Is Your Water Heater In The Closet?

So many homes, especially in older construction, use a storage closet to hide your bulky and unappealing water heater. If your water heater is in a confined area, it’s recommended you consult with a licensed plumbing professional to determine if this installation is safe for the homes occupants.

Some closet installations are OK, for example electric or direct vent water heaters with outdoor ventilation is just fine. However the most common water heater we see on inspections is the gas burning natural draft type.

The problem associated with a natural draft gas water heater closet installation is the potential back drafting of carbon monoxide into your living space.  These systems require plentiful combustible air to first heat the water and then effectively vent the exhaust to the exterior. When a closet or confined space contains a water heater, the unit basically starves itself of combustible air is forced to get more from the only resource available, the draft vent where exhaust should be terminating outside. There are serious health concerns with high levels of carbon monoxide in a living space so if you don’t have good CO detectors in your home, go buy them now.

Also, this back drafting is pulling left over condensation from the exhaust back onto your water heater which corrodes the fittings and tank on your water heater which will prematurely cause leaks.

These water heater locations are too common of defects found by SiteLogic Home Inspections and should be addressed immediately. If your gas water heater is in a confined space, schedule an appointment with a qualified plumbing professional to go over replacement or ventilation options to make this installation safe.

About SiteLogic
SiteLogic Home Inspections is a local and family owned business in Fort Collins, Colorado. Our inspections and reports are designed to be one of the most helpful steps in your home buying process. Owner and Lead Inspector Joe Anderson is dedicated to making sure you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your home, and is available to answer any questions you have even long after your inspection is complete.   

SiteLogic is a Certified Professional Inspection company. We are InterNACHI certified, so you can trust that our inspectors are among the most highly trained in the industry. Our professionally trained home inspectors use modern technology, tools, and techniques to identify deficiencies and effectively communicate what exactly it means to the current condition of your home. Visit to learn more and schedule your inspection today.