water heater in a pit

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by flexinflux, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. flexinflux

    flexinflux New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Location:
    Mountain West Utah
    Hello all,
    My water heater (gas) is near death. It is a tall 50 gallon model in a 'shelf' basement.

    When this unit was originally installed, my guess is that it was replacing a smaller model because... in order to make this heater fit, a 2x4 section of the concrete floor was broken up and a void about 18 inches deep was dug into the earth to provide the needed room. Now, this seems to be a really bad idea, if for no other reason than the perceived danger of flooding. I would also assume that routine maintenance on a heater in this position might be improbable and that the exposed (now warmer) section of earth could be a path for insects. And, it looks stupid.

    I've searched for (gas) low boys and had no luck. I really don't want to go electric because of the added expenses.

    Can anyone offer any insight as to whether having my next heater 'in a pit' is a common solution to this kind of problem (having a low space)? Have any of you had to deal with this scenario?

    All comments are appreciated. Thanks.
     

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  2. RTAPlumbing

    RTAPlumbing Plumber

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Location:
    lawrenceville, GA
    i would definitely have to find some short of shorter tank. I always try to put them up on some sort of a stand if ever in a basement or crawlspace for flooding reason. You could go tankless. Other than that and a shorter tank no suggestions sorry man I have never seen that.
     
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  4. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Occupation:
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    To my eye that water heater could be sitting on the concrete if the hook-up was modified. Stupid idea to put it in that way and probably against code. :eek:
     
  5. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    South*East
    I think the problem is with the vent height.

    John
     
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I can't say that I would ever do an installation like that...
    What is the height we have to work with?

    Is the flue height the limiting factor why this was done?
     
  7. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Location:
    Alabama
    Have you considered a tankless unit? If you use a tankless the vent must be replaced to a cat3 vent pipe,a properly sized gas line and a standard 120v electrical plug.
     
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heater

    The shortest ones are still 50" tall which is only about 10" less than yours. But you can also eliminate the draft diverter on top of the heater, and use a horizontal draft diverter in the lateral pipe to gain additional inches.
     
  9. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Location:
    Alabama
    :cool: I swear I've never heard of a horizontal draft diverter for a water heater,where can I get those?:cool:
     
  10. zl700

    zl700 DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Western NY
  11. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer...to be caring and loving to a
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    get a low boy bradford white

    A bradford white low boy might fit

    it is a lot fatter.....but should work fine...



    i am wondering about that thermal expansion tank

    is it just hanging there horizontally or does it have bailing wire or somethign holding that tank in place that is not seen by your picture???




     
  12. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Location:
    Alabama
  13. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Occupation:
    Red Seal Journeyman Plumber & Licensed Gas Fitter
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    It would probably be against the manufacturers specs to remove the draft hood and relocate it. Most HWT will state that the draft hood shall be installed without alterations.

    Other then that the setup he has now is against code because of the flexible gas connector. That tank should be secured as to make sure the flue doesn't get dislodged from the vent system.
     
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