The OP never mentioned the type of water heater. If it's gas, it may
need the combustion air. If electric, it's NOT needed for combustion.
However, all water heaters need some sort of drain in case of a leak.
Normally, if it's a drain, buy a plastic or metal base. (Pan under the
heater). Those drain outside with a piece of pipe.
My last house (built in 59) had the gas water heater and gas furnace
inside the same closet located inside the house. The vent was a grill in
the closet door. Lived there 30 years and never once flooded the house.
Came close one time though. Happened to hear a hissing noise and saw a
tiny leak spurting out. The water hadn't left the closet yet so I was
BTW that model furnace had two doors, top-burner-vented and
bottom-fan-sealed. No interlock. People would sometimes leave off the
bottom door after cleaning/repairing the fan. The fan would then suck in
the gasses from the burner compartment above and spread them
throughout the house. That furnace was used in thousands of houses in
the area and caused many medical problems over the years.
On Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 9:44:05 AM UTC-5, wendy vonlienen wrote:
To summarize: if it is a vent to draw in combustion air, it is needed if th
e water heater space is small or airtight or if you don't want to use heate
d/cooled house air for comubustion. If it is a drain in case of a leak, you
may someday wish you still had it. I assume there is some protection from
insects or rodents entering the house through this hole.
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