Can I rotate my water heater?


My water heater is just taking up so much space. But if I could rotate it, then I would be able to fit my washer and dryer in the laundry room without stacking them on top of each other. Someone please help! If I could move it so that copper pipe is in the front...that would give more space to the left don’t you think? I’m new to this someone please help

q can i rotate my water heater
  13 answers
  • on Jan 22, 2021

    It can likely be moved - but you should hire someone to do it. It's a big and tricky job. Especially because it looks like it's a gas water heater - so it's extra dangerous to mess with.

  • Janice Janice on Jan 22, 2021

    Hi Courtney, it would be best to check with a professional about the move you are consdering. There are many regulations about how close to walls these types of appliances can be installed. It might be more expensive than you think to have it moved just a few inches. A pro's advice would be best as they can take the entire area into consideration and may even have suggestions for you. Good luck! For real space conservation you might consider a tankless hot water heater.

    • Brianinbc Brianinbc on Jan 27, 2021

      For your situation, tankless is the way to go. Gas is a real concern as the burner has to be in the right position to heat the water. Side-burning is a non-starter, and flames only burn in a vertical direction. Could you put your storage tank in another location entirely?

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jan 22, 2021

    Yep it can absolutely be moved but the copper water lines coming into the top of the water heater will have to be cut and reattached. I would call a professional honestly - I've always hated working with copper because of the need for a blow torch etc. If you're really handy with plumbing though they make fittings that will attached copper to PEX or PVC pipe and work really well. (they're called Sharkbite fittings.)

    A couple of thoughts for in the future. Whenever you need to replace your water heater you may want to consider switching to an on demand water heater - they take up about as much space as a shoe box.

    Another thought - we just bought a washer and dryer combo unit from Home Depot. They're not well known in the states but are very popular in Europe. We had our old one for several years and love that its only one machine and it does both. So, someday, when you need to replace your washer and dryer you might want to look into the combo units!

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jan 22, 2021

    I assume you mean you want to move it to another side? you cannot turn it on it's side at all - you need a plumber to do that because the connections have to fit and it has to be done where it is not a hazard to your home or family

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jan 22, 2021

    What is on the opposite sides of the walls in the laundry room?

    I am wondering if perhaps some space between the studs can be 'borrowed', recessing either the appliances, water heater, or both, resulting in a little more floor space in the laundry room ?

    I know it doesn't really answer your question if the water heater can be rotated, but another way to gain a couple more inches of floors space is to remove the baseboards behind the appliances.

    Also, have you thought about perhaps switching to a single washer/dryer combo all-in-one-appliance instead of having these two separate units?

  • Sharon Sharon on Jan 22, 2021

    I would have a plumber come give you an estimate to do the job, measure the width of space needed for the washer/dryer, and the total width of the space with the water heater area. Then ask his advice to reduce the footprint which will mean re-piping the area that could be spendy.

    You could also look at switching to an on-demand water heater on the wall which if much smaller - and get rid of the big guy.

  • I'd have a professional come in and give you an estimate and just to see if it could be done.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jan 22, 2021

    Hi Courtney: I'd definitely get someone who is qualified to do this. It's not a DIY and you could cause a lot of problems, i.e., water leaking, busted pipes, gas leak, etc. Not a job for someone not licensed and bonded.

  • William William on Jan 22, 2021

    It can be done. The supply lines on top would need to be rerouted. As well as the gas line. Your best bet would be to call a plumber to do this. One thing to consider is you would need access to the gas valve and controls for easy servicing.

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Jan 23, 2021

    A plumber might could

  • Dee Dee on Jan 24, 2021

    You would definitely need a plumber and he would have to get a permit to make sure this meets code. But it can be done. Not a DIY project.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 25, 2021

    You might consider doing with a tankless water heater in this case.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jan 29, 2021

    You should ask a professional just to be safe