Install water heater directly on slab or platform?

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Old 04-16-19, 12:29 AM
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Install water heater directly on slab or platform?

My water heater is in the basement laundry room right next to the furnace and is currently directly on the floor (linoleum on the concrete slab). I have been meaning to replace the floor in there with tile but suddenly I need to replace the water heater sooner rather than later because it has been slowly dripping out of the TPR valve which just drains into a bucket on the floor. The tank is 16 years old though so I want to replace it anyways. Is it best to just re-tile the floor and set the tank directly on that, or build some sort of platform to set it on? The only reason I thought of that was because then I could replace the tank right away and not have to figure out the type of flooring so soon and could also not have to wait for 24 hours or whatever for the tiles to dry. I am just thinking something like plywood over some 2x4s for a platform. But if that is a bad idea or more trouble than it's worth, I can wait. I turned the temperature down a little and it is barely dripping now.
 
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Old 04-16-19, 03:51 AM
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If you hadn't had problem over the years then why put it on a pedestal? If your basement has had a history of flooding then yes I would put it on some bricks. Keep in mind a new tank compared to what you currently have will be taller and wider. You will be making piping alterations.
 
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Old 04-16-19, 04:23 AM
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I like having a water heater elevated because it makes draining it periodically a bit easier but it's not required. Most installations have the heater sitting right on the floor.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 07:15 AM
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Water is heavy. So if you want to build a pedestal for the water heater, you have to build it sturdy enough. I don't have the knowledge to help you out here.

If you simply lay down some closely spaced bricks or some plywood or a drain pan to put the water heater on, you have to wait the same 24 or so hours for the floor underneath to dry out first as you first suggested.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 08:56 AM
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My WH sits on the floor, my expansion and chlorine holding tank are on cinder blocks, I see no advantage/disadvantage in either!
 
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Old 04-17-19, 09:28 AM
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My thought was to build a sturdy low platform, put the tiles or whatever on it, let it dry, and then when I am ready to swap out the tank, I could just put the platform down (which is dry) and install the tank. Then that way, I could take my time and tile the rest of the floor. It looks like I might need to do this sooner rather than later now because the TPR is dripping a little more steadily that it was.

You guys mention putting them bricks. The tank I have has 3 legs on it. Do most tanks not come with legs? I am just wondering why you would put them on bricks unless they didn't have legs.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 09:47 AM
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I always put water heaters up on a couple bricks or patio blocks (2x8x16" concrete blocks). But most of the houses I work in are older and tend to have water issues - so keeping it a few inches off the ground is always a good idea.

The water heaters I've used do have feet on them, but they only give 3/4" or so clearance. The blocks/bricks allow for a broken pipe or other flood event to not bother the heater.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 09:51 AM
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In my experience, (Realtor who's been through MANY houses), hot water heaters are usually on the concrete slab in the utility area for newer homes, or for home with a finished basement. For older homes or unfinished basements, the hot-water-heater is often raised, either sitting on a square platform of flat-faces-of-cinder-blocks, landscape pavers, or on a radial layout of red brick.

Mine is in an unfinished basemet, up on a radius of brick, simply because that makes it simple to open the bottom drain and rinse out sludge without getting the base of the HW heater or the insulating blanket around the HW heater wet.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 10:49 AM
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Ok, I get it. So the main reason for putting them on the bricks is in case the basement floods, the tank will be out of the water? Makes sense. This is a finished basement but there have been a couple of minor water issues in there before. The washer leaked a little once (now it sits in a washer drain pan) and the sink overflowed once (that was my fault), but overall it is clean. I guess I have neglected to drain and flush the tank so in the future I will do that, but it makes sense that it would make it a little easier if it were raised. Ok, well I guess I will see if my wife can quickly pick out some tiles she wants down here and just remove the tank, start tiling under that, install the tank, and finish the rest later. But if she can't decide in the next couple of days, maybe I will just build a platform or lay some bricks down and tile around them later because I want to get this done soon. Actually maybe that is a good idea in case there is another water leak on the floor. Hmm.... Thanks for the input.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 04:22 PM
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The only "requirement" I have seen for a water heater to be elevated is for gas heaters in a garage. Explosive gasoline vapors can only rise so high off the floor so gas water heaters are required to be installed above this height.

There is nothing at the bottom of a electric water heater that is harmed by a short term flood that's only a few inches deep. All the electrical stuff is located higher on the heater so the only thing at the bottom is steel and foam insulation. I think elevating it can help to prevent corrosion (rust) caused by water vapor coming up through a concrete floor.
 
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Old 04-17-19, 04:35 PM
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I think elevating it can help to prevent corrosion (rust) caused by water vapor coming up through a concrete floor.
That's the best reason to elevate it right there. They also make overflow pans that you can plumb over to the floor drain.
 
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