Moving Water heater & AC

vidyap7January 27, 2008


I have a question about the water heater/heating & AC in my basement. They are in a corner which is away from places where the water is used. Is it worth it to move them before finishing the basement? Here is a rough sketch:


:----------------------------------------------- :










Here, the S (Source) is where the water comes into the house. The Laundry(L) and Kitchen(K) and Powder(P) room are on the first floor while the Common bathroom(C), Master bathroom(M) and a toilet and sink (T) are on the second floor. The AC & water heater (WH) units are in the other corner, far away from the usage points.

If it's easily done, I would like to move them to under the Laundry/Kitchen area. I feel that would be more efficient in terms of less heat loss and also, it would give me a long stretch of basement area in one length. The stairs come into the basement in the middle, so I don't think that would be a good place to put it in.

We have dual zone AC and the basement one heats the first floor. The attic one heats the second floor and is somewhat centrally located.

So, would you please let me know if it makes sense to move them or is not worth the effort? I don't want to spend too much money on this if the gain in efficiency is not that much. The basement area is about 1300 sq ft.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

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Are your water heater and furnace gas or electric? If gas, they need to be in proximity of a chimney or flue unless yours are high efficiency ones which exhaust through the side of your house. In either case they should be near a floor drain or plumbing connection for overflow and condensation.

So, I cannot advise where to locate the appliances but do have a couple thoughts.

You could install a recirculating pump in your hot water system. This basically involves a second supply line and keeps the pipes filled with hot water all the time so it arrives almost instantly.

Or, practice closing a drain and filling with only hot water. By the time sufficient water has filled the basin the initial cold water has been warmed. Took be awhile to make this habitual but it saves water being wasted awaiting for the hot water to arrive.

Your washer might have a heater in it. If not your future one will.

I would only relocate the appliances if it made for a more useful basement. I would put a pan under the water heater to catch a future leak and direct it toward a drain rather than allow water to run onto the floor of your finished basement.

Hope these thoughts help, good luck.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 7:10PM
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Thanks for your reply. Now I understand why it's placed in that corner.

It's a gas furnace and I have the first floor and master bedroom fireplaces right above them - the chimney for exhaust :)

Thanks for solving this mystery which has been bugging me for the past 9 years - I just couldn't understand why it made sense to place this so far away from the source and points of use.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 11:55AM
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Glad the mystery has been solved.

My furnace and water heater are sort of in the middle of the basement - not where I wish they were. If you go to "My Page" I have a link where you can view the plan of our basement and some photos. This may give you ideas about how to deal with your situation.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 6:06PM
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