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"Water Heater in the Attic" Questions


Brian G
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#1. Why would any intelligent person do this?

#2. The water heater is sitting in a drain pan, which has a drain line to the exterior. Can the relief valve piping just run down to the pan and use that drain line to reach the exterior, or does it need to go all the way out itself? Needless to say, the pan's drain line is regular PVC.

#3. Why would any intelligent person do this?

Brian G.

"God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise." [:-boggled]

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About 90 to 95% of the new homes here have the water heater in the attic. Builders say it's because no one wants them taking up their precious space in the garage. 90 to 95% of new homeowners don't want them in their attics because they know what can happen in case of a major leak.

Seems like I've read either a water heater manufacturers installation instructions or a t&p valve makers instructions that say these things must have a seperate line plumbed to the outside. I can't remember, I just call them out if they're stupid enough to run them this way. A few builders will even put the poly pan underneath new gas water heaters in the attics.

As for #3, I think builders think they look cool in the attic and that Chicks dig 'em.

Donald

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Originally posted by Donald Lawson

About 90 to 95% of the new homes here have the water heater in the attic. Builders say it's because no one wants them taking up their precious space in the garage. 90 to 95% of new homeowners don't want them in their attics because they know what can happen in case of a major leak.

Seems like I've read either a water heater manufacturers installation instructions or a t&p valve makers instructions that say these things must have a seperate line plumbed to the outside. I can't remember, I just call them out if they're stupid enough to run them this way. A few builders will even put the poly pan underneath new gas water heaters in the attics.

Donald

What Donald said. Here the T&P drainpipes and the pan drainpipes are plumbed separately to the exterior. Frankly, I've never seen the water heater in the attic cause a problem, but I've seen lots of ceiling damage from AC's in the attic.

I take it back. My son had to have his attic water heater replaced and the plumber stepped through the ceiling trying to get the new one up there.

Call out the lack of a safe walkway and work platform. I write up missing walkways and platforms all the time.

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IRC wants the PT relief discharge to terminate outside or to a "waste receptor" or "other approved means".

A waste receptor is supposed to be trapped, and of capacity to receive whatever waste without oversplashing.

Having seen one of these valves blow due to excess temp, I don't think the drips catch pan under the heater would qualify as an appropriate receptor.

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I tend to agree Jim. I know the UPC which we still operate under out here prohibits the use of the drain pan as the discharge receptor for the TPR valve but I thought I knew that the IRC allows it. Then for awhile, as I looked for the reference, I thought I was only having some serious flashbacks from the 60's. I finally found it in the IRC Study Guide. Gawd I'll be glad when I only have to know one code.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif IRC hwt.jpg

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What if the line from the drip pan is not rated for hot water? If the TPR line must be so rated and the drip pan can be the receptor, wouldn't the line from the pan need the same rating? Otherwise the temp requirement for the TPR line is meaningless, no? [:-boggled]

Brian G.

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Good observation Brian.

P2803.6.2 Relief valve drains.

Relief valve drains shall comply with Section P2904.5 or ASME A112.4.1.

My interpretation is the same as yours Brian. 2904.5 deals with water distribution, not drains. I would say the intent is that the drain pipe be acceptable for hot water distribution, or indeed it would be worthless.

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