What Were They Thinking?

January 27, 2008
January/February 2008
A version of this article appears in the January/February 2008 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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When my family stayed in a condo in Tahoe over the summer, I was checking out the closets and found this. I called the rental agency and they sent out their handyman, who manhandled the two parts of the flue together (without changing the lengths). Later my dad, Bruce Wilcox, said that the handyman had mangled the part that sits on top of the water heater, called the draft diverter or flow hood—also dangerous.

I don’t know how long the flue wasn’t attached to the vent, but they had a guest book and journal at the condo that indicated that they had installed a new water heater and furnace in 2005. After looking at the photo of the water heater, my dad remembered that although the flue was not connected, there were two large vents in the closet, which probably took care of any problems.

I may make it a habit of opening closets while on vacation from now on.

Ann Hutcheson-Wilcox
Special-issue Manager
Home Energy
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