Water heater elevated 18"

I inspected a condo in Rancho Santa Margarita California where the water heater was located in an interior hallway on the first floor of a slab construction building. An FHA appraiser is now holding up the close of escrow because he says the w/h has to be elevated 18" from the floor. Can anybody shed any light on this ‘supposed’ requirement?

Down here in San Diego, the 18" elevation only applies to the garage. Nothing inside. To the best of my knowledge, that’s the case throughout California and throughout the nation.

The CALIFORNIA BUILDING CODE, CHAPTER 5 on water heaters states:

508.14 Installation in residential garages

(1) Gas utilization appliances in residential garages and in adjacent spaces that open to the garage and are not part of the living space of a dwelling unit shall be installed so the the burners and burner ignition devices are located not less than (18”) (450mm) above the floor unless listed as flammable vapor ignition resistant.

I googled CBC and found this.

Who is going to pay for the hold-up of escrow, FHA inspector?

Buyer could loose a locked interest rate over this stupid stuff.

Now, if it were in Milan, Tn. (gov. bomb manufacturing plant), everything needs to be 18" off the ground! The well water “burns” coming out of the tap! :-0

Yep. The resolution for “adjacent spaces that open to the garage and are not part of the living space” is to install a door between the utility room area and the garage, a fire-rated door, of course.

However, some AHJs do their own interpretation of “open to the garage,” considering the space as being “open to the garage” with or without a door.