electric water heater - elevate?

Old 04-17-11, 09:00 AM
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electric water heater - elevate?

I have an existing Electric water heater that needs replaced. i have the new water heater in the garage where it has remained in the box for the past 2 years . I have dreaded installing it due to the intimidation of soldering the copper pipes where adjustments are needed. although the water heater is not "broke" i would like to attempt to swap the water heaters out here in the next few weeks or so. (existing water heater is more than half full of sediment).

ANYWAYS, the existing water heater is inside our house and is in one of our closets. so no where near outside temps. the water heater was installed on top of bricks which leaves it about 2-1/2" off of the floor.

why was the water heater installed on these bricks? since the water heater is inside, is this required for the new water heater as well? can the new water heater just be placed on the floor with no offset? what is the reason for bricks?

now i did read that bricks or some type of foot is required for GAS water heaters for air flow on the bottom. is this the case for electric?
Old 04-17-11, 11:55 AM
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You should not need to put the new water heater on any bricks but you might want to set it on an extruded Styrofoam pad. The purpose is to reduce heatloss from the bottom of the tank. If the floor is anything but concrete the pad is probably not going to save much energy.

Unless your local code requires the heater be "hard piped" you can use flexible copper connectors for the water connections. Some local codes prohibit the flexible connectors and other local codes require the flexible connectors along with seismic (earthquake) strapping of the tank.
Old 04-17-11, 12:13 PM
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It could be that that isn't the original WH and the last person didn't want to mess with (or didn't have any) extra piping? "Hmmm I need 2 1/2" of height....what do I have?"
Old 04-17-11, 02:47 PM
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I find, with my fat hands, using the drain on water heaters is terribly difficult. When elevated, even a couple of inches, it makes draining the tank easier, and it doesn't kink the hose as much. May be something simple as that. As for soldering fittings, use the flexible installation kits and sharkbites. Too easy.

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