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Bruce_6 Member Posts: 67
for Tim, Jim, or anyone else that knows the code, can't seem to find it in my books..

serviced a water heater today that the company I work for installed a week ago, pilot wouldn't stay lit..

I am sorry, I didn't have my camera, I wish I had!

The water heater was installed in a kitchen pantry, which would be fine, but in this installation, the water heater was installed on a shelf at eye level, and only the bottem half was exposed, the top half was in the attic!!

I refused to work on it, and shut it down. Some very unhappy renters, but at least I know they were safe when I left. about an hour later the boss called to ask why I shut it down.....gee you think that might be an unsafe installation???!!!

I was told this afternoon that he went to the house personally, and got then going again, and didn't see anything wrong with the installation! "it was normal"!!

I don't see how this can be a normal installation, and personally I think it was very unsafe.

what is the code for such an installation?? Has anyone ever seen such an installation??

I am thinking about calling the building department about this one.

advise anyone???


  • Water Heater in two different

    pressure zones can not be done nor can any other appliance. National Fuel Gas Code NFPA 54/ANSI Z223.1 section 10.12.5 Location as related to draft hood.
    I quote, "Draft Hoods and barometric draft regulators shall be installed in the same room or enclosure as the equipment in such a manner as to prevent any difference in pressure between the hood or regulator and the combustion air supply."

    That is sufficient reason to shut it off, as it will probably eventually be a problem with possible Carbon Monoxide issues. Is this a new FVIR water heater? If it is this will make it even worse due to the extreme temperature difference in the attic and in the room the flue may not pull and this will cause the safety device to open and shut down the water heater.
  • Bruce_6
    Bruce_6 Member Posts: 67

    yes this is a bradford white FVIR water heater, installed last week by one of the guys at our shop.

    the pilot wouldn't stay lit, there was no combustion air.

    I did a test whil I was there...... O2 6%, draft +.01, flue temp 180*, CO 48ppm.

    the bottem of the water heater sits in the pantry, about 2 feet of it, the rest goes up through the ceiling into the attic space. I had to crawl in the attic to test. those readings is why I shut it down, and recommended that it be moved to a new location.

    I did not install it, nor would I have installed it in this location, and I could not prove that it was an illegal installation to the boss. I shut it down before I left.

    thanks for the code reference, I will print it and show him on monday.

    this afternoon, he went to the house and relit the water heater, installed a return air grille for combustion air, and said the water heater was fine, "it was a normal installation". I have never seen an installation like this, nor have I heard of one.

    my guess is that since there is such big pressure difference between the attic, and the kitchen pantry, this would be the cause of the pilot failure, and the combustion readings I got!

  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059

    Mr Smith your boss knows better (I am assuming) just that your company did the install/replacement and he is covering his butt. The smart thing for him to do would be to admit the mistake and correct it. Should a problem ever occur the property owners insurance company will hold your company to the "letter of the law" and thats the current code and the manufactures installation instructions.
    You must not need a permit in your area to R/R gas appliances or the local inspector would git ya.
    Don't the pipes freeze with the water in the attic? Hang tough J.Lockard
  • Bruce_6
    Bruce_6 Member Posts: 67

    Yes we do have to have inspections on all appliances here, I am waiting to see if the inspector passes the installation or not, My guess is he will not pass it, but you never know. I am also not sure whether there will be an inspection, sometimes they don't file for permits!

    I don't think the boss knows about the national fuel gas code, as I have not seen a copy in his office. I have one, but could not find it (thanks Tim). I will give him a copy of the code that deals with the issue on monday!

    I am glad I shut it down, just common sense, and now is on his shoulders for any liability issues that come up!

  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    What the he$#

    is a "return air grill"?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    I am so sick and tired of hearing this type of junk!

    Mr.Smith, YOU did the 100% right thing.

    Sounds like a heck of a depressurization issue.

    Keep me posted please.

    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Local inspectors?

    They don't test for this stuff.

    As long as it looks like the picture, it passes.

    Code? Permits? Liscences?

    Show me a code that requires CO testing.

    Show me a permit that requires CO testing.

    Show me where CO testing is a requirement to get ASY liscence.

    Jim, not trying to pick on you. Just pointing out some sad facts.

    Being liscensed means NOTHING when it comes to CO.

    Inspectors DO NOT look for this stuff.

    It ALL falls on us.

    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • Bill Nye
    Bill Nye Member Posts: 221
    What about.............

    Is it sitting on the kitchen counter top? Can you place a water heater on a combustible surface? How much does a water heater weigh 80 - 100 pounds? Water [cold] weighs 8.33 pounds per gallon. 40 gallons X 8.33 pounds = 333.2 + 100 = 433.2 Is that too much weight for the countertop?

    Where do you pipe the relief valve, into the kitchen sink?
  • Bruce_6
    Bruce_6 Member Posts: 67

    it is a 30 gallon, sitting on a little shelf inside the pantry. the relief is piped out of the attic right on to the roof. it does sit in a pan, but it doesn't have the required 1" clearences. it looked like a very tight fit.

    I don't know how how our "tech" (if thats what you would call him) got that thing in there. he said that was where the old one was sitting, so thats where he installed the new one! my guess is that he hauled that thing into the attic, and set it into the hole. He didn't have any help installing it, and I bet his back was hurting that night! I know mine would be!

  • Mark Wolff
    Mark Wolff Member Posts: 256
    Here's your codes

    Uniform Plumbing Code 2000

    1) 507.1 Fuel burning water heaters shall be assured a sufficient supply of air for proper fuel combustion and ventilation. (Read all of 507 for further descriptions of adequate combustion air and methods of providing combustion air)

    2. 511.1 Access by door 511.2 Access by stairs 511.3 Access by trap door

    3)511.4 Every passageway shall have unobstructed continuous solid floor no less than 24" wide.

    4) 511.5 Electric outlet and light required at or near the water heater, switch by opening or trap door. Unobstructed solidly floored working space no less than 30" x 30" immediately in front of the firebox.

    I don't have the code for the T&P valve but it is supposed to drain by gravity to the discharge location. It cannot drain up to the roof.
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