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Water Heater Codes

Fast Water Heater Company performs installations as safely as possible to protect you and your family. Due to various injuries and accidents related to water heaters over the last ten years, most cities and counties have adopted either the 2006, 2009 or 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code (or in the case of California, the California Plumbing Code).

When we perform your installation, we will inspect your water heater and ensure it is up to date on all relevant safety codes.

Also, on the back of your invoice, you will find a list of all of the state codes that are relevant for your installation.

Water Heater Codes

Expansion Tank

An expansion tank is required if a plumbing system is “closed”, which means that the back-flow that normally runs between the house and the main water supply, is blocked. However, when water is heated, it starts to expand, which causes a rise in water pressure.

The increased pressure must go somewhere. If there is nowhere for the pressure to go, it places extra stress and strain on your water heater and your home’s plumbing system. Increased pressure will shorten the life of your water heater. However, expansion tanks provide relief from this excess water pressure and protect your home.

A water pressure PSI test will determine if you need an expansion tank or not.

earthquake straps

In all our service locations, we install water heaters with earthquake straps to ensure your safety in the event of a natural disaster. Because the West Coast is in earthquake zones, all installations include straps on the top- and bottom-third of the water heater.


Water Pressure Regulators

If your water pressure is above 80 PSI, it’s recommended to install a pressure regulating valve. As population density increases, water pressure goes up as well. However, high water pressure can damage your plumbing and fixtures, including your hot water heater. This can cause a premature crack in the glass lining of the water heater. Pressure regulating valves will prevent unnecessary stress on your plumbing system.


Pans & Drains

It’s generally recommended, and required, to install a drip pan with a drain line beneath your hot water heater tank. Especially if you water heater is in your home or basement, a leak could cause lots of water damage. A pan and drain eliminate this possibility.


Dedicated Water Shutoff

Installing a dedicated water shutoff on your water heater will allow you to turn off water to your heater, but not to your entire home. This way, if you ever need to service your water heater, you won’t be inconvenienced with having to turn off the water to the rest of your house.


P&T Valve

In some areas, the P&T (pressure and temperature relief) valve is required to be piped to the exterior. The P&T valve goes off when your hot water temperature exceeds 210 degrees Fahrenheit or 150 PSI. Some areas will allow you to pipe the P&T within 6” of a garage floor. The advantage of this is that if the P&T valve is going off, it usually means your water heater has a problem and it’s good to know about it. The disadvantage is that when the P&T does go off, the water comes out at very high temperature and high pressure. It is dangerous to allow children, for example, to play around the P&T valve. Due to accidents, some areas require the valve to be piped to the exterior.


Gas Water Heater Codes


In addition to placement in a certain area, the CO emissions of a water heater require it be properly vented. This will prevent any CO from entering your home and living areas. The vents must be made of a proper material and keep specific clearance from combustible materials.

Approved location

Gas water heaters emit carbon monoxide (CO) when they run. 10,000 people die in the U.S. every year from CO poisoning so it’s important the water heater is placed in approved location. For example, in some areas, water heaters are not allowed to be installed in closets, unless they are only used for the water heater.

Sediment Trap

Codes require us to place a sediment trap on the gas line into the water heater as close to the inlet as possible. This is to prevent moisture and debris from entering the firing chamber of the hot water heater.

Electric Water Heater Codes

Bottom Board

For electric tanks in unheated spaces, the tank must be placed on an incompressible, insulated surface with a minimum thermal resistance of R-10. This bottom board is to help prevent heat loss from the bottom of an electric water heater and can increase energy efficiency.

Contact us for more information about water heater codes in your jurisdiction!

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