Electrical Water Heater in Garage

Help me with the local plumber. I am getting the run around from the local plumber saying that electrical water heaters don’t need to be raised the 18". I have always written them up as needing to be raised because the source of ign. was the element and that the irc covered that. They are now trying to say that the upc only covers gas water heaters in the garage and that the electrical ones do not count. I know this has been covered before, but I need some backup on this one.
thanks ahead of time for your help.


I never write up electric H2o heaters. That has been debated many times over. Are the elements not already 18’ up on the heater? The elements do not arc unless there is a problem and if that was the concern; why have receptacles with 18’ of the floor?