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Understanding The Different Vents Used For Water Heaters

If you are building a new home, then you will need to make a wide variety of decisions, such as ones that involve your appliances. Your water heater is one such appliance, and it will require the addition of a vent to release the combustion gases outdoors. There are a few different types of vents that can be installed, so keep reading to learn a bit more about them.

Direct Vent

A direct vent is a type of vent that is installed and connected to the top of the water heater. This vent is elevated slightly, and it bends and extends through the outside wall of your basement, crawlspace, or another area where the heater is installed. This vent releases the combustion gases outdoors, quite close to the water heater. 

A direct vent is the simplest, easiest, and most cost-effective vent to install. It is a double-walled variety, and this helps to move the combustion gases out of the home without the risk of them coming back into your house. In other words, the device stops backdrafting and the accumulation of fumes in your basement.

The vent is best used in places where there is little space or where you do not want a large venting device installed through the roof.

Some direct vents are also power vents. These are vents that use exhaust fans to help pull the combustion materials out of the vent for a safe release. The fans are often suggested when the vent is horizontal. Ask your plumbing professional if this is a good idea for your water heater.

Roof Vent

If you have a solid concrete basement, then you may not want a hole added for ventilation. If this is the case, then it is not wise to add a horizontal vent through an upper level of the home. Fans are often not powerful enough to pull the exhaust out of the home, and the gases can back up.

In this scenario, a roof vent is needed. This type of vent involves the installation of an exhaust pipe that extends from the water heater all the way to the roof. The pipe is vertical with no bends, and the vent opening is a rounded one that sits on the roof. 

Roof vents are quite common, and a single vent can be used for multiple exhaust purposes. For example, the exhaust attached to your stovetop can be connected to the opening. So, if you have significant exhaust needs, then the roof vent may be ideal.

To learn more about water heater installation and vents, speak with a plumbing professional.


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