I want to move my water heater outside. Considerations?

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My water heater is an old electric under the counter type. We recently had it repaired but it will probably need to be replaced sooner or later. I want to build a small lean-to building, probably 2x4 or 4x4 feet square to house the new water heater and also use as a small tool shed.
-Plan on pouring a 3.5" concrete slab, a little thicker around the edges. -stick frame construction with masonite sheathing. -some type of insulation (undecided)
I am in the mid-atlantic region so weather is mild year round. Hurricanes would be the biggest worry but the building would be sheltered from the worst of the wind by the house (but don't worry I'll make sure to attach the building to the foundation!). The only real worry would be heavy rain, mild flooding (couple of inches) and possibly a heavy tree limb falling on it. The building would backed up against a brick house.
I'm building the shed, running the electric and a plumber will be hooking up the water heater. (I'm a terrible plumber)
What do I need to worry about? The slab settling and breaking the pipes loose? Insulating the pipes between the shed and the crawlspace? (Our waterlines run through the crawlspace) How much space do I need around the water heater?
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On Mon, 20 Oct 2008 17:55:01 +0000, Mac Cool wrote:

I don't know your local area, but would you mind posting back if your idea has any problems with local building codes or requires a building permit?
You may be able to get away with it, but that idea sure sounds like it would need a building permit and an inspection where I live.
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to move my water heater outside. Considerations?:

Same for the shed walls & door, and wrap the tank like this http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic070

future. I would do at least 18" if I was doing this myself.
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Mac Cool wrote:

Water heaters are often located outside the home, in garages, for example.
Flexible hoses connecting the rest of the plumbing should resolve any movement concerns. Space surrounding the unit is almost irrelevant - give yourself enough room to maneuver the sucker or work on it, you should be fine. A modest amount of insulation is a plus.
Mounting the water heater on a (strong) pedestal would protect it against flooding as well as making it easier to light the pilot (if gas).
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Mac Cool wrote:

I was thinking about doing the same thing. But I have concerns about the cold weather and how much more it would cost to run. I am in North East, North Carolina. Our water heater is also under the counter and we would like the space to put in a dish washer. Existing water heater sits right next to the sink. Moving it outside would only put it about 3 feet further away.
Chris
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If it gets 32 and below forget it and im sure it does
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outdoor even if 50 degrees will run up energy costs
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ransley:

This is where the insulation comes in. And actually I keep water jugs in my unheated, uninsulated, work shop and they have never froze. The weather here is pretty mild.
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of the tank is indoors standby losses help heat your home.
a tank outdoors no matter how great the insulation loses heat to the outdoors.
the temp difference is larger so the loss nis larger, and losses are just loses.
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On Mon, 20 Oct 2008 20:27:11 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

During the summer, those standby losses contribute to the cooling load. He needs the space for a dishwasher, so he shouldn't have a standby loss problem if he adequately insulates.
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mid atlantic likely means much longer heating than cooling season........
and your assuming he has AC
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: ...

I'd say that's likely backwards -- what would you consider Raleigh, NC, say?
--
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com:

water heater will offset more than a few dollars of that and we cool about twice as long as we heat so if anything it would be a net gain.

Well again this works both ways in that summers are long and hot while the winters are short and mild. Occasionally, it gets cold enough to freeze a container of water solid.
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Pat:

I asked my plumber about going tankless and he warned that installation would probably run $4-5k; otherwise I like the idea. Also, natural gas isn't available and I'm getting rid of my propane tank within the next few weeks.
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I know California homes have external water heaters, with no risk of freezing. I like the idea of a heater made for exterior use. The manufacturer of the appliance should state clearances. Line the shack with hardware cloth to keep out the critters yet allow a little venting.
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Are you thinking tankless, then there is no comparison to a gallon jug and a tankless coil made to trasfer heat, either get one with freeze protection or forget it and hope the circuit works, I say to risky unless a light bulb or heater kicks on at 32
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ransley:

Its a water heater, its full of hot water; if jug of unheated water doesn't freeze then 50 gallons of hot water isn't going to freeze.
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Mac Cool wrote:

I'm working on a job right now where the contractor has installed a natural gas tankless water heater on the outside wall of a restaurant. The main thing you must consider with tankless heaters is "rate of flow" me and my friends install them with ball valves which makes adjustment of the rate of flow an easy task.
TDD
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wrote:

with a tank type no flow limit is necessary or desierable for that matter.
electric tankless are a waste of money ...
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Me and a friend installed a very interesting tankless heater manufactured by Bosch. The unit had a little paddle wheel generator that ignited the pilot light then main burner when the water is turned on. It supplied endless hot water for a beauty shop.
TDD
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