Water Heater Installation Requirements

Permit Required

A permit is required for installation of new and replacement water heaters. Permits may be obtained at the Permit Service Center at 2120 Milvia Street or you may fax your permit application to us using our ‘fax permit’ service.

Installation Requirements

  • Water heaters are prohibited in bedrooms, bathrooms, or in a closet that opens into a bathroom or bedroom.
  • Water heaters shall be anchored or strapped to the structure; strapping shall be at points within the upper and lower ⅓ and shall maintain a minimum clearance of 4 inches from the water heater controls.
  • Water heaters supported from the ground shall rest on level concrete or other approved base extending not less than 3 inches above the adjoining ground level.
  • Water heaters in garages shall be installed so that burners and burner-ignition devices are located not less than 18 inches above the floor.
  • Water heater temperature and pressure relief valves located inside a building shall be equipped with a drain line and shall discharge to an approved receptacle or to the outside of the building, with the end of the pipe not more than 2 feet nor less than 6 inches above grade. The terminal end of the drain shall not be threaded.
  • Where a water heater is located in an attic, attic-ceiling assembly, floor-ceiling assembly, or floor-subfloor assembly where damage may result from a leaking water heater, a watertight pan of corrosion-resistant materials shall be installed beneath the water heater with a minimum ¾ inch diameter drain to an approved location.
  • Water heaters must comply with the Federal minimum Energy Factor standards, those that meet the exact minimum shall be externally wrapped with insulation having an installed thermal resistance of R-12 or greater.
  • The first 5 feet of hot and cold water pipes from the storage tank or water heater shall be insulated.

See the Division of the State Architect's guidelines for seismic bracing.   

Applicability:
Installation of new and replacement water heaters.

Process:
Permits may be obtained at the Permit Service Center at 2120 Milvia Street or you may fax your permit application to the Permit Service Center using our 'fax permit' service.