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  1. #1
    Robert Alexander's Avatar
    Robert Alexander Guest

    Default Protection from car hitting water heater

    Is there code that requires a balun or some kind of protection to prevent a car from striking a water heater, especially a gas water heater?

    On a recent inspection, the gas water heater was at the front part of the garage and had nor protection to prevent a car from hitting it. I am thinking this is an accident (explosion) waiting to happen.

    Thanks!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Yes, protection from vehicle damage in a garage is required.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Robert,

    A bollard is required, but it is to protect the gas piping from vehicle damage. This would be true for any gas piping if it is in a location that it could be hit by a vehicle. This might also mean the furnace or gas meter as well. Unfortunately, I am unable to locate the specific code. Maybe someone else will chime in.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Alexander View Post
    Is there code that requires a balun or some kind of protection to prevent a car from striking a water heater, especially a gas water heater?

    On a recent inspection, the gas water heater was at the front part of the garage and had nor protection to prevent a car from hitting it. I am thinking this is an accident (explosion) waiting to happen.

    Thanks!
    As others have said, Yes you need protection.

    Now I have a question? What is a 'balun", I have not heard that term.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  5. #5
    Robert Alexander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    I meant to say bollard - that is the correct term. A balun is used in video for changing from one type of cable to another. Sorry about the confusion.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Found it (I think)

    2000 IRC: 1307.3.1

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Can someone post a picture of a water heater that actually has a bollard in front of it?

    I've never seen one. I understand its need but it is something that is not enforced here the any AHJ I know of.

    The picture could be a reference for us to show clients.

    Thanks in advance.

    rick


  8. #8
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Can someone post a picture of a water heater that actually has a bollard in front of it?

    I've never seen one. I understand its need but it is something that is not enforced here the any AHJ I know of.

    The picture could be a reference for us to show clients.

    Thanks in advance. rick
    Rick,

    Someone will likely have to "Photoshop" the image. I've been looking, but have never seen one ... even though required. Like you say the AHJ just does not enforce that.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Rick,

    I will look, but no guarantees. I generally do not take pics of things that are correct.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Rick is found this diagram that Jerry M. posted a while back on this thread:
    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...er-heater.html

    Not a picture of a correct one, but a couple of diagrams and an incorrect installation.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Robert,

    A bollard is required, but it is to protect the gas piping from vehicle damage. This would be true for any gas piping if it is in a location that it could be hit by a vehicle.
    Actually, gas piping be damned! , it is to protect the water heater, and any appliance.

    And it does not need a "bollard", just "vehicle protection".

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - P2801.4 Prohibited locations.
    Water heaters shall be located in accordance with Chapter 20.
    - 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.

    - M2005.3 Electric water heaters. Electric water heaters shall
    also be installed in accordance with the applicable provisions of Chapters 33 through 42.


    "manufacturer’s installation instructions" will tell you to protect it from vehicle damage if installed in a garage.



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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    My area has them now and pretty much has for the last 10 years or so. On construction prior to that they were pretty scarce.

    In a cont. ed class once I was taught that they are supposed to also be in front of electric meters. Enforcement on that one is totally unheard of around here.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Rick,

    I will look, but no guarantees. I generally do not take pics of things that are correct.

    Gunnar,

    If you don't have one don't worry. Next one you come across if you can remember to take me a picture and email it to me or post it to this thread.

    I would appreciate it.

    Rick


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    From Jerry M's Post

    Bollard Protection today.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Rick,

    Here you go. The last one is the best of the lot. Actually, pretty good. I will email it too.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Gunnar,

    The 3rd photo is not filled with concrete. That pipe will just bend like a pretzel.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Gunnar,

    Thanks for posting those.

    rick


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Jerry,

    Not if you tap it very lightly with a "SmartCar".

    Rick,

    You are welcome.

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  19. #19
    Chris Roust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    To carry this a little further, how about "water heaters" used only as water storage tanks, the heating being done with a tankless coil in a boiler? Do these need vehicle protection? Also, do they need TPR's?


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Roust View Post
    To carry this a little further, how about "water heaters" used only as water storage tanks, the heating being done with a tankless coil in a boiler? Do these need vehicle protection? Also, do they need TPR's?
    Chris,

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - P2803.1 Relief valves required. Appliances and equipment used for heating water or storing hot water shall be protected by:
    - - 1. A separate pressure-relief valve and a separate temperature-relief valve; or
    - - 2. A combination pressure- and temperature-relief valve.


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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Ok... I'll add a picture also.
    I took it because it is unusual to see one.
    I started to wonder about the redneck ingenuity of using duct tape for everything, but, it was pretty strong tape, the thing wouldn't budge when I kicked it.

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  22. #22
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    Cool Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Hi Gunner

    I see a code violation on every one of your photos. It seems like when we are demonstrating a particular defect there's always another one somewhere in the background. That's why inspectors who include defect photos in their reports should be extra careful in what they are calling, or in particular, not calling out.

    PS: I'd bet you caught them all.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    .
    ---------------------------------demonstrating a particular defect ----
    OK I'll Bite,

    Lack of 1ft vertical rise on the vent pipe. Photo # 1-2

    T&P Discharge Line # 2-3 & 4.

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    If a bollard is too much trouble to install, you can always recommend a red Ferrari. It does a great job of stopping a vehicle.

    What amazes me more than anything about this picture is those Arkansas license plates.

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Hi Gunner

    I see a code violation on every one of your photos. It seems like when we are demonstrating a particular defect there's always another one somewhere in the background. That's why inspectors who include defect photos in their reports should be extra careful in what they are calling, or in particular, not calling out.

    PS: I'd bet you caught them all.
    Jerry Mc,

    Umm... probably not.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    This came up today on an inspection, and right there in the manuf. installation manual in "black and white" it states that a WH should be protected against damages from a moving vehicle.

    rick

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Protection from car hitting water heater

    Here is a picture of one I inspected today.

    Yes, I know the black foam insulation is in contact with the flue.

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