Water Heaters

A permit is required for the installation of any water heater. Guidelines for the proper installation of water heaters are as follows:

Electric Water Heaters

  • A pan is required on all water heaters that are on the same elevation as the living area.
    • The pan must be at least one and a half inches (1½") deep.
    • The pan must have a one inch (1") drain line to the outside of the residence or to an approved location.
      • If it is structurally impossible to install a drain line to the outside, then the pan must have a fitting attachment that connects to a water hose and this fitting must be capped.
  • An alarm shall be installed to sound when activated by the presence of water.
  • A pressure relief valve must be installed.
    • The valve shall discharge outside but not more than two feet (2') nor less than six inches (6") above the ground/floor level, or as approved by the Building Official.
  • Unions must be installed on the water inlet and outlet.
    • Flex lines are acceptable on the cold water inlet and the hot water inlet.
    • Flex lines shall not be acceptable on pressure relief valves.
  • Water heaters shall have a shut off valve on the cold water pipe of the water heater to shut off the water supply.
  • Water heaters installed in garages and attics must have the water pipes insulated.
  • Water heaters installed in the garage must be elevated 18" off the garage floor unless the water heater is a sealed unit.
  • If the cold water line is being used for an electrical ground, then the cold water electric ground wire and clamp shall be secured to the pipe prior to the shut-off valve.

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters shall comply with the regulations above as well as with the following:
  • If the water heater is installed in a closet with a louvered door, the door shall be sealed with non-combustible material.
  • Fresh air shall be provided.
    • For lower combustion air, by means of a single metal wall duct. The duct shall be within 12" of the floor and shall extend six inches (6") above the insulation in the attic.
    • For upper combustion air, by means of a metal box installed in the ceiling of the room. The size of the opening shall be calculated at one inch (1") for every 4000 Btu/h of total demand.
  • The water heater must have a minimum of one inch (1") of clearance on the water heater vent from all combustible materials and must observe the manufacturer's specifications.
  • The gas stop must be a ball valve type and must be able to be shut off by hand.
  • The maximum length of a flex gas pipe is 36" and must be sized according to the demand of the water heater.