Gas Fired Pool Heaters

It seems that every gas fired pool heater I find is missing a drip leg and has the shut off valve on the equipment side of the union instead of the supply side. This doesn’t seem right to me but does anyone know where I can find definitive information so I can provide a source when questioned by the client?

In 14 years and 11,800+ inspections, I can count on one hand the number of times I have found the dirt leg. I explored the lack of them back in 2003 or so and was told by many plumbers, as well as SDG&E, that they are not required here and that, generally, they are not used west of the Mississippi River. Apparently gas west of the River is cleaner than gas east of the River. I have not explored the issue since then, and I don’t even bother noting anymore that there isn’t a dirt leg.

I have the same problem here in AZ with gas fired appliances so I, if possible, look for manufacturers installation instructions. Most always see one recommended

But if you read further, you’ll usually find that the manufacturer will defer to local building codes. In the absence of local building codes (such as in some of the rural areas where Billy Bob is Mayor, Sheriff, Postmaster, and Building Inspector), manufacturer’s installation instructions rule.

Good to know about the drip leg here in SD. Russel, would you call out the valve being installed on the equipment side of the union? With this arrangement, unless gas is shutoff to the whole house at the main shutoff, I’ll have gas flowing from the supply side once the union is cracked to work on/replace a heater or piping.

I do mention that if found but I have found only three or four occurrences in all the year. That, of course, is three or four too many…LOL