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  1. #1
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    Default Need some help on water heater location

    I have to get my report done tonight and need some help on water heater location. I inspected a new construction home today in Dallas and found one of the two water heaters installed in a bedroom closet. Very unusual to see in new construction in Dallas, but there it was. I believe the 03 IRC prohibits a bedroom closet installation (2005.2) but another paragraph 2801.4X2 seems to say it is okay if installed in a closet with a self-closing door that is fully air sealed and gets all combustionable air from the outside the "Thermal envelope" which this closet water heater does.What is right ?

    PS, the photo makes the water heater closet to be outside the bedroom but actually the doorway seen in the photo is merely a portal opening with no door. The bedroom door is not shown. It is behind the camera.



    Thx

    Gene

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  2. #2
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Need some help on water heater location

    I have to get my report done tonight and need some help on water heater location. I inspected a new construction home today in Dallas and found one of the two water heaters installed in a bedroom closet. Very unusual to see in new construction in Dallas, but there it was. I believe the 03 IRC prohibits a bedroom closet installation (2005.2) but another paragraph 2801.4X2 seems to say it is okay if installed in a closet with a self-closing door that is fully air sealed and gets all combustionable air from the outside the "Thermal envelope" which this closet water heater does.What is right ?
    GS: It is compliant as far as location, but Dallas has adopted 2006 IRC. Look for gas sediment trap, TPR drain to air gap in closet, et al.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need some help on water heater location

    A.D. Thanks. Is it compliant as to location because of the 06 IRC ? or was it also compliant as to location in the 03 IRC? and I am just reading the 03 code book wrong ?

    Thanks,
    Gene


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need some help on water heater location

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    I have to get my report done tonight and need some help on water heater location. I inspected a new construction home today in Dallas and found one of the two water heaters installed in a bedroom closet.
    A "bedroom closet" or a 'closet in the bedroom'? Big difference as a 'closet in the bedroom' may only be for the water heater, and it MUST 'ONLY BE FOR THE WATER HEATER' or it is not allowed. A "bedroom closet" implies other things will go in there, making it a "storage closet" and that is not allowed.

    I believe the 03 IRC prohibits a bedroom closet installation (2005.2) but another paragraph 2801.4X2 seems to say it is okay if installed in a closet with a self-closing door that is fully air sealed and gets all combustionable air from the outside the "Thermal envelope" which this closet water heater does.

    (underlining and bold are mine)
    - SECTION M2005
    - - WATER HEATERS
    - - - M2005.1 General. Water heaters shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions and the requirements of this code.Water heaters installed in an attic shall conform to the requirements of Section M1305.1.3. Gas-fired water heaters shall conform to the requirements in Chapter 24. Domestic electric water heaters shall conform to UL 174 or UL 1453. Commercial electric water heaters shall conform to UL 1453. Oiled-fired water heaters shall conform to UL 732.
    - - - - M2005.2 Prohibited locations. Fuel-fired water heaters shall not be installed in a room used as a storage closet. Water heaters located in a bedroom or bathroom shall be installed in a sealed enclosure so that combustion air will not be taken from the living space. Installation of direct-vent water heaters within an enclosure is not required.

    That means the door needs to be tight-fitting, be weatherstripped, have a threshold, and have no openings from which air can be drawn from the bedroom into the closet. Is that closet sealed that well?


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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need some help on water heater location

    Hi Jerry, good point and thank you. The closet is a "Water heater closet", designed for a water heater only. The door did not have a threshold however. Thank you for clarifying the points.

    Gene


  6. #6
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need some help on water heater location

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    Hi Jerry, good point and thank you. The closet is a "Water heater closet", designed for a water heater only. The door did not have a threshold however. Thank you for clarifying the points.

    Gene
    GS: The door does not require a threshold so long as it is continuously gasketed around its entire perimeter.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need some help on water heater location

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    GS: The door does not require a threshold so long as it is continuously gasketed around its entire perimeter.
    Which would include the bottom, and that is normally what a threshold does ... but ... a fully framed opening (not down to the floor) could be gasketed around and not have "the normal threshold", but would have "a threshold" along the bottom ...

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need some help on water heater location

    The duct pipe on the left is combustion air coming down from the attic, right? What size requirements are there for that situation, if the door is to be sealed?

    If the WH is direct vent type, does makeup air still need to be provided?


  9. #9
    Dan Legner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need some help on water heater location

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The duct pipe on the left is combustion air coming down from the attic, right? What size requirements are there for that situation, if the door is to be sealed?

    If the WH is direct vent type, does makeup air still need to be provided?
    Don't have my code book here to check for sure, but am fairly certain that if you have two openings into the attic, a high and low opening. The size requirement is 1 sq in per 4,000 btu input for each of the openings. Also make sure c/a ducts are 4 -6" above insulation in the attic and does NOT have screen over it in the attic.

    Direct vent would not require make up air or the sealed door. But this is not a direct vent water heater.

    Along with the solid core sealed door with a threshold, I would also require self closing hinges.

    Last edited by Dan Legner; 12-22-2009 at 06:29 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need some help on water heater location

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Legner View Post
    Don't have my code book here to check for sure, but am fairly certain that if you have two openings into the attic, a high and low opening. The size requirement is 1 sq in per 4,000 btu input for each of the openings. Also make sure c/a ducts are 4 -6" above insulation in the attic and does NOT have screen over it in the attic.

    Direct vent would not require make up air or the sealed door. But this is not a direct vent water heater.

    Along with the solid core sealed door with a threshold, I would also require self closing hinges.
    Thank you Dan, and good point about the screen.
    To catch the rodents, how about a bucket of water below the pipe ? That should be in the code book.


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