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Gas Dryer | Does It Need to Be Elevated?

Gas dryers use combustion to heat the air used in the drum. This means that they need a good and constant supply of air, and there is an open flame present. Both these factors can make putting the dryer directly on the floor an issue in some situations.

Whenever you are asking if something is allowed or required, the first place to start is the International Residential Code (IRC). Sometimes, however, the code can be a bit tricky to understand, so I’ve taken the time to find the relevant regulations and present them in an easy-to-understand explanation.

Gas dryers located in hazardous locations and garages need to be elevated 18" above the ground. This is to prevent contact with flammable materials like gasoline and oil.

What Do Building Codes Say About Elevation?

The IRC is a set of building codes that are adapted by almost every US state and territory. It provides a safety standard that is adopted by each area, and it constitutes legal requirements.

The IRC Section G2408.2 says:

Equipment and appliances having an ignition source shall be elevated such that the source of ignition is not less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the floor in hazardous locations and public garages, private garages, repair garages, motor fuel-dispensing facilities and parking garages.

IRC Section G2408.2

Explaining the Code Requirements

In order to keep your dryer, your home, and your family safe from an accidental fire or explosion, the IRC has laid down certain rules on how high your gas dryer needs to be, depending on where it is in your home.

How Does a Gas Dryer Work | Simple Explanation With Graphics

It is optional to elevate your dryer if it is in your kitchen or laundry room as long as these rooms are not considered hazardous areas.

Hazardous Locations

The National Electric Code defines a hazardous location as an area or space where anything flammable or combustible is stored or used. This includes charcoal, sawdust, gasoline, natural gas, etc.

If your dryer is located in a hazardous location, the IRC code states that the flame of the dryer must be elevated at least 18″ off the ground.

The IRC code states that the flame of the dryer must be elevated at least 18_ off the ground, two dryers elevated in the basement

The exception is that if your appliance is listed as Flammable Vapour Ignition Resisted (FVIR), it does not need to be elevated. Unfortunately, no gas dryers are FVIR-certified, so this does not apply to them.

Having your dryer in a hazardous location can be a serious fire risk. Accidental spills and leaks from flammable materials could come into contact with the open flame of your dryer and cause an explosion or start a fire.

Having your dryer raised by at least 18″ will give the fumes enough space to evaporate and disperse in the air by the time they reach the flame, something that they do readily because of how volatile they are.

Residential Garage

If your dryer is kept in your garage, then you have to elevate it (18″). Your car can leave gasoline or oil, which may come into contact with the flame of a gas dryer sitting on the floor.

The exception to this can be found in Section G2408.2.1. If your garage is a separate building, not connected in any way to your house, then you don’t have to elevate the gas dryer.

The reason for this is that there is no direct path from the garage to the inhabited spaces, so the safety risk is lower. Even if a fire starts, it will not readily reach the main part of the house.

The garage does need to have a steady supply of combustion air from outside.

Are Vents Required in Garages | Building Code Explained

Private Garage

A private garage is solely for the purpose of storing your vehicle, i.e., no equipment or materials are stored for the operation, servicing, or repair of your vehicles. 

Empty white two car slots  garage with glass panels

If your dryer is located in a private garage, then according to Section G2408.3 of the IRC codes, it only needs to be elevated by 6″. This is to prevent gasoline leaks from your vehicles from coming into contact with the flame from your dryer.

You also need to have a protective barrier between your vehicles and your gas dryer to prevent any accidental impacts.

Always Check Local Codes

Before installing your gas dryer, you should always check your local codes. Most codes are uniform and are adopted from the IRC. However, there are local changes made to the IRC to reflect the specific challenges, weather, laws, and environment of that state.

Different climates and natural disasters could alter your elevation regulations. A raised dryer might not be a bad idea if your state is prone to flooding.

A few cities have banned all gas connections in new building construction, and many more are to follow.

states advancing or prohibiting building gas bans and electrification codes

The new legislation is to minimize the use of gas appliances in an effort to reduce carbon emissions contributing to global climate change.

If you are moving into a newly built house, you need to check the local codes to ensure they haven’t banned gas connections. If that’s the case, unfortunately, your gas dryer won’t be able to move with you, and the question of elevation is moot.

How Do You Elevate a Gas Dryer?

The best way to elevate your gas dryer is to put it on a pedestal. These are easily bought online.

Heightening Stainless Steel Shelf Holder Washing Machine and Refrigerator Stand 24-27cm A Tumble Dyer Floor Trays Extendable Appliance Base for Vertical Air Conditioner,4 Legs
  • 【Size(approx.)】: It is a telescopic base that can adjust vertically and horizontally according to the width of the appliance. Length/width: 45-70cm/17.7-27.6in, height : 24-27cm/9.4-10.6in; can be...
  • 【Materials 】: Fridge stand base is using the 25mm high-quality stainless steel,bearing force strong ,it can keep good stability under the condition of the limit ,and better corrosion resistance in...
  • 【Multi-function】: The heightening refrigerator base could keep the bottom ventilated, easy to clean and reduce the water to keep clean. Washing stand of The bottom of the specially designed...
  • 【Easy to Assemble】: Two spirit levels at 90 degrees to each other on each of the four segments of this adjustable base, so it was not difficult to adjust it to be level in each direction before we...

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Some are very nifty with a storage drawer underneath.

SAMSUNG 27-Inch Washer Dryer Pedestal Stand w/ Pull Out Laundry Storage Drawer, Stainless Steel, WE402NW/A3, White
  • GIVE YOUR LAUNDRY A LIFT: This 27” wide pedestal will lift your washer or dryer by more than a foot off the ground for a smooth loading and unloading experience
  • YOUR SPACE STAYS TIDY: The easy to access built-in storage drawer allows you to keep all your laundry essentials together in one place
  • COMPLETE THE SET: Order two and position them side by side to elevate your space while also adding extra storage
  • COMPATIBILITY: The 27” pedestal is compatible with Samsung 27” Front Load washer and dryers

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

However, before you buy a pedestal, ensure it is the correct make and fit for your dryer model.

On the downside, buying a pedestal can get very expensive and some of us don’t have that kind of money lying around.

If you are an avid DIY-er, or you know someone who is, there are many ways you can build your own pedestal. Check out this great tutorial on how to build your own pedestal with storage space underneath.

Illustration of two white dryers placed on a cabinet with a rack on the side

Remember to get a family member or friend to help lift the dryer onto the pedestal.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of building a pedestal, you could always buy some pallets at your local hardware store. Depending on your elevation requirements, you may need to buy more than one. Three pallets should be sufficient for an 18″ raise.

Just make sure that you treat the wood properly. After all, wood and fire are not a sustainable match!

Using stacked pallets for the dryer's elevation requirements illustration

When purchasing or building a pedestal for your dryer, always make sure your dryer will fit properly and be sturdy. It is also a good idea to check your dryer’s warranty, as some pedestals will void the warranty if something goes wrong with your dryer.

Gas Dryer Clearance Requirements (Back, Sides, Top & Bottom)


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