How close can an electric water heater and an electric furnace be to each other?

My water heater is 7 inches from my furnace. I need 4 inches so that I can install a water softener and wash sink. So I need to know if it is OK to move the water heater over by 4 inches, so that I can put them in.

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    Have you checked with the furnace maker for clearance specifications? – mikes Jan 20 '14 at 21:08

Each appliance has a specification, available from the manufacturer, on various clearances. This number is sometimes zero, usually not, but never more than a few inches.

That said 3 inches between the furnace and water heater does not sound risky. Water heaters stay cool compared to furnaces: the clearance to the water softener may be the bigger deal. Your water softener counts as a 'combustible' surface.

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