How to Safely Strap a Water Heater in a Closet to Get It Up to Code

how to strap a water heater in a closetI recently took a trip to Ireland with my family and was stunned by how the rolling hills and big trees they have there were actually pretty similar to what we have in Northern California. In fact, when we were riding around the country, there were times I might have thought I was driving from Sacramento to the Bay—well, if it wasn’t for all the sheep, old stone walls and the impossibly green scenery.

One of the things that was the most similar was that after a long day outside in the cold, all I wanted to do was get to where we were staying so that I could take a hot shower. It got me thinking about just how important hot water heaters are—so important that I want to make sure that all you folks have yours in working order.

I didn’t look into this (I was on vacation, after all), but I would imagine that Ireland has different building codes than we do here. Most places do. I have, however, as a professional plumber, have installed my fair share of water heaters in the Sacramento area. So, today, I want to talk about how to safely strap a water heater in a closet to get it up to code for our hometown, the City of Trees. Ireland, you were beautiful, but there’s no place like home.

Do Your Homework on How to Strap a Water Heater in a Closet

how to strap the water heater in your closetWhen it comes to how to strap a water heater in a closet and get it up to code, the single most important phase in the process comes before you’ve technically started the job at all. It may seem obvious, but it’s true. The most important step is doing your homework ahead of time.

You should know everything there is to know about:

  • Your house
  • Your new hot water heater
  • Your local municipal building codes

To be quite honest with you, the fact that you’re installing a water heater in a closet at all makes things tricky. Most homeowners tend to have their water heaters in basements or garages, where they won’t be seen, but not all houses have those things. In those cases, you have to strap it in closet, so there are codes for your situation too.

If you’re in the City of Sacramento proper, this means adhering to standard California State Building Codes, which you can find here. That info is all a little dense though. That’s why, for most folks, I recommend working with a professional water heater repair and installation company that does this sort of job often. They’ll know the codes inside and out, which will all but guarantee the work will safely be up to code once it’s finished.

Know the Risks of Strapping a Water Heater in a Closet

The second phase of your homework involves knowing the risks. Now, working with your water heater isn’t as inherently dangerous as something like doing your own electrical wiring. But, since water heaters so use electrical power, there is some associated risk, whether you’re figuring out how to strap a water heater in a closet or your simply trying to fix a water heater leaking from the bottom.

The single most important piece of safety advice is to make sure that the water heater you’re trying to strap into a closet is not fueled by gas.

The single most important piece of safety advice is to make sure that the water heater you’re trying to strap into a closet is not fueled by gas. Putting a gas water heater in a closet is dangerous. Before you even get started with this project, I urge you to make sure that the water heater you’re investing in is an electric water heater, or a direct vent or sealed combustion chamber unit. Any water heaters that use fuel combustion are simply not permitted to be installed in closets.

Let the Professionals Strap Your Water Heater in Your Closet

The simple fact is, working with a professional water heater expert is the best way to go. Working with a professional ensures that your job will be done up to code—and that it will be done safely as well.

In addition to knowing how best to make sure your project meets local municipal building codes, a professional will be able to provide other useful advice as well. I’m referring specifically here to advice about local energy efficiency incentive programs. Here in California, if you’re investing in a more water efficient water heater—or, even better, a tankless water heater—there are plenty of financing available to help you swing it. You simply need a little bit of guidance from the pros.

There you have it. Pretty much everyone, everywhere, from here to Dublin enjoys a good hot shower. That’s why I suggest giving us a call here at Bell Brothers. We’re a local company with years of experience doing jobs that satisfy code requirements in our area, and we’d be more than happy to help you too!

What’s the absolute best way to safely strap a water heater in a closet and get it up to code? Call the local plumbing and repair professionals. Here at Bell Brothers, we have all the expertise and know-how to make sure that your water heater job gets done right. Our trained technicians can also help you identify any other issues that may come up. Contact our team today for a whole house consultation, from windows to pipes, HVAC to insulation.

Wondering about other ways to finance your new HVAC system, windows, or plumbing? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.

Image courtesy Minerva Studio