Ft Worth Water Heater Code
Water Heaters Only, Inc., having been in business for over 50 years, is an expert in Ft Worth Water Heater Codes! We install our water heater units to the best of our ability to codes enforced by the municipality of Ft. Worth and the Texas Plumbing Code. Municipalities and Counties can enforce some, all, or part of the Texas Plumbing Code. In our experience, we find enforcement of the code requirements to the Texas Plumbing Code varies from city to city as well as between inspectors.
As licensed contractors, we perform a site inspection upon arrival. We inform our customers of any potential code issues related to the water heater. It is our duty to advise you of the requirements of the state of Texas and make clear the items enforced in your area. As a result, our customers can make informed decisions about their residence. Below is a list of requirements regularly enforced in the Ft. Worth Area.
Please note: We try to keep our code requirement information current; however the city or municipality you live in can interrupt, update or enforce the code as they deem necessary, without notifying the licensed contractors that provide services in their jurisdictions.
Location of the Water Heater:
The Texas Plumbing Code regulates the installation location of the water heater. Gas water heaters are not approved to be installed in bedrooms or converted garages. If installed in a bathroom closet, the closet must have a sealed door. This plumbing code regulation prevents the potential of human contact with trace amounts of Carbon Monoxide (CO) released from gas water heater vents and the possibility of inhalation accidents. This is presently enforced in the Ft. Worth Area.
Every gas water heater has a flue venting system. Some water heaters are power vented and have a plastic vent. Most traditional tank water heaters have a metal vent that attaches to the top of the unit to disperse the carbon monoxide created by the gas being burned to heat the water. The size of the water heater vent depends on the amount of BTU’s the hot water heater burns during combustion. Vents must be installed in a specific manner for safety. There must be at least 1″ of clearance from the vent to any flammable or combustible surfaces. Vents must also terminate to an approved location. During our onsite assessment we will inspect the venting system and alert you to any pre-existing issues.
Gas water heaters need a sufficient amount of combustion air to function properly. There are specific requirements for the availability of air for combustion, ventilation and dilution of flue gases. Depending on the location of the water heater, there are a variety of approved remedies for a lack of combustion air. Air vents, louvered doors and/or other means of providing combustion air will be recommended if it is noted there is a lack of combustion air for the water heater.
Drip Pan and Drain Line:
For water heaters located in an area where (water) damage can occur, a drip pan with a drain line, running to an approved location (usually the exterior), is required. These locations include such areas as a built-in platform, an inside location, attic or 2nd floor where water leakage could cause damage to your residence.
Temperature / Pressure Relief Valve and Drain (T/P Overflow) to the Exterior:
The Temperature / Pressure relief valve opens and releases hot water when the water reaches high water temperatures or if there is excessive pressure in the tank. Texas Plumbing Code requires the Temperature / Pressure relief valve have a drain (T/P Overflow) that is piped to an approved location. Most often this pipe is required to run to the exterior of the building. This is a safety measure to prevent accidental scalding and damage when the T/P valve pops. This code requirement is being enforced by Fort Worth.
Dedicated Water Shutoff Valve:
A water shutoff valve is required at the hot water heater. The shutoff valve allows the water to be turned off at the cold water supply to the tank when necessary. This allows the home to maintain normal cold water usage when the water heater is disabled. We recommend and install 1/4 turn ball style valve.
Gas Valve Replacement:
Older style grease pack gas valves were a common part installed with older water heaters. However, due to a high failure rate, the Texas Plumbing Code does not approve their use any longer. Our technician will check for this valve when inspecting your hot water heater. We will advise you if we find one that needs replacing. The technician will also inspect the entire gas line and give recommendations based on findings. Gas valve replacements, if necessary, are enforced in Fort Worth.
Gas Drip Leg / Sediment Traps:
The gas drip leg, aka sediment trap, is located on the gas line running to your water heater. You will usually find it below the gas control valve on the water heater. It is a pipe that looks like a “T” and is intended to catch debris and moisture in your gas line. It stops those particles from entering the combustion chamber of the water heater and can help your unit’s performance. A gas drip leg / sediment trap is generally required by water heater manufacturers but is not always enforced by inspectors. We install water heaters to the manufacturer’s specifications as well as to the plumbing code.
Water Piping Insulation:
The first 5 feet of hot and cold water pipes are required to be insulated if they are exposed in an unconditioned space. We install insulation to piping as required by the Texas Plumbing Code. This insulation will also to help with energy efficiency.
Electrical bonding of the hot cold and gas water piping with 6 AWG (American Wire Gauge) wire and clamps will successfully ground all the pipes. This will prevent degraded wires from energizing your pipes which could lead to a dangerous situation.
Water heaters are sensitive to incoming water pressure and pressure regulators are sometimes needed to keep that pressure at safe and effective rates. PSI (incoming water pressure in pounds per square inch) over 80 will void most manufacturer’s warranties. When we replace your water heater, we test and note your PSI. If you have a regulator that is failing, do not have a regulator, or the PSI is over 80, we will recommend a pressure regulator be installed. This will reduce the incoming water pressure. Very high water pressure can damage your pipes, fixtures, faucets and appliances including water heaters.
Occasionally our technician may perform work that the inspector believes was unnecessary. Water Heaters Only, Inc makes every effort to keep our code requirements up to date. We advise you to talk with your local building code official if you have any concerns prior to your installation commencing. Our technician will have the most recent information from our annual survey from the municipalities. However, it is not a guarantee that the inspector may want additional items or may decide that work was completed unnecessarily.