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Gas hot water tank installation?


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I just ran across a gas hot water tank in a garage that is installed directly on the floor of the garage. I was under the impression that this was a no-no. This home is new construction.

The tank has an enclosed burner/pilot light. There is also a label on the tank stating that "this tank is vapor resistant" and "No elevation is required in certain municipalities". I have seen enclosed burners/pilot light before but they have always been installed on raised platforms at least 18 inches off the ground.

I have tried to search the some local area building codes to no avail. Any comments would be helpful on how to try and resolve this little unknown?

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Sorry for going off topic but I just wanted to write that it's nice that you guys are directing your thoughts on his question and not that he wrote "hot water tank". While some in other forums would focus on what they feel is incorrect language, you guys are focusing on his question.

Nice to see and please keep it up.[:)]

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Sorry for going off topic but I just wanted to write that it's nice that you guys are directing your thoughts on his question and not that he wrote "hot water tank". While some in other forums would focus on what they feel is incorrect language, you guys are focusing on his question.

Nice to see and please keep it up.[:)]

Well... it is a hot water tank (a vessel that holds hot water) but perhaps you were thinking hot water heater.

Focusing on incorrect language isn't all bad though, it helps us (me) become better at what we (I) do. When all is said and done the written report is all that is left and we (the home inspection profession) are judged by its contents.

Perhaps though the delivery can be improved when applying constructive criticism.

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Thanks for all your inputs. I did not know they were called "Bollards" (Thanks Brandon).

As for hot water tank well...... I guess? Yes, "Water Heater" OK fine. I did not think using hot water tank was diminishing the home inspection industry. Sorry if I offended any of you for my sophmoric phrase. This is a wonderful tool that I really enjoy, however some of the recent posts have been a little harsh and it will make me think twice about ever posting anything (referring to the "Does this valve exist" thread).

As for FVIR it did not specify this on the "WATER HEATER" all that was said was "Vapor Resistant". I was planning on calling the local building department on Monday. I just thought some of you may have seen this before since today is Saturday and they are closed.

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. . . As for FVIR it did not specify this on the "WATER HEATER" all that was said was "Vapor Resistant". I was planning on calling the local building department on Monday. I just thought some of you may have seen this before since today is Saturday and they are closed.

Since July 1, 2003, all gas water heaters have had to be of the flammable vapor ignition resistant design. Since this was a new home, it's pretty much a given that the water heater will be a FVIR design. As Bill Kibbel pointed out, these are allowed to be installed on the floor of the garage. Under your Washington code, the reference is in section 2408.2.

One minor point to keep in mind. If flammable vapors reach one of these water heaters and the FVIR system is brought into play, the water heater will shut down and can't be returned to service. It has to be replaced. Some inspectors think it's a good idea to recommend elevating them even though it isn't required. The elevation provides a belt & suspenders approach to safety and it might mean that the owners could avoid having to pay for a new water heater if someone spills a flammable liquid in in the garage.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi Mike,

I'm curious, you've state it was an enclosed burner/pilot light assembly. By that, do you mean that the water heater is a direct vent type that gets its combustion air from outside or is it just one of the new FVIR ones with a piezo igniter and sight glass with a bunch of air holes or slots around the bottom?

Don't let it bug you when some anal old fart like myself snips at something you've written here; it only helps to toughen you up against the inevitable crap you're going to have to put up with from hundreds, maybe even thousands, of manipulative real estate agents, pissed off sellers and intransigent builders over the coming years.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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. . . As for FVIR it did not specify this on the "WATER HEATER" all that was said was "Vapor Resistant". I was planning on calling the local building department on Monday. I just thought some of you may have seen this before since today is Saturday and they are closed.

Since July 1, 2003, all gas water heaters have had to be of the flammable vapor ignition resistant design. Since this was a new home, it's pretty much a given that the water heater will be a FVIR design. As Bill Kibbel pointed out, these are allowed to be installed on the floor of the garage. Under your Washington code, the reference is in section 2408.2.

One minor point to keep in mind. If flammable vapors reach one of these water heaters and the FVIR system is brought into play, the water heater will shut down and can't be returned to service. It has to be replaced. Some inspectors think it's a good idea to recommend elevating them even though it isn't required. The elevation provides a belt & suspenders approach to safety and it might mean that the owners could avoid having to pay for a new water heater if someone spills a flammable liquid in in the garage.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Thank you Jim.

Hi Mike,

I'm curious, you've state it was an enclosed burner/pilot light assembly. By that, do you mean that the water heater is a direct vent type that gets its combustion air from outside or is it just one of the new FVIR ones with a piezo igniter and sight glass with a bunch of air holes or slots around the bottom?

I was wrong about the enclosed burner. It did not have a exterior direct vent as you state above but rather a sight glass with a bunch of holes at the bottom. Which means it was a FVIR Water Heater.

Don't let it bug you when some anal old fart like myself snips at something you've written here; it only helps to toughen you up against the inevitable crap you're going to have to put up with from hundreds, maybe even thousands, of manipulative real estate agents, pissed off sellers and intransigent builders over the coming years.

Thank, good advice!

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Since July 1, 2003, all gas water heaters have had to be of the flammable vapor ignition resistant design.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Does this now include 75 gallon models? They weren't included initially.

Yes, I had forgotten all about that. The 2003 deadline only applied to natural draft water heaters with 20-50 gallons and under 75,000 btu/hr. All (most?) other residential water heaters had to comply with the FVIR standard by 2005.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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