A water heater is a crucial appliance for your house, but it also requires adequate room to be placed. This might become an issue if the house is small and you have to make the most of the available space.
Here, building a water heater enclosure is better as it lets you hide your heater while also improving aesthetics.
This guide will help you understand everything about water heater enclosures and how to build one for your home!
Before diving into the building process, we must first understand how many types of water heater enclosures there are:
Outdoor Water Heater Enclosure
As the name suggests, the outdoor water heater enclosure is outside your home; and they also have two types.
Indoor Water Heater Enclosure
A water heater installed in the open can make a property look shoddy. So homeowners hide them in a room or kitchen, otherwise known as enclosures. The two options include:
Do You Need a Water Heater Enclosure Outside?
You might be thinking, "do I need to install a water heater enclosure when I install them outside?" After all, it shouldn't be an uphill task to build a water heater enclosure.
Bear in mind that gas and electric tank-style water heaters are not made to be installed without a shelter outside your house. On the other hand, some models of tankless water heaters can be installed without the need for an enclosure.
However, most heaters are better of being covered; even the newer tankless water heaters need shelter to protect them from the weather.
And it is better to be safe than sorry. For example, consider the financial burden of not insulating an outdoor water heater by installing an enclosure.
Things To Consider When Building an Outdoor Water Heater Enclosure
Before installing an outside hot water heater enclosure, think about how it will fit into your house and brave the weather conditions.
Here are some common factors to consider for outdoor hot water heater enclosure:
Size Of The Hot Water Heater
One of the most critical factors when building the enclosure is the size of your water heater. In most cases, it's better to measure the area according to the size of the heater you're buying.
Consider the location and position of your enclosure. Decide on where you want it placed outside and where it will be protected.
Also, consider what location will help it achieve access to repair and maintenance.
Decide whether you want a vinyl, metal, or wood construction for your enclosure. The choice of material will depend on the climate of your location.
You would want to choose one that is corrosion-free and rot-resistant while also sturdy enough to protect from harsh weather.
Since your water heater enclosure will become part of your home's external image, it must be hidden away and not become an eye-sore.
To help it blend in naturally to your house's landscape, use the same color scheme as the walls.
Cover all the openings in the walls with window screens or wire mesh, ensuring air circulation while also acting as a barrier for bugs during summer.
Furthermore, you can wrap insulation around exposed pipes.
Building An Enclosure For Your Water Heater: Step-By-Step Guide
Without a doubt, water heaters (tank-based or tankless) are essential for any household. Even though their importance is non-negotiable, they generally do not offer a lot for your outside house décor.
Because of this, many homeowners are keen to hide them away by building an enclosure for their regular or tankless models.
Here is a guide on how to build a water heater enclosure outside:
It is better to collect all tools, materials, and equipment beforehand to make the work easier. Here is a list of things you will need:
Please watch this video that covers various steps on building an enclosure for a water heater.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can a water heater sit on wood?
Yes, a water heater can sit on wood; however, it is not advisable. If your tank starts leaking, the water will seep in, and if this happens for a long time, the wood will weaken.
Can I put my water heater on bricks?
Yes, you can. When installing your water heater in the basement, ensure it is placed on higher ground or a stand to keep it off the floor, preventing rust and corrosion.
How high should a water heater be above the floor?
In accordance with the Uniform Plumbing Code, your water heater must be installed at least 18-inch above the ground. If it isn't, it can malfunction and become a burden on the property and its structure.
Can a hot water heater freeze?
A tankless water heater has a built-in 'freeze protection'; therefore, it cannot freeze as long as it is connected to an electric outlet. However, freezing can occur after extended power outage periods along with freezing temperatures.
How far does a water heater have to be from a wall?
Water heaters should have a fair amount of air space, or clearance, to function safely and correctly. Also, your water heater must have a clearance area of 12-inches on all sides.
Is a removable cover sufficient for an outside hot water heater?
No, a removable cover is not sufficient for an outside water heater. Even though they can suffice if your water heater is inside, they will not protect it from external factors.
Outdoor water heaters must have an enclosure to protect them from various environmental factors like storms, snowfall, rain, etc.
The suitable material for your water heater enclosure will go a long way, and it is such a simple and easy process to build a section for your water heater by yourself.
We hope that this guide was able to help you on how to build a water heater enclosure outside!
Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.