Clearing Clogs in Natural Gas Water Heater Pipes and Vents: A Step-by-Step Guide
Unclogging and maintaining vents and pipes in a natural gas water heater is an essential and straightforward task for a homeowner. Taking the necessary steps can help avoid health issues due to the release of carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases. In this guide, you will learn how to unclog and maintain vents and pipes in a safe and efficient manner.
First, you should inspect the vent to check for any possible blockages. The most common cause for clogs is debris and obstructions in the vent opening. To check for issues, use a ladder to climb up to the roof and remove the vent covering. Put your palm just above the opening to feel for any air draft. If an air draft is present, the blockage may not be in the vent itself. You can then follow the vent pipe to an exterior wall or roof opening outside of your home.
Inspect the exterior opening to make sure it is free of obstructions or debris. If there is something blocking the vent opening outside, remove it and check the vent pipe once again. If an ample amount of air is still not present, the clog may be located farther down the vent pipe. To access this, you will need to use a tool known as a plumber’s snake. Insert the plumber’s snake until it reaches the obstruction, then use it to unhook the clog and pull it out.
Another common cause of clogs in vents and pipes is due to extreme freezing temperatures. When the pipes are exposed to extreme cold, be sure to inspect and insulate it to prevent clogs. Protective gloves, a mask, and safety goggles should always be worn when working with any sort of plumbing tool. Make sure to have a flashlight available as well to see through the pipe hole.
Pipe clogs can also be caused by a bent portion of the pipe, and require a replacement. Begin by turning off the machine and the water supply. Once drained properly, cut and remove the bent pipe and install the replacement. Depending on the material used, such as PVC, steel, or copper, connect the pipes accordingly.
Finally, if the vent pipe is connected to a main vent, pour water into the main vent’s opening to flush away any dirt and debris that may be clogging it. Afterwards, turn the water heater back on and check for air draft. If air is present, you have successfully unclogged the vents and pipes of the natural gas water heater.
It is important to constantly inspect and maintain vents and pipes to ensure the safety of your home. With the right amount of preparation and safety measures, you can easily unclog and maintain vents and pipes of your natural gas water heater without any difficulty.