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  1. #11
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    Acton, MA, USA.
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    I also have a radon mitigation system installed which runs all the time. I suspect this might be further adding to the negative pressure problem.

    Jim

  2. #12
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    Saint Regis Falls, NY, USA.
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    If your house is really tight for heating there's inadequate combustion air in the basement, that's why you are getting the negative pressure. Open a window or provide some kind of ducting around the furnace area from the outside.

  3. #13
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    I just had a mason install a 3" aluminum duct inside the flue all the way to the top of the chimney. This was supposed to take care of the venting problem because the hot gas would have a smaller diameter flue to heat up and would create an updraft more quickly. Supposedly, even the heat from the pilot light would continue to keep an updraft in the flue. Well it still doesn't work (and it cost me $1000). There is still a very strong down draft created in the flue (especially on very cold nights) and it takes at least several minutes for the draft to reverse direction when the water heater is calling for heat.

    Can a draft inducer fan be added to the top of a conventional hot water tank? I guess I probably should have considered changing my hot water tank to a direct vent or power vent type with make-up air being supplied from outside. Probably would have cost me less $$ and would also have solved the fireplace problem.

  4. #14
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    if your house is totally sealed against air infiltration, then you would see a downdraft. for gas appliances in a basement, makeup air is ALWAYS needed. Crack a window or put in an outside to inside vent.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HayZee518 View Post
    I have seen an electrically driven flapper in the flue pipe right where it enters the chimney. When the stack temperature reaches a set point the flapper opens and the super hot gases go up the chimney producing a positive draft. Check home depot.
    It happens to me is there and easier solution to the problem

  6. #16
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    if you have adequate make up air at the furnace, hot water heater, once the unit fires up it should draw through the chimney up and out. provide some kind of fresh air to the furnace, utility room.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HayZee518 View Post
    Simple - put a chimney cap on the chimney. Also check to see the stack is the highest object above the roof. Outside temp has a lot to do with it too. 55 or below should provide adequet "pull" for the chimney.
    Can i open my basement window a crack.Would it help for the down draft to hot water heater.The window is right near both furnace and hot water heater

  8. #18
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    try it and see!

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HayZee518 View Post
    Simple - put a chimney cap on the chimney. Also check to see the stack is the highest object above the roof. Outside temp has a lot to do with it too. 55 or below should provide adequet "pull" for the chimney.
    I have chimney caps one for fireplace and one for hot water tank. The furnace is not connected to flue.We had a new furnace put in about 8yrs ago. The plumber put pc pipes that goes outside the house.Do you think lowering the cap that is for the hot water tank will make a differance or is that too dangerous carbon monoxide back.thanks

  10. #20
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    Same problem

    I have the IDENTICAL problem described by rollerdawg. My big symptom was the scent of smoke in the basement during a fire in the fireplace.

    Then I discovered a bigger problem. The hot water heater was not venting properly. The downdraft in the flue used by the hot water heater has been preventing the hot water heater from venting properly. This was caused by a steady flow even when I provided make up air.

    One solution I found was the addition of a Draft Inducer on the hot water heater. But this will not solve the problem when the hot water heater was not on and I was making a fire in the fireplace.

    SO now I am strongly considering replacing the hot water heater (13 years old) and install a power vent hot water heater and venting it out the side of the house. This will solve:

    1. The hot water heater will vent properly as it has a fan to send the gases out the side of the house.
    2. I will close up the flue previously used by the hot water heater so no air will never be drawn down it again, never!

    Some negatives to this solution:
    1. Cost, power vent hot water heaters are more expensive
    2. Electricity use. Power vent water heaters require electricity.
    3. Power vent water heaters have had a history of being noisy (hopefully choosing a quiet one will eliminate this disadvantage


    IF any one has a suggestion for a quiet power vent hot water heater, please post your suggestion or email me directly. Thanks.

    -Scott
    Sudbury, Massachusetts

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