A question about water heaters

Do water heaters always have to be elevated and if so what is the reasoning?

No. They only have to be elevated in garages. And even then only some of them have to be. In a garage, gas fumes accumulate at the floor. The ignition source of the water heater, can (and has) ignite those fumes and burn down the house. Elevating the water heater 18 inches, places it above those fumes, thus reducing the probability of an explosion.

I knew about garages but didn’t know if one would have to be elevated in a basement or not. Alway better to double check I guess…thanks

Keep in mind that you are in MO. Some of those homes are Garage/Basements if I remember right. Im talking about the homes built into a hill side where the basement/garage is usually on the backside of the home. Please correct me if im wrong which im sure some people will.

In garages and rooms that open directly into garages, all sources of ignition (includes thermostat, elements etc for electric water heaters) must be 18 inches above the floor.

You know Chuck, I have thought the same thing and have been writing them up as such for the last couple of years. The 2006 IRC Commentary doesn’t seem to support that though or, at least, it is ‘qualified’…see the last sentence of the 1st paragraph:

Thanks guys…the home does have a garage but it is above grade and the basement is just a basement…no issues.