Water Heater Pros | Water Heater Installation Code Information in Sacramento, California

CODE REQUIREMENTS

THE PLUMBING CODE IS QUITE EXTENSIVE, PARTS OF THE CODE THAT MOSTLY APPLIES TO EXISTING WATER HEATER REPLACEMENTS IN THE SACRAMENTO, YOLO & PLACER COUNTIES ARE SHOWN BELOW:

 

CALIFORNIA PLUMBING CODE (CPC)

CHAPTER 5 (501.0, REV 2016)

PERMIT REQUIREMENT (502.1)

It shall be unlawful for a person to install, remove, or replace or cause to be installed, removed, or replaced a water heater without first obtaining a permit from the Authority Having Jurisdiction to do so. Some areas of California do not require a permit.

WATER HEATER LOCATION (504.1)

Gas atmospheric water heaters are not approved to be installed in bedrooms, bathrooms, or closets except direct vent type water heaters. This plumbing code regulation prevents the potential harm or death of humans and animals that may breath trace amounts of Carbon Monoxide (CO) released from the gas water heater exhaust vents.

SEISMIC - EARTHQUAKE PROTECTION (507.2)

California is in an earthquake zone there are specific safety requirements for how water heaters must be protected from possible seismic activity. Storage type tank units are required to have a certified restraint at the top and bottom thirds of the tank. Inspectors in California enforce this regulation.

 

FLUE VENT SYSTEM (507.16)

Every gas water heater has a flue vent system. Some gas water heaters have a power vent but the most traditional tank water heaters have a metal vent that attaches to the top of the unit to disperse the carbon monoxide created by the gas being burned to heat the water. Vents must be installed in a specific manner per the CPC for your safety. Depending on the type of vent there must be a certain amount of clearance from the vent to any flammable or combustible surfaces. Vents must also terminate in an approved mannor. During our onsite assessment we will inspect the venting system and alert you to any pre-existing issues that must be addressed.

 

FRESH AIR FOR COMBUSTION (506.2)

The CPC has specific requirements for air combustion, ventilation and dilution of flue gases. A sufficient amount of fresh air is required for a gas water heater to function properly. Depending on the location of the water heater there are a variety of approved remedies for a lack of combustion air, fresh air vents may be required, louvered doors and/or other means of providing fresh air will be recommended if it is noted there is a lack of fresh air for your water heater.

 

DRIP PANS & DRAIN PIPES (507.5)

For water heaters located in an area where water damage can occur, on a platform, an inside location, attic or 2nd floor where water leakage could cause damage to your home, a drip pan with a drain pipe running to an approved location (usually the exterior) is required.

 

TEMPERATURE & PRESSURE (T&P) SAFETY VALVE (505.2)

The CPC requires the T&P relief valve to have a full size drain that is piped to an approved location (usually the exterior) or to an approved floor appliance. This is to prevent accidental scalding and damage when the T/P relief valve opens and releases hot scalding water due to high temperatures or excessive pressures. This code requirement is being enforced in all counties.

 

ELECTRIC QUICK DISCONNECT (508.2.2)

Required for all electric water heaters a 30/40 amp quick disconnect. A readily accessible electrical disconnecting means within sight of the equipment and appliance that will completely de-energize the electric water heater.

 

WATER HEATER WATER SHUT OFF VALVE: 

A water shut off valve is required at the hot water heater. The shut off valve allows the water to be turned off on the cold water supply to the tank 

when necessary, while allowing the rest of the home to maintain normal water usage. We recommend and install a brass ball valve shut off.

 

GAS SHUT OFF VALVE REPLACEMENT:

All existing flared gas valves (valve with a gas flex attached) must be replaced with an inline type gas valve, the CPC does not approve this old style configuration any longer.

 

GAS SEDIMENT TRAP:

The gas sediment trap must be replaced and the new sediment trap reconfigured to meet current CPC regulations. A gas sediment trap is generally required by the water heater manufacturers. We install water heaters to the manufacturer’s specifications and to the CPC plumbing code.

 

EXPANSION TANK: 

The CPC now requires an expansion tank on all closed loop plumbing systems. A closed loop plumbing system is a system that has a back-flow preventer and or a pressure regulator devise installed between the house and water meter. Note: newer water meters now come equipped with a check valve (a closed loop system is present). When water is heated it can increase in volume up to 4% causing pressure to build up within the plumbing system, effecting common plastic solenoid valves and other plumbing components.  The pressure build up can also lead to the T&P valve on the water heater to open and releasing hot water. Expansion tanks are designed to absorb the excess pressure and extend the life of your water heater and plumbing system. 

 

WATER PIPE INSULATION:

The first 5 feet of hot & cold water pipes are required to be insulated if they are exposed in a unconditioned space. We install insulation on piping as required by the California Plumbing Code and also to help with energy efficiency.

ELECTRIC BONDING: 

Bonding of the hot cold water piping and gas piping with 6 AWG wire gauge, wire and grounding clamps will successfully ground all the pipes. This will prevent degraded wires from energizing your pipes which could lead to electrical issues.

 

REDUCED PRESSURE REGULATORS:

Water pressure exceeding 80 PSI will void most water heater manufacturer’s warranties. When we replace your water heater, we test your water pressure and let you know what your PSI is. If your PSI exceeds 80 PSI a working reduced pressure regulator is required. If you have a regulator that is failing it must be replaced with a new working regulator. Very high water pressure can damage your pipes, fixtures, faucets and solenoid valves, such valves are located in washing machines and refridgerators.

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