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Old 05-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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Outside Water Heater Enlocure


Seeking input/responses for a outdoor water heater enclosure that I am currently in the process of building. Home is located in SW Florida and I am not too concerned with water pipes freezing. The water heater's location is right behind back-to-back bathrooms and kitchen to minimize hot water distance.

My position is that I am not a good carpenter, but generally hate to pay someone for work I can "try" to do myself. With any project I like the challenge, don't mind working hard to get through, but unfortunately either lack the experience and know how in some cases and prefer not to bother others with my own construction issues. Okay, getting that disclaimer out of the way I have attached some pics of my (unfinished) WH enclosure project.I will be reinforcing the cabinet and puting in a front access door, of which it didn't have before. My concerns are:

1) Is it okay to butt the PT lumber against the outside wall (sealed concrete block) and put dynaflex 230 silicone/acryllic caulking around the 2 x 4"'s perimeter . Will this cause moisture entrapment issues within the wall or wood?

2) Is it okay to caulk around the electrical conduit tubing and incoming pvc water line to help keep water out?

All suggestions or comments much appreciated.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:04 PM   #2
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Outside Water Heater Enlocure


Is you WH sitting directly on concrete? If so the concrete will eat the bottom off the WH in a year or less. Same goes for PT lumber.

Install a plastic WH pan under the WH to insulate from the concrete (or PT lumber).

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Old 05-08-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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It has been sitting directly on that slab for a number years. I did put some caulking around the bottom edge years ago to help prevent rust. The plastic pan is good suggestion and I will pick one up. Hopefully the bottom isn't too bad. I haven't seen any rust stains on the slab and I noticed when I drilled into the slab it spit out dry dust, so hopefully that translates into little moisture coming through the cement. I never sealed the slab as it didn't occur to me to do so, Should I ?
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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Outside Water Heater Enlocure


best advise I can give you is to talk with your local building official and find out what your local requirements are.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBrackins View Post
best advise I can give you is to talk with your local building official and find out what your local requirements are.
More sound advice, Thanks.

I have seen aluminum water heater cabinets on-line and they are sold at some (not in FL) L0w3s and H0 De's, but the reviews on them is that they are open-back, flimsy, weather quickly and look bad. Most are sold in California and Arizona for older homes. Got to consider Hurricanes here.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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Outside Water Heater Enlocure


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Got to consider Hurricanes here.
probably 130 mph to 150 mph wind zone (depending of distance from Gulf), again your building official can advise you. I'm originally from a small town named Clewiston (between Ft. Myers and WP Beach) so I am familiar with the wind there. Temps do get below freezing (not often though).

Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:01 PM   #7
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Outside Water Heater Enlocure


I'll call the building official's office tomorrow and hopefully I won't be to far off track (or in violation) with this enclosure. I should have done that in the first place. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:16 PM   #8
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Outside Water Heater Enlocure


Got a mess there. Those lines should have been run down to the side of the enclosure so water would not be running down into the building from the roof.
No clue why you would have used 4 X 4's sitting on the slab.
Pressure treated 2 X 4's should have been used.
That siding is installed wrong, and I sure never would have used that type siding. Should have been installed on the outside of the 2X's not the way you have it.
The whole encloure should have been built taller so you could have used a real prehung door.
If I got stuck trying to work on that one I'd tear it all down and start over.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #9
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Got a mess there. Those lines should have been run down to the side of the enclosure so water would not be running down into the building from the roof.
No clue why you would have used 4 X 4's sitting on the slab.
Pressure treated 2 X 4's should have been used.
That siding is installed wrong, and I sure never would have used that type siding. Should have been installed on the outside of the 2X's not the way you have it.
The whole encloure should have been built taller so you could have used a real prehung door.
If I got stuck trying to work on that one I'd tear it all down and start over.
Thanks for your vote of confidence..lol. The 220v line is in the attic and exits through the soffit enclosed in conduit. The cold water line runs under the soffits from side to back and separates near the water heater. I personally feel I'd rather have a leak down the side of my outside wall than (like most homes in Florida) under my slab (older homes with copper plumbing) or in my attic or somewhere along the 100 feet needed if it was buried.

All lumber is PT and those on the slab are 2 x 4"s sandwiched together. I needed the extra height as the enclosure was built prior years ago. The siding I plan to replace with 1/2" sheet PT and add few 2 x 4" bracing where needed. I probably should consider building another one or consider buying one like this enclosure site http://myaquahut.com/ will get their prices. So far, I haven't purchased any of the wood as my (deceased) father had it leftover.

I didn't consider a pre-hung door which is another good suggestion.

The current dimension is 67" H (bottom stacked lumber included) x 36" W X 39" D. To start over and build it taller with all PT 2 X 4" frame, and 3-sheets of 1/2" plywood ($40 each) and pre-hung doors would near or exceed $200. The cheapo metal one at big box is $100. Unfortunately, part of the issue when I approach any sort of carpentry is in the initial decision of how to do it and cost and tend towards cheaping out as I feel that even if I spend more I still may mess it up. I searched the net trying find plans and came up empty. I didn't want to bother my friends or family members that may have had better ideas or skill level.

I may end up buying one and wallow in my defeat. Reviews of manufactured enclosures: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/keep...u-crazy-169132

Last edited by Fishbone90; 05-08-2013 at 07:54 PM. Reason: updated
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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Outside Water Heater Enlocure


HW tank. It's also an air conditioner.

Outside Water Heater Enlocure-image-4148866673.jpg
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:04 PM   #11
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FL code looks to be trumped by this statement in reference to the manufacturer (Rheem): 502.1 General. Water heaters shall be installed in accordance
with the manufacturer's installation instructions.

From Rheem's install guide: Locate the water heater in a clean dry area as near as practical to the area of greatest heated water demand. Long uninsulated hot water lines can waste energy and water. Place the water heater in such a manner that the thermostat and element access panels can be removed to permit inspection and servicing such as removal
of elements or checking controls. The water heater and water lines should be protected from freezing temperatures. Do not install the water heater in outdoor, unprotected areas.
Make certain the floor underneath the water heater is strong enough to sufficiently support the weight of the water heater once it is filled with water.

CAUTION: The water heater should not be located in an area where leakage of the tank or connections will result in damage to the area adjacent to it or to lower floors of the structure. Where such areas cannot be avoided, it is recommended that a suitable catch pan, adequately drained, be installed under the water heater.

*Given the location of my kitchen and bathroom it looks likes there's more pros than the 1 con (possible freezing), which is unlikely in my region, to have the WH enclosed outside. I have a blanket around it and can spray or used sealed insulation inside the cabinet.

FL: http://www2.iccsafe.org/states/Flori...%20Heaters.pdf
Rheem: http://www.rheem.com/documents/fury-...nd-care-manual

PT plywood, a few PT 2 x 4" braces, PT 1 x 4" + ply "Z" pattern door, sealed insulation and mod-bit self stick cap sheet for the roof should suffice and last 10 or more years.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:30 AM   #12
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HW tank. It's also an air conditioner.

Attachment 70581
Aye. It's a beauty. Does it central vacuum too?
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:42 AM   #13
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Outside Water Heater Enlocure


PVC Pipes? Geeessssshhhhh

Well....me being the cheap bast'rd I am....I built my own as well......



Out of 14g galvanized steel....






Mine sits on a plate of 10g stainless steel.....

For all that work using wood....you could have gone down to HD and for about $80 bought a metal one...with door.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:24 AM   #14
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Makes me cringe to see plumbing outside like that, guess I'm just used to taking freezing temps into consideration with everything... but given it's not a concern in Florida guess it could work. Is cpvc allowed for water supply though? Did not figure it could handle those kinds of pressures.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:59 AM   #15
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Ddawg.. that's a nice build. I am having a bit of enclosure envy on that one.
The metal ones at (B)lowes are reviewed around the net as being crap, but at this point I'd am willing to pay $100 for one and find a way to stabilize it.
I haven't spent much on this project except for time and energy. Probably about 3 hours and $50 away from upgrading and completing the existing shed.

The cold water lines say drinking water on them. We have a hot/cold water dispenser and don't use the hot water faucet tap for drinking water, but it has good (not great) pressure.

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