A Redditor posted two photos of a water heater that was allegedly installed by Lowe’s that are getting a lot of attention — and not the good kind. Not only is the installation sloppy, but it’s incredibly dangerous.
“Landlord hired Lowe’s to install. I feel like the gas and exhaust are poor at best. How’d they do?” the poster asked.
The initial thing that jumps out when you see the first photo is the gas line. The gas valve is several feet away from the connection at the water heater, so the installers used two flexible gas lines joined by a coupling to make the connection. This just means the installers didn’t have a flex line long enough to make the connection. Though it looks ugly, it doesn’t pose any danger unless there’s a leak.
But look at the photo a little longer, and you’ll notice the exhaust vent on top is looped. A close-up of the vent is shown in the second pic. To put it in plain English, a looped exhaust vent is really, really bad.
While it’s ideal for the vent to go straight up, it’s not necessary. It does need to be installed at an incline, though, so the gas can naturally flow out when the water heater is heating. In this case, the gas can get stuck in the loop and possibly fill the area with carbon monoxide.
What makes this installation even more egregious is that the vent is flexible. It would have been incredibly easy to connect the venting without looping it.
High levels of carbon monoxide for a sustained period of time can be deadly. Signs you’ve inhaled carbon monoxide can include a headache, fatigue, and nausea — or even disorientation and unconsciousness if you’ve inhaled higher levels. It’s always a good idea to invest in a carbon monoxide detector, or look into upgrading to electric appliances.
In the case of this water heater, though, looking at the vent is a sign there could be carbon monoxide in the air.
Commenters shredded Lowe’s and the installers — and rightfully so.
“Gas line no bueno. Vent even worse, potentially deadly,” one commenter posted. “I would turn it off and start screaming at Lowe’s.”
Another commenter added: “That needs to be reported to the building inspector and stop this company from killing people. No way they were licensed installers. I would be raising hell with Lowe’s.”
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