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
- Gas Water Heater Replacement Cost and Code Compliance
- Natural Gas Hot Water Heater Replacement Process
- How to Install a FloodStop Water Heater Auto-Shutoff Valve
- Water Heater Replacement – Gas Supply & Type B Flue Vent Connections (you are here)
- 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:
Water Heater Natural Gas Supply Tubing
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:
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 4126.96.36.199 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:
Water Heater Type B Gas Vent Exhaust Piping
The water heater and furnace are common vented three stories up to the roof stack:
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:
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.
Water heater and furnace common vent connections:
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