Water Heater Rescue: Know-How, Troubleshooting, Anodes graphic

Houdini > Platform Diving

Top, bottom view of water heater closet where the tank is on a platform with little room to get it in or out

This might be our second-least-favorite installation. These water heaters are located in a closet on the ends of each block of buildings. That's not especially unusual. What is, is that they're mounted on a second-story platform, about eight feet above ground, with only about four feet between the door and the start of the water heater platform. Tight.

Take a good look at the photos at right. This is a place where what the top photo shows really is physically above what the bottom photo shows.That's because while the water heater is upstairs, a slew of meters and phone wiring are downstairs and one of the problems here was that every time the water heater broke, it leaked all over this stuff.

As you can see, there was a sort of shaky ladder built into the wall, but getting up, doing anything at all and getting down without falling down is a bit tricky.

We had seen these during an inspection in the mid-1990s. When we returned some years later to take pictures, we learned that management was moving the water heaters down to the ground.

Our question: why didn't the architect do that at the outset?