How to check the draft in a gas column: an overview of methods for checking traction and methods for dealing with reverse traction

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: penelopa_lady
Last update: October 2019

The geyser is very popular among owners of apartments and private houses. Of course, the device copes with providing residents with hot water, does not require complicated maintenance, and the cost of fuel used is minimal. But it has a water heater and one serious drawback - a gas leak can lead to an explosion, destruction of the house and death of people. Therefore, it is extremely important to timely identify a breakdown and know how to check the draft in the gas column at home.

Each element of the device should work flawlessly, any malfunctions should be corrected immediately, and failed parts must be replaced immediately. Regular checks of the system are carried out by gas service specialists, but you can periodically examine some of the elements on which the safety of people living in the house depends, independently.

We will try to find out how to test the design, in particular, check the draft of the water heater at home. The article also discusses effective ways to combat the lack of draft in the smoke channel.

Best Ways to Check Traction

For the correct operation of geysers with an open combustion chamber, good traction and proper arrangement of the chimney will be required. Most modern models are equipped with an automatic security system that prevents the device from starting if there is no traction.

Next, we consider how to check the draft in the chimney of a domestic gas boiler and column.

Method # 1 - using an anemometer

A professional test of draft in the chimney of a gas boiler and column is carried out using a special measuring device - an anemometer.

With it, you can verify the presence of air traffic and determine its strength. The indicator should be equal to 1.96-29.40 Pa.

Method # 2 - using a match

If it is not possible to use the anemometer, the test can be performed as follows:

  1. Prepare paper strips and fix them at the entrance to the mine channel. First, remove the horizontal part of the chimney pipe. The movement of part of the leaf will signal the presence of traction.
  2. Adequate traction can also be determined using a flame. The lit match should be directed vertically towards the inspection window of the front panel of the heater.

The chimney should be checked before igniting the water heater. Flames brought to the inspection hole at the top of the column during operation should be drawn inward.

Wall mounted gas water heater
Check the draft in the gas column every time before turning on the device. Open the window for air flow

Method # 3 - checking the draft sensor

The water heater has several control modules. Sensors for overheating, traction, ionization, water pressure prevent emergencies.

The draft sensor monitors the temperature of the exhaust gases, and when it increases, it reacts accordingly:

  1. Inside the sensor is a bimetallic plate attached to a gas valve.
  2. Metal expanding as a result of overheating transmits a signal to shut off the gas supply.
  3. The cooled plate returns to its original size, opening the valve.

It is recommended to check the operability of the sensor during systematic shutdown of the column.

There are several ways to do this:

  • place a mirror near the sensor; its surface should not sweat when the heater is turned on;
  • shutdown of the gas column when the chimney is closed by a 2/3 shutter indicates the serviceability of the sensor.

On some water heater models, the regulator is mounted on a plastic mount that can be easily moved away. This will also lead to frequent speaker shutdowns.

You can test the health of the sensor with an ohmmeter, its resistance should equal infinity. Otherwise, the part should be replaced.

Water heater draft regulator
The sensor shuts off the gas supply in case of gas leakage and in case of poor removal of combustion products. Serviceability of a protective element - a guarantee of safe use of a water heater

Owners of a house with a constant interruption in the supply of fuel often simply turn off the sensor, after which the water heater really starts to work without interruptions. But such a solution violates the technique safety operation gas equipment. The water heater will remain unprotected; in case of a leak, carbon monoxide will enter the room.

It is strictly forbidden to use a gas column in the absence of rarefaction in the chimney channel. Consider the possible causes of lack of traction.

Reasons for lack of traction

You can identify the source of the malfunction using a visual inspection of the column for errors made during it. setting.

Exhaust pipe for water heater
Violation of the installation technology of the gas column, as well as the use of low-quality materials when installing the water heater - the main reasons for the lack of traction

There are several typical violations:

  1. The diameter of the duct is less than the cross section of the outlet pipe of the water heater.
  2. The use of more than three repeated angles and adapters when installing the pipe.
  3. The length of the chimney is less than 2.5 meters.
  4. Chimney connections are loose, there are leaks.
  5. The distance from the water heater to the chimney is less than 30-50 cm.
  6. The length of the corrugation exceeds 2 meters.

It is also important to assess the suitability of the premises to technical operating conditions. In one room, the installation of a gas column and forced exhaust is prohibited. When installing metal-plastic windows, inlet valves must be used.

How to increase traction in a water heater?

One of the main reasons for the lack of draft is a blockage in the smoke channel. Often this problem occurs in old-type apartment buildings.

In the so-called Khrushchev, 2 mines are laid - for the column and ventilation. First of all, it is necessary to call specialists for cleaning.

Smoke channel of a geyser
Eliminating the blockage in the smoke channel will help increase traction in the water heater. You can carry out cleaning yourself using a metal brush or a special brush

In a private home, draft improvement should begin with a revision of the chimney and an assessment of the contamination of the clogged pipe. After removing the blockage, a mirror is placed inside the channel. There should be light at the top of the chimney. Such a procedure is recommended at least once every three years.

Poor draft can also be caused by improper installation of the chimney hood or a large number of extra turns, sharp corners and bends in the pipe. If the correction of errors made during installation did not help, you can strengthen the draft in the chimneys with the help of exhaust fans and fans.


Pay attention to any, even the most minor, changes in the operation of the gas device. If the water heater makes an abnormal sound or turns on with a pop, you should immediately contact a specialist.

Claps are most common in older speaker models. In modern flow-through columns, such defects are extremely rare. Extraneous sounds occur due to accumulated gas in the heat exchanger, which can subsequently occupy the entire chimney.

Using a special device
To determine the presence of reverse thrust in the gas column can be using measuring instruments. The indicator is set with maximum accuracy, in units of pressure

In most cases, such a violation provokes a chimney blockage, a valve breakdown or a deflection of the spark of the ignition wick.

In new water heater models, a malfunction can cause:

  • spark candle marriage;
  • expended battery installed in the control module;
  • faulty microswitch located in the water unit.

Having decided on independent repair work, first of all, it is necessary to check the traction intensity using one of the methods listed above.

Further diagnostics will differ depending on the type of device - with an ignition wick or an automatic ignition system.

Auto-ignition column

In this type of water heater, the ignition device is controlled by an electronic module. A system with microswitches located on the fire and fluid controls is considered one of the most reliable. Repairing a failed part can result in significant costs.

New water heater
The principle of automatic ignition is the basis of the work of new generation gas columns. Such devices are equipped with several safety sensors.

The severity of a failure can be determined as follows:

  1. Explore batteries. Delayed gas ignition may be due to a low battery charge. In that case, enough replace power supply on new.
  2. Check the performance of the fluid pressure microregulatordesigned to transmit signals to the control module. Its activity is associated with the supply of water, if necessary, ignition of the gas. Like other regulators, it can fail and issue incorrect commands. The problem can be determined using an ohmmeter and a multimeter. A worn item should be replaced with a new one.
  3. The cause of the appearance of uncharacteristic sounds can also be a deformation of the location of the device that ignites the gas. A malfunction usually causes a temperature drop. The part is fastened with a screw, it should be slightly loosened and the position of the candle should be fixed. The clearance should be 0.4-0.5 cm.
  4. Gas can also accumulate due to a faulty valve, which causes a slowdown in fluid flow.. The small metal ball should move freely under the cover.If its movement is impaired, you can try to move the valve from its place with a cable. In the presence of pollution, the channel should be cleaned. But to carry out such a procedure without special need is not recommended.

Upon completion of repair work, it is necessary to check the connection points for leaks. Safety can be enhanced with rubber gaskets and special sealants.

Water heaters with ignition wick

Flowing geysers of the past generation often emit characteristic power-up claps. Such designs are considered not very convenient and often even unsafe, at the same time, much less money will be needed to repair them.

Old type gas water heaters
You can eliminate gas claps by cleaning the dirt from the hole in the nozzle. The procedure must be carried out monthly or annually, depending on the quality of the fuel used.

Accumulation of gas in an inappropriate place can be triggered by the incorrect location of the ignition wick. Violation leads to a decrease in flame and inability to reach the edge of the burner edge. The main reason for the insufficient amount of gas supplied to the wick is a clogged nozzle.

You can fix the problem yourself, but for this you need to completely disassemble the device.

Inspection of water heater parts
Be extremely careful when repairing the device, put all the removed screws in a separate container so that they are not lost. After removing the heat exchanger, photograph the arrangement of structural elements, this will help subsequently easily connect everything correctly

The first step is to shut off the water and gas.

The main part of water heaters has the same type of scheme, so the repair instructions will practically not differ:

  1. First you have to dismantle the protective cover of the water heater.
  2. Provide easy access to the tee.
  3. Loosen the fastening screws, then remove the fastening nuts for the supply pipes and the regulator.
  4. The tee must be carefully pulled out of the groove.
  5. Consider the lower pipe. A small screw with a through hole is the nozzle.
  6. The nozzle should be cleaned with a needle or wire.
  7. Upon completion of all work, you need to assemble the water heater in the reverse order.

If the problem persists, seek help from gas company specialist.

There are other reasons for the appearance of reverse thrust:

  1. Seasonal changes, in this case, you need to make sure that there are no errors when installing the chimney, to insulate the channels.
  2. Flue duct inside can provoke back draft in a flue of a household geyser. To fix the problem, set fire to the newspaper inside the pipe.
  3. Forced hood in a room with a column causes a compensation process, air comes from the smoke channel. Plastic windows only exacerbate the problem, in some houses the air from the chimney begins to flow actively into the room.

For more information on the causes of reverse draft in the chimney, we examined in the next article.

Damper for water heater
Check valve can cause problems with the gas column. If the water heater starts to go out periodically, the reason is the exhaust shutoff. In this case, you should contact a gas service specialist to check the installation of the chimney and, if necessary, reinstall the damper

To correct the situation with air compensation, you can also use the check valve for the chimney of the gas column. It is also necessary to dismantle the fan, buy supply valves for metal-plastic windows.

Mechanical shut-off devices, known as check valves or shutters for water heaters, allow liquid and gaseous media to flow in only one direction.

Designed for geysers of a turbocharged type.Their action is based on opening the exhaust outlet during column operation and closing it after shutdown, which guarantees safe use.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

How to extend the life of the gas column:

The gas column goes out: what is the reason and how to fix the malfunction:

Checking the draft in the smoke and ventilation duct:

Checking the draft in the water heater is a prerequisite for the safe use of gas equipment. With the reverse movement of the ventilation stream, the gas flow tends to the room, which can lead to smoke and fire of surrounding objects. You can make sure that there is a rollover of traction on your own, without the involvement of specialists. It is enough to adhere to the recommendations given above.

Have you also encountered the problem of deterioration or lack of traction? We are waiting for your questions, participation in the discussion of controversial moments or stories from personal experience - the feedback block is located below.

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