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Even More Info On Water Heaters Installed In The Garage

By Expert Author: Nga Beachman

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 although there are a few important things that you should be aware of. The authority on determining what the criteria are for residential water heater installment as well as safety is the ICC (International Code Council). The following info is taken from the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) section P2801.6 and P2803.6.1 commentary.

Water heaters having an ignition source shall be elevated to make sure that the source of ignition is not lower than 18" above the garage floor. An ignition source may be numerous things, including things like an open flame, electrical switch, open resistance heating coils, or even an electrical igniter unit. Household garages have a substantial potential for volatile liquids, for example gasoline and also paint thinners that can spill or maybe leak from their containers. Because the vapors coming from these liquids are heavier than air, they concentrate just above floor level, posing an explosion risk in garages having a water heater.
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Several electric water heater thermostats have enclosed contacts, but they are just not sealed gas tight. That is why, if an electric water heater with an ignition source located less than 18" from the bottom of the unit, it is mandated that the unit be elevated so the ignition source (thermostat) is at least 18" above the garage floor. Electric water heaters having all switching controls located above 18" from the bottom of the water heater are not required to be elevated.

Gas-fired appliances have to comply with the elevation requirement for elevation above the garage floor, but have an exception so as to enable gas-fired appliances having flammable vapor ignition resistant (FVIR) design to be installed without elevating the unit.

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