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Can a tank water heater be installed outdoors?
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
All manufacturers of tank-type water heaters specify indoor installation. Here’s what State Industries says in their owner’s manual for tank water heaters: “You should carefully select an indoor location for the new water heater.” And Rheem states “do not install in outdoor, unprotected areas” for their tank water heaters. Protection from freezing for the water heater and water lines is the big concern. Besides the fact that an outside installation, like the one shown at right, will void the manufacturer’s warranty, the weather exposure will definitely shorten the life of your water heater.
There are cabinet enclosures specifically made for installing a tank water heater outside; however, some of them may not provide sufficient protection from freezing in colder, northern climates. Here in the mild winter weather of Florida, we occasionally see an electric tank water heater installed in a protected location at the back of a carport. But if you really want to put your water heater outside, we suggest installing one of the tankless water heaters specifically designed for outdoor installation.
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