We just got a new Lochinvar natural gas heater and are having it installed next week. According to code, the heater needs to be 4 feet vertical and 4 feet horizontal from a window. So our only choice for installation to be within the 4 feet spec would be within our L-shaped vinyl fence that goes around the pool equipment. According to the manual the heater is supposed to be at least 6" out from a wall or fence.
Do I need to be concerned about the back of the heater (where the exhaust vent is) being only 6" away from the vinyl fence? My fence isn't going to melt or anything is it? The fence does have about a 6" opening at the bottom where air can pass through. In other words, the fence doesn't go all the way down to the ground. This heater has an enclosed combustion chamber and vents in the back. The vents are on the top though.
That was another concern. The manual says to have the heater 10 feet away from an L-shaped alcove or barrier. The reason being that air can eddy and cause sooting to the heater and premature wear. I called and spoke to someone at Lochinvar and he told me that doesn't really pertain to our fence since we have the air opening at the bottom.
Any thoughts or input would be appreciated. This is the back of the heater: