Do all gas water heaters need to be raised?

A local plumbing company stated that a 2002 gas water heater with a push button igniter does not need to be raised off of the garage slab… Any thoughts?



He’s probably the plumber who’s sniffed way too much primer that installed it. Behind that little blue piece of sheet metal at the base of the water heater is a FIRE.

Is that a garage or a basement? We don’t see many attached CMU garages around here.

P.S. where does the TPR valve drain go?

Attached garage

The TPR pipe has been attached to the original pipe exiting the residence

That type needs to be raised 18 inches if in the garage.

It’s almost 17 years old. Hope you tell the buyer it’s end of life as well. Some plumbers charge $1500 for a new water heater install.

The client is aware of the age of the water heater

It is my understanding that the 18" above garage floor standard applies to both gas and electric water heaters. My narrative reads as follows: “Water heaters are commonly considered an ignition source. Gas fumes can settle near the floor, possibly igniting due to pilot lights or heating elements in the water heater. An exception would be if the water heater is rated for floor installation. Such a determination is beyond the scope of this inspection.”

I would be interested to hear other perspectives.

The label on the heater warns of the fire hazard. Appliances installed in garage below 6 feet in FL required to have vehicle strike protection. That code may not have applied when that unit was installed but new units should be installed to the new requirements. This unit appears to be at or beyond the life expectancy .

Suggestion to add to your narrative:

**Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant **(FVIR) water heaters incorporate design features that make them resistant to igniting flammable vapors such as gasoline, cleaning solvents, and paint thinner outside of the water heater.

I always get a kick out of the crazy shiit builders and contractors come up with to feed to the unwitting.

Have them replace the copper gas line while they’re at it.

Many AHJ’s don’t give a rats arse about FVIR. If Code says raise it, raise it you will!

BS! Not me…I’m retired. LOLLOLLOL! :smiley:

Most gas water heaters in the 30-50 gallon range sold/manufactured in America since 2003 are FVIR (flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant) By 2005, all sold are FVIR. If a water heater is FVIR, it does not have to be elevated when installed in the garage.

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And a sediment trap.

However, the WH in the OP is Not FVIR.

Therefore, it should be raised.

Why did you post this here? This is not a post about tank less water heaters, is there something I am missing?

Now moving on…

My answer to this question would be no, not all gas water heaters need to be raised, but to recommend further evaluation by a qualified plumber. Under the title home inspector we are not code inspectors, builders, electricians, plumbers, roofers, hvac, or what have you. As a home inspector code doesn’t dictate our inspection, what the code says is not a reason to flag something. This should be flagged as a material defect for safety reasons, further evaluation by a qualified plumber recommended. The plumber can worry about the local code. Where I live we have basements, the water heater is on the floor of the basement with extremely rare exception(apts). An hour southeast they mainly have crawl spaces with the water heater in the kitchen or bathroom closest, on the floor. The only time I have seen a raised water heater was in my uncles garage in CA. I do recommend knowing local codes for many items and keeping current so you don’t get made to look ignorant, but because several comments on here were based on local code it made the commenter look ignorant to me as a home inspector in training. There are safety reasons behind local codes but as a home inspector the code is not important, the reason for the code is why we are there, safety and function. Is the comment about replacing the copper gas line something with local code as well? Copper is what is still primarily used in my area. Any further insight would be appreciated as I am still extremely ignorant!

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Because it’s spam and why I flagged it as such.