On a recent Quality Assurance site visit, I found a gas-fired water heater with a "Vent-rite Spill Alarm" installed on the flue. The contractor noted that worst-case spillage and draft failed in this home both on the test-in and test-out. I had heard of folks using these alarms, but had yet to see one installed until now. 

Ideally, the contrator would've been able to correct the venting situation and get the unit to pass its CAZ tests. The homeowner was reluctant to put in a new tankless water heater since the unit is less than 2 years old. So, it looks like the contractor fell back on the combination of a Carbon Monoxide alarm and Spillage alarm to monitor the situation until the homeowner is ready to install a direct vented water heater.

I am putting this out on the forums to find out what experiences people have had with these detectors? One concern the homeowner raised was regarding battery life - i.e. if its battery dies how will she know if it is working. A bigger concern from my perspective is whether they can be relied upon to accurately detect spillage over the lifespan of the water heater (in this case that could be 10 years). Any resources or experiences people have with these devices would be very much appreciated.

Tags: backdraft, gas-fired, heater, spillage, water

Views: 341

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Sorry, no experience with the spillage alarms. Though from product description found elsewhere it should have a test/reset button so homeowner can check that it is still functioning. 

I once had a client who had installed a draft inducer fan on the vent pipe that was wired to operate when burner was on.  It seemed to work OK as an interim measure. BTW, I cannot see the chimney end of the vent pipe in your posted photo, but sounds like you saying that the venting cannot be raised to get the elbow off of the draft hood. Correct?

Does not appear to have Code Compliant pitch on that Venting, does it?

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Bill Midgett is now a member of Home Energy Pros
4 hours ago
Hal Skinner replied to Richard Beyer's discussion Spontaneous Combustion and Flash Fire regarding Spray Foam Insulation
"Richard, here is something else that might be pertinent. In my hundreds of conversations with our…"
22 hours ago
Trip posted a discussion

Starting a Home Weatherization Business. Considering it...

I am considering starting a home weatherization business. (I live in Southeast Alabama)  Currently…See More
23 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post My Energy Upgrade California—The Numbers Are In
"To all, one thing I don't lack is advice from the experts! Thanks for the input, challenges,…"
yesterday
tedkidd commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post My Energy Upgrade California—The Numbers Are In
"Jim, I'm glad you are open, that's great!  We all learn best when we are open! The…"
yesterday
David Eakin commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post My Energy Upgrade California—The Numbers Are In
"Jim, Well, as the editor of Home Energy you should already know that the order of remediation is…"
yesterday
Greg Labbe posted a blog post

Technical Tape Desecration

Lets face it – building science is pushing the performance of adhesive tapes to a new levels and…See More
yesterday
Stacy Hunt posted an event

High Performance Enclosure Strategies: Part II, New Construction at Online

August 13, 2014 from 1pm to 2:30pm
Please join the Building America Program for our free webinar: High Performance Enclosure…See More
yesterday
Richard Beyer replied to Howard Katzman's discussion UV lights on filters
"Howard, There are numerous manufacturer's who swear these systems work and then you have the…"
yesterday
Christopher Morin posted a blog post

How do You Test a TXV?

  Thermostatic Expansion Valves (TEV or TXV), one of the most popular metering devices for…See More
yesterday
Howard Katzman posted a discussion

UV lights on filters

I recently saw UV bulb installations in 2 HVAC systems in a home. Each system had the Lennox…See More
yesterday
Don Fitchett joined Michael Stuart's group
Thumbnail

INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY USERS

This group is dedicated to knowledge sharing and discussion of infrared thermography for building…See More
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service