If you are installing a new water heater and thinking of placing it in a new location, there are a few placement pointers to consider.
1. Air Circulation
Good air circulation is a must, no matter what type of hot water heater you are installing. If you opt to place the water heater in a utility closet, for example, then make sure there is a foot or so of space on all sides of the hot water heater so air can circulate. For water heaters placed in basements or garages, choose a location where stored items won't be stacked near the water heater since this can inhibit air circulation.
2. Leak Protection
A water heater tank can hold 40 or more gallons of water, which can cause devastating damage if the tank springs a leak. For this reason, you need to choose a location that minimizes damage. Often, water heaters are only installed in the basement or the ground floor of homes, as water damage can cause more harm on the upper floors. Areas with concrete floors, such as the garage or basement, are also preferred. If these aren't options, you will need to have a water heater pan with a drain installed to help guard against leaks.
3. Ventilation Options
All water heaters benefit from ventilation, but gas heaters require it or you can have a build-up of toxic carbon monoxide in the home. Make sure the location you choose can easily have a vent installed and routed to the exterior of the home, typically the roof. You may also need to have a vent fan put in to help draw in the air from the heater environs, particularly if it is installed in an enclosed closet.
4. Proximity to Taps
It can be frustrating to turn on a hot water tap and then have to leave it running for a minute or two before the hot water actually begins to flow. Although this can't be avoided entirely with a tank water heater, you can reduce the wait by installing the hot water heater in close proximity to where the most used hot water taps reside. For most people, this is the kitchen. Good installation locations would be in the basement directly below the kitchen or in a utility closet near the kitchen sink.
5. Service Accessibility
Don't make the mistake of placing the water heater in a hard to access location. There needs to be a clear walkway to the heater as well as room around the heater for a service tech to perform general maintenance and repairs.
Contact a hot water installation service to learn more.