Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Water Heater in the ATTIC!! Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

    Ok Here is a topic I question all the time. Things I'm sure a to vary from state to state. But here is my ordeal.

    Why are Tank type water heaters in the attic? And If this topic has been discussed and I missed it, forgive me.

    I feel a water heater in the attic is a bad decision for many reasons, but would like to hear others opinion on it as well, but for the sake of posting I will also give a few of my own reasons as well.

    1 is of course the most obvious, if the supply breaks loose ( I have seen before) it is like opening a 3/4 Hose Bib in the attic without a catch. The sheetrock fills and eventually crashes to the ground Usually in large sheets.

    2 Is a matter of the attic stairway. Most residential attic access stairs are rated at 250lbs, well i don't know about you guys, But I come pretty damn close to exceeding the limit going up bymyself and a pipe wrench(Ridgid of course) So figure a Water heater going up or coming out, I see as a safety issue.

    I have heard that they were being put up there so builder could make more use of the space without one on a ground floor, I have also heard that it was becaused of the ones that were not sealed combustion was a way to get it out of the garages and away from potential fumes from igniting the water heater to Jerry Lewis Great Ball of Fire.

    And since I found this site and judging from previous posts you guys know your stuff, maybe you can shed some light on it for me. Thanks
    I don't bite my finger nails, I KNOW when payday is, and yes, it can run uphill when it gets blocked(or you install a grinder pump) so HA!!!!

  • #2
    Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

    I have installed water heaters in the attic but would prefer not to only because of the logistics. I always rough them in with a large eye-bolt for the next guy.

    As for a supply line breaking, all you would do was add a destroyed ceiling to whatever you would have had otherwise.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

      Originally posted by PLUMBER01 View Post
      Ok Here is a topic I question all the time. Things I'm sure a to vary from state to state. But here is my ordeal.

      Why are Tank type water heaters in the attic? And If this topic has been discussed and I missed it, forgive me.

      I feel a water heater in the attic is a bad decision for many reasons, but would like to hear others opinion on it as well, but for the sake of posting I will also give a few of my own reasons as well.

      1 is of course the most obvious, if the supply breaks loose ( I have seen before) it is like opening a 3/4 Hose Bib in the attic without a catch. The sheetrock fills and eventually crashes to the ground Usually in large sheets.

      2 Is a matter of the attic stairway. Most residential attic access stairs are rated at 250lbs, well i don't know about you guys, But I come pretty damn close to exceeding the limit going up bymyself and a pipe wrench(Ridgid of course) So figure a Water heater going up or coming out, I see as a safety issue.

      I have heard that they were being put up there so builder could make more use of the space without one on a ground floor, I have also heard that it was becaused of the ones that were not sealed combustion was a way to get it out of the garages and away from potential fumes from igniting the water heater to Jerry Lewis Great Ball of Fire.

      And since I found this site and judging from previous posts you guys know your stuff, maybe you can shed some light on it for me. Thanks
      I have always discouraged an attic installation & can't remember the last one done that way once I tell them all of the reasons why.

      A possible advantage in warmer climates like Florida or Texas is that you can take advantage of the ambient heat & thus eliminate cycling.

      That's about it for me.

      Some builders will put them there claiming space savings. But for most areas in the U.S. that sq. footage "savings" is negligible. (I can do the math for the most expensive real estate too if anyones wondering)

      I'm pretty sure all residential water heaters have gone to FVIR systems so the combustion situation you describe also decreases dramatically. Doesn't hold much weight anymore.

      And some of the FVIR systems can be finicky if the temperature gets too high, so one might not want the high ambient temperature in the attic.

      The IPC now requires a certain pathway to the water heater now. In an attic or crawlspace. (Can't remember the exact measurements right off the top of my head). And it is....specific. Trusses interfere at all with that measurement, and you cannot put it there. Doesn't matter if you can get it in there easily or not.

      The weight rating of the ladder is a good point I had not thought about. Thanks.

      IF a water heater HAS to be installed in an attic, I usually recommend a larger than normal pan and a larger than normal drain from the pan. Typically 1.5".

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

        If I am not mistakes J.C. it is a 30" walk way, and in new home construction I make the builder do it. I wanted some insight because when I took my Masters test they added 50 more "safety question" about water heaters, but never discussed the topic of being installed in the attic.
        I am highly considering gathering information on cases of problems with them in there and go to the state board and seeif I can't talk them into declining the installation of Attic Disasters
        I don't bite my finger nails, I KNOW when payday is, and yes, it can run uphill when it gets blocked(or you install a grinder pump) so HA!!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

          Originally posted by PLUMBER01 View Post
          Ok Here is a topic I question all the time. Things I'm sure a to vary from state to state. But here is my ordeal.

          Why are Tank type water heaters in the attic? And If this topic has been discussed and I missed it, forgive me.

          I feel a water heater in the attic is a bad decision for many reasons, but would like to hear others opinion on it as well, but for the sake of posting I will also give a few of my own reasons as well.

          1 is of course the most obvious, if the supply breaks loose ( I have seen before) it is like opening a 3/4 Hose Bib in the attic without a catch. The sheetrock fills and eventually crashes to the ground Usually in large sheets.

          2 Is a matter of the attic stairway. Most residential attic access stairs are rated at 250lbs, well i don't know about you guys, But I come pretty damn close to exceeding the limit going up bymyself and a pipe wrench(Ridgid of course) So figure a Water heater going up or coming out, I see as a safety issue.

          I have heard that they were being put up there so builder could make more use of the space without one on a ground floor, I have also heard that it was becaused of the ones that were not sealed combustion was a way to get it out of the garages and away from potential fumes from igniting the water heater to Jerry Lewis Great Ball of Fire.

          And since I found this site and judging from previous posts you guys know your stuff, maybe you can shed some light on it for me. Thanks
          MY sister moved to Houston a few years ago and had a house built down there. She had the option of her water heater being in the Attic or garage. Me and my father flipped out over the attic option, and told her absolutely NO with the attic.

          IMO...Water heaters do NOT belong in the attic on residential homes. Should be illegal as hell IMO.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

            last attic installation I did was a Vaughn stone lined electric, I want to say it was just a 50 gallon. That, was a mother to get up there, and we had real stairs.

            It occurs to me that I don't have a vaughn distributor here, I need to ask around about that.
            No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

              Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
              last attic installation I did was a Vaughn stone lined electric, I want to say it was just a 50 gallon. That, was a mother to get up there, and we had real stairs.

              It occurs to me that I don't have a vaughn distributor here, I need to ask around about that.
              Never heard of them. So much to learn and so many to thank.

              Thanks.

              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

                http://www.joemc.com/vaughnWaterHeaters.aspx

                This is the electric co-op that serviced much of the area I worked in before moving to missouri, You could buy the water heaters directly from them. We'd get those on the higher end homes we built.

                Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                Never heard of them. So much to learn and so many to thank.

                Thanks.

                J.C.
                No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

                  We have a few around here
                  Its a pain to go up in the hot attics to work on them
                  I even see half in the attic and half below the ceiling i never could figure out what that was about

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

                    Originally posted by DELCASE View Post
                    We have a few around here
                    Its a pain to go up in the hot attics to work on them
                    I even see half in the attic and half below the ceiling i never could figure out what that was about
                    I got real mad at an architect for designing something similar to that, a 50 gallon water heater abou 4 ft off the groun on a platform...wait for it..wait for it.. above the Mop Basin ha ha ha, I can only imagine how many time the person used that has bashed his head on it because you had to duck to get to the valve ha ha ha
                    Last edited by PLUMBER01; 08-11-2010, 11:21 PM.
                    I don't bite my finger nails, I KNOW when payday is, and yes, it can run uphill when it gets blocked(or you install a grinder pump) so HA!!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

                      Mines in the attic (now a tankless) protected by a water pan with drain and a Watts electric valve and pan sensor for shutdown.
                      My house has no basement, no extra utility room and garage is detached, and too far away. Attics are needed for some of us

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

                        Del back in the 60s in my area it was quite common
                        Place for these homes to have the heaters half in the attic like you mentioned. I think I finally got
                        Them all changed out. Many times the clothes washer was directly under the water heater so it made it a bigger pain because you had to pull the washer before you pulled the heater out. Thank God they got away from that practice

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

                          only seen a few in the attic on residential. plenty on commercial strip malls.

                          you guys haven't lived until you have to drag a water heater under a house 50' and into a basement because they lined the stairway with wine racks

                          90% of older hvac units are in the attic.

                          seems that the newer units are in the utility closet.

                          rick.
                          phoebe it is

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Water Heater in the ATTIC!!

                            Largest percentage here are in the attic. The older homes pre-1940's had basements or sub-basements. Occasionally an outside storage room and the smallest percentage are in the garage. Every now and then I run into one in a kitchen or interior closet. Of course the codes have changed re: living space/combustion air.

                            I have only seen two caved in ceilings in 35 yrs from water heater leaks. Plenty of stained ceilings. The plumbing authority here will only allow a pan with 2" sides for gas water heaters unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise.

                            I've seen plenty of ruined carpet and hardwood floors from water heaters not located in the attic.

                            We have had multiple deaths (I remember 5 people in one apartment), from water heaters in the same closet as the furnace and the vent pipe had come loose.

                            Working on the ones in the attic in the summer is the biggest problem to me.
                            I replaced a boiler drain on one today. It was 104 outside. It had to be 150 in that f'ing attic. I could've filled the emergency pan with the sweat I lost.

                            I personally think it was an irrational fear of natural gas that placed them in the attic. There is enough air infiltration to prevent gas build up due to a leak. And if it does explode....best to go out the roof from the attic that from the basement.
                            "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X