Enclosing a water heater?

kjlyttleOctober 12, 2006

I all, I am new to this forum. I am remodeling my laundry room witch is currently in my garage. It is convieniently raised and easy to enclose and already has an air vent ducted to it! My question is about the water heater. I would like to enclose it so, well basically, I don't have to look at the ugly thing every day! Has anyone done this?

Thanks!

K

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rjoh878646

First question; is it gas or electric?

If it electric build a room around it with a solid door wide enough to remove the water heater. Job done.

If it is gas, locate your owners manual for the water heater. It should have specific clearance distances for combustibles when enclosing the water heater and air requirements. You can still build a room around it using the specific clearances,but the room may need to be drywalled on the inside.

The door will have to be a lovered type to let combustion air to the water heater. Or it will require a specific size ductwork going into the room as spelled out in the owners manual. then you can use a solid door.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 12:02PM
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rjoh878646

First question; is it gas or electric?

If it electric build a room around it with a solid door wide enough to remove the water heater. Job done.

If it is gas, locate your owners manual for the water heater. It should have specific clearance distances for combustibles when enclosing the water heater and air requirements. You can still build a room around it using the specific clearances,but the room may need to be drywalled on the inside.

The door will have to be a lovered type to let combustion air to the water heater. Or it will require a specific size ductwork going into the room as spelled out in the owners manual. then you can use a solid door.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 1:14PM
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pjb999

Would the ductwork provide adequate airflow if it's part of the hvac? What about when it's not running?

Louvered door's probably the way to go.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 5:32PM
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kudzu9

If I had a laundry room witch, I'd leave space for her to fly around...

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 2:35AM
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snoonyb

pjb999;

YOU CANNOT USE YOUR HVAC SYSTEM TO SUPPLY COMBUSTION AIR!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 6:56AM
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lazypup

Simply installing a louvered door would not meet code specifications.

Code is very specific about installing a solid, liquid or gasseous fired appliance in a confined space.

You would need to check your local code to find out what they classify as a confined space, by example, under the International Residential Code a confined space is any space that has less than 50cu.ft for each 1K/BTU of the burner.

Typically a 40gal water heater has a 50K/BTU burner.

Thus a confined space would be any space that has less than 50 x 50 = 2500cu.ft.

Allowing an average 8' ceiling a confined space would the be any room with 2,500 / 8 = 312.5sq.ft.

Using the square root of 312.5 we could then say a confined space is any room that is less than 17' x17' x 8' or equivalent.

When installing in a confined space we must then provide two openings from the confined space to an adjacent unconfined space. One opening must be within 12" of the ceiling and the second must be within 12" of the floor and each opening must have a minimum of 100sq.in.

When this is not desirable code allows installing ducted air flow from a crawlspace below, from the attic space above or through the wall. In each instance the method for computing the size of the ducting is different.

You would need to check your local code requirements very carefully before enclosing that gas water heater.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 3:09PM
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