Back-drafting is a potentially severe safety, and health hazard common in heating equipment and appliances that use atmospheric drafts to remove toxic combustion gases from your home. a presence of draft hoods or a draft diverter can identify these heating appliances. They rely on thermal buoyancy to expel the hot exhaust gases from the combustion exhaust of the appliance to the exteriors of your home. Whenever the exhaust gases reverse the flow and are pulled from the combustion exhaust vents and into your San Antonio, TX home, that is called back-drafting. One of the heating appliances that could experience back-drafting is the water heater. The low air pressure arises when the exhaust fans in your water heater expel the air from your compact home. Unless another source of air is supplied, the combustion exhaust vent of the heating appliance might supply makeup air that contains toxic combustion products and a significant amount of moisture. Whenever this happens with your water heater, carbon monoxide might flow back into your home, resulting in fatal consequences. In this article, you will learn the signs of back-drafting and when to call a water heater repair technician to check your unit’s ventilation.
Signs of Water Heater Back-drafting
Melted Plastic on the Draft Hood
Whenever the plastic over the water heater shows signs of melting, that is guaranteed enough that your water heater is back-drafting. This plastic could have melted when the water heater repair pro was installing your system. While this could be true, it is improbable that the professional was soldering the pipes too close to the plastic. Does the part that shows signs of melting face the draft hood? You should consider hiring a professional for further inspection. Since back-drafting has severe consequences, you want the underlying problem causing it addressed as quickly as possible.
Corrosion on Top of the Water Heater Tank
The back-drafting of the exhaust gases could result in condensation on the upper (top)side of your water heater. Over time, the corrosive condensate will start corroding the top part of your water heater tank. Another thing that may be causing the corrosion on top of the tank is a leaky shutoff valve. However, you can easily differentiate this kind of corrosion from the back corrosion resulting from back-drafting. This is because the most corroded part will be located below the valve. Hence, since back-drafting can impact the service life of your water heater tank, you should have a water heater repair company in San Antonio, TX resolve the problem at the earliest.
Moisture or Condensate at the Top of Your Water Heater Tank
Can you spot condensation on top of your water heater tank? That is a surefire sign that the water heater is back-drafting. You should immediately call a water heater repair technician to inspect the gas-powered water heater’s ventilation system. The professional will diagnose the cause (bent or kinked vents or even clogging in the ventilation system) and take the required steps to resolve the problem before it worsens. As mentioned above, the condensate could precipitate corrosion, reducing the lifespan of your water heater tank.
Excessive Condensate or Moisture on Cold Water Piping in Your Water Heater Room
After back-drafting in a water heater in the utility room for a while, you might notice heavy condensation on cold water piping. Although it is not uncommon to see a condensate accumulation on cool water pipes in the summer, back-drafting in your water heater only makes matters worse. Hence, it is recommended that you have the unit inspected by a water heater repair technician to determine the reason behind the condensation.
An Improper or Marginal Installation of Vent Connector
A water heater’s vent connector must angle upwards toward the vent and, ideally, shouldn’t make any abrupt twists, especially near the draft hood. If you discover these signs, there can be an issue with the appropriate drafting of the water heater. The water heater repair professional will reduce the temperature at the boiler or furnace to check for proper drafting. The Professional will leave the burner running for a while before checking the draft of the water heater.
The water heater repair technician in San Antonio, TX can still use different tools to check for a proper draft in your water heater. However, they can use their experience and sense by cupping their hands around the water heater tank’s draft hood to test for back-drafting. They will not touch the tank. The technician will feel the moist, warm air flowing from the draft hood if the water heater produces back-drafts. If visual proof is required for report preparation, the technician will take an image of a fogged-up mirror.
Mirroring the Back-Drafting Water Heater
You also can get visual proof that the water heater has a back-drafting problem by holding a mirror close to the draft hood. It will be fogged up. The water heater repair technician can place a camera close to the hood, which will have the same effect. This can later be used to prove that your water heater venting system has a problem that requires the attention of a plumber. The plumber might recommend replacing the entire venting system if the back-drafting is extensive. One of the best choices to replace the system with in such a case is a concentric ventilation system or a power vent system. However, other systems can be used instead. Hence, consult your water heater repair technician on the best ventilation system for your water heater.
Combustion of gases during the water heating process can produce many byproducts, one of them being the deadly carbon monoxide. Hence, you should ensure that your gas-powered water is properly venting the exhaust gases. Have you noticed either of the signs above? Contact us at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio, your reliable plumbers, to repair your water heater’s ventilation system.
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