Can You Put Stuff Next To The Water Heater? (Be Careful!)

Living in the modern world where life is literally made simpler by several home appliances is fascinating.

However, if you live in a mobile home, you will likely face high spacing challenges.

The clearance space you allow for your appliances significantly affects their effectiveness and functionality.

But, Can You Put Stuff Next To The Water Heater?

Of course, yes! You can keep some stuff near a water heater as long as they are not blocking the airways of the appliance and are non-flammable. However, it is advisable always to keep space around your water heater and if you must store some items near it, make sure you maintain a reasonable spacing.

Typically, a water heater is one of the essential pieces of equipment you might think of having in a home.

Once you own it and it fails to work, you will obviously get upset. You may not be able to enjoy hot showers or heat circulation in your home.

For this reason, you need to maintain your water heating appliances and take necessary precautions while handling them.

Safety is key. Therefore, when you utilize the space near a water heater by storing stuff, make sure you are not compromising your safety and that of the people near you.

Additionally, you wish to have your heater function properly.

If you place stuff near the water heater without taking safety precautions, then it might fail to serve you as you expect.

Three Water Heater Item Store Safety Tips

When it comes to storing stuff near your appliances, especially those that produce heat or require any form of fuel to function, safety becomes a great idea.

Consider the following safety tips whenever you have something that you feel can be kept near a water heater.

1. Avoid Storing Flammable Material Near The Water Heater

In no circumstance should you ever store flammable material near a water heater.

Materials like papers, wood, and chemicals pose a very high fire risk.

Items made of paper such as documents, books, magazines, and more should never be placed near a heater.

Similarly, woods and wooden stuff should be kept far away from a water heater because they can catch fire and lead to significant loss of property or, worse, a life.

Chemicals like sprays are highly flammable, and placing them near an appliance that produces and uses fuel can be life-threatening.

When such chemical cans get too hot, they can explode and leave significant damage to both people and property.

Using an electric heater is not a leeway to storing anything near a water heater because electric sparks can fall on the stuff and cause an uncontrollable fire.

2. Don’t Block The Water Heater’s Ventilation

If you have to keep a water heater in a closet, make sure there are proper vents.

When you store anything near the heater, make sure it does not interfere with air circulation since inadequate air supply can lead to improper combustion; thus, high possibility of dangerous carbon monoxide buildup.

Carbon monoxide is a flammable gas, and if it builds up, there are fire risks too.

To add on, when the gas is inhaled, it poses a risk to both humans and pets around the home.

Having adequate free space near the heater and ensuring all vents are functional is the best way to avoid the formation of carbon monoxide, which is by far hazardous.

3. Avoid Anything That Can Be Damaged By Water

Water damage is usually irreversible, especially if it damages some valuable materials and tools.

Unfortunately, identifying a water leakage from some appliances like water heaters might not be easy.

However, if you tame close maintenance practices, you can identify molds, bacteria or rust.

These are the most common but hidden signs that your water heater is leaking.

If you have enough free space, you will easily identify and rectify the problem. Otherwise, if you have kept a lot of stuff near the heater, they can also get soiled with water.

Water can internally damage your appliances if it leaks and the water accumulates within it.

At times, it gets worse than the water spreads all over the floor space causing damage to nearby appliances and tools.

Similarly, water from the walls and roof leakages can damage a water heater and anything around it.

Make sure whatever you store near a water heater is waterproof to avoid such poses.

You may choose to add a few shelves on top of a water heater so you can store stuff there.

It is advisable to endure that whatever you put on such shelves is waterproof and nonflammable.

While building the shelves, leave some space between the heater and the shelves.

Water Heater Clearance Regulations

Water heaters, just like any other heat-producing appliances, need to be installed carefully and allow some space from constructions and flammable materials.

However, clearance space can be minimized as per the owners’ desire, as long as it does not pose any danger.

While minimizing the clearance space of a water heater by storing stuff, make sure you leave some space to allow you to view the piping system and do maintenance practices.

Although rarely, the pipes taking water to and from the water heater may burst and leak water to the floor.

If you had stored lots of stuff near the heater, they might get damaged before noticing the leakage.

Too many additional tools near the water heater also deny you adequate space for maintenance practices like cleaning the water heater.

Without these activities, the appliance may get greatly damaged and fail to function.

Still, you can use protective materials for the water heater and create space where you can store more stuff.

You can choose to either install a masonry wall of about 3 inches thick, about ½ inches of insulation board for every inch of glass fiber, or a metal sheet over every glass fiber.

Remember, as much as you install these protective parts, you should always leave space for air circulation and accessibility to the heater.

The extra layer will help control the heat from the heater to the nearby appliances, thus lowering the possibility of igniting a fire.


Spacing home appliances is essential because it enhances the functionality of the appliances.

When you start adding more stuff near appliances, you need first to check the manufacturers’ clearance regulations.

For a water heater, the rule of thumb is, do not put flammable or non-waterproof stuff near it.

Interfering with the clearance space can later cause you harm.

Hopefully this article will help you if you rt planning to utilize the space near your water heater.