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Gas water heater in attic?

Posted by jeanie_beth (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 9:31

My sister had a house built 5 years ago. She constantly has to relight the gas hot water heater as the pilot light keeps going out. The contractor installed a 50 gallon gas water heater in the attic of the house when it was built.

It just sits on the floor of the attic--it is NOT raised up so many inches off floor like most code requirements like just sits in a shallow pan on the attic floor.

I assume the pilot light keeps going out due to drafts in the attic from attic vents, HVAC unit, etc.

My question is is really safe to have a gas water heater installed in an attic like this? Is this up to code being in the attic?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Gas water heater in attic?

Many jurisdictions approved gas heaters in the attic but the only way of knowing if your sister's did is to call them and ask. Drafts in the attic shouldn't be strong enough to blow the pilot out. It is possible but uncommon for the flue to create stornge draft. The two most common culprits is thermocouple ( inexpensive and easy to replace) and pilot adjustment and/or cleaning ( not reccomended for any besides a professional or above average diyer) .

RE: Gas water heater in attic?

It'll suck if the plumbing ever leaks.

RE: Gas water heater in attic?

Water heaters in the attic were fairly common when I lived in Texas, but there were also quite a few horror stories. Leaks are the obvious hazard, but just wait until you have to do a standard replacement. Old water heaters are heavy, rusty and water-logged and you have to somehow get them out of the attic during a replacement. Not a fun job.

The pilot light blowing out sounds like a defect. There should not be enough draft in the attic to affect the pilot light.


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