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Water Heater Question


Mark P
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This gas water heater is sitting on the garage floor, which means there is an open flame less than 18" off the floor. The box has apparently been placed around it to keep combustible fumes away? Has anyone seen this before, is it allowed in place of the 18" rule?

Thanks in advance.

Mark

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Originally posted by AHIS

This gas water heater is sitting on the garage floor, which means there is an open flame less than 18" off the floor. The box has apparently been placed around it to keep combustible fumes away? Has anyone seen this before, is it allowed in place of the 18" rule?

Thanks in advance.

Mark

I don't know about "allowed." You'd have to ask the person in charge of allowing things.

The method in you picture doesn't comply with any code that I've ever seen though.

I'd bet it's just a goofy homeowner thing. If I were inspecting it, I'd just tell them to raise the water heater. If anyone came back with a story about it being allowed, I'd ask him to provide a reference from an applicable building code or from the water heater's printed installation instructions.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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"The box has apparently been placed around it to keep combustible fumes away?"

Or...that used to be the raised platform and someone decided to remove the shelf and sink the new water heater. If it's fixed and "air-tight" then there is no access for observation or service. If it's not fixed then I doubt that it would keep gasses out. Either way it's gotta be wrong. Makes for one hell of a drip pan though!

I agree with Jim...tell them to raise it.

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Hi,

It looks like that was the original platform and was made of wood with a sheetmetal skin. Some rocket scientist probably decided that it worked better if he flipped it upside down and put the water heater inside of it it would work better.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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  • 4 months later...

I received the latest edition of the NJ Code Communicator newsletter today and there is a clarification regarding the question of the 18- inch elevation requirement for water heaters in residential garages. Apparently there is an exception for this requirement if it is a flammable vapor resistant water heater.

It is not permitted in the IRC 2000, NJ Edition (the current adopted edition), but it is noted as being an exception in the 2003 International Fuel Gas Code (which has been adopted in NJ).

According to the newsletter, a flammable vapor resistant water heater can be installed without the 18-inch elevation installation requirement in a residential garage because NJ has adopted the IFGC/2003.

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I was recently googling around concerning appliance elevation in garages and found a paper dicussing research on preventing vapor ignition and installing a dam around the hot water heater was specifically addressed and found to work. I think the anti ignition technolgy in the new hot water heaters is based on the same principal.

Unfortunately I didn;t keep a reference since I was looking for implementation dates for appliance elevation in garages.

Chris, Oregon

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