ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

UPC 2018

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.

501.1 Applicability

AMENDMENT
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The regulations of this chapter shall govern the construction, location, and installation of fuel burning and other types of water heaters heating potable water. The minimum capacity for water heaters shall be in accordance with the first hour rating listed in Table 501.1(2). See the Mechanical Code for combustion air and installation of all vents and their connectors. No water heater shall be hereinafter installed that does not comply with the manufacturer's installation instructions and the type and model of each size thereof approved by the authority having jurisdiction. A list of accepted water heater appliance standards is referenced in Table 501(2). Listed appliances shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions. Unlisted water heaters shall be permitted in accordance with Section 504.3.2.

TABLE 501.1(2)1,3

Number of Bathrooms 1 to 1.5 2 to 2.5 3 to 3.5
Number of Bedrooms 1 2 3 2 3 4 5 3 4 5 6
First Hour Rating2, Gallons 38 49 49 49 62 62 74 62 74 74 74

Notes:

  1. The first hour rating is found on the "Energy Guide" label.
  2. Nonstorage and solar water heaters shall be sized to meet the appropriate first hour rating as shown in the table, and shall be capable of delivering hot water at the maximum system demand flow, as calculated in Section 610.0 or Appendix A, as applicable.
  3. For replacement water heaters, see Section 102.4.

501.1.2 Consumer Electric Storage Water Heater Requirements

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Consumer electric storage water heaters must have a modular demand response communications port compliant with the March 2018 version of the ANSI/CTA—2045-A communication interface standard, or equivalent and the March 2018 version of the ANSI/CTA-2045-A application layer requirements. The interface standard and application layer requirements required in this subsection are the versions established in March 16 2018.
Exception: Water heaters manufactured prior to January 1, 2021.

501.1.3 Mini-Tank Electric Water Heaters

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The standby energy consumption of hot water dispensers and mini-tank electric water heaters manufactured on or after January 1, 2010, shall be not greater than 35 watts. Mini-tank electric water heaters shall be tested in accordance with the method specified in the California Code of 39 Regulations, Title 20, section 1604 in effect as of July 26, 2009.
It shall be unlawful for a person to install, remove, or replace or cause to be installed, removed, or replaced a water heater without first obtaining a permit from the Authority Having Jurisdiction to do so.
This inspection shall be made after chimneys, vents, or parts thereof, authorized by the permit, have been installed and before such vent or part thereof has been covered or concealed.
This inspection shall be made after work authorized by the permit has been installed. The Authority Having Jurisdiction will make such inspection as deemed necessary to be assured that the work has been installed in accordance with the intent of this code. No appliance or part thereof shall be covered or concealed until the same has been inspected and approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

504.1 Location

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Water heater installation in bedrooms and bathrooms shall comply with one of the following:
  1. Fuel-burning water heaters may be installed in a closet located in the bedroom or bathroom provided the closet is equipped with a listed, gasketed door assembly and a listed self-closing device. The self-closing door assembly shall meet the requirements of Section 505.1.1. The door assembly shall be installed with a threshold and bottom door seal and shall meet the requirements of Section 505.1.2. All combustion air for such installations shall be obtained from the outdoors in accordance with the International Mechanical Code. The closet shall be for the exclusive use of the water heater.
  2. Water heater shall be of the direct vent type.
Self-closing doors shall swing easily and freely, and shall be equipped with a self-closing device to cause the door to close and latch each time it is opened. The closing mechanism shall not have a hold-open feature.
Gasketing on gasketed doors or frames shall be furnished in accordance with the published listings of the door, frame, or gasketing material manufacturer.

Exception: Where acceptable to the Authority Having Jurisdiction, gasketing of non-combustible or limited-combustible material shall be permitted to be applied to the frame, provided closing and latching of the door are not inhibited.

Water heaters of other than the direct-vent type shall be located as close as practical to the chimney or gas vent.
The clearance requirements for water heaters shall comply with Section 504.3.1 or Section 504.3.2.
The clearances shall not be such as to interfere with combustion air, draft hood clearance and relief, and accessibility for servicing. Listed water heaters shall be installed in accordance with their listings and the manufacturer's installation instructions.
Unlisted water heaters shall be installed with a clearance of 12 inches (305 mm) on all sides and rear. Combustible floors under unlisted water heaters shall be protected in an approved manner. [NFPA 54:10.27.2.2]
A water heater installation shall be provided with overpressure protection using an approved, listed device installed in accordance with the terms of its listing and the manufacturer's installation instructions.
A water heater installation or a hot water storage vessel installation shall be provided with overtemperature protection by means of an approved, listed device installed in accordance with the terms of its listing and the manufacturer's installation instructions.
Temperature, pressure, and vacuum relief devices or combinations thereof, and automatic gas shutoff devices shall be installed in accordance with the terms of their listings and the manufacturer's installation instructions. A shut-off valve shall not be placed between the relief valve and the water heater or on discharge pipes between such valves and the atmosphere. The hourly British thermal units (Btu) (kW•h) discharge capacity or the rated steam relief capacity of the device shall be not less than the input rating of the water heater. Discharge piping shall be installed in accordance with Section 608.5.
Water heaters deriving heat from fuels or types of energy other than gas shall comply with the standards referenced in Table 501.1(1), Section 505.3, or Section 505.4. Vents or chimneys for such appliances shall be of approved types. An adequate supply of air for combustion and for adequate ventilation of heater rooms or compartments shall be provided. Each such appliance shall be installed in a location approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction and local and state fire-prevention agencies.

505.2 Safety Devices

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All storage-type water heaters deriving heat from fuels or types of energy other than gas, shall be provided with, in addition to the primary temperature controls, an over-temperature safety protection device constructed, listed, and installed in accordance with nationally recognized applicable standards for such devices and a combination temperature and pressure relief valve.
Oil-fired water heaters shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 31.
Indirect-fired water heaters shall be in accordance with the applicable sections of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code or shall comply with one of the other applicable standards shown in Table 501.1(1). Each water heater shall bear a label in accordance with ASME requirements, or an approved testing agency, certifying and attesting that such an appliance has been tested, inspected and meets the requirements of the applicable standards or code.
An indirect-fired water heater that incorporates a single-wall heat exchanger shall be in accordance with the following requirements:
  1. The heat transfer medium shall be either potable water or contain fluids recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as food grade.
  2. Bear a label with the word "Caution," followed by the following statements:
    1. The heat-transfer medium shall be potable water or other nontoxic fluid recognized as safe by the FDA.
    2. The maximum operating pressure of the heat exchanger shall not exceed the maximum operating pressure of the potable water supply.
  3. The word "Caution" and the statements in letters shall have an uppercase height of not less than 0.120 of an inch (3.048 mm). The vertical spacing between lines of type shall be not less than 0.046 of an inch (1.168 mm). Lowercase letters shall be compatible with the uppercase letter size specification.

506.0 Air for Combustion and VentilationCombustion Air

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For issues relating to combustion air, see the Mechanical Code.

506.1 General

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506.1.1 Other Types of Appliances

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506.1.2 Draft Hood and Regulators

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506.1.3 Makeup Air

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506.2 Indoor Combustion Air

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506.2.1 Standard Method

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506.2.2 Known Air Infiltration Rate Method

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506.3 Indoor Opening Size and Location

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506.4 Outdoor Combustion Air

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506.4.1 Two Permanent Openings Method

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506.4.2 One Permanent Opening Method

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506.5 Combination Indoor and Outdoor Combustion Air

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506.5.1 Indoor Openings

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506.5.2 Outdoor Openings

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506.5.3 Outdoor Opening(s) Size

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506.6 Engineered Installations

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506.7 Mechanical Combustion Air Supply

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506.7.1 Exhaust Fans

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506.7.2 Interlock

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506.7.3 Specified Combustion Air

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506.8 Louvers, Grilles, and Screens

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506.8.1 Minimum Screen Mesh Size

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506.8.2 Motorized Louvers

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506.9 Combustion Air Ducts

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The Authority Having Jurisdiction shall have the authority to require the use of an approved dielectric insulator on the water piping connections of water heaters and related water heating appliances.

507.2 Seismic Provisions

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Water heaters shall be anchored or strapped to resist horizontal displacement due to earthquake motion. Strappings shall be at points within the upper one-third and lower one-third of its vertical dimensions. At the lower point, a distance of not less than four (4) inches (102 mm) shall be maintained from the controls to the strapping.
Appliances and equipment shall be furnished either with load-distributing bases or with a sufficient number of supports to prevent damage to either the building structure or the appliance and the equipment. [NFPA 54:9.1.8.1]
At the locations selected for installation of appliances and equipment, the dynamic and static load carrying capacities of the building structure shall be checked to determine whether they are adequate to carry the additional loads. The appliances and equipment shall be supported and shall be connected to the piping so as not to exert undue stress on the connections. [NFPA 54:9.1.8.2]
A water heater supported from the earth shall rest on level concrete or other approved base extending not less than 3 inches (76 mm) above the adjoining ground level.
Where a water heater is located in an attic, in or on an attic ceiling assembly, floor-ceiling assembly, or floor-subfloor assembly where damage results from a leaking water heater, a watertight pan of corrosion-resistant materials shall be installed beneath the water heater with not less than 3/4 of an inch (20 mm) diameter drain to an approved location. Such pan shall be not less than 11/2 inches (38 mm) in depth.

507.6 Added or Converted Equipment or Appliances

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507.7 Types of Gases

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507.8 Safety Shutoff Devices for Unlisted LP-gas Appliance Used Indoors

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507.9 Use of Air or Oxygen Under Pressure

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Nondirect-vent appliances installed in beauty shops, barber shops, or other facilities where chemicals that generate corrosive or flammable products such as aerosol sprays are routinely used shall be located in a mechanical room separate or partitioned off from other areas with provisions for combustion and dilution air from outdoors. Direct-vent appliances in such facilities shall be in accordance with the appliance manufacturer's installation instructions. [NFPA 54:9.1.6.2]
In addition to air needed for combustion in commercial or industrial processes, process air shall be provided as required for cooling of appliances, equipment, or material; for controlling dew point, heating, drying, oxidation, dilution, safety exhaust, odor control, air for compressors; and for comfort and proper working conditions for personnel. [NFPA 54:9.1.7]
Appliances shall not be installed in areas where the open use, handling, or dispensing of flammable liquids occurs, unless the design, operation, or installation reduces the potential of ignition of the flammable vapors. Appliances installed in compliance with Section 507.13 through Section 507.15 shall be considered to comply with the intent of this provision. [NFPA 54:9.1.9]

507.13 Installation in
Residential
Garages

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Appliances in garages and in adjacent spaces that open to the garage and are not part of the living space of a dwelling unit shall be installed so that burners, burner-ignition devices and ignition sources are located not less than eighteen (18) inches above the floor unless listed as flammable vapor ignition resistant.
Appliances installed in garages, warehouses, or other areas subject to mechanical damage shall be guarded against such damage by being installed behind protective barriers or by being elevated or located out of the normal path of vehicles.
Where appliances are installed in a separate, enclosed space having access only from outside of the garage, such appliances shall be permitted to be installed at floor level, providing the required combustion air is taken from the exterior of the garage. [NFPA 54:9.1.10.3]
Appliances installed in commercial garages shall comply with Section 507.14.1 and Section 507.14.2.
Appliances installed in enclosed, basement, and underground parking structures shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 88A. [NFPA 54:9.1.11.1]
Appliances installed in repair garages shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 30A. [NFPA 54:9.1.11.2]
Heaters in aircraft hangars shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 409. [NFPA 54:9.1.12]

507.16 Venting of Flue Gases

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No device or attachment shall be installed on an appliance that is capable of impairing the combustion of gas. [NFPA 54:9.1.15]

507.18 Adequate Capacity of Piping

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507.19 Avoiding Strain on Gas Piping

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507.20 Gas Appliance Pressure Regulators

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507.21 Venting of Gas Appliance Pressure Regulators

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507.22 Bleed Lines for Diaphragm-Type Valves

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A combination of appliances, equipment, attachments, or devices used together in a manner shall be in accordance with the standards that apply to the individual appliance and equipment. [NFPA 54:9.1.21]
The installing agency shall comply with the appliance and equipment manufacturer's installation instructions in completing an installation. The installing agency shall leave the manufacturer's installation, operating, and maintenance instructions in a location on the premises where they will be readily available for reference and guidance for the Authority Having Jurisdiction, service personnel, and the owner or operator. [NFPA 54:9.1.22]
Appliances not listed for outdoor installation but installed outdoors shall be provided with protection to the degree that the environment requires. Appliances listed for outdoor installation shall be permitted to be installed without protection in accordance with the provisions of its listing and the manufacturer's installation instructions.
Appliances shall be located with respect to building construction and other equipment so as to permit access to the appliance. Sufficient clearance shall be maintained to permit cleaning of heating surfaces; the replacement of filters, blowers, motors, burners, controls, and vent connections; the lubrication of moving parts where necessary; the adjustment and cleaning of burners and pilots; and the proper functioning of explosion vents, where provided. For attic installation, the passageway and servicing area adjacent to the appliance shall be floored. [NFPA 54:9.2.1]
Appliances and their vent connectors shall be installed with clearances from combustible material so their operation does not create a hazard to persons or property. Minimum clearances between combustible walls and the back and sides of various conventional types of appliances and their vent connectors are specified in Section 509.0. [NFPA 54:9.2.2]
Appliances on roofs shall be designed or enclosed so as to withstand climatic conditions in the area in which they are installed. Where enclosures are provided, each enclosure shall permit easy entry and movement, shall be of reasonable height, and shall have at least a 30 inch (762 mm) clearance between the entire service access panel(s) of the appliance, and the wall of the enclosure. [NFPA 54:9.4.1.1]
Roofs on which appliances are to be installed shall be capable of supporting the additional load or shall be reinforced to support the additional load. [NFPA 54:9.4.1.2]
Access locks, screws, and bolts shall be of corrosion-resistant material. [NFPA 54:9.4.1.3]
Appliances shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions. [NFPA 54:9.4.2.1]
Appliances shall be installed on a well-drained surface of the roof. At least 6 feet (1829 mm) of clearance shall be available between any part of the appliance, and the edge of a roof or similar hazard, or rigidly fixed rails, guards, parapets, or other building structures at least 42 inches (1067 mm) in height shall be provided on the exposed side. [NFPA 54:9.4.2.2]
All appliances requiring an external source of electrical power for its operation shall be provided with the following:
  1. A readily accessible electrical disconnecting means within sight of the appliance that completely deenergizes the appliance.
  2. A 120 V-ac grounding-type receptacle outlet on the roof adjacent to the appliance on the supply side of the disconnect switch. [NFPA 54:9.4.2.3]
Where water stands on the roof at the appliance or in the passageways to the appliance, or where the roof is of a design having a water seal, a suitable platform, walkway, or both shall be provided above the waterline. Such platform(s) or walkway(s) shall be located adjacent to the appliance and control panels so that the appliance can be safely serviced where water stands on the roof. [NFPA 54:9.4.2.4]
Appliances located on roofs or other elevated locations shall be accessible. [NFPA 54:9.4.3.1]
Buildings exceeding 15 feet (4572 mm) in height shall have an inside means of access to the roof unless other means acceptable to the Authority Having Jurisdiction are used. [NFPA 54:9.4.3.2]
The inside means of access shall be a permanent or fold away inside stairway or ladder, terminating in an enclosure, scuttle, or trap door. Such scuttles or trap doors shall be at least 22 inches by 24 inches (559 mm by 610 mm) in size, shall open easily and safely under all conditions, especially snow; and shall be constructed so as to permit access from the roof side unless deliberately locked on the inside.

At least 6 feet (1829 mm) of clearance shall be available between the access opening and the edge of the roof or similar hazard, or rigidly fixed rails or guards a minimum of 42 inches (1067 mm) in height shall be provided on the exposed side. Where parapets or other building structures are utilized in lieu of guards or rails, they shall be a minimum of 42 inches (1067 mm) in height. [NFPA 54:9.4.3.3]

Permanent lighting shall be provided at the roof access. The switch for such lighting shall be located inside the building near the access means leading to the roof. [NFPA 54:9.4.3.4]
An attic or under-floor space in which an appliance is installed shall be accessible through an opening and passageway, not less than as large as the largest component of the appliance, and not less than 22 inches by 30 inches (559 mm by 762 mm).
Where the height of the passageway is less than 6 feet (1829 mm), the distance from the passageway access to the appliance shall not exceed 20 feet (6096 mm) measured along the centerline of the passageway. [NFPA 54:9.5.1.1]
The passageway shall be unobstructed and shall have solid flooring not less than 24 inches (610 mm) wide from the entrance opening to the appliance. [NFPA 54:9.5.1.2]
A level working platform not less than 30 inches by 30 inches (762 mm by 762 mm) shall be provided in front of the service side of the appliance. [NFPA 54:9.5.2]
A permanent 120 V receptacle outlet and a lighting fixture shall be installed near the appliance. The switch controlling the lighting fixture shall be located at the entrance to the passageway. [NFPA 54:9.5.3]

509.0 Venting of Appliances

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509.1 Listing

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509.1.1 Installation

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509.1.2 Prohibited Discharge

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509.2 Connection to Venting Systems

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509.2.1 Appliances Not Required to Be Vented

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509.2.2 Maximum Input Rating

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509.2.3 Adjacent Room or Space

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509.2.4 Ventilating Hoods

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509.2.5 Well-Ventilated Spaces

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509.2.6 Direct-Vent Appliances

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509.2.7 Appliances With Integral Vents

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509.3 Design and Construction

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509.3.1 Appliance Draft Requirements

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509.3.2 Appliance Venting Requirements

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509.3.3 Mechanical Draft Systems

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509.3.3.1 Venting

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509.3.3.2 Leakage

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509.3.3.3 Vent Connectors

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509.3.3.4 Operation

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509.3.3.5 Exit Terminals

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509.3.4 Ventilating Hoods and Exhaust Systems

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509.3.4.1 Automatically Operated Appliances

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509.3.5 Circulating Air Ducts and Furnace Plenums

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509.3.6 Above-Ceiling or Nonducted Air Handling System

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509.4 Type of Venting System to Be Used

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509.4.1 Plastic Piping

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509.4.2 Plastic Vent Joints

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509.4.3 Special Gas Vents

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509.5 Masonry, Metal, and Factory-Built Chimneys

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509.5.1 Factory-Built Chimneys

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509.5.1.1 Decorative Shrouds

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509.5.1.2 Listing Requirements

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509.5.2 Metal Chimneys

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509.5.3 Masonry Chimneys

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509.5.4 Termination

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509.5.4.1 Medium-Heat Gas Appliances

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509.5.4.2 Chimney Height

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509.5.4.3 Decorative Shrouds

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509.5.5 Size of Chimneys

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509.5.6 Inspection of Chimneys

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509.5.6.1 Standard

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509.5.6.2 Cleanouts

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509.5.6.3 Existing Chimney

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509.5.7 Chimney Serving Appliances Burning Other Fuels

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509.5.7.1 Gas and Liquid Fuel-Burning Appliances

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509.5.7.2 Gas and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances

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509.5.7.3 Combination Gas- And Oil-Burning Appliances

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509.5.8 Support of Chimneys

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509.5.9 Cleanouts

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509.5.10 Space Surrounding Lining or Vent

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509.5.10.1 Combustion Air

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509.6 Gas Vents

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509.6.1 Termination Requirements

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509.6.1.1 Type B and L Vents

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509.6.1.2 Type B-W Vents

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509.6.1.3 Exterior Wall Termination

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509.6.1.4 Decorative Shrouds

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509.6.1.5 Termination Cap

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509.6.1.6 Forced Air Inlet

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509.6.1.7 Insulation Shield

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509.6.2 Size of Gas Vents

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509.6.2.1 Category I Appliances

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509.6.2.2 Vent Offsets

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509.6.2.3 Category II, Category III, and Category IV Appliances

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509.6.2.4 Sizing

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509.6.3 Gas Vents Serving Appliances on More Than One Floor

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509.6.3.1 Occupiable Space

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509.6.3.2 Multistory Venting System

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509.6.4 Support of Gas Vents

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509.6.5 Marking

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509.7 Single-Wall Metal Pipe

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509.7.1 Cold Climate

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509.7.2 Termination

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509.7.3 Installation With Appliances Permitted by Section 509.4

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509.7.3.1 Limitations

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509.7.3.2 Attic or Concealed Space

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509.7.3.3 Incinerator

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509.7.3.4 Clearances

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509.7.3.5 Combustible Exterior Wall

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509.7.3.6 Roof Thimble

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509.7.4 Size of Single-Wall Metal Pipe

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509.7.4.1 Sizing of Venting System

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509.7.4.2 Non-Round Metal Pipe

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509.7.4.3 Venting Capacity

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509.7.5 Support of Single-Wall Metal Pipe

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509.7.6 Marking

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509.8 Through-The-Wall Vent Termination

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509.8.1 Mechanical Draft Venting System

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509.8.2 Direct-Vent Appliance

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509.8.3 Category I Through Category IV and Noncategorized Appliances

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509.8.4 Annular Spaces

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509.8.5 Vent Terminals

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509.9 Condensation Drain

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509.9.1 Local Experience

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509.10 Vent Connectors for Category I Appliances

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509.10.1 Materials

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509.10.1.1 Unconditioned Area

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509.10.1.2 Residential-Type Appliances

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509.10.1.3 Non-Residential Low-Heat Appliances

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509.10.1.4 Medium-Heat Appliances

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509.10.2 Size of Vent Connector

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509.10.2.1 Manifold

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509.10.2.2 Size

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509.10.2.3 Height

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509.10.2.4 Size Increase

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509.10.3 Two or More Appliances Connected to a Single Vent

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509.10.3.1 Height of Connector

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509.10.3.2 Pressure

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509.10.4 Clearance

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509.10.5 Joints

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509.10.6 Slope

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509.10.7 Length of Vent Connector

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509.10.7.1 Single Wall Connector

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509.10.7.2 Type B Double Wall Connector

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509.10.8 Support

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509.10.9 Chimney Connection

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509.10.10 Inspection

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509.10.11 Fireplaces

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509.10.12 Passage Through Ceilings, Floors, or Walls

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509.10.12.1 Medium-Heat Appliances

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509.11 Vent Connectors for Category II, Category III, and Category IV Appliances

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509.12 Draft Hoods and Draft Controls

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509.12.1 Installation

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509.12.2 Draft Control Devices

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509.12.3 Additional Devices

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509.12.4 Location

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509.12.5 Positioning

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509.12.6 Clearance

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509.13 Manually Operated Dampers

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509.14 Automatically Operated Vent Dampers

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509.14.1 Listing

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509.15 Obstructions

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510.0 Sizing of Category I Venting Systems

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510.1 Single Appliance Vent Table 510.1.2(1) Through Table 510.1.2(6)

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510.1.1 Vent Downsizing

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510.1.2 Elbows

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510.1.3 Zero Lateral

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510.1.4 High-Altitude Installations

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510.1.5 Multiple Input Ratings

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510.1.6 Corrugated Chimney Liner Reduction

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510.1.7 Connection to Chimney Liners

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510.1.8 Vertical Vent Upsizing Using 7 × Rule

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510.1.9 Draft Hood Conversion Accessories

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510.1.10 Chimney and Vent Locations

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510.1.11 Corrugated Vent Connector Size

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510.1.12 Upsizing

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510.1.13 Single Run of Vent

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510.1.14 Interpolation

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510.1.15 Extrapolation

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510.1.16 Engineering Methods

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510.1.17 Height Entries

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510.2 Multiple Appliance Vent Table 510.2(1) Through Table 510.2(9)

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510.2.1 Vent Connector Maximum Length

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510.2.2 Vent Connector Exceeding Maximum Length

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510.2.3 Vent Connector Manifold

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510.2.4 Vent Offset

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510.2.5 Elbow Reduction

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510.2.6 Elbows in Connectors

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510.2.7 Common Vent Minimum Size

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510.2.8 Tee and Wye Fittings

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510.2.9 Size of Fittings

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510.2.10 High-Altitude Installations

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510.2.11 Connector Rise

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510.2.12 Vent Height

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510.2.13 Multistory Installations

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510.2.14 Size of Vents for Multistory Installations

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510.2.15 Vent Type Multistory Installations

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510.2.16 Offsets in Multistory Installations

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510.2.17 Vertical Vent Size Limitation

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510.2.18 Multiple Input Ratings

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510.2.19 Corrugated Metallic Chimney Liner Reduction

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510.2.20 Chimneys and Vents

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510.2.21 Vent Connector Sizing

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510.2.22 Combination of Pipe Types and Sizes

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510.2.23 Multiple Connector and Vent Sizes

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510.2.24 Interpolation

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510.2.25 Extrapolation

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510.2.26 Engineering Methods

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510.2.27 Height Entries

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