Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Norm Peery's Avatar
    Norm Peery Guest

    Default Electrical panel & Gas Water Heater

    I thought I might get blown up today. Inspecting a 50 year old house with an exterior closet, 2'X4', housing a gas water heater and an electrical panel. The closet had no vents, and when I opened the door the gas fumes curled my hair, what's left of it.
    I left the door open and got the gas vented out, but my question is.......
    Do the codes allow this? Common sense says no way, and that's what my report says................... but what about code?

    Thanks,
    Norm

    Similar Threads:
    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Electrical panel & Gas Water Heater

    Do codes allow what? Gas appliance and electrical panel in the same utility closet?

    If you are smelling gas in an enclosed space then there is not sufficent combustion air, a pssible gas leak, or insufficient venting. Sounds like a defect gas appliance installation.

    NEC requires an area 30"x36" of clear access in front of a panel. Considering a 50 gallon water heater in a 2'x4' closet, there is probably not the required clear area in front of the panel.

    Are you asking about the potential explosion hazard of electrical sparks and gas appliance. Nope, no code issues.

    Can you be more specific about what code issues might be a concern?

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Electrical panel & Gas Water Heater

    Glad your ok Norm...

    Best

    Ron


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Electrical panel & Gas Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Peery View Post
    I thought I might get blown up today. Inspecting a 50 year old house with an exterior closet, 2'X4', housing a gas water heater and an electrical panel. The closet had no vents, and when I opened the door the gas fumes curled my hair, what's left of it.
    I left the door open and got the gas vented out, but my question is.......
    Do the codes allow this? Common sense says no way, and that's what my report says................... but what about code?

    Thanks,
    Norm
    *Gas fumes?
    *Gas like what is used for a lawnmower or natural gas for the water heater?
    *Was the water heater on a raised platform that was 18" or greater?


    Without the size of the water heater (btu's) it is hard to say if the room is large enough (combustion makeup air), most likely it is not. In a room that size, I'm sure that the electrical panel did not have the proper working clearance in front and on the sides.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Norm Peery's Avatar
    Norm Peery Guest

    Default Re: Electrical panel & Gas Water Heater

    Hi Guys,
    Natural gas fumes were present, none of the required clearances for the water heater or the electrical panel, and no ventilation ports.
    My 1st thought, when I smelled the gas was, could the electrical panel, if enough gas is present, create a hazard.
    Just wondered if the codes ever addressed that situation.
    Thanks for your input.

    Norm


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,243

    Default Re: Electrical panel & Gas Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Peery View Post
    My 1st thought, when I smelled the gas was, could the electrical panel, if enough gas is present, create a hazard.
    Norm,

    I'll rephrase that ... the gas water heater created a hazard, the electrical panel was only there to help out.

    Have to keep your priorities in the right order: if that had been an electric water heater, no problem; if that had been a properly installed and operating gas water heater, no problem; therefore it is the improperly installed and lack of maintenance for the water heater which created the hazard.

    Just wondered if the codes ever addressed that situation.
    Code are minimum and cannot address all stupid possibilities, no.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Norm Peery's Avatar
    Norm Peery Guest

    Default Re: Electrical panel & Gas Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Norm


    Code are minimum and cannot address all stupid possibilities, no.
    Jerry,
    Many times I have been told "It meets code", and many times I have said, "ya, but does it meet YOUR safety requirements for your family?"

    Thanks
    Norm


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •