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Old 01-04-2017, 08:03 AM   #1
Brokenlink
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need support wall and foundation built for water heater

So, our water heater died last friday. According to the water heater people, we need to build an earthquake wall to support the new heater, as it currently sits in the middle of our basement. Basically it consists of hanging some joists from existing overhead beams, then pouring some concrete to support it.

I think I can do it myself, but would love it if somebody that actually knew what they were doing could do this.

Thanks
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:22 PM   #2
Schnellbandit
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I moved the water heater outside of the house into a purpose built wayer heater shed. The water heater sits on a stand approved for such use and that sits on a concrete pad I poured. The water heater is held to the frame of the house via approved straps.

Before you rely on anything anyone says, take a bit of time and read the building codes for the area you live in. Most are on-line and will tell you what is approved and what is not. Not much worse than doing all the work and then finding out you did it wrong. Document your work, (take pictures) it could come in handy.

You can probably do this yourself, just use good materials and best practice construction. If your water heater is gas fired, this is not a time to take shortcuts in securing it. I did all the work myself but making sure it was done right lets me sleep at night. As the WH is in a basement a nice add-on is a moisture activated pump in the drip pan in case the water heater gets a leak. One of those water activated alarms (cheap) can help out too by letting you know about a leak before you have a mess.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:28 PM   #3
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If you haven't already bought the new water heater you could buy an on-demand. No water to hold. Bolt it onto a wall. Cheaper to operate. Beyond that, I'm not a whole lot of help because I don't know of anyone in your area willing to do something that small. If you get desperate though, let me know. I might be able to pull a favor.
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Old 01-04-2017, 03:01 PM   #4
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Why not build a platform stand (or buy one from HD) put it up against an existing wall and extend the piping over to the new location. Probably flue and gas line to. If you need to do work anyway, why not move that bitch in a better location and free up some room.

But heather is right. A tankless water heater is probably going to be your most cost effective option. But you will still need something to mount it to. And some "tankless" water heaters have a small tank inside that allows a recirculation line so you have instant hot water at the faucet. I digress.

Another option is to have a structural engineer design something that anchors into the concrete, like a unistrut.

If you go with wood framing, make sure you cover it with sheetrock that adds fire protection to the framing.

EDIT:
If it is an old house and you have threaded galv. steel piping, DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF. You might be snapping off the threads all day long if they are deterated. And make sure the plumber has insurance/license.

I am a mechanical engineer that designs piping/plumbing all day long. If you have any plumbing questions, I will be able to answer any of them. I know California plumbing codes. I submit plans to citys/countys/state a few times a month.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:46 AM   #5
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Ok update.
The problem is that things are very tight where the wh is now. Not enough room for a regular water heater and barely enough for a shorty Not a wall to mount it to anywhere.

We have decided to go with a tankless system. We had a guy out yesterday that could do it, but he is unlicensed and we figure the city may be a bit more strict in checking if we are saying we did it ourselves. So we are going with Home Depot, they have a contractor that does everything from pulling the permit to installing it, in one day. They come on Friday and will hopefully be able to install it all on Saturday.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:54 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brokenlink View Post
Ok update.
The problem is that things are very tight where the wh is now. Not enough room for a regular water heater and barely enough for a shorty Not a wall to mount it to anywhere.

We have decided to go with a tankless system. We had a guy out yesterday that could do it, but he is unlicensed and we figure the city may be a bit more strict in checking if we are saying we did it ourselves. So we are going with Home Depot, they have a contractor that does everything from pulling the permit to installing it, in one day. They come on Friday and will hopefully be able to install it all on Saturday.
good plan


How many days without hot water now ?
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But ducky, massive government subsidized projects to rebuild our failing road infrastructure is socialism!
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:36 AM   #7
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So far it's been six days. Will be eight by the time it's done (crossing fingers). It wouldn't have been as bad in the summer but right now, it sucks.

The worst part was that I was stuck at home all weekend, despite planning on a trip to the snow. I had to wait for contractors. I couldn't do anything. Perfect weekend for cooking projects, but didn't want to make any dirty dishes.

It will be good to do laundry, take a shower, and wash dishes. My dog itches and I can't give him a bath either.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:44 AM   #8
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Dude you will be so happy you went with a tankless water heater. I got my first one when we remodeled and needed the space the water heater took up so we went tankless as it was smaller. After that when we built our new house we had a bigger unit put in and it is an outdoor unit so it sits on the outside of the house and don't have to worry about venting it either.


What make/model did you get? I have a Takagi and I find that you need to clean the probes that monitor the flame and heat about once a year or it does not light correctly and it always does it at the most inopurtune times like when I am in the shower. the probes get carbon gunk on them so I take them out run some 200 grit sandpaper over them and am good for another year.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brokenlink View Post
So far it's been six days. Will be eight by the time it's done (crossing fingers). It wouldn't have been as bad in the summer but right now, it sucks.

The worst part was that I was stuck at home all weekend, despite planning on a trip to the snow. I had to wait for contractors. I couldn't do anything. Perfect weekend for cooking projects, but didn't want to make any dirty dishes.

It will be good to do laundry, take a shower, and wash dishes. My dog itches and I can't give him a bath either.
I went a few days without hot water in the bathroom, that was hard.

It's been two years without hot water in the kitchen, we have gotten used to washing dishes by hand in cold water. In the next couple months we will be remodeling the kitchen and will have hot water again!
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brokenlink View Post
Ok update.
The problem is that things are very tight where the wh is now. Not enough room for a regular water heater and barely enough for a shorty Not a wall to mount it to anywhere.

We have decided to go with a tankless system. We had a guy out yesterday that could do it, but he is unlicensed and we figure the city may be a bit more strict in checking if we are saying we did it ourselves. So we are going with Home Depot, they have a contractor that does everything from pulling the permit to installing it, in one day. They come on Friday and will hopefully be able to install it all on Saturday.
It's a trade permit, so it should be pretty easy to get, but best left to let the pros do it--Home Despot is just fine for stuff like this. It's not rocket science. You might have to increase the size of your gas line into the house (not uncommon), but all of this shouldn't take more than a day or two.
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:50 PM   #11
Schnellbandit
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Did they run a dedicated gas line (if gas fired) for it? If not, a non-no code violation and you can have problems later on with demand. The gas line for regular water heaters need not be dedicated because they have hot water storage and can place a lot less demand on the gas resource. There is a safety reason for the dedicated gas line.

Check yourself as even some licensed contractors will skimp out and just tie into a distributed gas line that already exists. It shouldn't cost a lot for the dedicated line and you get peace of mind.
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