Can You Put A Water Heater Outside: Free Up Space Without Sacrificing Hot Showers

You need hot water, but you also need access to your water heater and plenty of space inside your home. Can you put a water heater outside for convenience? Juggling your needs while self-installing your appliances is a delicate balance, but you can do it with the right information. I have put in several water heaters, and I’ll teach you what you need to know about outdoor options. You cannot simply take a water heater outside and set it on the ground. Fortunately, there are other ways to go about relocating your water heater that work well outside. For gas and large electric heaters, you will need to build an enclosure to keep out debris and weather at the very least. Alternately, you can install tankless water heaters. While these small heaters still need to be shielded from the elements, they are also easier to install and enclose.

Can you put a water heater outside? You can put a water heater outside. Although you may need to make some adaptations, such as an appropriate enclosure to shelter it, putting your water heater outside your home can save you space and make access easier in some cases. However, it is vital to check the building codes first to ensure that your water heater and enclosure meet the necessary standards for inspection. 

Where Can A Water Heater Be Located

You can put a water heater outside, but that is not the only option. Most water heaters are located in attics, garages, basements, or within their own closets separate from other areas. Doing this is the best option to accommodate the size and avoid unnecessarily heating the surrounding area in summer.

Placing water heaters in unusual spots, such as bedroom closets, is not unheard of. However, there are limits to which water heaters can be placed in these enclosed spaces. To put it inside a small, closed space, your water heater must be tankless, electric, sealed combustion chamber, or direct vent style.

Water Heater Placement Regulations

Regulations can vary from place to place, so it is always wise to look up local regulations before planning anything. However, a water heater needs to be located on an outside wall of the home in general. Whether inside the house or outside it, you may still need to put it on an external wall.

Beyond that, a water heater must be level. Whether you use a concrete slab, shims, or a level floor, this is vital to proper water heater function. Moreover, the water needs to be piped into an open drain, so you’ll need to locate it somewhere there is an appropriate plumbing pipe nearby.

For easy-to-locate instant hot water, try the Ecotouch Point-of-Use Hot Water Heater from Amazon. This self-modulating water heater has excellent overheat protection. Moreover, it also has a simple-to-read digital display, so you never have to guess the water temperature. Best of all, Ecotouch operates at ninety-eight percent optimal efficiency to save your wallet and the environment. Learn all about it when you click right here. 

How Hard Is It To Relocate A Water Heater

Regardless of whether you plan to put it outside, across the house, or hundreds of miles away, moving a water heater is not easy. In fact, hot water heart moving is arguably one of the most delicate and difficult items you could choose to relocate. Although it is doable as a DIY, you’ll need to be very precise.

Most homeowners opt to hire a professional because of the potential complications. The unit itself is like any large appliance and not without moving difficulties. However, the plumbing, electrical, and gas requirements, along with building codes, are a lot to handle on your own.

If you have an electric water heater, there are wires to consider. Alternately, when your unit is gas, there are gas pipes. Additionally, the plumbing involved is not a beginner’s task.

Can You Transport A Hot Water Heater

Many homeowners think relocating a water heater is a simple task, but nothing could be further from the truth. You can put a water heater outside, but even moving it indoors is complex. To move the heater at all, it needs to be kept upright at all times. Failure to do so could damage the inner liner.

Securing water heaters upright and preventing any damage in transit is not easy. It is possible to lay a water heater on its side to move, but you’re more likely to harm the internal components. Plus, moving a gas water heater means you must hire a contractor to handle the gas service lines, even if you transport the tank yourself.

Some water heaters come pre-filled with water. These can’t lay on their sides to move, and you will have substantially more weight to deal with. Sadly, transporting and hooking up water heaters is a process that can go catastrophically wrong in numerous ways.

Transporting a small heater like the Rinkmo Electric Tankless Water Heater from Amazon is simple. At seven to nine pounds, you won’t need a dolly or hired help to lift this water heater into place. Available in four sizes, you can find the perfect model for any home. The all silicone wire design is more durable and heat resistant than other systems. Plus, you’ll reduce your water heating costs by up to sixty percent. Get yours by clicking here. 

How Much Does It Cost To Move A Water Heater Outside

Once you realize the relative skill level required, you may want to pay professionals to put your water heater outside. How much is that going to set you back? The physical move and gas lines along with hook up in the new location will run you an average of a thousand to fifteen hundred dollars.

If you live somewhere with a higher-than-average cost of living, expect to pay more. However, that’s not the only thing you need to factor into your equation. The base cost doesn’t include pouring a concrete slab, leveling the ground, or putting in a shelter for the outdoor water heater.

Overall, you could end up paying two thousand dollars or more to relocate a standard gas or electric water heater outdoors. Furthermore, water heaters have a working life to consider. If your unit is older, it is probably a clever idea to replace it completely rather than putting an aging water heater outside.

A less expensive alternative is to install tankless water heaters. Even if you have a large home and need several, it will still likely cost less than moving a single older, larger water heater out of the house.

Pros And Cons Of Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Before you can decide whether to put a tankless water heater outside, you need to understand that they come in two vastly distinctive styles. A gas tankless water heater that is made for outdoor installation doesn’t need additional shelter. Meanwhile, an electric model will need its own protection from the weather.


Outdoor tankless water heaters are a smart upgrade. Especially when you live in a warmer climate, these point-of-use water heaters are the best all-around option. Listed here are the best reasons to install an outdoor tankless water heater.

  • Outdoor water heaters take up no space in your home.
  • Any noise is minimized since the unit is not in your home.
  • Tankless water heaters are extremely efficient and will save you money.
  • This style is easier to install and transport.
  • Outdoor tankless water heaters are also a lower initial investment.

I suggest the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T. Not only is Bosch a fantastic company, but this model has a glass-lined tank for longer working life. You can supply two sinks at a time. Plus, you’ll love the swift recovery rate—no more waiting hours for more hot water. To have Amazon deliver to your door fast, click here. 


There is a downside to installing outdoor tankless water heaters. For one thing, they don’t do so great in sub-freezing temperatures. Below are other considerations.

  • Because they are small, light, and portable, outdoor tankless water heaters are also good targets for theft.
  • If the power goes out, you will not have any stored warm water.
  • Power surges and outages have been known to cause damage to outdoor tankless water heaters.

So long as you get a good warranty and place it out of the line of sight, this type of water heater is a superb choice. Gas or electric, these small, convenient machines are good for the environment and your wallet.

Final Thoughts

Once you learn that you can put a water heater outside, the possibilities are endless. Ensure that you insulate it properly to prevent heat loss, and when possible, choose a warm area to take advantage of the natural heat. Doing this will prevent higher electric bills.


water dripping inside washer

no hot water after turning water back on

I strongly recommend upgrading to smaller, tankless heaters. These convenient, lightweight water heaters are faster to install. More importantly, they can also save you money because they don’t run constantly. You can have all the hot water you need without a space and energy-eating large heater.

Putting a water heater outside will take more work than just drilling a hole and running a plumbing line. Nevertheless, a capable DIYer can easily find outdoor options for their water heater.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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