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just what you should know
You may live in an area of the country where most water heaters are located in the garage. It is
okay to have water heaters in the garage but there are several details that you will need to
understand. The authority on determining what the requirements are when it comes to residential
water heater installation and safety is the ICC (International Code Council). The following material
is taken from the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) section P2801.6 and P2803.6.1
Water heaters having an ignition source will be elevated to make sure that the source of ignition is
not less than 18" above the garage floor. An ignition source may be many things, including an
open flame, electrical switch, open resistance heating coils, or an electrical igniter unit. Household
garages have a substantial potential for volatile liquids, such as gasoline and paint thinners which
may spill or leak from their containers. Because the vapors from these types of liquids are heavier
than air, they concentrate right above floor level, posing an explosion threat in garages with a
water heater. home inspector training
Lots of electric water heater thermostats have enclosed contacts, but they are not sealed gas
tight. Therefore, if ever an electric water heater with an ignition source located less than 18" from
the bottom of the unit, it is required that the unit be elevated so that the ignition source
(thermostat) is at least 18" above the garage floor. Electric water heaters having every switching
controls located above 18" from the bottom of the water heater are not required to be elevated.
Gas-fired appliances must comply with the elevation requirement for elevation above the garage
floor, but have an exception in order to allow gas-fired appliances having flammable vapor ignition
resistant (FVIR) design to be installed without elevating the unit.
Jim Estrada is the owner of Property Inspectors LLC. They are a recognized provider of
residential property inspection services in Seattle, WA. We go places where many other
inspectors won't. Consult them today to get your comprehensive home inspection purchased
home inspection institute or give them a call at 425-985-3289.For additional info on property
inspections, also look at .