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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    DC
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    Default electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    Hi,

    For electric water heater in closet, does one need to worry about mold if nothing leaks?

    I have a electric water heater with a louvered door. There was water break and the water went in the closet. The door was open to let the space dry. Eventually some mold was formed.

    The insurance said the mold is not from the water but the lack of ventilation in the closet and the warmth/moisture from the water heater caused the mold.

    I have lived in so many places with water heaters in various spaces, including very tight area with solid door, and I have never heard of such claim. The water heater has no leak, and the space always feel dry. Is it really a designed flaw or is it just the insurance trying to get out of paying for the water damage?


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanne Smith View Post
    Hi,

    For electric water heater in closet, does one need to worry about mold if nothing leaks?

    I have a electric water heater with a louvered door. There was water break and the water went in the closet. The door was open to let the space dry. Eventually some mold was formed.

    The insurance said the mold is not from the water but the lack of ventilation in the closet and the warmth/moisture from the water heater caused the mold.

    I have lived in so many places with water heaters in various spaces, including very tight area with solid door, and I have never heard of such claim. The water heater has no leak, and the space always feel dry. Is it really a designed flaw or is it just the insurance trying to get out of paying for the water damage?
    Get the insurance company to put their opinion in writing. I bet they will not do it....

    Mold needs moisture to live and grow, remove the moisture and it will go dormant or die. The moisture came from the leak not because the WH is in a closet.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    DC
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    8

    Default Re: electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    they actually did and the responsible party accepted it.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanne Smith View Post
    they actually did and the responsible party accepted it.
    Well then the need to be taken to court! No way they can prove it!

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    DC
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    Default Re: electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Well then the need to be taken to court! No way they can prove it!
    Only if law suits are affordable for good people.....


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    I live in Mold Paradise, Pacific North West Coast and I can tell you that most of us have electric water heaters in closets. It is how we do it. The warmth from the heater keeps the closet warm and dry.

    If you turn power off on the water heater, leave the closet open until you get back from your holiday.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ben Lomond, CA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    Insurance company is trying to dodge the claim. If there had been no leak, where would the moisture come from. If the moisture was solely due to the heat from the water heater, the mold would be concentrated at the ceiling, since warm air rises carrying the moisture with it. Weak tactic to keep your money.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    i know. unfortunately i have no recourse because the condo accepted the reason and i am out of luck. injustice!!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ben Lomond, CA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    If the HOA accepts the determination and agrees to the "design flaw", then by reason of selling you a flawed abode, they should pickup the tab.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,246

    Default Re: electric water heater closet - ventilation/air circulation requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanne Smith View Post
    ... does one need to worry about mold if nothing leaks?
    The real question to me is: Why does one need to worry about mold anyway, and why is the mold part of the question.

    You stated there was a water break, so repair the break, clean things up, dry things out, repaint as necessary, and move on - why is the insurance company involved, did you want them to gut the place and replace all of the drywall over some mold when the problem is not the mold, it is the moisture, in your case you stated it was a broken pipe - once the pipe is repaired/replaced, dry the area out and remove the mold with some chlorine bleach and water, let that dry out, prime with a white pigmented shellac to seal any stains back, then paint.

    This is not rocket science stuff here.

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

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