Protect elec water heater in garage?

Traditionallly I write this up when not protected from physical damage in the garage. However the county codes do not require this to be done, since no gas is involved. Thoughts?

What would happen if a car ran into it?

Well, the unit would likely need to be replaced, clients in a brand new home would be upset that there was nothing to protect it from their own ignorance or lack of driving skill…either way, there’s not a real “fire” hazard, but I think more about an upset buyer…am I over-reacting (I’m an ex-claims adjuster, by the way…)

I would put an informational comment in the report to bring the client’s attention to it and move on.

That’s good. It’s info, without calling it out per se. Thanks gents!

After doing some more checking, I’ve called for this condition to be corrected, because if a vehicle were to damage the electric water heater, the water would leak out of the water heater, allowing air into the unit. If gasoline or other combustibles (like paint thinners, refinishing products, etc) are stored in the garage & are leaking, the unit’s heat coil is a combustion source. Although this scenario is unlikely, it is still possible…which is why code calls for vehicle protection for all water heaters. Thanks for your input, you all are a valuable resource to bounce ideas off of. Take care!