Water Heater Clearance

Home Forums Public Forums General Plumbing Water Heater Clearance

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    • #273557
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        Is there a minimum distance for which a gas water heater can be installed next to a gas furnace? My current water heater is 4 in. away and a larger replacement (without moving existing water lines) would bring them to 2 in. apart.
        Thanks and sorry if this post was repeated.

      • #288016
        Avatar photoHarold Kestenholz

          This would be a matter for the local code official. The manufacturer literature specifies for distances from combustibles; the appliance is not considered a combustible. the manufacturer also specifies clearances for service and venting. These are the ordinary specifications. Appliances sold as one product include these specifications. Independently sold appliances do not usually include directions for other appliances.

          The remainder is prudence. If the new installation will make it difficult to test the relief valve, drain periodically, service the appliances and their gas controls or create a danger from surrounding machinery, then these must be corrected. The official may be concerned about replacement or removal in the future as well. The local officials make the decision.

        • #288017
          Avatar photoSylvanLMP

            Harold what about the “free air” for proper combustion if both appliances fire at once?

            Is the existing flue piping large enough to properly vent both of these appliances at once?

            Is the existing gas lines large enough to carry enough CU ft of fuel to all of this equipment what provisions are allowed for a spill switch to prevent the furnace from sucking in CO in case of spillage? Ah the joys of adding one appliance huh?

            We better pull a jack and run to a home center clerk huh?

          • #288018
            Avatar photofourth year

              Adding? No. Replacing? Yes.

            • #288019
              Avatar photoGuest


                You’ve become obsessed with me. Time to make another appointment with the psychiatrist.


              • #288020
                Avatar photoHarold Kestenholz

                  Good points, Sylvan. Just because a unit was there before, it doesn’t mean it was installed properly then. The manufacturer’s literature does mention venting requirements. This would be a good time to double-check that they comply. It is not automatically a fact that a code inspector will look at a replacement job. The safety of these objects is very often compromised by inattention to detail and assumptions. There isn’t a mention here of where the items are. Garage and basement installations can require stands to keep them above the floor 18 inches with a drain pan. There are many questions here that can be asked.

                • #288021
                  Avatar photoSylvanLMP

                    Harold, this is FUN thinking of all the possibilites And Here guys like the Jacklegs can go to a home center and get one answer that fits all I am impressed with them and the lack of mentality. Keep guessing until you run out of options seems to work.

                    Who needs directions and codes

                  • #288022
                    Avatar photoSylvanLMP

                      Harold NOW you see why the plumber that Nick told us about had his license REVOKED for sending out an apprentice/helper.

                      Seems apprentices NEVER read directions or follow simple instructions WE NEED a longer apprenticeship as 5 years just doesn’t seem to work any more.

                      The 10,000 hours I went through plus class room 720 hours is a GREAT start but not enough time to learn to be a decent journeyman with all the new aspects in this profession.

                      You see an apprentice would never think about code changes or bothering to actually look up the ACTUAL BTU input or output of an appliance he/she would just be a replacement “specialist” as “helpers” are known to cut corners in every aspect of of the job as they just don’t know better.

                      I failed more apprentices for NOT reading the questions presented and not ASSUME

                      For example the above gentleman said
                      “My current water heater is 4 in. away and a larger replacement ”

                      This lack of thinking that a “helper” has could get someone killed.

                      The above writer said Larger But never mentioned how much larger in BTU thus possibly affecting the actual burner size (input required) and flue piping.

                      A simple helper would take out a heater and install another one with total disregard to free air or actual burner consumption.

                      Helpers are by no stretch of the imagination skilled and aren’t even considered a mechanic by anyone except in their own minds and CRIMINAL plumbers who send these untrained folks out to do whatever a helper does as it sure aint plumbing or heating.

                      More then ever the consumer should ask to see either the journeyman’s license Or the Licensed Master plumber.

                      Too many Jacklegs out there thinking they know better.

                      I had one Jackass say you don’t need a Hartford loop if you have either a low water cut off Or an automatic feeder on a steam boiler

                      Harold, TRAINING and more training is the answer and more stringent testing especially in reading and understanding the various codes we need to follow.

                      Harold keep on posting as your keeping the heating profession on its toes.

                      Thank you again.

                  Viewing 7 reply threads
                  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

                  Pin It on Pinterest

                  Share This