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Old 01-10-2011, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Allen
283 posts, read 303,093 times
Reputation: 37

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Hi need advice on a one story house :

Is the water heater container in the attic a problem ? It sits on a drip pan. It is a 1999 house. Any concern on ventilation ? not sure if air circulates through the attic.

On another one story house :

Is it a problem with the floor-plan of Master bedroom located in front (near Front-Door) ? Usually I came across secondary bedroom located in front but Master bedroom near family-room. Probably might lower resale value

Thanks !
Richard
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
9,806 posts, read 20,430,066 times
Reputation: 7179
I wouldn't touch a water heater in the attic!! The potential for huge damage if the thing starts to leak is just too much. Now if the heater was a tankless, which don't leak, then that would make me feel better...
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:49 AM
 
10,963 posts, read 8,032,567 times
Reputation: 3119
Quote:
Originally Posted by richard88 View Post
Hi need advice on a one story house :

Is the water heater container in the attic a problem ? It sits on a drip pan. It is a 1999 house. Any concern on ventilation ? not sure if air circulates through the attic.

On another one story house :

Is it a problem with the floor-plan of Master bedroom located in front (near Front-Door) ? Usually I came across secondary bedroom located in front but Master bedroom near family-room. Probably might lower resale value

Thanks !
Richard
Is the attic insulated? If not then in the summer the heat might be an issue.

If the water heater leaks at some point then yes it's a potential problem.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:35 AM
 
1,190 posts, read 2,110,763 times
Reputation: 1397
A lot of houses have the water heater in the attic. I see it a lot in new construction where they install the thing before they seal up the house and it is just perched up there during construction. I am sure it can be a problem if it leaks/drips, but sitting in a drip pan, you would see it leaking before it overflowed your attic. (if you know where the overflow valve is) I don't think I would NOT buy a house because of this.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:59 AM
 
29,965 posts, read 47,150,315 times
Reputation: 15873
having water heaters in attic are not uncommon--
it just depends on when/where/who when the house was built--
some cities don't allow them by code--some do--

our older house in bedford was built in the early 80s and had two water heaters--both in un-AC spaces--one in the attic (on a drip pan) and open to the attic space and one in the garage--again with drip pan-but enclosed in a closet type space

I see HWH in new homes in garages sitting on raised platforms quite a bit--whether it is a one or two story home--and think it depends on city's code

because of the cost of NG heating vs electric most HWH are NG powered and I would worry about having the flame on an exposed heater in area like a garage where there are lots of drafts go out from time to time than about one in an attic--you should just check it periodically to make sure problems have not started--
and many HWH will start to leak from their tops--where the intake valves/pressure gauges are--and have water run along the sides of the heater to the drip pan
than from the bottoms--which is opposite of what you might think
from what I have been told...

we had to have both of ours replaced over the 20+ years we lived in the house--both of them had started to leak before we realized there was a problem--the one in the garage caused more of a problem from the leak and getting it replaced than the one in the attic--

you should make sure you can find where the drains are for the drip pans--and make sure they are not clogged--something that could easily happen

gas water heaters are supposed to be vented to the outside by city code I believe--so that the gas can't build up and cause explosion--both vent stacks in ours went up to the outside via the roof--

when we had the one in the garage replaced the code had changed since it was installed and the vent stack had to be made larger and there had to be copper vs plastic or whatever the original part for part of the assembly/drain was--which increased cost in replacing because copper is pretty expensive now

again--that would not be most important factor in whether or not I would choose to buy a particular house--
but the home inspector you choose should inspect the HWH closely for any signs that there are leaks or problems with the installation


regarding the master near the front--the issue with that is that front location goes against most homes designed/built from 80s and up
most masters are built to the rear--for privacy, access to the backyard, and having space for larger master bath/closet--
having a master at the front of the house is definitely unusual--

we know someone who is builder who bought home in his own neighborhood to remodel back in 08 when the market was getting soft--
he thought he got it for a good price and could make nice profit--but he is perfectionist about somethings and really put too much money into the house changing out things like the door fittings to upgrade them to ORB vs just leaving them alone--

the master in that house actually opened off the front hall so that if the door was open to the bedroom anyone coming into the house from frront door would/could see into master bedroom--it was also across the front hall from an open living area

so that was a real negative for me--and there were other aspects like difficult access to the backyard and not having an "open" kitchen design which is really popular now--

he sold the house finally but only broke even on his price--think it taught him a lesson about rehabbing--even through the work he did was great and improved the appearance of the house--the floorplan was something he could not really change and it was off-putting enough to prevent 99% of people who were house shopping from wanting to buy--and because of the slump there were fewer people house shopping
he only got one offer on the house and could not really afford to bargain too much over price

you have to consider lots of factors beside price when deciding whether or not to buy a house--
and never ignore resale value--you might be willing to buy house that has negative factors because you think you won't be there that long or they don't bother you that much--but when you go to sell, how will they affect other people coming to buy...

our Bedford house has a step-down into the main living area--that is something that was fairly common back in the late 70s and early 80s but has just stopped being part of construction now--
and I think when we go to sell the house that factor will be big negative to lots of people shopping...
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,409 posts, read 52,403,598 times
Reputation: 70378
Easy fix for your scary water heater in the ceiling problem.

For $300 bucks, you can buy and have a WAGS valve installed.

WAGS = Water And Gas Shut-off.

It sits in the pan and when water hits it, it turns off both the gas and water. I put it on both my water heaters and they are on the first floor!

I have always thought the whole pan thing was stupid otherwise. How does that protect anything? Just gives you a little extra time before it overflows and gets in your house one way or another.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,409 posts, read 52,403,598 times
Reputation: 70378
Btw...1999 house - your water heater's about to buy it. Replace the thing! Every water heater I have had go bad has lasted about 10 to 15 years and then proceeded to assplode water everywhere.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:19 AM
 
16,092 posts, read 36,508,823 times
Reputation: 6271
In 1980s and 90s renovations of older homes it was not unusual to move the water heater to the attic to gain closet space.
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