Building Codes for Water heater installation In Arizona


You called a professional plumber to install a water heater in your home, you are relying on his experience and knowledge to perform the work correctly and up to code. I would too, but why not rely on them with open eyes. Find here all you need to know about Water Heater Installation In Arizona


Here are a few easy to check and confirm items related to water heater installation in Arizona. 

Keep in mind that if you are an out of state owner or just used to how things are done in other states, Arizona has different Building Plumbing codes then other states. You are welcome to look up all the following info on installation of a water heater codes starting at 501 though 607 in this Up To Code website. 


When choosing a water heater, you typically have 2 options. Gas or electric. Normally a neighborhood that offers Natural Gas Service will have a gas water heater installed in the home.  Reasoning is, it is cheaper, faster and more efficient then an electrical water tank. 


Gas water heaters must be installed on a platform and the pilot light must be at least 18 inches above ground. 

The gas line must be Yellow (the identifying color of gas) and it must have a shut off valve before the appliance.

The shut off valve must be parallel to the pipe when off. Gas shut off valves installed in the home must be vented.


All water heater installations must include: 


A shut off valve on the cold water line before the intake connection. 

The water heater must be installed in an accessible part of the house so it can be inspected. 


If the water heater is located in part of a living space of the home, this can be in a closet or in the kitchen for example. The water heater must be installed on a pan. If the water heater is gas the pan must be made of Galvanized Steel or Aluminum and must be adequate for the size of water heater installed with a side wall of 1.5 inches or more.  water-heater-in-drain-pan_steel

Plastic pans are permitted only on electrical water heaters. 

Water heaters located within the living space must have a drain pipe attached to the pressure relief valve as well as to the pan. The piping must be piped to the outside of the house letting the water out no less than 6 inches from the ground and no more than 24 inches high. 

The piping can be PVC or CPVC but must be rated for high heat. 

No abstraction is allowed to the drainage pipe, that includes valves, traps or fittings. 


If the water heater is installed in the garage a pan is not required although it is recommended. We always install water heaters with pans!

Same with the drain pipe, it is not mandated but still a great idea to have. This can prevent water damage to the drywall in case of a leak that is highly likely. 

Last, a maximum distance from the water heater to the farthest water fixture is 50 feet. In cases that the water heater is more than that a Circulation system needs to be installed. 


When you purchase a water heater from the manufacturer, it will come with all of the required parts such as a ¾ inch drain valve (hose bib) on the bottom of the tank and a pressure relief valve. It will also include a siphon that is located in the tank and code on water heaters in Arizona. As long as the water heater is of a familiar brand or bought at a reputable retailer, you don’t need to question that.  All water heaters should have a temperature gauge to set for lower temperature as well as high temperature. The code limits the temperature of a water heater to 140 degrees. Most inspectors will agree that if you are setting the tank to more than 110 you probably don’t have the correct water heater for your usage.  


Some out of state residences might be used to having the water heater strapped to the walls or having an inspector come out to permit the installation. In Arizona these steps are currently not required. The strapping is in earth crack zones and in Arizona the inspection is permitted by the installer. 


Response Crew installed water heaters and other plumbing fixtures. We can perform water heater repairs as well as drywall repair to damaged pedestals. Water_Heater_Installation

Check out our Plumbing Phoenix page as well as our Plumbing Tucson page. 

To schedule a handyman plumber to come out you can call or request a quote here