Water heater tank in closet

attofaradFebruary 24, 2011

As part of my remodel, the spot where my tank water heater was is gone, so I'm trying to find it a new home.

One possibility, if legal, is to make it a closet, which would have a door either to a hallway or to the kitchen. I'd like the make the closet as small as practical, so as not to use a lot of space. This is a single story house, built over a crawl space.

Does this meet current code and good practice? I can put an intake vent to the crawl space if that is a good idea. I'm assuming that the closet door should seal pretty well.

How much clearance will I need on the sides, back, and front, to make install/removal easy to do?



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Electric is no big deal. Gas is whole different thing -- cannot go in sealed space. What do you have?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 10:58PM
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Gas. Obviously it cannot be sealed, but can the intake
come from the crawl space, or how?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 11:10PM
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A louvered door would provide for intake, as would a grille that covers a cut-out in the door. (12" x 12" should be sufficient)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 2:48PM
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I am sure that it can come in from the crawl space and that would be much better than an opening into the rest of the house is the closet is to be sealed well. It would be nice if you could wire an interlocked draft device to the water heater like can be done with a furnace or boiler. I don't know if that is possible with a generic tank water heater. Either way, there have got to be established procedures for the intake area. If the climate makes it subject to frosting up, you really do need the safety devices.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 6:35PM
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I believe code prohibits combustible air from being drawn from inside the house and the closet has to be sealed.

IIRC combustible air can be drawn from under the house and the vent must go up through the roof from the closet.

Check local code.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:38PM
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Thanks for the replies, I'll check local knowledge.

No freezing possible here, at least in a somewhat protected closet, until the next ice age.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:53PM
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Since it's a hallway, louvered door.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:24AM
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When I mentioned frosting up, I meant the outside air supply frosting closed not something in the closet freezing. Ducts providing combustion air have been known to become occluded with frost causing CO production. You need to be aware of that and the remedies in a cold climate.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 8:21PM
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How much wider does the closet need to be than the water heater tank, for reasonably easy install/removal? I'm thinking about 3" on each side. I do not want to use more than I need to, as it removes space from my kitchen (and my DW is complaining).

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:16PM
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