Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater

 
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:48 PM   #1
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Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Hi, new poster.

I've hung a new door on a small exterior closet that houses an electric water heater.

I know it's a hollow core door, but I've primed both top and bottom edges for longer wear. Southern Calif. Not a super wet area.

Since 36" wide doors with vents set in are not available, I'm going to cover the vent holes I drill out with louvered screened vents.

Can I expect a hassle cutting out vent holes in a honeycomb filled hollow core door? I'll have to cut vent holes (before covering with 4"x6" louvered vents) on both sides of the door face. I could use either a circular hole saw or a jig-saw. The jig-saw blade might bump up against the back side of the door while cutting an opening at the face, so I could just hole saw both sides.

Since ambient air moisture might permeate thru my vent holes cut, I bought a can of insulating foam that I may spray in around my holes to prevent the core honeycomb from eventual ambient moisture damage.

I realize using a non-solid door for an exterior water closet opening (80"x36") isn't gonna last forever, but a solid door is overkill and weighs a good 190 lbs.

The door is hung, I just need to vent it now. Never tried drilling out a hollow core door to put in vent at top and bottom of this type door.

Last edited by Caslon; 12-14-2007 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:01 PM   #2
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


You can also draw the vent/hole pattern on door first, then mini drill small pilot holes around vent circle to start your saw patterns. When mini-drill, use long bits so it can go straight through both door's side at once. Use low speed saw to minimize vibrating forces that could damage any hollow core wood or breakage. Also, You could try out the electrical Dremel tool for very small saw curve pilot by hand. This work takes patience, slow, and draw first, but you can do it. Remember to insulate carefully/tighly so water moister do not get inside door when passing through vent.


Last edited by SelfContract; 12-14-2007 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:11 PM   #3
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Thanks for the reply...

The door is 1-3/8 inches thick. I thought maybe my jigsaw blade would pound against the back side while I'm cutting the front holes. I'll check my jig saw blade depth...maybe it will clear the back of the doors back face.

Hell, if it does, I could always use my dremel tool and cut off my jig saw blade so it wouldn't.

Second option: Drill all the way thru both panels with a drill. Use a standard door knob hole saw and power thru as far as I can, then turn door over and use that drilled pilot hole to hole drill out the other way.

I'm a bit concerned about ambient moisture eventually getting into the honeycomb thru my vent holes. That's why I mentioned checking out the results and foam filling around that exposed interior honeycombed area before I attach the louvered vents. Gotta be carefull of foam expansion too, I suppose...not too much foam.

Last edited by Caslon; 12-14-2007 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:20 PM   #4
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Why would an electric HWH need venting?
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:43 PM   #5
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


That's what I was wondering too. Apparently it's a code here, not sure.

All other units doors have vents. Probably a fire code safety thing.

I'm going with smaller 4"x8" louvered screen vents over the uglier larger 6"x8" vents.

Last edited by Caslon; 12-14-2007 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 12-15-2007, 12:40 PM   #6
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


You can most likely to do the cut with a sharp blade in utility knife and a straight edge. It'll take a few passes and perhaps a blade change or two, but it goes fast and leaves a clean cut.

If not, at least score your cut or its gonna splinter horribly.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:31 PM   #7
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Hollow panel doors have a thin skin, but not THAT thin.
I'm thinking of just drilling thru to the other side, then taking a round hole saw that has a pilot bit and drilling thru as best I can, then turning the door over and using that pilot hole as a guide to drill back the other way.

I'm hoping the round hole drill (same used to cut doorknob holes) won't chew up the cardboard honeycomb material as I drill out. I could always hole drill thru the door panel skin and stop and see what I'm dealing with, with regards to the cardboard honeycomb material, then proceed somehow.

Afterwards, cover with screened louvered vents on both sides.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:38 PM   #8
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
That's what I was wondering too. Apparently it's a code here, not sure.

All other units doors have vents. Probably a fire code safety thing.
You might exercise less energy asking the AHJ in that area what the code is, if it applies to electric HWH, and if hollow core doors even meet the requirement.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:47 PM   #9
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


As far as your jig saw possibly bumping the back, - - don't cut the blade, - - just ride the saw on a spacer, - - such as 3/4" plywood, or a 2 X 4, - - whatever it takes

Last edited by Tom R; 12-15-2007 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:14 PM   #10
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


he he he...I thought about using spacer while jig-saw cutting. I also think it's kinda awkward moving over the cutting area and moving my spacer pieces.

I own a dremel tool with a cut off wheel (very handy those) and would prefer to just dremel cut off and make the $1.99 blade a stubby.

I'm taking the weekend off and will report back on Monday what the hell I did.

Thanks guys.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:53 PM   #11
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Ya they are that thin. Eight to ten passes with a new blade and you're through it.

I'd check with your AHJ about needing the vents. If they are enforcing any type of vent, it will probably need to have 50 sq. in. of free area, so the 4x8's might be a bit small.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:08 PM   #12
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
Hi, new poster.

I've hung a new door on a small exterior closet that houses an electric water heater.

I know it's a hollow core door, but I've primed both top and bottom edges for longer wear. Southern Calif. Not a super wet area.

Since 36" wide doors with vents set in are not available, I'm going to cover the vent holes I drill out with louvered screened vents.

Can I expect a hassle cutting out vent holes in a honeycomb filled hollow core door? I'll have to cut vent holes (before covering with 4"x6" louvered vents) on both sides of the door face. I could use either a circular hole saw or a jig-saw. The jig-saw blade might bump up against the back side of the door while cutting an opening at the face, so I could just hole saw both sides.

Since ambient air moisture might permeate thru my vent holes cut, I bought a can of insulating foam that I may spray in around my holes to prevent the core honeycomb from eventual ambient moisture damage.

I realize using a non-solid door for an exterior water closet opening (80"x36") isn't gonna last forever, but a solid door is overkill and weighs a good 190 lbs.

The door is hung, I just need to vent it now. Never tried drilling out a hollow core door to put in vent at top and bottom of this type door.

You DO NOT need vent holes for any electric heaters. Vent holes are for make-up air when combustion occurs (open flame). Even then, there are some gas heaters, like a direct-vent that draw make-up air from the outside.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:36 PM   #13
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Thats what I was thinking. Why vent holes in door for electric water heater?
Especially since it's outside too.

Looking up the codes is such a damn hassle when it comes to this subject.

I tried googling my area "water heater vent door building code" and other key words. It's like getting nohwhere.

This electric water heater is in its own small closet situated in a patio.

My customer stores some junk there, but I removed anything remotely near the WH.

There's a draft from the door bottom/top and my installed door stop strips.

San Diego area. Electric water heater closet located outside.
Drywalled in, not very big at all, enough room for my customer to place a small cabinet 8" next to the WH. 2 bedroom condo.
Anyone with a link or a thought about needing to vent the door?

Shouldn't even an ext. electric hot water heater closet have some kind of ventilation...besides the draft thru the door? I would think so. Maybe not?

An electric water heater is a very passive appliance.

Last edited by Caslon; 12-15-2007 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:03 PM   #14
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post

Looking up the codes is such a damn hassle when it comes to this subject.
...and this isn't?
Trying to rebuild some crappy hollow core door and add a vent seems like a PITA to me.

Like I said in post #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic View Post
You might exercise less energy asking the AHJ in that area what the code is, if it applies to electric HWH, and if hollow core doors even meet the requirement.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
I tried googling my area "water heater vent door building code" and other key words. It's like getting nohwhere.
Good luck googling for IRC, IBC, UCC or whatever building code you're looking for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
a link or a thought about needing to vent the door?

Shouldn't even an ext. electric hot water heater closet have some kind of ventilation...besides the draft thru the door? I would think so. Maybe not?
Why?
There is NO combustion.
There is NO fossil fuel source.


One call to the AHJ and you have your answer/s.

Here's a link to the The City of San Diego ~ City Information Center (619) 236-5555
Let your fingers do the work.
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:38 PM   #15
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


For general ventilation I'd drill my centers with a 1/4" or smaller drill then come in with the hole saw, drill from both sides, cover and be done.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:37 AM   #16
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Alright already..Celtic. Thanks. Screw it..the door is hung.

Nothing more fun than getting the City involved. I understand where you're coming from tho. It may not be necessary to vent the door at all.

Then again...
They'd probably have me putting in a solid door that weighs 190lbs.
Venting it and having it signed off.

I'll take my chances how I'm approaching this. I am not sweating it and I appreciate the input. I doubt my entire net worth is on the line here.

Teetorbuilt...

Ya, drill hole all the way thru door...then you have a reference point and can use a door knob hole saw (has a bit on it) to drill out from the other side once your thru on the top side.

Last edited by Caslon; 12-16-2007 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:43 AM   #17
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
Alright already..Celtic.
LOL

A simple "shaddup" woulda worked too




Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
Thanks.
Good luck
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:42 AM   #18
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


just a quick question. what kind of door was there before? did you move the water heater to that point?ps i am pretty sure teetorbilt knows what a hole saw is

Last edited by wink; 12-16-2007 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:49 AM   #19
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic View Post
LOL

A simple "shaddup" woulda worked too






Good luck

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Old 12-16-2007, 01:56 PM   #20
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Re: Hollow Ext. Door Needs Vent For Electric Water Heater


I like th edit after my last post ....my favorite part: Nothing more fun than getting the City involved.

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