Moving a water heater

topic posted Wed, April 26, 2006 - 2:54 PM by  Unsubscribed
We want to move our water heater from an interior location to the garage. In fact, we want it exactly the opposite side of the wall its on. We figure a plumber could easily change the plumbing, but the gas would need to be changed, too.
Who would I hire to do all this work? Is it something a plumber could do or do I need someone else?
posted by:
  • A plumber or.... You... If it is really just on the other side of the wall then its not that hard... you may not even have to make new hard gas pipe line if the flex line can be routed through the wall... (depending on where shutoff valve needs to be)
  • Unsu...
    Some places won't let you put a gas water heater in a garage without an enclosure with 5/8 rock, a fire door, combustion air intake, etc.

    Plumbers can do all household pipes.
    • Unsu...
      Yeah, it's that code I know nothing of. I know it has to be elevated and that's about it. If it needs to be enclosed... ugh.
      I just don't want to come home and find the waterheater went out... and puddles in the kitchen and hard wood floors.
      • The enclosure requirement is to reduce risk that open flame from heater ignites fumes that might be present in garage (an improperly sealed can of gasoline for example). KABOOM!

        If it's leakage that concerns you, I've seen "pans" that are designed to fit under water heaters and catch/divert leakage into a drain. Instead of moving the heater, why not attempt to mitigate the risks involved in keeping it where it is?
        • Unsu...
          We want the extra space where it is now (in the kitchen pantry) and just not comfortable having it in the house. The neighbors had it done because of code requirements in a remodel. Just like having to put in smoke detectors to get a permit for a new gate, I guess. Anyway, if we find the plumber's quote too high, we'll just go with the mitigation efforts you suggested!
          PS - Probably should mention I have a broken hand, so I can't do shit myself. This is part of a larger garage remodeling going on right now.
  • Unsu...
    Shut the gas off

    Drain the water tank.

    Cut the pipes

    Disconnect the gas

    Move the tank to the intended location & Orient it

    Set the tank on a couple of cement pads

    Re plumb to the tank. I'd use 3/4" and insulate the pipes and tank.

    Lay in some more tubing from the gas line in to the building (or wherever it's easy). You will need to install a 4 - 6" drop tube wherever you install an elbow. You should install a high quality gas shut off valve at the beginning and end of each run. If you are using Steel pipe, rent a threader and use Harvaseal pipe dope or equivalent. If using soft copper tube on a roll you'll need one of those tube swagers you can get for about $20.00 to make the metal to metal connections.

    Pressure test the gas line when done by attaching a tire valve to a pipe connection (this is just $5-10 of crap from the hardware store) and pumping air in to OH GEE a pressure of about 30 pounds. Let it sit for a while and see if the air runs out. If it does re-pump and check your fittings with children's bubble soap. Tighten the one that leaks. Pressure test it again. You can pump with a bicycle pump, the hardware store will also sell you a cheap air pressure gauge with a dial – you can use it for your car tires much more accurate than a stick gauge

    Don’t forget to install nice stainless steel inline ball valves on the water lines. More valves are always a good thing
    Don't forget to fill the tank with water before turning on the gas and lighting it.

    • While you're at it, why not get a new water heater?
      A tankless one would just mount on the wall, creating lots of space, no matter where it is.
      • Unsu...
        Oh yeah, we will definitely get a new water heater.
        I looked into tankless and figured it would take us over 25 years for the system to pay for itself. Surprisingly, it uses an inordinate amount of electricity to use. Instead, I'm looking into solar, which can tie into my existing system later.

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