Water heater in laundry room

So here I am in a little bit of a situation. I conducted a inspection on a older home in California. The gas water heater was located in the hallway way leading to the bedroom. I did make 2 recommendations Tpr valve not install properly and no drip pan. The clients just moved in and the contractor is telling them it is unusual to see a water gas heater inside the house. But I run into them from time to time in hallway closets , my question is it technically not in the bedroom or bathroom closet does it require air flow vents? The water heater was in installed in 2019 !

Are you familiar with a confined space definition when it comes to fuel fired appliance? you should be or you should not be inspecting. This is addressed in NACHI courses and other easily found material online. A combustion air should never be drawn direct from a “bedroom”. The hallway is not a bedroom. If you understand this rule and what confined space is in relationship to the water heater you will know the answer to your question. If I just told you YES or NO, you would still be as confused in the future. Look up confined space and let me know if it’s still not clear.


Thanks Simon I’m reading up on it but it’s really getting confusing now. :thinking: here is another photo of it’s location . It’s a little bit tricky location.

Right now… the WH closet is behind solid bi-folding doors, correct? that alone is VERY wrong because now it’s a confined space without any combustion air. Based on your second pic it now looks like the hallway is part of the bedroom and the door shown in the first pic will isolate and inclose the hallway and the bedroom. At that point the WH would draw air from the bedroom area. At first I thought the bedroom had a door and the hallway was open to the rest of the house. I would recommend direct vent or outdoor combustion air and have the closet sealed for safety.


Thanks for the clarification. That’s what I thought. I was hoping I would be wrong in some way . Escrow is already closed so I’m probably on the hook for this miss now. :fearful:

Any combustion hot water tanks can not be installed in any living quarters. If it was electric then that would be a different story. I would red flag that one.

I learned this in my plumbing course here on Internachi

That is not true, it’s done all the time. Where did you read this, exactly?


Does any one have some incite as to why the gas supply line would enter the top of the water heater, and again at the burn chamber?

I looked at the current models on the Bradford White website, but didn’t find any answers.

That looks like a TPR gas valve…from Oklahoma. Photo is to low res for me to be positive.

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David, I haven’t seen any info on these through InterNACHI’s training. Thanks for the info! I need to read up more on these.

Edit: I did find some info on Inspectapedia: Automatic Gas Water Heater Shutoff Valves

Edit 2: Looks like someone else posted about this on InterNACHI’s message boards before.

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The automatic gas shutoff is nice to have and is an extra safety control, but is in no way a replacement for conventional TPRV. The water heater was clearly installed by an amateur, not a licensed plumber. Whenever you see tape on the vent, that’s your #1 red flag to look closer.

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Any concerns about the length of the yellow CSST Gas Appliance Connector piping? I done some searching and haven’t found any definitive info. I’ve seen a few web sites say stuff like “3’ max to the water heater, and 6’ max to dryers & stoves”.

Don’t confuse CSST with a gas appliance connector. Very different beasts. I’ve recently watched a “guru” on youtube that cited CSST code while discussing a connector. He should have known better, but he doesn’t, which is strange because he is quite knowledgeable about HVAC, hell, he teaches the subject. My comments caused him to redo a few videos, but decided not to tell him not to make him redo it 3rd time lol I felt sort of bad for him. But this is how wrong knowledge is acquired. You have people that “appear” to know what they are talking about yet they make such simple mistakes. Don’t be one of those people :slight_smile:

To answer your question, the max length is 6 feet and only 1 connector per appliance. It should also be listed. The connectors are not to be used as part of the gas piping system, only to connect the appliance.

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Thanks Simon, that was my fault. I just googled “yellow gas piping”… :flushed:

Now I know better!

Also, I appreciate the info on the connector length!

Hopefully Simon answered your questions. I think the best way to resolve this one is to have an external air supply installed or direct venting. Simple fix really… or take the expensive route and relocate it all together. The whole set up is a whole lot of messed up…

Being as you are in CA, were you able to verify the was the earthquake straps were anchored? They appear to be nylon maybe, like trailer straps. I have a cousin in CA that had similar straps and his water heater came loose every time there was a quake. Eventually he installed steel strapping.

Yes, I see that setup often in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

The TPR looks code legal. That’s a Watts 210 or equivalent. It shuts off the gas supply if the heater gets too hot. It must be paired with a pressure relief valve elsewhere in the home. That’s why the piping looks like that.


Some jurisdictions support an alternative:

The nylon straps are not typical. Code inspectors here would want to see if they’re rated for the use. Two straps is sufficient for that size tank, but they’re thinking steel straps with bolts.

The drip pan was indeed required in 2019.

The combustion air topic is covered in Nachi articles. Somewhat oddly the standard is gross cubic feet of area (e.g. 50 cubic feet per 1000 BTU), rather than outside air flow per time. A lack of combustion air can create serious problems and poor drafting of the exhaust. The usual solution is vents in the door or a flapper vent to allow outside air in. Super tight homes need far more attention to makeup air. Typical homes are pretty leaky.

Since it’s a quake prone area, there are two other gas devices of note: automatic quake shutoffs and free flow/excessive flow cutoffs.

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Oh, one more flaw from the pic:
The gas must be bonded to the hot and cold lines.
The picture appears to show only hot & cold bonded.

Oh, the gift that keeps on giving.
Insulation is required on both the hot and cold lines, per California CBC/Title 24.

The following pipes must have at least one inch of insulation:
 First five feet of new or accessible existing hot and cold water pipes nearest a storage type water heater
 Any newly installed hot water piping ¾ inch or greater in diameter and less than 1 inch
 Any newly installed hot water piping less than ¾ inch that is
o Associated with a domestic hot water recirculation system
o From water heater to kitchen fixtures
o Buried below grade

Armaflex HPT07812 works well if the installer takes the pipe off.
Else Armaflex HST07812 can be retrofitted. Regular foam insulation works terribly on the flex pipe.
Stores don’t actually carry the code-mandated 1" thick insulation, so inspectors here seem to accept thinner stuff without batting an eye.

In a more professional install, the flex pipe would be a loop for a “heat trap” and/or there would be a dielectric nipple with an integrated ball or flap heat trap.

Look carefully for flaws in the venting: low quality work may be low quality everywhere.

And… is there an expansion tank in that install?