How to Install an Additional Water Heater in Your Utility Closet

How to Install an Additional Water Heater in Your Utility Closet
  • Opening Intro -

    When you do not have a basement for the essential mechanical components of your home, a utility closet is the next-best place to situate appliances such as the water heater, furnace and air blower.


If your current water heater is not providing enough hot water for your household’s needs, you may wish to install an additional water heater in your utility closet. You will also need a permit for this project. Before you get started, keep these essential tips in mind for the installation process.

Measure the Space

Begin by measuring the space of the utility closet. A gas-powered water heater requires at least 12 inches of clearance all the way around the unit. If the utility closet cannot accommodate the unit and the required clearance area, you will not be able to install a second water heater, or you will have to choose a smaller unit.

Locate Utility Access Points and Vents

Ideally, a water heater should have access to an exterior wall for ventilation. Air vents should be at least three inches in diameter. The new water heater cannot use the same vent as the existing water heater. A second vent and duct will need to be installed for proper ventilation of combustion gases. The new unit will also need its own gas or electrical access.

Connect the Water Heater

Once the new unit is wheeled into your home, it needs to be connected. The manual will describe the key steps on how to do this. Follow all safety guidelines and avoid using open flames while the gas is on.

Professionals, like those at First Class Plumbing of Florida Inc., realize that the utilities will need to be turned off during the installation process.

Tankless Water Heaters

If space is at a premium and the utility closet cannot handle the size of a large hot water tank, consider a tankless water heater. These units mount onto the wall. They can be powered by natural gas or electricity. Their capacity varies, and their ability to heat the water to a specific temperature and at a specific flow rate depends on the groundwater temperature and local climate.

find a local, top-rated plumbing contractor

If you are unsure of whether your utility closet can accommodate an additional water heater, be sure to contact your local code enforcement professionals. They can provide you with accurate information about the required clearance and air flow rates that a second water heater requires. Be sure to follow all safety guidelines from the water heater manufacturer and building code regulations during your installation project.

Image credit: Water Heater, on Flickr



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