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  1. #1
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    Default Gas Water Heater Garage Coset

    House built 2002 with attached 2 car garage that has a utility closet built to house gas furnace and water heater. Walls have taped drywall and access is through double steel doors. One door has a closer, the other side doesn't. Threshold and jambs have typical seals for a smoke-heat rated door. No ventilation grills in doors, no fresh air inlet from outside of garage observed. No return or registers in garage. Nothing penetrating closet wall except door.

    The furnace sits up on part of air handler that puts the burners and motors more than 18" above floor. However, A State standard 50 Gal tank gas water heater sits on concrete floor, pilot light and all.

    Sorry, no pictures of doors because occupant's stuff was piled all over garage. The realtor moved some stuff just so I could get to the door.

    Opinions on installation. I haven't called it a deficiency yet. But I'm not comfortable with the installation. Feels kinda like one big "Gray Area"

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    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Gas Water Heater Garage Coset

    Stuart,

    This could be argued both ways. I would note that this is located adjacent to a garage and the reasons why the water heater is required to be raised in a garage and recommend that it be raised, even though it might not have been required by the local building department.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Gas Water Heater Garage Coset

    If it is in the garage (not the conditioned part of the house) the water heater ignition source must be 18" off the floor.
    Can't call the code right now, but it has been discussed here at length.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Gas Water Heater Garage Coset

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    ----- Walls have taped drywall No ventilation grills in doors, no fresh air inlet from outside of garage observed.

    Opinions on installation.
    Stuart,

    Source of combustion air? ( open ceiling to unconditioned space?)

    As Gunner stated not required.

    Could be written as Safety Concern (source of ignition of combustible vapor from the garage area.)

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    880

    Default Re: Gas Water Heater Garage Coset

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Stuart,

    Source of combustion air? ( open ceiling to unconditioned space?)

    As Gunner stated not required.

    Could be written as Safety Concern (source of ignition of combustible vapor from the garage area.)

    The only feasible source of combustion air would be through the vent chase up into the attic. This is a split foyer so the garage doesn't have an attic.

    I bet the builder argued the closet was built as part of the conditioned space since it is closed off from the garage and it has fire rated doors with a self closer. That in itself is a little funny since the garage access door from the house, not too far from the closet area, doesn't have a closer.

    So far, I have considered it a "what should be" safety issue.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  6. #6
    Mark Helbig's Avatar
    Mark Helbig Guest

    Default Re: Gas Water Heater Garage Coset

    Here's the illustration from my Code Check guide regarding WH installation

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Gas Water Heater Garage Closet

    Stuart,

    One thing you did not define (or I missed it).

    The room the water heater is in, is its floor raised or at garage level?

    If the floor is at garage level, the water heater will need to be raised.

    If the floor is raised, it 'might' be okay, depending on 'how high' the floor is raised - the ignition source (lowest flame or spark) needs to be 18" above the 'garage floor', so it might be okay if there is a 9" step and the burner is 9" above the raised floor (both unlikely).

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

  8. #8
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    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Default Re: Gas Water Heater Garage Closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Stuart,

    One thing you did not define (or I missed it).

    The room the water heater is in, is its floor raised or at garage level?

    If the floor is at garage level, the water heater will need to be raised.

    If the floor is raised, it 'might' be okay, depending on 'how high' the floor is raised - the ignition source (lowest flame or spark) needs to be 18" above the 'garage floor', so it might be okay if there is a 9" step and the burner is 9" above the raised floor (both unlikely).
    The floor isn't raised. The slab for the garage and the "closet" look like 2 different pours. The garage floor is about 9" inside the door/wall and has a curb that is about 1/2" high and 1-1/2" wide. The inside slab is below the top of the curb about an inch making it a little below the garage floor.

    The whole thing looks like it could be a "fix" to a design error (shown in wrong place), installer error ( put in wrong place), or "Stupid" error and maybe was a compromise to make the AHJ happy enough to let the builder finish. A hot housing market here in 2002 and very overloaded building inspectors. A lot of incompetent builders around then and unfortunately, they're still here.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  9. #9
    Steve Lowery's Avatar
    Steve Lowery Guest

    Default Re: Gas Water Heater Garage Coset

    I've a questioin RE the water heater drawing. Are gate valves, only, accepted? I can remember dozens that , after aging a bit , would not close downcompletely. Ball valves seem so much more reliable. Any reason they would be excluded?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Default Re: Gas Water Heater Garage Closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    The floor isn't raised. The slab for the garage and the "closet" look like 2 different pours. The garage floor is about 9" inside the door/wall and has a curb that is about 1/2" high and 1-1/2" wide. The inside slab is below the top of the curb about an inch making it a little below the garage floor.

    The whole thing looks like it could be a "fix" to a design error (shown in wrong place), installer error ( put in wrong place), or "Stupid" error and maybe was a compromise to make the AHJ happy enough to let the builder finish. A hot housing market here in 2002 and very overloaded building inspectors. A lot of incompetent builders around then and unfortunately, they're still here.
    Thanks guys!
    Final: Reported as safety hazard, why, and how to achieve correction (licensed professional plumber). Added that if the modification was not done now or immediate future, then please consider it when its time to replace the water heater.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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