Can a Gas Water Heater Be Installed Inside a Home? - An Expert's Guide

Are you considering installing a gas water heater inside your home? You're not alone. Many new homes are designed with the gas or electric water heater tank in an interior closet for various reasons. One of the advantages of this approach is that the water heater is usually located in the center, so it doesn't take long for hot water to reach the fittings. When it comes to national codes, indoor-installed gas tank water heaters don't need to be 18 inches above the ground.

However, it's important to follow all applicable codes, including state and local codes, and the manufacturer's installation instructions. It's still a good idea to lift the water heater off the ground if the area is prone to flooding (especially in a basement). Additionally, you should place a drip tray under the unit to collect any water that escapes from the tank, including from the pressure release valve. Ideally, water heaters should be located close to the gas or electricity service and where water supply and distribution lines can be easily installed.

Carefully measure the space you have available for your water heater so that you can determine precisely what size will fit. When searching for and installing parts for your new water heater, make sure to follow all local plumbing and electrical codes. During an earthquake, a water heater can move, which could cause water leaks, gas leaks, and electrical damage. If you're installing a tankless gas water heater, you may need to install a larger gas line from your gas meter to power it.

According to the Uniform Plumbing Code, a natural gas tank water heater must be installed at least 18 inches above the floor. For the best gas water heater installation in the Amarillo, TX area, trust the team at Pratt Plumbing. Tankless gas water heaters with sealed combustion (the air and chimney are channeled directly outside) can often be installed in a garage, attic, or basement, but it's best to check with your local building code to make sure there are no local prohibitions. If you've already verified or upgraded the gas line for your tankless gas water heater installation, you can skip this step.

Gas units require a gas line, adequate combustion air, a vent port to remove flue gases, and an electrical outlet to power the unit. Whether you choose a gas or electric model, these water heaters heat water only when it's needed and can save up to 70 percent on your annual heating bill. If you install an electric water heater or a gas water heater with a sealed combustion chamber, this requirement may not apply. Because they heat water on demand, tankless water heaters require more gas when turned on than a water heater equipped with a storage tank.

In addition, if your gas water heater is in the way of a car entering the garage, you'll need to install a strut or roll stop in front of it to protect the gas line from unintentional impact.