Water Heater Replacement – Gas Supply & Type B Flue Vent Connections

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Replace an old water heater and rework the natural gas and Type B flue exhaust vents to comply with the building code.

Table of Contents

  1. Gas Water Heater Replacement Cost and Code Compliance
  2. Natural Gas Hot Water Heater Replacement Process
  3. How to Install a FloodStop Water Heater Auto-Shutoff Valve
  4. Water Heater Replacement – Gas Supply & Type B Flue Vent Connections (you are here)
  5. Basement Water Heater Temperature & Pressure Valve Discharge Pipe to the Outdoors

Water Heater Replacement – Gas Supply & Type B Flue Vent Connections

I hired a plumber to replace a 15 year old water heater. The plumbers reworked the water, gas and flue vent using modern materials and methods for a better setup and code compliance. The new Bradford White 50 gallon gas water heater:

New Bradford White 50 Gallon Natural Gas Hot Water Heater RG250T6N

New Bradford White 50 Gallon Natural Gas Hot Water Heater RG250T6N

Water Heater Natural Gas Supply Tubing

The old water heater had a Flexible Appliance Hose (FAC) connector that was too short with a tight bend radius:

Old Water Heater Natural Gas Flexible Appliance Hose

Old Water Heater Natural Gas Flexible Appliance Hose

The new water heater is located several feet away requiring a new gas line. I didn’t want a gas hose strung between the furnace and heater that could be bumped or tripped over. The plumbers solved this by installing 1/2″ dia. TracPipe CounterStrike Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) routed along the wall to heater:

TracPipe CounterStrike CSST Natural Gas Hot Water Heater Connection

TracPipe CounterStrike CSST Natural Gas Hot Water Heater Connection

CounterStrike CSST is sold as 50 to 250 feet reels, cut to length then connector fittings installed by the plumber. Compare to Flexible Appliance Connectors (FAC) that are limited to 6 feet long (FGC 411.1.3.1 Maximum length) with factory installed connectors. Note that CSST can be installed on a water heater because it’s non-moveable whereas FAC is required for moveable appliances (cooktop, clothes dryer, etc.) per FGC 411.1.4 “Moveable appliances”.

The plumbers installed a new black iron pipe nipple, 90° elbow, gas shutoff valve and CounterStrike tubing:

Hot Water Heater Natural Gas Connection - TracPipe CounterStrike CSST and Shutoff Valve

Hot Water Heater Natural Gas Connection – TracPipe CounterStrike CSST and Shutoff Valve

Water Heater Type B Gas Vent Exhaust Piping

The water heater and furnace are common vented three stories up to the roof stack:

Old Residential Water Heater in Basement

Old Residential Water Heater in Basement

Type B Flue Vent – Fuel Gas Code Violation

The old heater used handmade Wye connection which doesn’t meet the current Fuel Gas Code requirement for “listed and labeled” connectors. The building inspector said “Yeah, they used to do ’em that way”. Taped joints are not allowed because it shouldn’t be necessary and the pipe manufacturer’s instructions call for sheet metal screws:

Hot Water Heater Handmade Type B Gas Flue Vent Fitting - Not Code Compliant

Hot Water Heater Handmade Type B Gas Flue Vent Fitting – Not Code Compliant

The 2015 International Fuel Gas Code Section “502.1 General” requires “listed and labeled” Type B vents/connectors, meaning manufactured connectors and pipe that are Underwriter’s Labs or other 3rd party tested/certified.

The plumber’s did a great job and installed:

  • New 4 inch Metal-Fab double wall Type B flue pipe and connectors (Tee & adjustable elbows) all the way up to the 1st floor joists.
  • Single wall 3 inch flue pipe from the water heater to the 4 inch double wall Tee.
  • Replaced the section of 4 inch single wall from the gas furnace.
    The plumber’s gave me the name of the local Metal-Fab distributor so the HVAC contractor can use the same parts when I have the central A/C system replaced soon.
Natural Gas Water Heater Type B Flue Vent Connections

Natural Gas Water Heater Type B Flue Vent Connections

Water heater and furnace common vent connections:

Natural Gas Water and Furnace Type B Flue Vent Pipe Connections

Natural Gas Water and Furnace Type B Flue Vent Pipe Connections

Next: Basement Water Heater Temperature & Pressure Valve Discharge Pipe to the Outdoors.

Best,

Bob Jackson

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