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  1. #1
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    I once inspected a house where the water heater was behind a wall panel hidden behind a full size portrait of the wife of the seller, located halfway up a winding staircase. Another time I found one inside a kitchen cabinet where when I opened the cabinet, I was looking at the bottom of the water heater. That got me to wondering about the most strange place others have located a water heater?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    Lots of them here under kitchen cabinets. The one in a condo we own is under a corner of the kitchen. You slide out the range, and you can see the side of it. We finally moved it to the laundry room after we replaced the counter tops.
    Probably the strangest one I saw was in a wall cavity behind a built in china cabinet. It was in a vacant house on a slab. I spent almost an hour going all over the house looking for it. I finally started measuring walls and found a dead space that had to be it. I removed a shelf in the china cabinet and could see thru a 1/4" gap behind the shelf and barely see the WH.
    They will have to tear the china cabinet apart to replace the water heater. There weren't any removable panels.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    Out in the tool shed behind the house, that one was a head scratcher.

    I have seen enough of those under the counter installations now to look there, trace the plumbing pipes back if possible. Pull drawers out, stuff like that.

    Upstairs in the kid's bedroom closet, last place I looked, naturally.

    Mobile homes, pardon me, manufactured homes, they are always hidden behind panels, sometimes accessible from inside a closet, sometimes only from outside. I took 8 or 9 long deck screws out to get a panel loose, then found that the frame was just screwed to the cover, which was a friction fit. Sheesh, and my screwdriver battery went dead in the process so I had to put the screws back in by hand.

    Oh yeah, the house that has two water heaters, but you're not told. Think you're done, then doing the walkthrough with clients and realtor, voila, a water heater in a closet.

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

  4. #4
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    Brighton,Ontario,CANADA
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    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    Not my picture this is one my son found many years ago.

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    Last edited by Roy Cooke sr; 11-08-2015 at 05:49 PM.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    Roy

    That certainly is one for the books!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    Hey, by the time we'uns got dat thing rolled into dat crawlspace, we was too tuckered out ta dig out a hole so's we'uns could set dat thing up ... and it was beer time ... so we'uns just hooked dat baby up!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    "what kind of inspector are you that you can't find the wh"

    also pantry converted into wh closet w/wh 1/2 in the living space other 1/2 in attic chase
    i'll try & find the pix

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    Last edited by BARRY ADAIR; 11-10-2015 at 09:00 PM.
    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    Gene and Barry, I've seen several of those houses with the water heater raised above the kitchen pantry/cabinet with the top half sticking up in the attic. At first I thought, what the heck, somebody went to the trouble to modify just to gain half a pantry? But i've seen enough now that it had to be a builder that came up with that idea. Seems like it was in houses built in the 50's but it has been a while since I've seen one.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    This may seem strange to most, but to those inspectors in South Florida, it is not that strange (at least not back when I started, might be today as few are left):
    - on top of the flat roof
    - usually painted black to collect even more heat from the sun

    After the hurricanes of the 20s and 30s, those 'solar' water heaters were moved into the attic in a fake chimney. The first one of those I saw I was scratching my head why two small copper lines were coming out of the block off (could not see into it) chimney ... wait a minute, there was only an unvented masonry fireplace in the living room, ... there is not need for a chimney - except for the 'solar' water heater stuck up in there.

    When the ones in the chimneys were abandoned ... the abandoned ones were typically left in place because there was no practical way to remove them (would have to tear the fake chimney down to get to the water heater).

    "there was only an unvented masonry fireplace in the living room"

    I suspect those were used a place to set gas space heaters recessed part way into the wall, I only saw one which had a gas line capped, the rest had nothing, but those would not have been used for burning wood (hopefully not).

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 11-11-2015 at 07:35 AM. Reason: added explanation of the unvented fireplace
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  10. #10
    Russel Ray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    The most interesting location I found was in the teeny tiny attic above the hallway bathroom. I think they built the attic just to they could install the water heater there and get hot water faster in the bathroom.............


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Holladay, UT
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    565

    Default Re: Where is the strangest place you have ever seen a water heater mounted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Cooke sr View Post
    Not my picture this is one my son found many years ago.
    The plumbing in background reminds me of that old Three Stooges movie.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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