I had a call on one today and the inspector called it out as it was sitting on the floor. Now I have installed many water heaters in basements and never raised them but before I tell the owner the inspector is wrong I wanted to check
Is the inspector wrong? How did he describe the situation?
If he called it out as a Safety Item due to potential ignition source to vapors collecting in the lowest level of the house, then I agree with him. People often store items with explosive vapors in basements.
If he called it out due to potential flooding potential and says it needs an overflow pan, then I agree that is a good recommendation.
Did the inspector say it was a code violation or a safety issue. If it is described as a code violation, then ask for a specific reference from the inspector. If he is describing it as a safety issue, make sure you understand what he believes to be the specific unsafe condition. I am not convinced you have done due diligence regarding the situation before you call the other fella wrong.
Installing a lot of water heaters does make you knowledgeable about plumbing code, it just means you were able to connect the pipes. You might want to ask you question over at http://www.askcodeman.com/
Jerry loves to pour thorough all the code for any vague reference that might explain the do's and dont's of any situation. If there is any obsure code reference regarding elevating water heaters, he would be able to find it.