Gas Water Heaters Installed In Garages

Model(s) Affected:  All Residential & Commercial Gas Units (#106)



Basements are not popular or practical in some sections of the country.  Consequently, many water heaters in these areas are installed in garages.

The National Fuel Gas Code (Z 223.1 – 2006, Section 9.1.10.1) reads:

Installation in Residential Garages

a. Appliances in residential garages and in adjacent spaces that open to the garage and are not part of the living space of a dwelling unit shall be installed so that all burners and burner ignition devices are located not less than 18 in. (460mm) above the floor unless listed as Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant.

b. Such equipment shall be located, or protected, so it is not subject to physical damage by a moving vehicle.

c. Where appliances are installed in a separate, enclosed space having access only from outside of the garage, such appliances shall be permitted to be installed at floor level, providing the required combustion air is taken from the exterior of the garage.

Our residential gas models, with two inch steel legs, position the main burner orifice (on the stamped steel burner) 4½” above the floor.  The cast iron burner main burner orifice is positioned 5” above the floor.  The pilots (“burner ignition devices”) for both of these style burners are HIGHER than the main burner orifices.

The water heater stand presently offered is 14” high.  When the above burner dimensions are added to the height of the platform, the 18” overall code requirement is met.

Two sizes of heavy gauge steel water heater stand kits are available:

- 18” square x 14” high for water heaters 18” in diameter and 40 gallon capacity or less.

- 24” square x 14” high for water heaters 24” in diameter and 75 gallon capacity or less.

Keep in mind that an empty 40 gallon heater weighing about 125 pounds increases by an additional 333 pounds when filled – (8.33 pounds per gallon x 40 gallons.)  The stand must be sturdy enough to withstand this 458 lb. total weight.