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clemkonan 11-06-2008 11:27 AM

How to Move a Hot Water Heater
My hot water heater (gas) is located so that I cannot get by it to get to the rest of the room. To date we have been using a cut out in an adjacent room ( my office) which is now going to become a laundry room ( much better plan).

I am looking at 2 options , first I build a pocket door in the wall I referred to above. This is not the best option because it infringes on where I plan to locate my wash tub. The second option is to simply move the water heater about 2 feet to the right and back , so that from the main door to the furnace room I can walk straight into the furnace room.

Just to be clear I have a 32 inch bi fold door as the entrance to the furnace room and looking in:

1) the back of the room is directly ahead
2) to my left I have one side of the room and the furnace occupies the front 1/3 so its right at the doorway left edge.

3) on the right is the other wall where and on the other side is my future laundry room and this wall has a small access hole ( ouch my poor back) that gets me to the back of the furnace room
4) Once you take one step forward into the laundry room you cannot go any further the gas hot water heater is right there and no if you are skinny you cant slide by.

All I need to do is :
* turn off the gas
*disconnect one union on the gas line
* Cut the copper line on the outlet side of the hot water heater
* Cut one ABS plastic vent pipe
* disconnect the power to the gas water heater
Then I can slide her over and back

Problem is what does the code say? Do I need a license gas fitter , can I shorten the length of the ABS vent line, can I add an elbow and a 28 foot straight extension and reconnect myself, Do I have to call the gas company?

Why do I need to get to the back of the room? Well to service the plastic drain hose, the furnace craps out if it cannot draw a vacuum, also I use this area for safe storage for example that piece of glass I want to keep away from the kids.

Why a pocket door, hey its a great opportunity to learn something new without risking much, then I can make one where it would really stand out.

I appreciate your help

glennjanie 11-06-2008 12:37 PM

Welcome ClemKonan:
The only thing I question is the 28' vent and the ell. An ell adds another 5 to ten feet of effective length, depending on whose chart you use. Yes, you can shorten the vent line but codes vary in different locations. You may need to check with the code athorities in your area.
It certainly looks like you need to make the move, even if you have to hire someone and have the job inspected. Let us know how you work it out.

clemkonan 11-14-2008 11:48 AM

Just to clarify the line drop drops down form the ceiling at a 90 degree angle off the main line, that length is say 5 feet then it meets the shutoff and a union. Next there is a short elbow over to the gas heater.

My plan is to push the heater straight back about 28 inches which means the vent line going out the wall will have to be shortened.

I would also run a new gas line from the main header over to the new location and down to the heater. Connecting to the heater does not change I am simply going over and down as opposed to coming off the header and going straight down which is the current configuration.

So the 28 is the distance I am pushing back the heater thats it

Is this a high risk operation for a gas leak?

glennjanie 11-14-2008 01:13 PM

Hello ClemKonan:
It looks like you have the situation well planned. As far as the gas leak (if its natrual gas) once you hook it up just spray 50/50 dish liquid and water on the joints to see if they bubble.
CAUTION: if you are on liquefied petroleum gas, hire a professional to do the gas line. LP gas is tricky because it doesn't dissipate in the air , but rather goes to a low point and lays there waiting to explode.

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