Having your water heater in the garage may not be the ideal location, but many people have this arrangement. Because the garage offers challenges that an in-house location doesn't, you will need to take some extra precautions to protect it. If you do not, you may find yourself replacing it every few years.
Most building codes dictate that water heaters located in the garage be protected in one of several ways. Obviously, it needs to be kept out of the path of your car or truck. Often, contractors build a stand for the water heater, which helps to keep it from being hit by a vehicle. Adding short walls to the platform can also be helpful in preventing damage. You can add even more protection by placing a short metal pole in front of it.
When your water heater is kept in the garage, it is more vulnerable to extreme temperatures. You should insulate your pipes so that cold temperatures will not freeze them, possibly causing severe damage to your unit. Burst pipes can make life extremely unpleasant until you can get them fixed or have your unit replaced. The water in insulated pipes is approximately two to four degrees hotter than pipes that are not insulated. This difference can save you a significant amount on your energy bills over the long term. Also, insulated pipes simply deliver hot water to you more quickly, meaning you don't have to wait around while the water heats up for your shower.
Water Tank Cover
You can also purchase a blanket for your water heater. You should wrap the sides of the water heater with it, but not the top if it's a gas water heater. Do not cover up the relief valves, the controller, or the anode. You can safely wrap the top of an electric water heater, however. Using a blanket will help keep your energy bills down in the wintertime. These blankets are not recommended if your water heater is located where its warmth is helpful. For garage water heaters, a blanket is often a good idea.
If your garage houses your water heater, you need to take steps to protect the unit from vehicles and cold temperatures. When your water heater is safely tucked into your basement or utility room, it has less chance of being damaged. A good water heater should last you for years as long as it is protected and well maintained, so do a little preventative work in your garage.
For more information, contact Jim Dhamer Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. or a similar company.