Flame being pulled off burner

The Tank Flame being pulled off burner

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    Installed a 50 gallon 60,000 btu PowerFlex power direct vent water heater from American water heater. All specs say to use only 3″ duct and fittings. With 3″ duct the water heater rattles horribly. AWH knew right away about the issue, says that the blower was pulling the flame off the burner. AWH suggested using a 3″ to 2″ reducer on the end of the exhaust. This fixed the problem, but I question the 2″ restriction on a 60,000 btu model. Anyone have any experience or thoughts on what this reduction would have on the heater’s performance?

    Randy Schuyler

    We would question it, too. With ordinary heaters, that’s a recipe for backdrafting, fumes coming back into the water heater space and maybe sooting. Maybe power-vents are different, but we’d be concerned.

    Think about calling the company again, say “this is what a service rep told us to do, do you agree?” and if you get the same advice, ask for it in writing. We see liability issues in altering a water heater from its original design.

    Randy Schuyler

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