How to hide a gas water heater?

by Terrie
I have a gas water heater in my bathroom that I would love to hide. My concern is fire regulation issues if I try to hide it. Does anyone have something that they have done? There is very little space between the door and the water heater when the door is opened and on the other side, there is very little room between the water heater and the sink. Help will be greatly appreciated.
  9 answers
  • Katphish Katphish on Feb 01, 2015
    Would it be possible for you to replace it with a "tankless" model? We have one and we love it! Takes up very little room.
  • Patricia Gladstone Patricia Gladstone on Feb 01, 2015
    I put a curtain over mine, you can use hooks in the ceiling to hold it up
  • Barbara R Barbara R on Feb 01, 2015
    My gas water heater was installed back in the deep recesses in the corner of my back closet. Stupid place for it, but it works. They boxed it in and left just a foot of space around it, I was concerned, too, but it's been just fine. Leave enough room for yourself to get in there and re-light the pilot if it goes out (and they do).
  • Pam Bowers Pam Bowers on Feb 01, 2015
    I realize this may not be as up to date as soon of the suggestions maybe, but here is a thought. Maybe try lattice panels and decorate them. I had to do that in an old farmhouse years ago.
  • Belinda Todd Belinda Todd on Feb 01, 2015
    How about hinging a couple of old doors together to make a folding screen to hide it
  • Let me try this again. Hot water heaters can be enclosed however you must follow some rules. First off is clearance. You need to research your brand and model unit to determine the clearance distance to flammable materials. Such as wood or curtains. Once you know that you can decide on a method that will be safe and work best for your room. The most ideal is using louvered door panels fastened together using hinges. Paint and simply set the doors on the floor in front of the heater. Also be sure NOT to use any curtains that can be blown into the heater should a window be left open or a breeze blows in the area. This can cause these to come into contact with the flue pipe coming out of the top. In the area of the flue pipe, national gas codes require a minimum of 6 inches of clearance to any combustible materials. This included framing. This distance can be lowered if you install what is called B Vent. This is a double thick metal pipe that allows for up to only 1 inch space clearance around the pipe. However this pipe is expensive and not very DIY friendly if you have not worked with it before. Lastly be sure you have enough combustion air for the heater. Again Gas code requires a one inch free air space for each 1000 BTU input of fuel being burned. so you need a free area of air of 40 square inches for combustion. And this area needs to be available both near the ceiling or above the heater and down near the floor. This is why louvered doors is the best solution to the job at hand.
    • Tti1226428 Tti1226428 on Feb 02, 2015
      @Woodbridge Environmental Thank you so much for the in-depth answer. This is what I was hoping for. Sounds like louvered doors is the answer.
  • Tti1226428 Tti1226428 on Feb 02, 2015
    Thank you for all the suggestions.
  • John Kendall John Kendall on Jan 09, 2020

    It would also be best to make sure you have a carbon monoxide sensor in that room. If it is going to be a room that people are in a lot you want to make sure the air quality is good.