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  1. #1
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    Default Alcove for gas equipment

    Is there a minimum width requirement for protection of gas equipment such that a post is not required. Basically, if an opening is 3 feet I know a car can't hit the stuff. 4 ft ? Probably not. This opening is 6 feet... How wide is a Geo Metro anyway?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Couldn't the bollard be installed when they raise the equipment the required 18 inches off the garage floor?

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Billy,

    Pretty much what I was thinking.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Couldn't the bollard be installed when they raise the equipment the required 18 inches off the garage floor?

    If it is a sealed burner, it is not required to be 18" off of the floor.

    BTW...

    Where does a sealed burner unit get it's combustion air from? Seems to me that the combustion air would have to come from around the burner area, which would negate the allowance to be on the floor.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Randolph View Post
    If it is a sealed burner, it is not required to be 18" off of the floor.

    BTW...

    Where does a sealed burner unit get it's combustion air from? Seems to me that the combustion air would have to come from around the burner area, which would negate the allowance to be on the floor.

    From State Water Heaters Technical Reference:

    On July 1, 2003, all residential gas water heater manufacturers introduced 30, 40 and 50-gallon atmospheric models with "Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant" design. Every manufacturer's design must meet standards and protocols established by the American National Standards Institute (ANS Z21.10.1). And, while all manufacturers' designs are unique in some respects, all incorporate the following features:
    • A Flame Arrestor, located beneath the burner, designed to permit combustion air to flow up through it to sustain combustion, but to prevent flames from escaping downward through it in the event of flammable vapor ignition.
    • A Thermal Cutoff switch (TCO), designed to shut the unit down when it senses excessive temperatures caused by inadequate combustion air inside the combustion chamber
    Dom.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Page from AO Smith Installation manual . (bottom left paragraph. )

    Does not instill confidence with this type of install.

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Is there a minimum width requirement for protection of gas equipment such that a post is not required. Basically, if an opening is 3 feet I know a car can't hit the stuff. 4 ft ? Probably not. This opening is 6 feet... How wide is a Geo Metro anyway?
    It is too bad that the code does provide actual dimensional requirements instead of leaving the requirement in the grey area. I just tell people that it looks like smaller car's could hit the gas appliances, and recommend a bollard/ protective device when that is the case.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Does not instill confidence with this type of install.
    So basically, even though it is designed to prevent a flashback of ignitable vapors, they do not recommend installation in the same area where flamable liquids / vapors are present (aka garages).

    Maybe I will start recommending 18" elevation for sealed burners to comply with installation directions.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Randolph View Post
    So basically, even though it is designed to prevent a flashback of ignitable vapors, they do not recommend installation in the same area where flamable liquids / vapors are present (aka garages).

    Although I understand what you mean, that isn't necessarily what is written.

    They state "not to store or use flammable liquids/vapors near the appliance".

    Dom.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Although I understand what you mean, that isn't necessarily what is written.

    They state "not to store or use flammable liquids/vapors near the appliance".

    Dom.
    Actually, what it says is ("it" being the link Billy provided): (underlining is mine)

    INSTALLATIONS IN AREAS WHERE FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS (VAPORS) ARE LIKELY TO BE PRESENT OR STORED (GARAGES, STORAGE AND UTILITY AREAS, ETC.): Flammable liquids (such as gasoline, solvents, propane (LP or butane, etc.) and other substances (such as adhesives, etc.) emit flammable vapors which can be ignited by a gas water heaterís pilot light or main burner. The resulting flashback and fire can cause death or serious burns to anyone in the area. Even though this water heater is a flammable vapors ignition resistant water heater and is designed to reduce the chances of flammable vapors being ignited, gasoline and other flammable substances should never be stored or used in the same vicinity or area containing a gas water heater or other open flame or spark producing appliance.


    Also, the water heater must be located and/or protected so it is not subject to physical damage by a moving vehicle.

    To me, that says 'Yeah, this water heater meets the exception which allows it to not have to be raised 18" above the garage floor - but - you really should not install this water heater in garages, and, if you do, our attorneys can point to the warnings on this page to make you go away for less money because you did not heed those warnings and installed it in a garage anyway'.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Sorry Jerry, I disagree.

    "It" doesn't say "do not install the water heater near those items".

    "It" does say "do not store those items near the heater".

    There is a difference.

    Dom.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post


    "It" does say "do not store those items near the heater".


    Dom.
    .
    Or Used in the same vicinty.

    Do you own an electric car ?


    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 05-29-2008 at 03:52 PM. Reason: same vicinty
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Sorry Jerry, I disagree.

    "It" doesn't say "do not install the water heater near those items".

    "It" does say "do not store those items near the heater".

    There is a difference.

    Dom.
    Dom,

    Read what it says, I'll even underline DIFFERENT parts for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    INSTALLATIONS IN AREAS WHERE FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS (VAPORS) ARE LIKELY TO BE PRESENT OR STORED (GARAGES, STORAGE AND UTILITY AREAS, ETC.): Flammable liquids (such as gasoline, solvents, propane (LP or butane, etc.) and other substances (such as adhesives, etc.) emit flammable vapors which can be ignited by a gas water heaterís pilot light or main burner. The resulting flashback and fire can cause death or serious burns to anyone in the area. Even though this water heater is a flammable vapors ignition resistant water heater and is designed to reduce the chances of flammable vapors being ignited, gasoline and other flammable substances should never be stored or used in the same vicinity or area containing a gas water heater or other open flame or spark producing appliance.
    That's telling you 'Hey, DUMMY, *IF YOU PUT THAT IN THAT GARAGE* ... the following things might just happen to you.'

    "designed to reduce the chances", not 'eliminate' the risk, just *reduce* the chances.

    Now let's get to the real important part ...

    "INSTALLATIONS IN AREAS WHERE FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS (VAPORS) ARE LIKELY TO BE PRESENT OR STORED (GARAGES ... gasoline and other flammable substances should never be stored or used in the same vicinity or area containing a gas water heater or other open flame or spark producing appliance."

    Okay, now what that is saying, and this is not me making it up ... IF YOU INSTALL THIS GAS WATER HEATER IN A GARAGE ... YOU SHOULD NEVER PARK YOUR CAR IN THE GARAGE ... after all, *there is gasoline stored in the car's gas tank*.

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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Jerry,

    For someone (*yourself*) that so often likes to quote EXACTLY what is written, I am always amazed when you add your own interpretations & ideas and then try to justify them.

    You can Cut, Paste, Underline, & Bold all day long, because I know you feel compelled to thrash me to see things *your way* for another 72 posts.

    Dom.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    In my reports that is not an approved installation. The plumber and HVAC guy can override me if they like.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    For someone (*yourself*) that so often likes to quote EXACTLY what is written,

    That's what I'm trying to get to you to do, read what is written, "EXACTLY what is written", then you will, or, should I say, 'should' understand that it says for installation in which you install that in garages, you "should never" store "gasoline" in the same vicinity or area.

    Now, if the water heater is in *the garage*, what else do you suppose is stored in the garage and which gasoline is stored in?

    Any ideas?

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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    I never said not to store flammables liquids near the appliance. That's a given.

    I was pointing out your claim that the unit shouldn't be installed in certain areas, which is not true, in fact it's the other way around.

    Confused? Well I'm not, and this thread bores me now.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Thanks guys... I'm bored now too. So, does anyone have an answer to the original question. Brandon eluded to it but nobody has really come out and answered it.

    Is there a minimum alcove width that eliminates the requirement to have a post? Or, are we just supposed to measure across our hoods and hope for the best?


  19. #19

    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Or, are we just supposed to measure across our hoods and hope for the best?
    I have asked clients if they had small cars in the past, and told them to measure and decide from there.....sorry Matt, that's all I got.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    I never said not to store flammables liquids near the appliance. That's a given.

    I was pointing out your claim that the unit shouldn't be installed in certain areas, which is not true, in fact it's the other way around.

    Confused? Well I'm not, and this thread bores me now.
    Dom,

    I'm sure you are bored now, that's the best way for you to leave it.

    A garage is intended as a place in which one parks vehicles. Vehicles are powered by gasoline (most of them are, anyway), and they have gas tanks in which they store that gasoline.

    That instruction says never store gasoline in the same area as that water heater.

    Thus, if you put the water heater in the garage, you should never store gasoline in the garage - that is exactly what it says.

    So, what do you do ... park you car half in the garage and half out, with the gasoline storage tank out?

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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I'm sure you are bored now, that's the best way for you to leave it.
    Yes it is, you bore me. Very astute of you to finally pick that up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That instruction says never store gasoline in the same area as that water heater.
    Duh!!, I have been saying that all along. Try to keep up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Thus, if you put the water heater in the garage, you should never store gasoline in the garage - that is exactly what it says.
    Yes, you should not store flammable liquids around the appliance. We have been over that many times. Do we need flash cards as a study aid?

    There's no shame in admitting you are confused Jerry, just say so and move along.

    Although you have 68 more posts to go to convince everyone of some imaginary concept that has become completely obscured already, Kudos on having the last word.

    Dom.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Alcove or not, you can't get away from the bollard requirement. A well made bollard will help to prevent smacking the appliance w/the car much better than the house framing. Probably cost less to fix, too, than the wall. As far as the gasoline thing, the 18" off the floor was designed to lessen the chances of ignition.
    How do you turn off the freakin' underline???


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    I'm glad it's too cold in winter up here for anyone in their right mind to even try to put a water heater in a garage or attic.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    I talked to a friend at who's a local building inspector for the county. In a plumbing class recently he learned all about the testing and requirements for the non-elevated water heaters.

    They even went so far as to test two water heaters side by side by putting a bunch of gas fumes next to them, one with the sealed burner and the other without. The older style burned right up and the newer type didn't.

    There's a specific ANSI number that must be present for it to be allowed to sit directly on the ground. He's going to be sending it to me and I'll post it here.

    I can see a bit of a problem with installers just thinking they can put any 'newer' water heater directly on the ground. I'm surprised that there aren't more of these out there. I saw the first one at least a year or more ago. Usually, Oregon is the last place any 'new' technology shows up.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    It is the "Direct-Vent" water heater that is allowed to sit on the floor. This type of heater gets all of its conbustion air from the outside. All other gas water heaters must be raised ( including electric ) so that the point of conbustion is at least 18" above floor. Also I would say that more protection is needed for the appliances ... steel pole.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    G2408.2 Elevation of ignition source.
    Equipment and appliances having an ignition source shall be elevated such that the source of ignition is not less than 18 inches above the floor in hazardous locations and private garages. For the purpose...

    Exception: Elevation of the ignition source is not required for appliances that are listed as flammable vapor resistant and for installation without elevation.

    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 06-06-2008 at 05:00 PM.
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    Exclamation Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    All other gas water heaters must be raised ( including electric )

    When electric vs. gas water heater discussed here a long time ago, about being raised, I called a manufacture and they chuckled. I was doing a new home and the electric water heater was on the floor in the garage. There was a technical number to call in the instructions. I can't recall the manufacture but when I asked them about the height requirement they "Chuckled". They said now why would you need to raise it when the electrical and elements are in the unit and there is no contacts or switches in the unit that will be affected. Then they said "no" it does not need to be on a stand.
    So before anyone replies on this, call any manufacture and get there response first.

    The starter motor (which is close to the floor) on your car would be prone to be a better ignition source then and electric water heater.

    Last edited by Mike Schulz; 06-07-2008 at 04:43 AM. Reason: spell check
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Electric water heaters do have an ignition source, the thermostat contact points which make or break creating a spark.
    That said, my electric w/h is on the floor of my garage since it was there when I bought the place and I figure the chances are somewhere between slim and none that it would cause a fire. It is on a 4" curb and the rest of the floor slopes another 2" to the door and the lower access panel is another 6-10 inches up the side of the heater behind insulation. I have not taken this one apart to see if there is a thermostat on the bottom element or just the top.
    BUT, all my reports call out a electric heater that is on the floor of a garage since my state SOP tells me to.

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    When electric vs. gas water heater discussed here a long time ago, about being raised, I called a manufacture and they chuckled. I was doing a new home and the electric water heater was on the floor in the garage. There was a technical number to call in the instructions. I can't recall the manufacture but when I asked them about the height requirement they "Chuckled". They said now why would you need to raise it when the electrical and elements are in the unit and there is no contacts or switches in the unit that will be affected. Then they said "no" it does not need to be on a stand.
    So before anyone replies on this, call any manufacture and get there response first.

    The starter motor (which is close to the floor) on your car would be prone to be a better ignition source then and electric water heater.
    Why would you call a manufacture rep to find an opinion that is less stringent than the International Plumbing Code. The code councel rendered an opinion more than 10 years ago. And for the rep to say that the electrical is in the unit, so no problem, I didn't follow that line of thinking. You have 240 vac feeding a 2500 to 5000 watt element controled by contacts making and breaking to turn on/off the element, in my world =s sparks.

    The safety of the public should be first and formost.

    I measured my starter and it was more than 18"s,......... I have never rendered an opinion on the safety of vehicles in a garage tho.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    As for the code show me where they say electric water heaters. When they speak of ignition source they are referring to pilot or igniter which is open. Now that the new ones are sealed that has changed.

    The thermostats are sealed units no open contacts for spark.

    Like I said the manufacture (of that particular brand) and the local AHJ doesn't require it. I was calling it out until I called one. Call one and see!

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    As for the code show me where they say electric water heaters. When they speak of ignition source they are referring to pilot or igniter which is open. Now that the new ones are sealed that has changed.
    "The 1997 Internatinal Plumbing Code Commentary" is the oldest one I have at home, earllier ones at office. Section 502.2 page 130.

    This problem is why they changed the wording from ignition device to ignition source.

    The thermostats are sealed units no open contacts for spark.

    I have never seen a thermostat that is sealed, which heater manufacture is providing heaters with these installed?

    Like I said the manufacture (of that particular brand) and the local AHJ doesn't require it. I was calling it out until I called one. Call one and see!
    Have set in training sessions with three of the biggest 5 water heater manufactures and have never heard this.
    I know they say that the new gas water heaters do not need to be raised, for safety purposes, but the requirement is still up to the local official.

    Do you know what happens to some of these gas heaters when they have flammable fumes introduced to the burner chamber? Rheem for example voids the warranty and suggest changing the wtr htr. If it was on a stand it might not of happened. Other companys treat the incident differently, but at a cost to the home owner.


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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    I agree 100% about raising gas water heaters. I was giving an example about being closed inside of the unit like a electric water heater. They don't require raising the new gas water heaters (but they should) and until someone shows me different they don't require electric.

    As posted above we can give opinions all day long but until you call any manufacture and post there reply here I think this post is done.

    Thanks

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    I agree the thread is done, I was only ref. the IRC commentary, not a manufacture of water heaters.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Mike,

    The following is from the IRC ... and are "requirements": (underlining is mine)


    IGNITION SOURCE. A flame, spark or hot surface capable of igniting flammable vapors or fumes. Such sources include appliance burners, burner ignitions and electrical switching devices.


    (thermostats are not "sealed", even if 'sealed' - that does not say 'except for sealed switching devices' - by the way, a "sealed" switching device would be contained within an explosion proof housing, and thermostats are not)

    - P2801.2 Installation. Water heaters shall be installed in accordance
    with this chapter and Chapters 20 and 24.


    - P2801.6 Water heaters installed in garages. Water heaters having an ignition source shall be elevated such that the source of ignition is not less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the garage floor.





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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    As for the code show me where they say electric water heaters. When they speak of ignition source they are referring to pilot or igniter which is open. Now that the new ones are sealed that has changed.
    Mike,

    I understand your conundrum. I often get different answers when I contact the local building department and the manufacturer with the same question. I have a similar problem with water heaters in manufactured homes.

    I believe that when the code specifies ignition source, it is referring to anything that can ignite, otherwise it would have specified pilot or igniter. Codes are often written with the intent that the tradesman and inspector can identify something by its general description rather than a specific name. However, this does not always work out. In some cases, the code writers have been forced to be more specific in their language when a code is misinterpreted on a large scale. This may well become one of those items.

    Inspection is not always black & white, there are many shades of gray. The final word is what I choose to write in my report. I have to stand by it. And, I have to live with my decision. It may well differ with another person's belief, opinion or knowledge. If someone asks me why I made a particular comment, I give them my reasoning and let them decide whether or not it has merit.

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    Default Re: Alcove for gas equipment

    What gets me is why don't they just say all water heaters. Is there a water heater that doesn't have a switch or igniter? A storage tank is not a water heater maybe that's why they wrote it that way.........Who knows.

    Here is a real interesting read.
    ICC Bulletin Board: Water Heater in Garage

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