Why Building Codes Matter For You

As a homeowner, business owner, or simply a building owner, a water heater becomes an integral part of what’s included inside the four walls you own or operate within. Specifically, hot water is a luxury owned by most, and expected by all. Whether you’re washing hands or taking a shower, it’s important to have it ready when needed. But for those looking to make improvements to their building or home, building codes are very important and must be followed in order to avoid issues, fines, and restructuring of the entire system.

Seismic Straps

Water heaters require two seismic straps — one within the top ⅓ and one at the bottom ⅓ of the unit. The bottom strap must be located at least 4” away from the controls. This is important in the event of an earthquake that may shift your heater or cause it to move.


Venting is integral to the water heater and is required by all as well. These vents should be double-wall metal pipe no matter what.

In Garages

Water heaters located in a garage must be above the floor by 18” in order for the pilot light and controls to be at a safer height.

Sediment Trap

A sediment trap is requires on the downstream gas line of the appliance and shut-off valve, as close to the inlet as practical.

While building codes are important for many, they may not apply to a residential homeowner, and it’s best to leave the legal specifics up to the person conducting the install!

Payless Water Heaters has been servicing Southern California home and business owners for over 30 years, and have installed upwards of 100,000 individual units. We take pride in every facet of our work, and we’re willing to stand by our quality team, work, and products. To learn more about how we can help you with your next water heater service or installation, give us a call at 866.615.4008 or contact us here!