LowBoy/Stubby Water Heater?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by CubsFan, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. CubsFan

    CubsFan New Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    I've done quite a bit of searching and haven't found a recent thread, so hopefully this isn't a question that's been answered every week. Sorry if it is.

    My water heater has recently started having problems. At the moment I think it's just the release valve, which I think can be replaced pretty easily. However, it's definitely old so I need to start thinking about replacing it. It's in the crawl space, and I'm not sure I can really replace it. The one I have is around 36" tall and a 40 gallon heater. My crawl space is about 49" from cement to studs, and I'm having some problems finding one that will fit in there. There's a few that are right around 49"-54", which may be able to be shoehorned in there, but I'd love to have something shorter and easier to install.

    So, anyway, do they make any that are shorter than 49" or so? I could convert to electric, or relocate it, or go tankless, but those are all pretty expensive options.

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    The problem you'll have is that all new gas WH must have a new burner assembly that is immune to combustable vapors (FLIR?). This typically can add 6" or more to the height of the tank for the same volume WH. So, it's highly unlikely you'll find one the same height. Whether a tankless is a decent option would depend, but in CO, it may be fairly costly. You'd probably have to upgrade the gas service line, and the cost of the things aren't that cheap, either. Depending on how far you need to go to properly vent it, the special SS vent lines are quite expensive. Then, you're incoming cold water supply may mean winter HW output is either depressed, or you need a larger unit than say someone in FL, where the incoming winter water temp is tepid already, rather than close to freezing. On a tankless, ALL of the water is heated as it passes by the heat exchanger, so the more you need to heat, and the bigger the change in temperature, the bigger the unit you need. It's one thing to use a hot water dispenser to fill a coffee cup, and another to take a decent shower...
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There are several 50" high 40 gallon heaters, but you still need room above it for the flue pipe and clearance for it.
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