Appliance Installation, Anchorage, Elevation, and Protection

Appliances Governed by these Code Provisions                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Apply these code provisions to all fuel-burning mechanical appliances including appliances using natural and propane gas, oil, and solid fuels.
2. Note that similar provisions for gas burning appliances exist in IRC Chapter 24.

Flood-Resistant Installation
1. Install mechanical appliances above design flood elevation or install them to prevent entry of water into the system and to withstand the force of flood waters. Apply this rule to flood-prone areas defined by the local building official.

Appliance Installation by Manufacturer’s Instructions
1. Install mechanical appliances and materials according to manufacturer’s installation instructions. See also IRC Section M1301.3.
2. Provide the manufacturer’s operating and installation instructions on site during installation and inspection and leave them attached to the appliance after appliance start up.
3. Note that manufacturer’s instructions are an important part of the listing requirements of the IRC. As such, they are an enforceable extension of the IRC.

Seismic Anchorage of Water Heaters
1. Secure water heaters to walls at the upper one-third and the lower one-third of the water heater tank in Seismic Design Categories above D1. Maintain at least (≥) 4 inches clearance between the strap and the controls. This requirement includes electric and fuel-burning water heaters.
2. Use at least (≥) 1 ½ inches wide by 16 gage metal, or similar material, for straps around the water heater tank. Use ½ inch EMT tubing with ends flattened, or similar material, for anchors from the straps to the wall. Use fasteners of adequate size to attach straps and anchors to the studs.
3. Verify other acceptable methods of seismic anchorage with the local building official.

Elevation of Appliances in Garages
1. Elevate the appliance ignition source at least (≥) 18 inches above the floor when the appliance is located in a garage or is located in an unconditioned room that opens directly into the garage. Appliances with a potential ignition source include gas and electric water heaters, gas and electric clothes dryers, gas and electric furnaces, and heat pumps with auxiliary resistance heating elements. Rooms that open directly into the garage include storage and utility rooms that are not part of the conditioned living space. These rooms include rooms separated from the garage by a door opening into the garage.
2. Measure the elevation distance to the ignition source in the appliance, not to the bottom of the appliance (unless the ignition source is at the bottom of the appliance).
3. You may install appliances on the floor in rooms that are adjacent to a garage but do not have an opening into the garage.
4. Refer to Chapter 24 for similar provisions covering gas appliances.
5. These provisions do not apply if the appliance is listed as flammable vapor ignition resistant.

Protection of Appliances from Vehicle Impact
1. Protect HVAC appliances and water heaters from vehicle impact. The appliance or water heater does not need to be located in a garage or carport to qualify for protection from vehicle impact. The IRC does not specify how to provide this protection. Common protection methods include steel poles called bollards, vehicle tire stops, and encasing the appliance in substantial framing.
2. Refer to Chapter 24 for similar provisions covering gas appliances.

Avoiding Fuel Pipe Strain
1. Install and support appliance so that they do not place undue stress on fuel pipes and fittings.