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Code confusion sparks water heater dispute

Is 18 inches really 18 inches?

Dear Barry, We just replaced the gas water heater in the underground garage of our apartment building, but the building inspector will not approve the installation. The raised platform is only 15 inches high, but the inspector insists on an 18-inch platform to comply with code. The problem for us involves the location of the water supply connections. We cannot raise the platform without costly alterations to these pipes. Is there any way that we can be granted an exception to the 18-inch platform requirement? - Srewolf Dear Srewolf, The building inspector's demand for an 18-inch platform is based upon a common misreading of the Uniform Plumbing Code. Section 510.1 of the code states, "Water heaters generating a glow, spark or flame capable of igniting flammable vapors may be installed in a garage, provided the pilots, burners or heating elements and switches are at least eighteen (18) inches above the floor level." This does not say the water heater must be on an 18-inch platform. It...

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