ok, why didn't the contractor come straight out of the wall with the 2"PVC and terminate right there, without making the 90° turn towards the deck???
The exterior brick would also explain why he only ran one pipe but he should have just stuck the thing straight out instead of making a turn
and a 12" return air drop, at .08SP is only 650cfm, If it's only a 1½ ton a/c, that should be ok, if it's a 2 ton a/c the RA is to small
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That doesn't mean anything as far as actual air flow goes. A 12" round metal duct can move over 900 cfm without going outside of ACCA's recommended friction rate range, and can move much more air than that if the recommended FR range is ignored. If the TEL was low enough, then you could potentially move 2000 cfm through that return duct without exceeding the furnace's ESP range. Not that you'd want to of course, the velocity would be over 2500 ft/min.
Originally Posted by jmac00
at those levels, the neighbors would hear the air flow, that would be quite noisy.
Originally Posted by hvacrmedic
however, your assumptions are WAAAYYY above what that furnace could push
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For the OP's furnace yes, you're correct, it wouldn't move 2000 cfm even with no ductwork attached. With my last statement in that post I was speaking hypothetically about furances in general, namely in the case of a furnace with a 5 ton are larger blower. I should've been more clear.
Originally Posted by jmac00
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Interesting thread! Every now and then someone comes along with a REAL problem...
Sensitive Gal; THX for choosing H-talk to ask questions... this is good for all of us to stay sharp!
I saw something in one of the pictures I have a question about: It appears the top of the water heater flue pipe starts with an elbow, and that elbow appears to have tape on it??? Reason I 'think' I see tape on it is the shiny appearance... pictures can be deceiving sometimes. My question: Is there a gap between the top of the water heater and the flue pipe? There should be a wide cone like shaped fitting on top of the water heater, with a gap around 1.5" tall all the way around, with the flue pipe attached to the top.
Could you take a picture of the flue pipe on top of the water heater and post it? Would help to determine if there is an issue here or not... THX!
Advise: Go to this link (was in a post above):
Call them and ask them for a referral to someone who is certified by their Combustion Analysis and Carbon Monoxide testing program in your area (some of us at this forum hold the certification). The person with an NCI cert will be able to determine combustion issues and CO (carbon monoxide) issues. Many folks who hold the CA/CO cert also understand a lot about venting, flues (exhaust gases), ductwork, and a host of other issues.
As someone that used to do remodeling before heat and air... you really need to get someone out there to fix that fireplace... it should not be leaking all that air.
As an interim solution to lower the intensity of the issue... get the installing contractor to (or you can) set the change point between the HP and furnace to around 33 or 34D. Yes, the HP will run a lot as it gets really COLD outside... and the heat will feel cool... however the furnace will not come on much... that will help a bunch.
There is a guy at this forum I will inform about this thread... guy has lots of experience in this sort of thing (no, he probably cannot visit you, he is in PA). Maybe he can add a few thoughts.
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Sensitive Gal, sorry about your predicament. Let's work our way through this:
Water Heater- inadequate vent rise into an oversized vent connector. What is the make and model of this water heater and input BTU/hr rating? As noted above, it appears you have a cut-down elbow off the top of the water heater that someone has taped with foil, which is not allowed. Need to know the diameter of that horizontal vent connector. Now, when that elbow turns up, what sort of pipe does this vent into? Can you post pics of the vent termination? It should be what we refer to as 'B'-vent. Look at the top of the water heater. Is it discolored? Melted plastic around the water pipes? Look at the Temperature/ pressure relief valve coming out the side of the water heater and wipe your finger above it--does it look like a soot track?
Furnace- Add up the total of elbows and degree of each such as 90*, 45* and how many lineal feet of pipe. Provide make, model and input BTU/hr. of furnace. Go to each joint and grasp either side with hands and try to twist apart. Are all pipe joints firmly cemented together? Turn on air handler without the unit firing. You can do this at your thermostat by sliding the fan switch from "auto" to "on". Hold a smoke source such as a burning incense stick around the return ducts. That's the side with the HEPA filter. Are they any areas with a significant leak that sucks the smoke into the ducts? Go to your front door with the fan still running. Hold your smoke stick next to the opening and crack the door open. Now, run the stick up and down slowly. Note how far up the smoke quits sucking into the house and starts blowing out. Repeat at the back of the house door. Repeat with the fireplace damper open and the clothes dryer running and advise results. With the door to the basement closed, hold the smoke down by the bottom of the door and note whether air sucks down or pulls up. Put furnace back to normal. Can you get a better pic of the tee in the vent connector? Looks like a disaster.
Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ)- measure the volume of the room housing the furnace and water heater. Include any adjoining spaces not separated by a door. Note the contents of this room. Any gasoline powered equipment or fuel cans or old fuel spills? Lawn and garden chemicals? Laundry center? Workshop? home hair salon? Lots of plants? What is the relative humidity (Rh%). Are there signs of wet basement? Smell of mold? Rusting metal? Water stain tracks on the inside of windows?
Fireplace- provide make and model of the fireplace box itself first. There will be a metal rating plate riveted to one the the panels around the opening. It may be behind the mesh curtains, the smoke shield across the top or even inside the firebox up near a front corner but its there. Now, look for an attached metal tag on the gas logset. It may be on a chain or wire rope but there must be a rating plate. If you cannot find one, the logset must be removed since it must be treated as an unlisted set( not code approved). If you do find the rating plate for the gas logs or the manual, provide make, model, BTU input and the ANSI standard to which tested such as Z21.60, z21.84, or Z21.11.2b. That will tell me if it is rated as vented, ventfree or both. Look up at the damper valve plate. Is there a clamp that prevents the damper from closing all the way? If so, does it keep the damper wide open or just part ways? Look at the gas line penetration into the fireplace. Is it packed around the gas pipe where it penetrates the brick panel or caulked? Remove the plastic from the fireplace louvers. Locate the side lever for the combustion air intake and set it closed per mfrs. instructions. With the fireplace 'off' and the damper wide open, does your stick's smoke suck up the chimney or is there a downdraft with everything else in the house 'off'? How about at the side air intakes? Across the bottom? Now, turn on the furnace air handler as before, the clothes dryer and test with smoke at the damper. Better or worse? Now, open the combustion air intake and repeat. Any effect? Have your husband smoke a cigar outside about 5 feet directly behind the fireplace during this test. Do you smell his cigar? Provide pics of the fireplace rear as viewed from that deck and especially the vent termination. Does it vent out the back or up out the roof? Pics, pics, pics please. Is there a little 'eyebrow' hood on the side of the fireplace that looks like a dryer vent? pics. Need more pics of the fireplace facing, too. Looks like some fire clearance issues.
Upstairs of house-pics of any attic stairs or hatch. If present, is it weatherstripped and insulated? pics. Are there 'can'-type recessed lights in the ceiling to the attic? pics from below and from attic. Try to get pic of label on recessed luminaire from inside with bulb removed and from attic. Is there dirty insulation around each can? Look at bathroom vent fan from attic. Dirty insulation? Is it ducted through the roof or soffit to the outdoors or does it discharge into the attic? Look around plumbing pipes and wire penetrations for dirty insulation. Look at the wall above the back of the shower. Is there a huge gap open down behind the shower or dirty insulation here? Is there a whole house fan? Attic fan?
This is a grossly oversimplified survey but it will provide some very valuable info. and allow us to rule out some things. Now, for advice in the meantime:
#1. You need an Unlisted low level CO monitor. Kidde does not make one. All theirs are listed to UL 2034, which is the problem. The UL standard does not protect you from CO poisoning. It protects you from CO death. These things do not respond quickly, unlike the unlisted professional ones we recommend: the NSI 3000 available only through NCI certified pros or the CO Experts from George Kerr online. Both are professional units that respond within one minute and both are very reliable and accurate. Get one ASAP!!! I cannot overemphasize this. Do NOT trust off the self or any CO alarm listed to UL 2034!!!. It will NOT protect you if the odors and symptomatology you expressed are related to flue gases and CO.
Now, you can have noxious flue gases with low levels of CO. Any time there is CO present you may or may not also have aldehydes, which are irritants. You may also have nitrogen oxides, which we lump into the term NOx, which are also irritants. Now, if you get odors from the fireplace when it is burning, that's a whole another topic.
If you can find a pro certified in Combustion Analysis and Carbon Monoxide that would be a step in the right direction. If he can perform a Worst Case Depressurization Test using a micromanometer and provide us some pressure readings in Pascals, that would help.
That water heater must be strapped to the wall since its up on a stand. Pics of that gas piping, too if you would as there is a possible problem. The water heater should be sitting in a metal pan to drainage since a leak could damage that wall behind it.
Let's start with this shopping list.
Keep the fire inside the fireplace.
Yep. All that..... ^^^^^^^^^^^ I rest my case. Lol.
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Last edited by beenthere; 02-28-2013 at 05:23 PM.
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I'd love to know why the PVC vent is turned like that...
can you take a pic of the wall the pipe exits? is there a window directly above it?
can you also take a picture of the entire garage with the garage door open? also, the installer made a LOT of turns in the PVC near the furnace, can you count the elbows all the way out to the deck? there is a maximum allowed using 2" pipe... you could be getting improper burn at the furnace, and the fumes could be getting in through the garage.
The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
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