Why Are Water Heaters Elevated? (Explained)

Photo of author
Written By John Stephen
I’m John, the person behind the aquahow blog. I love to investigate water conditions and ways of building water filters. Mostly for my aquariums and home use.

How do you get a water heater up off the ground? The elevation is beneficial for both gas and electric water heaters (mainly gas) since it protects the heater and reduces the possibility of a fire. Lifting gas water heaters to fulfil building codes is common practice in several jurisdictions.

Why Are Water Heaters Elevated?

 You do not have to raise your water heater. For example, if the gas water heater is flammable vapor ignition-resistant, you may place it on the floor (FVIR). All electric water heaters may be put directly on the floor, much as gas water heaters.

Gas water heaters without FVIR are more likely to catch fire if placed directly on the floor, according to popular belief. Gas water heaters that FVIR has independently confirmed may now be installed directly on the floor without the worry of a fire spreading.

Because of the widespread belief that gas water heaters may spontaneously combust, they were once needed to be raised to a height of 18 inches above the ground by law.

The fact was that ignitable substances spilt on the floor might be ignited by the tank’s pilot light, causing a fire. For example, if your water heater is located under your car, the pilot light in the tank might burn any spilt motor oil on your garage floor.

Even though it is not required, it would be a good idea to raise your water heater for the following reasons: When it is time for an inspection, it is much easier to get a good look just at the tank when it’s raised off the ground.

Another reason to raise the tank is to minimize flooding related issues. Water heaters may be quickly emptied of floodwater if they are located in a room, garage, or basement that has been flooded. 

Another reason to raise your water heater is drainage. An elevated tank makes it easier to drain, but it is also essential to eliminate any low water in the tank, which might be a source of contamination.

Water Heater SizeWater Heater TypeMount Hight
80Electric  21 inches
40Gas19inches
75Gas20-21 inches
40-50Electric18 inches
30Gas18 inches

Should An Electric Water Heater Be Raised Off The Floor?

Yes. The Uniform Plumbing Code states that a water heater tank must be at least 18 inches above the ground to function correctly. Because of the pilot flame contacting the floor, gas heaters are prone to exploding.

Water heater stands are the best option for raising your tank. With a water heater stand, you will be able to support a fully loaded tank without a problem.

The tank should be raised to at least 18 inches above the ground if any gasoline or motor oil spills on the floor, which may be disastrous if ignited. Both gas and electric water heaters are housed in a sealed combustion chamber, which means they do not need to be raised.

Some individuals choose to use an indoor water heater, in which case the tank does not need to be raised; nonetheless, it is recommended that you adhere to all applicable state and municipal laws.

Having your water heater raised and a drip tray installed underneath it to catch any water spilled from the tank is also a good idea. It’s not to say the pressure release valve can’t handle that.

Can A Water Heater Sit Directly On The Floor?

A water heater may be placed on the floor. If a gas water heater is flammable vapour ignition resistant, it may be placed on the floor (FVIR). While it is possible to install sure water heaters directly on the floor, this is not always a good idea.

GE Gas water heaters, for example, have a pilot flame located underneath the water tank that prevents them from being mounted directly on the floor.

When the pilot flame comes into touch with combustible liquids, such as engine oil, it might start a fire. It would help lift your gas water heater since the igniting mechanism is beneath the tank.

It is only necessary to elevate water heaters that utilise an ignitable fuel source; otherwise, they may be placed immediately on the floor.

When using an electric heater, there is no need to lift it off the floor, and it may just rest there if the area is kept dry and dust is removed regularly.

Conclusion

Every home must have a water heater. 8 to 12 years is the average lifetime of a typical water heater tank. It is possible to have a heat recovery heater, a tank less water heater, or a standard tank heater.

Since it has the storage capacity to provide water for bathroom showers and faucets, the conventional tank water heater is the most popular today.

For various reasons, the most important of which is safety, installing a water heater of at least 20 – 25 inches is generally suggested.

A drain pan should be built beneath your water heater to catch any water that spills out of the tank and onto the outside of the building. Having a drain pan in place helps keep the water heater tank from overflowing and causing spillage. Overall, water heaters are an essential part of our daily lives at home since they ensure that the water is always at a comfortable temperature.