Okay, we admit, this sounds like a strange question, but it is one that we happen to hear quite often both on the phone and in the field on service calls.
A WATER HEATER IN THE ATTIC SAVES SQUARE FOOTAGE
Tank-type water heaters are big, hulking cylinders filled with anywhere from forty to seventy gallons of hot water. Giant tanks of water happen to take up A LOT of square footage, and primarily for that reason, many builders have opted to place water heaters in the attic of new homes.
The number one cause for claims against homeowner’s insurance in Texas EVERY year is water damage. Much of that damage is caused by tank-type water heaters in the attic failing and spilling their contents down into your living areas. In addition to the cost of replacing your water heater, when you factor in the cost of replacing water-logged ceilings, drywall, and flooring, the water heater in the attic doesn’t make much sense.
WATER HEATERS IN THE ATTIC ARE EXTREMELY EFFICIENT IN THE WARMER MONTHS
Now, a secondary line of reasoning for placing a water heater in the attic is the high temperatures that occur in an attic, particularly during the summer months. Your attic can easily reach temperatures of 120 – 140 degrees, which is optimum for keeping the water in your tank sufficiently hot, without using any energy.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF A TANK-TYPE WATER HEATER IN MY ATTIC?
While having your tank-type water heater in the attic is a great convenience in terms of square footage and aesthetics, the actual physics involved with suspending a seventy-gallon tank of water above your living room or bedrooms doesn’t make it the safest choice.
Between the water in the tank and of the water heater components, these units can weigh anywhere between 375 and 600 pounds, depending on the tank capacity. This kind of weight puts a tremendous amount of stress on attic and ceiling structures. One constant rule of the plumbing industry is that eventually ALL water heaters WILL fail, and the best we can hope for is catching a problem early before it turns into a catastrophe.
Be sure to get up into your attic water heater AT LEAST twice a year to check your water heater for any sign of leaks. Take a close look at any plumbing and gas fittings in the vicinity of the water heater for wet spots or signs of rust and corrosion and be sure to check the outer tank for any signs of rust; most importantly along the seam of the tank.
RE-LOCATE YOUR ATTIC WATER HEATER TODAY
It just doesn’t seem worth it to keep your water heater in the attic when there are so many other locations in your home that make sense. Garages, utility closets, even outdoor installations (with proper insulation) are preferable to having a tank-type water heater in your attic. Replacing your tank-type water heater in the attic with a tankless unit is a much safer alternative and one that Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services would be happy to discuss with you.
If you wish to keep using a tank-type water heater but are thinking about moving it out of the attic and into a safer place, give Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call. We’ll come out to your home, assess your water heater relocation, and provide a cost evaluation. We also can provide a second opinion if you’ve already received an estimate.