Air Gap Gas Ventilation Problem
We run into another common sense home repair. It makes
good sense to completely seal your water heater vent so that no waste
gases can escape. This makes sense to me and if I didn't know any
better, this is probably how I would have repaired the water heater gas
Most gas water heaters require a air gap between the water heater and the ventilation ducting. Obviously this water heater doesn't have that and it's not the only problem.
The water heater vent pipe shown in the picture above isn't allowed to run less than 45° and this one looks like it's running less than 5°. You're allowed to run water heater ventilation pipes like this, but they need to be larger diameter pipes.
You could contact your local building department or an experienced plumber in your area to get more advice and help you with these types of home repairs.
Home Repair Tip: In a situation like this, someone is going to have to redo the entire water heater ventilation system. I don't recommend your average homeowner or do it yourself or who doesn't have any experience dealing with water heater ventilation, to do this job by yourself.
If your persistence on doing this home repair on your own, I would suggest that you contact your local Building and Safety Department for more information.