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  1. #1

    Default Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    Hi everyone, are there any hot water heater gurus out there?

    I just purchased a GE 50 gallon gas hot water heater to help distract me from enjoying television shows this weekend. Actually my 14 year old heater started leaking and I think I caught it just in time..

    Question - the new GE "Smartwater" heater looks like it's supposed to sit directly on the ground. My old heater had these 3" "legs" on the bottom to lift it off the basement floor. I read some material elsewhere that said I should be "shimming" my heater to make sure it's level as well.

    I looked at the bottom of the new heater and don't see any mounting holes for anything....is this supposed to just sit directly on the pavement? I did run across a site that mentioned putting a 'pad' down to save me $20 a year on heat loss. I'm not sure I trust that necessarily, but the lifts seem like a good idea, but I also don't want to go fabricate some custom thing that shouldn't be used. I'm in the midwest, so the basement floors get quite cold, so I can see the general idea of getting the thing off the ground but don't recall seeing anything at Lowes/Home Depot as far as a hot water heater 'stand' goes...except some huge table-like thing they have on their web site...

    Any suggestions/thoughts (even a few prayers) are appreciated!
    Pete

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    Get a couple of concrete blocks, lay them flate, put a piece of 3/4" plywood on top and set the heater on that. Having it elevated helps to keep from getting water setting under it and rusting it out.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    I usually use 3 bricks as the "legs" under these units. Frequently those are 1" thick pavers and especially so if headroom to overhead ductwork or similar might be an issue.

    I keep them right at the outer edge of bottom, so to speak. (Long side of brick toward the outside edge of the WH). Tucked under... but leaving just the very corners sticking out a tad. This gives good support where it's most needed.

    I use a four foot level up the sides to plumb the unit and pieces of leftover shingle cut to the size of the bricks for shims if/where they are needed. If I know that the basement floor has a propensity to become wet I'll also place a piece of 6-mil or heavier plastic between the bottom of the heater and the top of the bricks/shims so that moisture can't wick up to the metal.

    Using pieces of wood instead for the "legs".... is a no-no in my book.
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    Last edited by goldhiller; 02-22-2008 at 10:24 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    I didn't mean legs, I ment a plywood pad.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    Jack,

    I know. And I feared you might misinterpret my last comment about using wood blocks as a no-no...once I saw that you had already posted.

    What I'm referring to is using wood in direct contact with the concrete floor.........which your proposed method doesn't "violate"...so to speak. Have seen way too many wood legs/pads used for this application that were rotted away long before the WH had died.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    Now I see what you mean and agree. Had a senior moment I guess. I also wanted to mention that I found another great pad material. I was working at a plant and they were installing new conveyor belting. Pick up some of the old. Boy is that stuff tough.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    Conveyor belting. Yup, mighty tough stuff.

    I've got some over at the farm that we used as padding/footing under the horses when we'd trailer them. Got ours from the local rock quarry when they replaced theirs. About 3/4" thick. Ever try to cut that stuff?

    Would make a great/superior WH pad/foot though.

    (I'll stick with bricks, me thinks. <G>)
    Last edited by goldhiller; 02-22-2008 at 11:39 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    yep ... just like ****hiller and Jack ( the senior guy ) suggested ... just make sure it's plumb , level and stable .... because at 8.345 lbs per gallon the tank will weigh over 400 lbs when full.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    Quote Originally Posted by ****hiller View Post
    Conveyor belting. Yup, mighty tough stuff.
    Off topic, but on the subject of rubber things ... Growing up on the ranch, one of the neighbors worked at a saw mill. He made a rubber truck bed mat from a glue bladder. For those that haven't seen one, the bladders are the size of a flat bed tractor trailer rig that looks like a giant toothpaste tube. They're what the glue that is used in the making of plywood and such things is shipped in.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Water Heater-Directly on Basement Floor!?

    Thanks everyone-got it installed without a hitch, level, and without a leak

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