Engineered water heater supports improve the overall functionality and safety of the building and provide clients with a reliable solution.
by Jim LeStage, CSI, CDT
When designing a building, you’ll often need to incorporate water heater accessories into your plan when installing a tank unit. You might need to mount the tank to a wall to save space, or to prevent fire incidents, you might need to raise the water heater off the floor.
To support the unit, installers will often resort to makeshift methods built onsite, using whatever is on hand for the installation. However, these methods are not always safe and not always code compliant. To provide reliable results for clients and complete a quality project with safety in mind, you’ll need engineered solutions to help.
How Engineered Water Heater Solutions Provide Durable, Safe Results
Making sure all water heater support equipment is durable and code compliant is crucial, as these additional solutions provide further protection for the building and the tank unit, doubling the life-safety factor.
1. Safely Provides Extra Space
You may run into a snag while designing the mechanical room, needing extra space where there isn’t any. That’s when elevating the water heater to a wall or ceiling may be your ideal solution. Water heater platforms safely support tank units, accommodating different load capacities. They adapt to concrete or framed walls and work well with different drain fittings. When you’re lifting a tank that high, you’ll want a reliable platform, such as the HoldRite mounted water heater platform, which is the only engineered and tested water heater platform on the market.
Another option to create space is to install the water heaters outside. Water heater sheds are designed to safely protect the unit from the elements while freeing up more room inside the building. This water heater solution features front panels for easy service, streamlines installation with its basic tool assembly, and provides a tidy appearance for client satisfaction.
2. Reduces Risk to the Building
Improvised methods that are created onsite can increase risk to the building, including fires and leaks. To prevent fires, the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) requires the ignition of gas water heaters to be elevated at least 18 inches off the floor, which can be achieved through the installation of a stand. When looking for a robust floor stand, consider one that comes preassembled to save on labor costs, as makeshift methods usually take more time to complete. By using a code-compliant product, you can have peace of mind that your unit is properly supported, as the stands are rated for different tank unit weights. Another concern for a building is a tank leak that can spring up at a moment’s notice, causing unwanted and expensive water damage. Drain pans are an additional safety tool to protect a building and provide added peace of mind for clients when protecting their investments.
3. BIM Friendly
Instead of leaving pros open to using whatever is on hand to make your design work, engineered solutions often come with BIM product files. This allows you to quickly download the files so you can easily implement proven solutions into all of your construction plans.
As you design the plumbing system for your next building, make sure you consider proper support for your tank water heaters. Engineered water heater supports improve the overall functionality and safety of the building and allow you to provide your clients with a reliable solution that can be installed more quickly.
About the Author
Jim LeStage, CSI, CDT, is the Specification Sales Manager at RWC—a market leader and manufacturer of water control systems and plumbing solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. To learn more about RWC and its family of brands, visit rwc.com.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not the American Society of Plumbing Engineers.