You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and invest in a natural gas heater for your garage. After asking about, you might have realized that setting up the heater can end up costing you a lot of money. However, despite this fact, lots of people end up opting for professional installations since they are warned that gas garage heaters need vents to enable the exhaust gases to be safely removed, which are difficult to install.
However, with a bit of planning and some tips, this process can become easy enough for a single person to perform without too much effort and still meet all required safety guidelines.
Given below is a step-by-step guide to help you install a vent in your garage for using a natural gas heater.
Make sure that you have a step ladder, double walled duct pipe, measuring tape, hacksaw, drill, plumb bob, marker, water-proof sealant, a sharp blade, hammer, nails, screwdriver, screws, safety glasses, a vent cap, a vent flashing and safety glasses.
#1 Use the stepladder to easily access the flange at the back of the heater to attach the vent duct to it.
#2 Measure the distance from the vent flange to the roof. Eventually, the total length of the duct system will have to be long enough to enable the opening of the exhaust system to be about 18 inches from the top of the roof. Hence, you need to plan your purchases accordingly.
#3 Take the right-angled duct pipe and attach it to the vent flange. It is preferable if the duct pipe is double walled, since it keeps the outer surface of the pipe cool despite the hot exhaust gases present inside it, thereby preventing injuries. Also, the job is made a lot easier if the duct pipes are of the clip- on variety since it enables accurate fixing without having to readjust the positions of the pipes for attachment continuously.
#4 Once the right-angled duct has been attached, ensure that the opening of the pipe points upwards. Now, use a plumb bob and point it at the exact center of the pipe. Now, make a mark right above the center of the pipe on the roof.
#5 Use a drill to make a hole through the roof at this exact point. Once the hole is made, push a thick piece of wire through it so that it protrudes through the roof. This will help you easily find the hole once you climb onto the roof for the next step.
#6 Now, climb onto the roof and remove the wire from the hole. Use this hole as a center to mark a circle that is slightly larger than the diameter of the pipe (about 2cm wider).
#7 Once the mark is made, use a blade to remove the waterproof layer or carpeting from the roof in that exact same shape. If the waterproof surface is flexible, cut out two vertical stripes along the edges of the circular cut to make a flap-like opening. This will come in handy while fixing the vent collar which has a rectangular base with a conical protrusion on top.
#8 Now, pick the drill and drill a hole on the edge of the circle. This hole will allow you to insert the blade of a jigsaw and cut along the circle. Once you have cut the circle, open the flap and place the base of the vent flashing into the flap you created earlier, or if there is no flap, just place it such that both the opening are directly above each other. You can use the duct pipe to insert it through both the openings and check the exact positioning.
#9 Once the position is fixed, apply sealant liberally to the surface of the roof where you will be placing the vent flashing and fix the flashing to that spot. If you have the flexible covering, place it on the top of the base of the flashing and apply sealant to its base and stick it there. This affords further insulation and protection from water. Provide further strength to the sealant by hammering nails on the four edges of the base of the vent flashing. Make sure to coat each of the nails with sealant to ensure that water doesn’t leak through these holes over the years.
#10 Now, head back to the inside of the garage and push out the vent pipe from the hole and through the flashing. Gently fix it into the right-angled vent pipe attached to the gas heater.
#11 Head back upstairs and slip a weather ring on top of the duct pipe and fit it snugly onto the top of the flashing. This prevents water from entering into the flashing and thus into the garage. Now, snap on a vent cap on top of the duct pipe. The vent cap looks like an inverted dinner plate with a base that fits onto the duct pipe. This allows the hot exhaust gases to escape but also prevents water from getting into the duct pipe. The flashing, the vent collar, and the vent cap are instrumental in ‘weather-proofing’ the exhaust vent system and often the most vulnerable points when it comes to manual installation. Hence, make sure to perform these steps properly.
Your manual installation of the exhaust vent system is now complete!
While it may take a couple of trips up and down your roof, with a bit of forethought, it is a very simple and easy process which can be performed by a single person and save a fair bit of money. It not only gives you the satisfaction of having accomplished a task for your home all by yourself, it also gives you something to brag about to your friends and relatives!
Provided you follow the steps given above and perform them carefully, your work will be as good as a professional installation.