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Building and Safety Division
Building and Safety Division

Water Heater Installation Requirements

Permit Required

A permit is required for installation of new and replacement water heaters. Permits may be obtained at the Permit Service Center at 1947 Center Street, 3rd Floor or you may fax your permit application at 510.981.5450.

Information on replacing a natural gas water heater with a heat pump can be found at residential heat pump water heaters.

  Installation Requirements 

  • Water heaters installations in bedrooms and bathrooms shall comply with the one of the following: (CPC Sec.504.1)
  • Water heaters may be installed in a closet located in a bedroom or bathroom the closet door provided the closet is equipped with a listed gasketed door assembly and a listed self-closing device. All combustion air for such installations shall be obtained from the outdoors and the closet shall be for the exclusive use of the water heater.
  • The water heater shall be of the direct vent type.  
  • Water heaters shall be anchored or strapped to the structure; strapping shall be at points within the upper and lower ⅓ and shall maintain a minimum clearance of 4 inches from the water heater controls.
  • Water heaters supported from the ground shall rest on level concrete or other approved base extending not less than 3 inches above the adjoining ground level.
  • Water heaters in garages shall be installed so that burners and burner-ignition devices are located not less than 18 inches above the floor.
  • Water heater temperature and pressure relief valves located inside a building shall be equipped with a drain line and shall discharge to an approved receptacle or to the outside of the building, with the end of the pipe not more than 2 feet nor less than 6 inches above grade. The terminal end of the drain shall not be threaded.
  • Where a water heater is located in an attic, attic-ceiling assembly, floor-ceiling assembly, or floor-subfloor assembly where damage may result from a leaking water heater, a watertight pan of corrosion-resistant materials shall be installed beneath the water heater with a minimum ¾ inch diameter drain to an approved location.
  • Water heaters must comply with the Federal minimum Energy Factor standards, those that meet the exact minimum shall be externally wrapped with insulation having an installed thermal resistance of R-12 or greater.
  • The first 5 feet of hot and cold water pipes from the storage tank or water heater shall be insulated.

See the Division of the State Architect's guidelines for seismic bracing.   

Applicability:
Installation of new and replacement water heaters.

Process:
Permits may be obtained at the Permit Service Center at 1947 Center Street, 3rd Floor or you may fax your permit application to the Permit Service Center at 510.981.7450.

 

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Building and Safety Division, 1947 Center St, 3rd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: buildingandsafety@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7440
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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