For those that reside in an older house, here is some details from an article we recently read and feel obliged to pass along to our Denver Water Heater Repair customers. Transite asbestos used to be used in venting gas appliances, like water heaters, years ago. Undoubtedly, it is not made use of any longer, however in the following short article, the Minnesota home inspector, Reuben Saltzman, found that within the vent flue was partially obstructed from the asbestos flaking off into the flue.
When inspecting one home in particular, Saltzman noticed “the top of the flue liner had fallen off the chimney, and the interior had collapsed in on itself, causing the water heater to backdraft. . . the interior had flaked apart and completely blocked the flue. When the happens, the exhaust gases can’t escape, so they go back into the home. There was heavy rust staining on top of the water heater, which is a telltale sign that the water heater backdrafts. It doesn’t get much more obvious than that.” (read more…)
Saltzman suggests to fix this, do not continue to use a gas water heater on the very same flue. Install either an electric one or a powervent water heater with a new vent to the outside of the house. With a few of the older homes with this sort of flue set up, the flues are still in good shape. It could be ok to still utilize them if an inspection shows they are in tack and not flaking apart. Nevertheless, if not, absolutely block them off and install an electric water heater or create brand-new venting for a gas hot water heater.
There are some nice photos in this video of these asbestos flues: