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  1. #1
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    Default Sealed burner water heater question

    Is there anything in the National Fuel Gas Code ANSI Z223.1 (NFPA54) that states that a sealed burner water heater has to be 18" off the garage floor?

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  2. #2
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: Sealed burner water heater question

    I don't have the code in front of me, but I'm pretty sure that sealed burners are already separated from the fumes in the garage that require the clearance. Short answer - No, 18" not required for the sealed burner.

    Another question - if the water heater is sitting on the floor, is it protected from vehicle impact?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sealed burner water heater question

    It was not on the floor, it was in a utility room built into the rear of the garage. There was a step up to get into the room and the water heater was approx 12" off the floor level of the garage.

    The reason I ask is that this home is in no mans land and the seller says that the manufacturer does not require it to be off the floor. I read the manufacturers instructions and they say to follow local building codes and in areas without local building codes follow the National Fuel Gas Code.

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  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
    Brandon Chew Guest

    Default Re: Sealed burner water heater question

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Bombardiere View Post
    Is there anything in the National Fuel Gas Code ANSI Z223.1 (NFPA54) that states that a sealed burner water heater has to be 18" off the garage floor?
    2006 IRC G2408.2 and IFGC 305.3 have an exception that says "Elevation of the ignition source is not required for appliances that are listed as flammable vapor ignition resistant".


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Healdsburg, CA
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    Default Re: Sealed burner water heater question

    Brandon
    I'm not aware of a single AHJ that allows a gas fired water heater to be installed less than 18 inches above a garage floor. This doesn't mean there are none, but be careful and check around your area of practice. CA has not adopted the IRC. Refer CPC 2007 508.14.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Sealed burner water heater question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    I'm not aware of a single AHJ that allows a gas fired water heater to be installed less than 18 inches above a garage floor. This doesn't mean there are none, but be careful and check around your area of practice.
    While I disagree with them (but the code agrees with them) ... all, or they should anyway, allow for the newer sealed combustion type water heaters to sit on the garage floor.

    I always told / asked my clients if they have ever seen or found something which was "sealed" but which did not "leak" at some point in time? They were smart enough to recognize that, in time, those newer types might just become a problem setting down there on the garage floor - and if the builder did not raise them, they (my clients) typically did anyway.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Sealed burner water heater question

    I came across one of the sealed combustion chamber type water heaters that was a State brand today. The manual with it stated it could be installed on a garage floor but was not recommended if any combustibles such as gas or flammable containers would be stored in a close proximity of the water heater.

    Now the million dollar question? Who determines what is close proximity?

    Is a lawnmower or a weed eater stored with gas inside the tanks stored in the garage in close proximity? How about a car with a full tank of gas?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sealed burner water heater question

    Read the installation instructions and warnings (I think there are even labels to this affect on the gas water heaters themselves) and you will see that the manufacturers do not 'recommend' that the water heaters be installed in garages *ANYWAY* ... even IF raised up 18 inches.

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

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