Electric water heater closet as a return

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  #1  
Old 01-19-11, 09:40 AM
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Electric water heater closet as a return

Is there an issue (code or otherwise) using the water heater closet as a return air chase? Idea: move return intake to floor level as a direct through-the-wall grille between living space and the water heater closet. The second floor chase is directly above the closet so I can easily put another grille into the top of this closet and connect it to the chase going to the attic and the AH. I know this would be stupid if it was a gas water heater but there is no gas mains to the house so there is little chance the water heater will ever be gas fired.

PS - I'm thinking of NOT running sheet metal from floor to cieling in the closet just an intake on the bottom and a grille on the top. There is litle room to work with and if I can just use the whole closet as a return then I am set.
 

Last edited by knothandy; 01-19-11 at 09:47 AM. Reason: add one thing
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Old 01-21-11, 12:10 PM
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Wow. No takers? Maybe just an *exceptionally* dumb question. Anyway, if it makes a difference, there is a drain in the water closet also. Doesnt smell but that could filter things through the house. Thoughts welocme!
 
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Old 01-21-11, 12:18 PM
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Beleive it or not electric components do fail and wires short and breakers fail to trrip sometimes. If a fire occurs in the WH closet the return will quickly spread it through the house. Just thing of all that nice oxygen being drawn in to get the fire going. Can't comment on local or national code but I wouldn't do it. Use a duct.
 
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