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  1. #1
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    Default Water Heater Clearance Question

    Can anyone tell me what the clearance, if any, between a gas water heater and the homes main electrical panel. Found on that is less than 10" away with the pressure relief valve on same side.........or is it even an issue.

    Thanks in advance
    Greg (first post)

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Gregg,

    How much space is on the other side of the Electrical panel?

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Depends.

    Depends on what direction you mean when you say "less than 10" away".

    Do you mean 'on the same wall side-by-side'?

    If so, the edge of the water heater could be even with (but not at or over) the edge of the electrical panel ... provided (this is where Billy was going) that there was at least 30" clear from that side by the water to, and beyond, the other side of the electrical panel, AND, that 30" working space was also 36" deep in front of the electrical panel (which is where I was going in asking you about 'do you mean side-by-side').

    An easy way to remember the required clear working space in front of an electrical panel: You are standing there looking at the wall the electrical panel is on, is there room to place a large box, 30" wide X 36" deep *in front of the electrical panel* and have the box still cover the electrical panel. You are allowed to slide that 30" wide box back and forth toward either side, but the box must cover the panel (i.e., the box cannot move further than to one edge of the panel).

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    Smile Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Thanks to both of you for your reply. I should have been more specific, but your assumptions that they were on the same wall are correct and there is the needed clearance in front of panel, and yes, if I had that "box" it would be able to do what you suggested.

    Thanks for your answers! Quick and exactly what I was looking for.

    Regards,
    Greg


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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Perhaps this photo would have helped.....Let me know what you think now....doesn't look like that box would work actually....

    Greg

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    ..doesn't look like that box would work ..

    Greg
    Greg,

    That's a No Go.

    Mr. Peck gave you the correct answer.

    If you need the code reference IRC 2003 E 3305.1.

    And Welcome to the Site.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Thanks for the info and the welcome! I plan to be here more often and perhaps even contribute!

    Greg


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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Greg,

    That's a No Go.

    If you need the code reference IRC 2003 E 3305.1.
    Also, this from the 2008 NEC.
    - 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment.
    - - Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained about all electrical equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment.
    - - (A) Working Space. Working space for equipment operating at 600 volts, nominal, or less to ground and likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized shall comply with the dimensions of 110.26(A)(1), (A)(2), and (A)(3) or as required or permitted elsewhere in this Code.
    - - - (1) Depth of Working Space. The depth of the working space in the direction of live parts shall not be less than that specified in Table 110.26(A)(1) unless the requirements of 110.26(A)(1)(a), (A)(1)(b), or (A)(1)(c) are met. Distances shall be measured from the exposed live parts or from the enclosure or opening if the live parts are enclosed.
    - - - - Table 110.26(A)(1) Working Spaces
    - - - - - Minimum Clear Distance
    - - - - - Nominal Voltage to Ground Condition 1 0150 volts
    - - - - - - 914 mm (3 ft) 914 mm (3 ft) 914 mm (3 ft)
    - - - - - - - Note: Where the conditions are as follows:
    - - - - - - - - Condition 1 Exposed live parts on one side of the working space and no live or grounded parts on the other side of the working space, or exposed live parts on both sides of the working space that are effectively guarded by insulating materials.
    - - - (2) Width of Working Space. The width of the working space in front of the electrical equipment shall be the width of the equipment or 762 mm (30 in.), whichever is greater. In all cases, the work space shall permit at least a 90 degree opening of equipment doors or hinged panels.
    - - - (3) Height of Working Space. The work space shall be clear and extend from the grade, floor, or platform to the height required by 110.26(E). Within the height requirements of this section, other equipment that is associated with the electrical installation and is located above or below the electrical equipment shall be permitted to extend not more than 150 mm (6 in.) beyond the front of the electrical equipment.
    - - (B) Clear Spaces. Working space required by this section shall not be used for storage. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for inspection or servicing, the working space, if in a passageway or general open space, shall be suitably guarded.
    (and there is a lot more to that code section, but that is the most important stuff for dwelling units - which are virtually always 0-150 volts to ground or less)

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    From that picture I would say no there is not the clearance of 36" radius in front of the panel box. It looks clearly from that photo the wh is in front of not beside the panel box.


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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Clayton View Post
    From that picture I would say no there is not the clearance of 36" radius in front of the panel box.
    Randy,

    It is not a " 36" radius ", it is a " 30" wide by 36" deep box " which is the required working space in front of the electrical panel (wherever that working space is required - not just in front of the panel).

    You can start measuring that 30" width from either side of the panel, it does not matter which side you measure from, or, the panel could be centered, or, anywhere between those two.

    And, yes, that panel in the photo does not look like it has anywhere near enough width to that working space.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Jerry,
    You are correct I was just giving overall rules.


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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Clayton View Post
    Jerry,
    You are correct I was just giving overall rules.

    But ... there is no overall rule for a 36" radius???????

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Is there a special rule about water heaters in particular....
    like the 5' rule for a switch from the shower?
    I think because it is a likely source to spray water horizontally from the top of the water heater that next to the electric panel is extremely dangerous even if it clear of the edge and there is room for 30" from the edge of the panel clear the other direction.
    I see the cabinet interferes in this photo. Removing 3' of cabinet may give enough clearance and be easier than moving the water heater or electric panel.


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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Also, this from the 2008 NEC.
    - 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment.
    - - Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained about all electrical equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment.
    - - (A) Working Space. Working space for equipment operating at 600 volts, nominal, or less to ground and likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized shall comply with the dimensions of 110.26(A)(1), (A)(2), and (A)(3) or as required or permitted elsewhere in this Code.
    - - - (1) Depth of Working Space. The depth of the working space in the direction of live parts shall not be less than that specified in Table 110.26(A)(1) unless the requirements of 110.26(A)(1)(a), (A)(1)(b), or (A)(1)(c) are met. Distances shall be measured from the exposed live parts or from the enclosure or opening if the live parts are enclosed.
    - - - - Table 110.26(A)(1) Working Spaces
    - - - - - Minimum Clear Distance
    - - - - - Nominal Voltage to Ground Condition 1 0150 volts
    - - - - - - 914 mm (3 ft) 914 mm (3 ft) 914 mm (3 ft)
    - - - - - - - Note: Where the conditions are as follows:
    - - - - - - - - Condition 1 Exposed live parts on one side of the working space and no live or grounded parts on the other side of the working space, or exposed live parts on both sides of the working space that are effectively guarded by insulating materials.
    - - - (2) Width of Working Space. The width of the working space in front of the electrical equipment shall be the width of the equipment or 762 mm (30 in.), whichever is greater. In all cases, the work space shall permit at least a 90 degree opening of equipment doors or hinged panels.
    - - - (3) Height of Working Space. The work space shall be clear and extend from the grade, floor, or platform to the height required by 110.26(E). Within the height requirements of this section, other equipment that is associated with the electrical installation and is located above or below the electrical equipment shall be permitted to extend not more than 150 mm (6 in.) beyond the front of the electrical equipment.
    - - (B) Clear Spaces. Working space required by this section shall not be used for storage. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for inspection or servicing, the working space, if in a passageway or general open space, shall be suitably guarded.
    (and there is a lot more to that code section, but that is the most important stuff for dwelling units - which are virtually always 0-150 volts to ground or less)
    Quote Originally Posted by A.j. Levis View Post
    Is there a special rule about water heaters in particular....
    like the 5' rule for a switch from the shower?
    I think because it is a likely source to spray water horizontally from the top of the water heater that next to the electric panel is extremely dangerous even if it clear of the edge and there is room for 30" from the edge of the panel clear the other direction.
    I see the cabinet interferes in this photo. Removing 3' of cabinet may give enough clearance and be easier than moving the water heater or electric panel.
    .....

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    I must be having a brain fart here because I am missing the reference link in my brain to the following (see bold below):

    Quote Originally Posted by A.j. Levis View Post
    Is there a special rule about water heaters in particular....
    like the 5' rule for a switch from the shower?
    I think because it is a likely source to spray water horizontally from the top of the water heater that next to the electric panel is extremely dangerous even if it clear of the edge and there is room for 30" from the edge of the panel clear the other direction.
    I see the cabinet interferes in this photo. Removing 3' of cabinet may give enough clearance and be easier than moving the water heater or electric panel.
    Also, this (underlined in above): "is a likely source to spray water horizontally from the top of the water heater" and "that next to the electric panel is extremely dangerous" - do you know where that is from?

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    The NEC does not have a 5' limit from the shower to the switch. As long as it is outside the footprint of the tub or shower, even if only by .001" it will meet the code.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The NEC does not have a 5' limit from the shower to the switch. As long as it is outside the footprint of the tub or shower, even if only by .001" it will meet the code.
    I'm not even bringing that up in my brain link ... ... I think you are talking about receptacles, not switches.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Here you go Jerry,



    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Here you go Jerry,

    Jim,

    Do you know how old that drawing is? Have you checked what 380 references?

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Article 380 Switches was renumbered to 404 since the 2001 edition. The correct section would now be 404.4. Notice it just says cannot be within.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Article 380 Switches was renumbered to 404 since the 2001 edition. The correct section would now be 404.4. Notice it just says cannot be within.
    Okay, now for a question (something we have tossed back and forth for years here with us having different opinions on it):
    - a) define where the wet location is for a tub without a shower
    - b) define where the wet location is for a tub with a shower
    - c) define where the wet location is for a shower stall

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    I have always seen it defined by the footprint. While a shower could spray outside the tub that is not the design usage. No more than receptacles or switches in a kitchen being in a wet area were someone to pull out the sprayer from the sink and misdirect the spray.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I have always seen it defined by the footprint. While a shower could spray outside the tub that is not the design usage. No more than receptacles or switches in a kitchen being in a wet area were someone to pull out the sprayer from the sink and misdirect the spray.
    By the footprint to how high?

    Keep in mind that this is the post I was originally replying to (not that it would or should affect your answer):
    Quote Originally Posted by A.j. Levis View Post
    like the 5' rule for a switch from the shower?


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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    I would default to the maximum water level.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    Can anyone tell me what the clearance, if any, between a gas water heater and the homes main electrical panel. Found on that is less than 10" away with the pressure relief valve on same side.........or is it even an issue.

    Thanks in advance
    Greg (first post)
    The breakers need to be a minimum of 3 feet from the prv--see the mechanical code. Often these have threads so they can be piped to vent and the would be and easy solution.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I would default to the maximum water level.
    The overflow edge of the tub? Even with a shower?

    The overflow edge of a shower threshold?

    No consideration given to the shower head spraying water on the walls?

    I am trying to clarify that you are referring to a tub without a shower on the basis that no shower means no water on the walls (this would match the code requirements for wall coverings/finishes for tubs without showers versus tubs with showers and shower stalls).

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    I would still consider the top of the tub even though it is above the overflow or the top lip of a shower threshold. The area that could be potentially sprayed is too encompassing with the availability of handheld shower sprayers. I would consider the normal usage pattern, not what could happen should the sprayer get used in a water battle between the kids.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I would still consider the top of the tub even though it is above the overflow or the top lip of a shower threshold. The area that could be potentially sprayed is too encompassing with the availability of handheld shower sprayers. I would consider the normal usage pattern, not what could happen should the sprayer get used in a water battle between the kids.
    So, if the wet location area is only to the top of the tub the switch shown in that drawing you posted is okay and not a violation because it is not in the wet area ... right?

    That is what you just went through.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    I see what you are asking now, the red switch would be in the wet area as it is behind the curtain and is in the normal spray area. It is also still above the footprint so it is already prohibited, regardless.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I see what you are asking now, the red switch would be in the wet area as it is behind the curtain and is in the normal spray area.
    Would the switch be in the wet area for a tub with no shower?

    It is also still above the footprint so it is already prohibited, regardless.
    I may have missed it, but the code says nothing about being within the footprint for a switch, only within the wet area.

    For a tub with no shower, you would still top the wet area at the overflow edge of the tub, correct?

    If so, then there is no prohibition against the switch being in a surrounding wall enclosing the tub (provided the tub does not have a shower head above it), correct?

    Now to complicate the question with something we have discussed before: what if the tub did not have a shower above it but had a hand-held shower in the tub faucet set, would that affect the height and size of the wet area in your opinion, and how much?
    - Like these:
    - - Deck Mounted Tub Faucet with Hand Held Shower Faucet |
    - - Deck Mount Bathtub Faucets with Hand Shower by Kohler and Elements of Design - Page 14 at PlumberSurplus.com

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    You need 24 inches of service clearance in front of the heater and 2 inches from combustibles on the back and sides.





    Thank you...
    Epackpolymers.com

    Last edited by jakson; 01-18-2014 at 01:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by jakson View Post
    You need 24 inches of service clearance in front of the heater and 2 inches from combustibles on the back and sides.

    Thanking you...
    Epackpolymers.com
    An electric water heater requires a clear working space of 30" wide by 36" deep in front of the service area of the water heater.

    Side clearance from combustibles is typically -0"-.

    There are other clearance requirements, such as for a side T&P relief valve, etc.

    A non-electric water heater (fuel fired) requires a clear working space or 30" wide by 30" in front of the service area of the water heater.

    Clearance from combustible varies based on water heater.

    Other side clearances apply.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Jerry
    I think he is just spam
    From India, and the .com has nothing to do with HI or even houses.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Jerry
    I think he is just spam
    From India, and the .com has nothing to do with HI or even houses.
    Rick,

    I thought he was spam too, except that the posts are quite specific and applicable, albeit not necessarily correct.

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    Default Re: Water Heater Clearance Question

    Jim,

    Just checking to see if you missed this post and question regarding the wet area at a tub: a) without a shower of any kind; b) with a handheld shower not up high where a typical shower would be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I see what you are asking now, the red switch would be in the wet area as it is behind the curtain and is in the normal spray area. It is also still above the footprint so it is already prohibited, regardless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Would the switch be in the wet area for a tub with no shower?


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