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Code surrounding enclosing a gas furnace and gas water heater in a closet

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I am considering doing my basement and wanted to know the code. My furnace and water heater seat literally 3 feet aparts almost under the staircase leading to the basement. I wanted to build a room around them ( type of materials, distance from the wall and what type of door can I use) The houses a new home 5 yrs old. Thank you
asked in Heating System by c1792p (120 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi c1792p,
Your appliances brand and model numbers would be very helpful, simply because different types of appliances have various requirements. Local code requirements may vary between jurisdictions as well and you should verify whatever is below with your building department.
You’ll need the manuals for your water heater and a furnace to find out required by the manufacturer clearances for their front, rear and sides. If you don’t have them, just open the manufacturer’s website and look for installation manuals.
You can find in-closet installation information at this link - http://checkthishouse.com/3518/chicago-condo-inspection-combustion-air-requirements.html. I dedicated this particular article to a condominium but the rules are the same for all locations. There’s more extremely important information and some sample calculations for the combustion air here (don’t skip that!) - http://checkthishouse.com/6236/combustion-air-requirements-for-fossil-fuel-burning-appliances.html
Everything above is under the assumption that at least one of your appliances is non-direct vent, which means that it is using combustion air for gas burning process from within your basement. If both of the appliances are direct vent type (combustion air supply from exterior / they might be 2 pipe or single pipe – double wall design) the only thing you have to worry about is clearances required by the manufacturer.
If you have more questions, please read both articles (links above) first and provide detailed information about the appliances.
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)