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Thread: water heater in a pit

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    DIY Junior Member flexinflux's Avatar
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    Post water heater in a pit

    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. #2

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    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.
    Thanks,
    Taylor Allen
    Website: http://www.rtaplumbing.com

  3. #3
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    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.

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    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shacko View Post
    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.
    I think the problem is with the vent height.

    John

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    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?

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    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.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default 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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    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.
    I swear I've never heard of a horizontal draft diverter for a water heater,where can I get those?

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    DIY Senior Member zl700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hackney plumbing View Post
    I swear I've never heard of a horizontal draft diverter for a water heater,where can I get those?
    Most sheet metal manufactrers have them

    Heres one:

    http://www.standexadp.com/catstyle.p...name=Diverters

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking 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???





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    Quote Originally Posted by zl700 View Post
    Most sheet metal manufactrers have them

    Heres one:

    http://www.standexadp.com/catstyle.p...name=Diverters
    Thats cool,how would you connect to the water heater? With a 90 ell attached how? Thats looks similar to a draft diverter on a gas floor furnaces we have.

  12. #12
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
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    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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