 11, 2009
504 posts
124 upvotes
curiousgeorge1000 wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 1:56 am

It looks like it is connected to the gas furnace.
Ok. The section going from the hot water tank to the furnace needs to be replaced. You can DIY but if you're not comfortable make sure to tape that vent up asap and call a professional. Right now you're venting in to your house. Not good.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 21, 2017
104 posts
9 upvotes
Ohmare_Q wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 2:00 am
Ok. The section going from the hot water tank to the furnace needs to be replaced. You can DIY but if you're not comfortable make sure to tape that vent up asap. Right now you're venting in to your house. Not good.
I will buy tin foil tape tomorrow morning and will call a professional.

Is there anything I can do tonight to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning? There are no windows here except for the front door.

However, there is a carbon monoxide detector right next (5 meters away) to the hot water tank.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25869 posts
2877 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Forget the tape. It looks like a 6" pipe. Go to Home Depot and buy the sheet metal.

Replace it yourself. You can see the screws holding it in place. Remove the screw and insert the new vent pipe, secure it with a screw and then use tape to ensure there are no air leaks.

I suspect the rust was caused by condensate. It is acidic and probably ate through the pipe over time.
Sr. Member
May 11, 2009
504 posts
124 upvotes
curiousgeorge1000 wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 2:07 am
I will buy tin foil tape tomorrow morning and will call a professional.

Is there anything I can do tonight to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning? There are no windows here except for the front door.

However, there is a carbon monoxide detector right next (5 meters away) to the hot water tank.
Any tape for now. Duct tape. Just get that hole covered. And yeah it's honestly a very easy diy even if you're not handy to replace that pipe.
Member
Jul 14, 2012
254 posts
67 upvotes
Hamilton
For condensation to cause that, on a pipe that is that steeply sloped, indicates a problem somewhere. Most likely a problem with your chimney or your boiler. Get it taped up for today and call in a pro asap. Get them to look at your water heater while they are there, it could be rusted out too.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 21, 2017
104 posts
9 upvotes
Android412 wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 7:52 am
For condensation to cause that, on a pipe that is that steeply sloped, indicates a problem somewhere. Most likely a problem with your chimney or your boiler. Get it taped up for today and call in a pro asap. Get them to look at your water heater while they are there, it could be rusted out too.
The house is over 15 years old. Is this more of a normal wear and tear?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 15, 2007
2760 posts
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curiousgeorge1000 wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 10:18 am
The house is over 15 years old. Is this more of a normal wear and tear?
This is not normal
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Oct 13, 2014
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Somewhere, ON
curiousgeorge1000 wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 2:07 am
Is there anything I can do tonight to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning? There are no windows here except for the front door.

However, there is a carbon monoxide detector right next (5 meters away) to the hot water tank.
You should also check that CO detector and probably replace it. That alone should have been alerting you to the danger.
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Jr. Member
Feb 9, 2006
144 posts
33 upvotes
Professional opinion would be to not operate your furnace or water heater until that piping is replaced and no...silver tape wont due. If a gas fitter was on site he would a-tag your equipment and turn the gas of to them until it was fixed to code. The first thing I would check would be to see if the chimney cap is still intact or even attached at all, that's on your roof you can probably see it from the road or the backyard.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 21, 2017
104 posts
9 upvotes
Red_Army wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 10:20 am
This is not normal
The clothe rack is not shown in the picture. We hang wet clothes in there all the time after washing the clothes in the washing machine because it is warm in that space.

Could the wet clothes contribute to the condensation on the flue and the acidic gas ate away the flue?
Penalty Box
Dec 19, 2009
2554 posts
920 upvotes
curiousgeorge1000 wrote:
Nov 26th, 2017 11:41 am
The clothe rack is not shown in the picture. We hang wet clothes in there all the time after washing the clothes in the washing machine because it is warm in that space.

Could the wet clothes contribute to the condensation on the flue and the acidic gas ate away the flue?
Probably not the wet clothes ... more likely when you use the sprinkler in the back yard.

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