What is up with Water Heaters in Attics in Texas?

Posted by in Article, on October 17, 2018

Water heaters in attics are a very common occurrence in Texas that most people find strange and think is a bad idea. However, for Texans, this is quite normal and does not come as a surprise for them. As a matter of fact, the debate of where water heaters should be placed is so huge that a simple search on google will direct you to various forums discussing the best place to install a water heater. While many may argue and for a good number of reasons that the water heaters do not belong in the attic for Texans, there were a few reasons driving this placement.

One of the key whys and wherefores behind the construction of water heaters in the attic is that the attic is considered as “dead space” and as a way to maximize on the house’s square footage, the water heaters were installed in the attic. Square footage simultaneously costs and makes money. Having the water heaters in the attic meant there was room for maybe an extra closet or any other thing to be fitted. That extra square footage is reason enough for any homeowner to charge extra for the property. Locating a water heater in the attic frees up more room and creates usable space in the garage for vehicles, bicycle storage, lawn care equipment or other items.

Another major reason for having water heaters in the attic, is that the attic is considered as a relatively safe location for the heater. Concealed and used as a storage space for thing like old furniture and clothes, the likelihood of spilling flammable substances was minimal. Unless of course you actively stored your flammable products in the attic.

Unlike houses in other states, most houses in Texas do not have basements that can be utilized to install the water heaters. What people consider as the “normal” placement area for a water heater is the garage which would typically be found in the basement. Since houses in Texas do not have basements or if they do they are detached basements, the next logical area to install a water system would be the attic. This however also came with its set of challenges from a logistics point of view, but as at 2015, the international plumbing code required that attics that have water heaters installed in them have an unobstructed opening or passageway that is large enough to allow for removal of the water heater.

According to different individuals placing the water heater in the attic that would be considered the hottest part of the house offers you better efficiency as you do not have to pay to compensate for the heat produced by the heater. It is also an excellent location for faster water distribution since water can reach your plumbing fixtures faster reducing the wait for the hot water to be delivered.

Lastly, the Texas building codes allowed for water heaters to be installed in the attic as long as they met the required standards of installation.

This article brought to you by Austin Plumber Online.

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