Gas water heater in closet?

This gas water heater was located in a bathroom closet, as you can see there is some flame rollout near the bottom. There is also an electrical panel next to it.

My question is, can this be installed in a bathroom closet?

What may be causing the flame rollout, would it be inadequate combustion air?

Thanks for your help in advance!

Bathroom fan or open widow and one hell of a place to put an electrical panel.


Or the water heater lol! Chicken or the egg…


To answer the OP, it’s a bad set up all around. Restricted access to the electrical panel, doesn’t appear to be any means of proper combustable air intake. Doesn’t appear that there is a fuel shut off valve in the same room etc…


Leave it to some builders or homeowners to screw things up. Some do a good job at it Tom. LOL


No it can not

1 Like

The combustible air is what I’m not sure about. There is a large bathroom adjacent to it with what I believe are two exhaust fans(not 100% sure if they are exhaust because it’s a heat/fan/light fixture as well and I could not access attic)

Best practice is to look up the make, model and year of the WH. See if there is a installation manual available. If so, it should set forth the parameters on where and how it should be installed including room size and combustable air intake spacing etc.

Good luck and I would state what your concerns are and write it up as “further evaluation by a licensed plumber should be considered…”

1 Like

2005.2 Prohibited locations.
"“M2005.2 Prohibited locations.
Fuel-fired water heaters shall not be installed in a room used as a storage closet. Water heaters located in a bedroom or bathroom shall be installed in a sealed enclosure so that combustion air will not be taken from the living space. Direct-vent water heaters are not required to be installed within an enclosure.”

From the 2003 IMC:
“303.3 Prohibited locations.
Fuel-fired appliances shall not be located in, or obtain combustion air from, any of the following rooms or spaces:

  1. Sleeping rooms.
  2. Bathrooms.
  3. Toilet rooms.

Although it should not take the combustion air from the bath, I doubt that was caused by a rollout. If anything, there would be a backdraft at the draft hood. More likely it’s thermal tracking just like above the TPRV, perhaps from the candle burning in the bath or just dirt. There should be a rollout/TCO (thermal cutoff) safety switch shutting off the WH during a roll out.

1 Like

Christopher nailed it.

As Christopher said; “No, it can’t.”

Would that TPRV pipe be considered a defect? It looks like it’s bent because the elbow is resting on the floor of the pan. From what I can tell, IRC 504.6 calls for not less than 2 times the discharge pipe diameter above the floor or flood level rim of the waste receptor. Thanks for any clarifications!

Yes, IMHO…

1 Like

Yup what Larry said :slightly_smiling_face:

The diameter of the pipe has also been reduced to 1/2”. There are many defects going on in there, haha

1 Like

I agree that there are many defects in the installation but this does not look like it is a storage closet. Whether local code would allow a water heater to be put in the same location is TBD. I think the only thing right is that it has a drip pan.


Yes, IMHO…

Morning, Thomas.
Hope this post finds you well.

I passed by the thread yesterday. First I thought it was previously reported. Now I see I was mistaken. 1: The other thread is outdoor water heater in a closet.
2: Secondly I did not understand the chicken egg association although I use that reference. Bingo, the light bulb just illuminated! Chicken or the egg. … What came first? Bravo. The ore from the ground to fashion the fasteners and lumber. :wink:

Does not matter what came first. Its present condition.
Refer and move on.
That BULLDOG Push Pull could sure use an update.

On a positive note…This is actually some of Uncle Fred’s best work.

1 Like