Water Heater in crawlspace

I came across a 40 gallon, gas water heater perched up on cinder blocks sitting inside what is the sump pit. The pump itself is sitting next to the blocks, and the top of the pump fairly even with the base of the water heater. The water heater is less than 5 years old and has some corrosion at the base. Everything about this set up tells me no! no! no!

Any thoughts? I’m a first time poster on here and not seeing how to attach photo. Thanks for any comments.


First, if it screams no in your head, then have faith in your training and experience and call it out. 2nd, scroll over the icons on the top of the message window, there is one there to add images.

Maybe “crawlspaces” are different in your area, but a water heater would never fit in a CA crawl.

Access is my first thought. If the unit is accessible, there’s nothing really wrong with it being located in the foundation area of the structure.

Except those homes that are constructed on a hill side. I personally inspected a few mountain homes were the water heater was installed in the crawlspace. As Jeff mentioned my thought would be accessibility and of course venting.

While it’s common to see water heaters in crawlspaces here, gas water heaters should not be installed below grade (dug out pit in crawlspace). Seems like that is what the OP describes.

Water heaters in crawlspaces are common in the Midwest. I see them, regularly… usually surrounded by a variety of issues screaming at me for attention. (80% of the geographical area of my state lacks building codes.)

Here was a 25 year old A.O. Smith I found in a crawlspace about two years ago. It was located in the same space where the clothes dryer was venting. :roll: