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Thread: California code questions - water heaters

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mikeyvon's Avatar
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    Default California code questions - water heaters

    I have some quick questions regarding CA code. This is for new construction.

    I have an at grade basement (walkout) and I would like to put my water heater there. It will be either a direct vent or power vent. There is no problem with this correct?

    We use wood heat as our primary heat source and rarely touch anything else. we will be using staple-up radiant as our heat source for code. We do not plan on using it much and would like to use a water heater as our heat source. We will separate the systems using a heat exchanger.

    Is it ok per code in CA to use the water heater for DHW and radiant heat, as long as the radiant is a closed loop using a heat exchanger?

    thanks again,

    michael

  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor srdenny's Avatar
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    "I have an at grade basement (walkout) and I would like to put my water heater there. It will be either a direct vent or power vent. There is no problem with this correct?"
    No. But, the critical point is vent termination. The manufacturer's installation instructions will have the allowed tolerances for set back from windows, overhangs, etc.

    "Is it ok per code in CA to use the water heater for DHW and radiant heat, as long as the radiant is a closed loop using a heat exchanger?"
    It is allowed. But, using wood as a heat source may get you in trouble with with your local air pollution control board.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member mikeyvon's Avatar
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    srdenny, thanks for the reply's.

    Vent termination is one of the reasons I want to place the WH in the basement. Vent termination is difficult in the utility room due to windows and overhangs.

    I live in rural north eastern california mtns, Burney to be exact. No problems what-so-ever with using wood heat. All new stoves must be EPA approved stoves though.

    again, thank you for confirming.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are some very specific rules about where you can terminate a vent and the length of the flue from the heater to the terminus. Different devices have different requirements, but as noted, generally, it must be above anticipated snow or obstructions, no closer to x from a door or window (both horizontally and vertically), and any condensation must not drip onto a walkway. If you haven't decided on the specific unit, you could download a couple installation manuals from various units which typically show some very details do's and don't's.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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