Where should a hot water heater be located.

Option 1: In a utility closet near the kitchen and bath. Two baths are about 10-15 ft. away. Kitchen is about 15 ft. away. Second floor baths are directly above. All these distances seem relatively short. Advantages: hot water quickly! Hot water heater also is located above a floor drain.

Option 2: Located in the garage. Kitchen is 30 ft. away. Two baths are maybe 50 feet away. Second floor baths are directly above so maybe add another 10 feet to make it 60 feet. A hot water recirculation pump may be needed. Advantages: If the water heater blows up and leaks, the water drains out of the garage. Also there is a little bit of heat which warms up the garage. Winters here usually get to a low of 35-40F (2C) but can be as low as 20 degrees F.

Option 1 or 2?

If option 2, should a hot water recirculation pump be on a timer, say 6 to 8 am and 4 to 10 pm?