Question about Empire DV-215 Direct Vent Natural Gas Heater

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B vent configuration of direct vent propane heaters

Is there any technical or safety reason why an Empire direct vent heater cannot be set up to vent its waste gases into a metalbestos chimney, b vent style,(inner exhaust pipe) while getting its combustion air (outer intake) from inside air? This effectively has it operating like a b vent unit. The only concern I can come up with is the usual one: Is there adequate ventilation in the structure to supply fresh air for combustion? There is just no wall space in this structure to allow a vent to pass through the wall, but there is a metalbestos chimney, ready to accept a single wall adapter and reducer for the heater's 4" exhaust vent. Comments on this off-label installation idea? No b vent heaters of this size are commercially available.

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Yes, the design of the combustion chamber is limited at how much fresh air and combustion air can enter it. If you lengthen the venting, you will be causing more restriction and there will not be enough natural air movement to make it work. It will start, run for a minute or two and poof out. Not to mention you will be circumventing it's UL rating and if you sell your home with it installed, you are liable for any fatality or damage. Do you want to risk that? Don't even think of doing it! There are "Box" heaters out there sized from about 5,000 Btu's on up to 100,000 Btu's. Check the web.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008

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