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  1. #1
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    Default Water heater clearance

    Is there a code requirement for space around an electric water heater. This one today was installed in the AC closet. In order to remove it, the air handler would first have to be removed or the wall would have to be removed.

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    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  2. #2
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
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    Default Re: Water heater clearance

    (bold is mine)
    Quote Originally Posted by william siegel View Post
    Is there a code requirement for space around an electric water heater.
    Bill,

    If nothing else, use 110.3(B) (listing and labeling) and 110.26 (working space).

    Being as that is "electrical equipment" and is " likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized", it must have the required 30" wide working space by 36" in front of the electrical access and service area (the elements and connection point), and an access path to that working space.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Water heater clearance

    Jerry,

    thanks.

    I also found: These units must remain accessible for service, inspection, and removal (IRC: 1305.1 and UPC:511.0) - but not until after I got some sleep last night.

    bill

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  4. #4
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
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    Default Re: Water heater clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by william siegel View Post
    I also found: These units must remain accessible for service, inspection, and removal (IRC: 1305.1 and UPC:511.0)
    Bill,

    Do not use those sections ... they do not apply in Florida, however, that same IRC wording is in the Florida Residential Code at 1305.1 - BUT ... Chapter 13 is Mechanical, not Plumbing.

    The closest Chapter 26, Plumbing, come to addressing something like this is: (because "plumbing" is basically "piping" and "fixtures", very few "appliances" other than the water heater)
    - P2608.2 Installation of materials.
    - - All materials used shall be installed in strict accordance with the standards under which the materials are accepted and approved. In the absence of such installation procedures, the manufacturer’s installation instructions shall be followed. Where the requirements of referenced standards or manufacturer’s installation instructions do not conform to the minimum provisions of this code, the provisions of this code shall apply.

    The above section is not real helpful as clearance specified for water heaters is rather limited, thus I dropped back to the NEC (because it was an electric water heater and is considered "electrical equipment").

    Anything that uses or is connected to electric is considered electrical equipment, and (because of electrical safety) the NEC as the most restrictive access, service and working space requirements.

    Here is another example: Mechanical codes and installation instructions only require 24" to 30" clearance at a/c equipment, however, being as they are also electrical equipment, the NEC supersedes at the service access area to the electrical parts with its 30" x 36" working space requirement.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Water heater clearance

    Wow,

    thanks Jerry

    Bill

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

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