water heater in garage closet

Apollo Gas water heater installed in a garage closet. Used to supply hot water to home as well as hydronic heat (larger BTU than standard water heater). Two grill vent openings in the closet door. I know some sealed water heaters are rated so that the 18" elevation rule does not apply…not sure about this one though. The realtor is arguing that the grill vent is more than 18" above the garage floor so it’s ok…

Cant seem to find any information on this brand of water heaters to determine if they have the flammable vapor ignition resistant design (FVIR) which would waive the 18" requirement? Hoping someone out there can help!

And for some reason this damn thing won’t let me rotate my photos so my apologies!!

The question is a joke … RIGHT.

Did you look at your own photo’s. If you do, you probably won’t need to ask the question.

We see very few water heaters in garages around here so I was attempting to gain some insight and learn something. Sorry you felt it was a joke…

There is mention in the 2009 IRC that an exception to the 18" rule exists for water heaters equipped with FVIR technology. Trying to determine if this particular unit qualifies. The sightglass / viewport was stained so badly I could not view inside the burner chamber to see if it had the screen typical of the FVIR.




clue: sealed burner

That water heater is a FVIR or flammable vapor ignition resistant design. That’s fine the way it is.

maybe not, does the closet meet pfi requirement? just asking

M1307.3.1 Protection from impact. Appliances located in a
garage or carport shall be protected from impact by automobiles.
Mechanical appliances installed in garages and carports
must be protected from vehicular impact.
Although the code does not specify methods of protection,
the most apparent method would be to locate
the appliance where it could not reasonably be struck
by a vehicle. A practical method of protection would be
to place a formidable and permanent barrier between
the motor vehicles and the appliance. This barrier could
include such items as an effectively located vehicle
wheel stop that is anchored in place, an elevated platform
higher than the vehicle’s bumpers or one or more
concrete-filled steel pipes. Final approval of the method
of protection is left to the local building official.

312.1 General. Vehicle impact protection required by this
code shall be provided by posts that comply with Section 312.2
or by other approved physical barriers that comply with Section
312.2 Posts. Guard posts shall comply with all of the following

  1. Constructed of steel not less than 4 inches (102 mm) in
    diameter and concrete filled.
  2. Spaced not more than 4 feet (1219 mm) between posts on
  3. Set not less than 3 feet (914 mm) deep in a concrete footing
    of not less than a 15-inch (381 mm) diameter.
  4. Set with the top of the posts not less than 3 feet (914 mm)
    above ground.
  5. Located not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from the protected
    312.3 Other barriers. Physical barriers shall be a minimum of
    36 inches (914 mm) in height and shall resist a force of 12,000
    pounds (53 375 N) applied 36 inches (914 mm) above the adjacent
    ground surface.

The sight glass itself is the clue that it is an FVIR water heater. In many areas, FVIR water heaters are exempt from the 18" rule.

Thank you gentlemen. Wasn’t so hard now was it Dan?

Here’s a link regarding FVIR:


Also, does it need a bollard or such?

Great link Larry, thanks!

Good question!

That’s the problem with using phone camera’s. Cant see chit and can’t post pics correctly!

Great information guys! Thanks for your help and insight.

John you saw the exhaust in the photo. The FVIR portion was visible on the floor. You’re in a licensed state so I would hope you went to school somewhere; you’re out inspecting houses and I could not believe someone in the field would ask this.

SO yes I thought it was a joke you were pulling to get a rise out of new guys or untrained inspectors that have maybe only done correspondence or online training.

Funny on that one picture of a hot water heater that says that it is a FVIR type, it appears that it is not.