Water heater location

Water heaters are not supposed to be located in bathrooms. Does this include being located in a closet that is in the corner of the bathroom?

If someone could let me know the answer to this question I would appreciate it.

Thanks much,
Gary Loughman
Assured Home Inspections, pllc

Is the door to the closet a solid self closing with weather striping? Are there fresh air supply from the outside for combustion? Drain pan?

Than No!

My first question are we talking about a gas. oil or electric water heater ?

Good point!

Combustion air is from bathroom – door is not sealed.

Thanks for your response.

Gary Loughman

Heater is gas and combustion air is from the bathroom.

Mark is correct, a gas fueled heater of the type you discribe is not allowed in a bathhroom closet where is is drawing combustion air from the room.

Good catch and good question.



Here is the applicable section from the IRC Mechanical Section M2005 on Water Heaters as a guide:

Note that “Living Space” includes areas for living, sleeping, eating or cooking (habitable space) as well as areas for bathing, washing and sanitation purposes (bathrooms). Many are surprised that a bathroom is considered “Living Space” under model codes (it’s just not considered “Habitable Space” … there is a difference) … :wink:

The question I asked has been well answered and I thank all of you who have taken the time to respond. This was my first use of the message board and it has been a good experience.

Thank you,
Gary Loughman
Assured Home Inspections,pllc

HI Gary,

as they say “we aim to please … your aim will help”

Welcome to the asylum



Very well, and clearly stated, Gerry.

Good call Mark.

I know that about the water heater/bathroom/closet issue, but can someone technically explain why a fuel fired gas water heater is not allowed in bathroom/adjacent storage closet (with exceptions)? The obvious is CO poisoning and flammable chemical vapors. What else ?

Strong solvents will destroy a furnace or water heater .
Chlorine some soaps and urine plus others . Drano

Roy Cooke

It would also be effected by the bathroom exhaust fan when the fan is on ,of course.

I just inspected a home where the gas fired water heater was in a hall closet directly across from the bedrooms?? Would you consider that habitable space?

From the California Building Code. . .

HABITABLE SPACE (ROOM) is space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, storage or utility space, and similar areas, are not considered habitable space.

Thanks Jeff…