15 September 2006

It Never Ends

So while I was busying myself sanding the bedroom floor...My water heater decided to spring a leak. It wasn't raining out so I knew something was wrong when I went down and the basement floor was all wet.
This first picture is the 14 year old leaking water heater.
One thing to notice here is that the last plumber installed the tube for the pressure releif valve to spray down right onto the controls for the water heater. Putting aside for the moment that the directions explicitly say DON'T do this...Wouldn't you think common sense would have to kick in somewhere and just by looking at it indicate that this is a BAD idea?
And can someone tell me why they put that insulation pipe-wrap stuff on the cold water inlet lines?

Step one in replacing it was turning off the gas...Had to do this at the meter as the valve to this heater is missing the handle so I couldn't turn it all the way off (such a joy this house is).
Once the gas was off I shut the water supply and hooked up a hose to the drain on the tank and let the water drain out into my sump-pump hole. With the tank drained I disconnected the gas line and cut the water lines attached to the tank. With the tank empty and everything disconnected I could then remove the tank.

Then I got the new tank in place and soldered together the new connectors.

A closer look at the connectors for the water line. I did most of the soldering beforehand leaving only one connection that would need to be soldered with the lines in-place. As you can see on the connectors, if I had done it in-place, one of the solder joints would have had to be done with the solder flowing up. Although not impossible, it is a little more difficult to get solder to flow against gravity. So it was much easier to pre-solder the parts together leaving only one connection to be soldered in place where the solder would be flowing down into the joint.

Since the connections to the water lines screw onto the top of the tank I put a good amount of 'pipe-dope' on the threads atop the tank to make sure the connections don't leak. Some people use 'Teflon-tape' for this, I was taught the 'pipe-dope' method. I guess it's just a personal preference. But the guy that taught me was rather adamant about it...The first thing he does when he opens the box to a new plumbing fixture is throw the Teflon-tape in the trash.

Since I can only add 5 pictures at a time, this is all you'll get for now. Next update will have the rest of the insallation process.


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