Looking to reclaim garage space

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by muxutrub, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. muxutrub

    muxutrub New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    So as you can see from the pictures I have 2 50 gal water tanks at the back of the garage basically blocking the second garage spot. I am unable to park most mid-size and no full size cars on that side of my garage. More often than not, I am touching the platform with the car just to get it to fit snugly in the garage. Both heaters started leaking last night so I am thinking about the possibility of having them relocated. Does anyone know know approximately how much it should cost me to remove or rebuild the platform so that the water heaters could be arranged vertically along the side of the wall in that same corner rather than side by side, effectively blocking the parking space? I wouldn't even know where to start. Call a contractor? I guess the problem is finding a reliable one around here.

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  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    For all practical purposes it would be impossible to do. The heaters must be on that 18" platform to protect them from impact damage. You could, however, turn the platform 90 degrees so the car is next to it. Or, hang the heaters from the joists high enough for the cars to fit under them. They make suspended heater pans with drains in case the heaters start leaking.
  3. muxutrub

    muxutrub New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    That's exactly what I was thinking (relocate the left heater to the other side of the corner heater, which is essentially rotating the configuration 90 degrees). However, the platform does not seem moveable.. at least not that I can tell. ? The question is what would I be looking at to do something like that and would I need to call someone other than a plumber? The last plumber I asked about this said I need a carpenter.

    EDIT: When I wrote "vertical" I kind of meant what we were just saying ... sorry for the confusion. I was not thinking of stacking them one on top of the other. Just reconfiguring them so that they were along the right side of the wall rather than the back side.. exactly to your point -- so that the car is pulled up along side of it. The platform is the issue here, since it seems it would need to be re-built ... and as of right now both heaters are not functional so I have no hot water.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  4. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,937
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I would PM our friend MacPlumb in Houston, who is a master plumber and a respected major contributor here, and see if he knows anyone in Dallas who could do this for you. You definitely want a licensed plumber involved whenever you are messing with a gas-fired water heater, lest your succumb to carbon monoxide. Also, if you haven't already, make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors in your house as well as smoke detectors (or that you have combo smoke/CO detectors). MacPlumb recommended a good guy to me here in New York; he knows guys all over the country.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    That platfom was constructed as part of the building and is not 'movable'. Tear it apart and build the new one out of 2x4s and plywood. It does not have to be "enclosed" with sheetrock.
  6. muxutrub

    muxutrub New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    The question is, what do you think it would cost me to hire someone to do it.. and would I need a carpenter to do the platform work first, then call a plumber? Right now I have no hot water at all so I need advice on what steps to take to get this done as quickly as possible.. if that is even feasible. So far the one local plumber I spoke to wasn't willing to mess with the platform and everyone around here wants to charge $100 just to come look.

    I do have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors by the way.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you cannot do it yourself, Home Depot and other places have "water heater stands" that you assemble and put the heater on them. There are also fiberglass stands that do not need assembly. You just put it where you wan the heater and then put the heater on top of it. ANY "good" plumber would know about these and would furnish it as part of the installation. If I were doing it, I would leave the heater in the corner, maybe rotate it 90 degree clockwise, then put the second heater on one of those stands and revise the piping to fit it. No big deal for a competent craftsman.
  8. muxutrub

    muxutrub New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Thanks, but that doesn't address the issue of how to reduce the size of the existing platform once the new heaters are installed. Is it recommended to modify the platform while a hot water heater is already installed on it? And as you can see from the picture, the gas line is coming out of it as well...... The plumber isn't going to want to touch any of that. I don't want to have to call a plumber, then a carpenter(?), and then another plumber to move the [now] exposed gas line after the fact.
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,670
    Location:
    IL
    Why is one 50 gallon hot water tank not sufficient?

    You would save energy if you used an insulating blanket on the water heater.
  10. muxutrub

    muxutrub New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    I am not sure why. This is what was here when I bought the house. One tank handles laundry room, kitchen, and 1 full bath. The other one is for 2 full baths. We have a 2700 sq ft home with 4 people. Does anyone know what type of worker I should call to handle the platform modification?
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; but that doesn't address the issue of how to reduce the size of the existing platform once the new heaters are installedz

    Cut off the unneeded portion with a saw. Then cover the exposed areas with sheetrock. If I were doing the job, I could do it for you, but it would be a lot more expensive than if you did it yourself or had a handyman do it.
  12. muxutrub

    muxutrub New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Yes, HANDYMAN. That's exactly what I needed. I called a handyman that I've used before and he has a plumber that he uses. He removed the unneeded portion of the platform and then built an extension in the other direction. The plumber will be back tomorrow morning to put in 2 new 50 gals (self cleaning??) with 10 yr warranty... and I'll finally be able to park a full size car in my garage! Total cost $2740 -- $2300 for the plumber and $440 for the handyman. I'll take a final picture tomorrow when the work is completely done so you can see the difference from my first pictures.

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  13. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,937
    Location:
    New York, NY
    That's not an awful price installed for two highest-quality ten year hot water heaters. Maybe a little high for two more-generic ones. Bottom line is that it's going to be done quickly and you'll have hot water again!
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There is quite a bit of piping revisions, plus the longer flue pipes, which is why the installation will cost more. The 10 year heaters, however, are just ordinary 6 year ones with the added cost of an "extended warranty". Most heaters these days are "self cleaning", except they are only self cleaning when a high flow is going through the heater, which means only when the bathtub is being filled or the washing machine is using hot water.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; You would save energy if you used an insulating blanket on the water heater.

    So little that it might not even pay for the blanket. Gas heaters lose most of their heat by air flowing up the center flue, NOT through the heater's jacket. Unless the heater's jacket is "warm" it is not losing much heat that way.
  16. muxutrub

    muxutrub New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    How do you know my new heaters will be ordinary 6 year ones? They haven't even arrived yet ... The heaters in the pictures are the old ones.

    EDIT: You were right. He is installing Rheem PROG50-38N 6 yr heaters but he is warrantying them for 10 yrs.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
  17. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    "Please note if you add blankets you need to put copies of the warning Labels and such on the outside of the blankets"
  18. muxutrub

    muxutrub New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Mission accomplished.

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