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"Issues with my water heater (Advice needed)" Topic


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1,032 hits since 10 Dec 2012
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2012 2:35 p.m. PST

Yep, it's leaking. Yep, I'm getting a new one installed. Oh joy.

The one we want is an order only model. It costs a bit more, but it offers significant yearly savings that will make up the price difference in less than 3 years, and will save us $$$ over the life of the model. (Yes, I've done the research and the math on my ownó not from a sales spiel.)

Problem: It's "by order" only, and the installer's order system says it won't arrive till Dec 26. The guy at the place says it never really takes that long, usually 10 days at the longest, but there are no guarantees… and it is the busy Christmas shipping season.

Current situation: I had turned the control switch to "pilot" on the heater and closed off the water "in" line, on the advice of my father (he has a master plumber certification, but he's an engineer, not a practicing plumber). I'd also opened the hot water valve in my kitchen sink to release any pressure (again, on his advice). This was before we went shopping for the replacement wh. Since we knew it would be a while before we got the replacement, and the leak (then) was a fairly minor, if persistent trickle, we asked the installer if it would be okay to turn everything back on to take showers and then turn it all off. He said yes.
We tried this last nightó and within an hour, the water was pouring down the sides of the tank. YIPES. It's now all turned very much off (except the pilot control; I left that set to "Pilot").

STATUS:
1. Tank water input line valve is closed
2. Tank pilot light control is set to "Pilot."
3. Kitchen sink hot water spigot is open. Water occasionally trickles through it when someone uses another sink, or uses the cold water and turns it off.
4. Possibly no new tank for 2 weeks.

QUESTION:
Could there be any problems happen or develop while we wait for the new tank? Are the pipes at risk of damage from being empty during this time? The last thing we need is for something else to happen!

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member10 Dec 2012 2:42 p.m. PST

I don't know of any damage occurring unless there is a freeze, ands there is still water in the line.

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member10 Dec 2012 2:44 p.m. PST

Also if the heater is unusable, I would go ahead and shut off the gas and pilot, as there's no need to waste the gas.

Cold Steel Inactive Member10 Dec 2012 3:57 p.m. PST

Leaving as is will not be a problem. SMC's suggestion with the pilot light is a good safety precaution.

Since you have gas, take a look at a tankless hot water heater. They are far more energy efficient, since they only heat the water on demand.

skinkmasterreturns10 Dec 2012 4:45 p.m. PST

I had to get a new tank over the summer.My chimney is not lined,and the heater exhaust line runs up through it (old house,no actual fireplace) and it wasnt a good situation.Also the tank is on the opposite side of the basement from the furnace,so it wasnt practical to vent it that way.I went electric,and I like it alot better.

Jakse375 Inactive Member10 Dec 2012 5:09 p.m. PST

I second SMC just as a precaution. What kind of pipes do you have. if they're the old black lines then you might run into a rust issue, doubtful but possible. copper or pex no worries.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2012 6:26 p.m. PST

Copper pipes, and the vent was built for the water tank in the first place, so it works just fine. (The tank is the same age as the house…)

Thanks for the advice, all! I've turned off the gas (including closing the valve in the line to the tank).

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2012 6:48 p.m. PST

In general, not specific to Parzival's case, if anyone
has a wh replaced, ask the install team what the local
code calls for in terms of water temperature.

We had a new electric wh installed about a month ago.
Immediately post-installation, the water was TEPID, not
warm and certainly not hot.

I called the contractor back and he explained that code
called for the heater to be set at 105 degrees (!!),
but he also agreed to come back out and set it to
whatever temp I wanted, which he did.

Steve Johnson Inactive Member11 Dec 2012 4:36 a.m. PST

Is the flue vent single wall or double wall? The newer, more efficient gas-fired appliances, like furnaces or water heaters, are condensing type. This means they require a double wall flue vent, they cannot be used with single wall flue vents. Make sure you have the correct type flue vent before you order the new water heater, otherwise you'll face another delay while getting the flue vent replaced.

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