How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

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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Here’s links to a collection of more blog posts about WATER HEATERS:

How do I move a water heater?

Does a tankless gas water heater still work with no electricity during a power outage? 

What is the minimum clearance to doors and windows for an outdoor tankless gas water heater? 

Where are gas water heaters not allowed to be installed?  

Is the minimum size water heater inlet pipe 1/2" or 3/4" according to the building code? 

Can you use a light switch for a water heater disconnect? 

Is it alright to have a shut-off valve on both the hot and cold water pipes at a water heater?  

What is required clearance for access and working space in front of an electric water heater? 

Does a water heater need a shut-off valve? 

Why should a tankless water heater have an isolator/service valve kit installed?

When was a gas water heater first required to be elevated 18 inches above a garage floor?   

•  Why do water heaters have a sacrificial anode? 

What is the difference between a manufactured/mobile home water heater and a regular water heater? 

Does a tankless water heater require a pressure relief valve?

When is a water heater drain pan required?

Why is there water in my water heater drain pan?

Is a catch pan and drain piping required for a replacement water heater?

What is a dielectric union?

What's that powdery crust on the pipe connections at the water heater? 

What are the most common installation mistakes with water heater replacement?

Why is my water heater making strange (rumbling, gurgling, knocking or banging) noises? 

What can I do to make my water heater last longer?

How can I determine the age of a water heater if the serial number is missing or decoding it is impossible? 

What is backdrafting at a gas water heater? 

What does it mean when a gas appliance (water heater, furnace, or range) has been "red tagged"?  

   Visit our WATER HEATERS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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