Furnace 18" Above Floor

Can anyone tell me exactly when the building or gas “code” was adopted that required gas furnaces and/or water heaters to be installed 18" above a residential garage floor ? If this “code” or the existance of a health/safety concern was not called out in an inspection, might an inspector be liable for an omission ? What if the “code” was not in effect when the home was constructed ? Can a gas supplier attempt to enforce the new code on a home that was built before the code was enacted ? I think you can see my predicament !!! Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Even though it’s great to know your local and national codes when inspecting a home, it’s not required to know all codes, especially if you’re not a code inspector.

When I perform home inspections on the older homes, I don’t break out my code book to determine when a specific code was enacted. All issues (within a home) will get written up, and there will be NO code reference’s to back up my findings. I simply write up issues because they are defective, becoming defective or are simply a safety issue.

It sounds as if you have someone stepping on your toes. Did you not write up a furnace for having it’s burners below the required 18" height in a garage?

Jack, keep in mind the wording of the IRC and Fuel Gas Code regarding this.

The inherent design of the equipment may very well have the pilot light, ignition coil or other means of ignition already 18" above the bottom of the equipment and would, therefore, not require the equipment to be elevated. The 18" is to the source of ignition, not the bottom of the equipment. That may or may not help with your dilemma.

Jack, it would be a safety hazard regardless when the code was adopted, IMO.