3rd Water heater still leaks (T&P)


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Old 01-05-06, 02:29 PM
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3rd Water heater still leaks (T&P)

Just completed new home, electric 50 gallon Rheem hot water heater started leaking at T&P valve. Contractor replaced valve, still leaked..Rheem sent new hot water heater, T&P still leaked, installed new valve, still leaked...got new Rheem hot water heater...still leaks. 3 plumbers have tested psi at city connection and have never reported it above 70 psi. Finally tested hot water heater pressure today with pressure gauge and reads 50 psi until about 30 minutes after you use hot water then it rises to 150 psi and starts to leak about 1/4 cup of water. Valve does say it releases at 150 psi. Temp is set to 130 degrees.

3 plumbers say pressure relief tank will fix problem but say that with outside pressure so low that we shouldn't need one.

Is it possible that this brand of hot water heater creates too much pressure and we should try a different brand?? Any suggestions?
 
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Old 01-05-06, 03:05 PM
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Strange problem. Does the cold water inlet line on the water heater get hot? Most have a heat-trap installed at the factory. If your cold line doesn't get hot, this is why. It has a check valve built in to prevent hot water from bleeding back to the cold water supply. If it has this, an expansion tank would do no good because it is installed on the cold water line. Good luck

I think I would call Rheem to discuss this problem.
 
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Old 01-05-06, 05:41 PM
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Checked the cold line and it is very cold. No heat at all. Had the city come out and check the lines and they only show 70 psi and said they have never had any complaints of this kind. Any chance this is a problem with this brand of hot water heater and we should try a different brand? If so does anyone suggest a brand?

ps. called Rheem they think it isn't their problem and it has to do with the city water supply!
 
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Old 01-06-06, 06:59 AM
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Your comment that the pressure doe's not go up until 30 minutes after the hot water has been used tells me that it is the heater. May be something in the controls for the thermostat. Being a new house, this should be covered in the home warranty. This can be a dangerous situation (especially if the relief valve should fail to open) Request a different brand of unit and let the contractor argue with Rheem. I will say that Rheem is a good brand but even the best have problems from time to time.
 
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Old 01-06-06, 08:58 AM
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Isn't this acting exactly like it is a closed system? Could there be a pressure regulating valve with a check valve in it somewhere?

Even if the thermostats are acting up the pressure should still go back toward the street, not build up.

"New house"....maybe a new fangled water meter with a back-flow preventer or simply malfunctioning?

You would think the contractors would know this but you never know.

Just guessing here.

Baldwin
 
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Old 01-06-06, 11:48 AM
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Baldwin,
If the heater does have heat-traps on the inlet piping, it would indeed make it a closed system. Closed to the water heater and faucets after the unit. Any time pressure is building up in the tank, it is dangerous.
 
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Old 01-06-06, 12:09 PM
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the plumbing "expert" at our local hardware store suggested that it might be a bad thermostat in the hot water heater and it is overheating the water and causing the pressure to increase over the 150 psi, setting off the T&P release. He also mentioned that it might be an electrical problem associated with bad wiring to the hot water heater. Have any of you heard of these problems?

ps: we have yet to find anyone in our neighborhood or on the same city connection that have this problem or have needed a thermal expansion tank.

We are considering getting a ball **** and thermal expansion relief valve for the toilet to see if this will just get the problem fixed...ever heard of anyone using one??
Thanks!
 
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Old 01-06-06, 12:12 PM
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Also, there is a check valve at the connection on the street where we connect to the city water....again the psi reads at 70 and no plumbers in town have had to install a thermal expansion tank on anyone in our city before.
 
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Old 01-06-06, 01:04 PM
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Being a new house, I would assume the electrical was inspected. If you have had 3 water heaters, then Rheem is definately having a problem if it is, indeed a thermostat problem. I have not seen an expansion tank on a toilet. I think you would be wasting money. If you were going to do that, I would suggest a pressure reducing valve on your water supply line just inside the house (after the meter). This way you could adjust the water pressure to whatever you wanted. The check valve at the service connection of your water line is more than likely to prevent backflow into the city water system in case you caused a siphoning problem on your side of the main water supply line.
 
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Old 01-07-06, 06:48 PM
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If the thermostat were bad, the water would be getting too hot. Have you checked the temperature? Rheem used to use ball-checks for heat traps, but has mostly switched to flapper type, which will not interfere with an expansion tank. You need an expansion tank.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 05:31 AM
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Anytime a faucet isn't open the system is a closed system. water expands when heated and it needs someplace to go. In your case it is going on the floor when your relief valve does its job. I am amazed that plumbers do not know their jobs well enough to solve that problem in under an hour. You need a domestic expansion tank. It can go anywhere in your plumbing that you want to put it but it ususlly gets installed near the water heater so if the problem ever arises again it is obvious that you already have an expansion
tank and it can be checked as the first suspect. The problem can be worse in the winter because incoming water is colder in the winter and therefore gets heated more and expands more. We install a tee in the hot water outlet pipe from the water heater and put a brass plug in it if we didn't price out an expansion tank. This prevents us from having to drain water and solder in the fitting if a problem arises after the new heater is installed. If you have a well, or a house with no pressure reducer or backflow preventer, you most likely could get away without the tank.

Ken
 
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Old 01-08-06, 09:31 AM
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From the Rheem web site:

--> "Similarly, a polypropylene ball (lighter than water) in the cold water inlet fittings reduces heat loss." <--

http://www.rheem.com/consumer/catalo...tail.asp?id=78


So, an expansion tank on the hot side and problem is solved? Or, install the flapper heat traps like 594 said. My Sears tank has the flappers and works fine.

Sure seems odd they'd install 3 tanks for something so simple. I don't get it.

Baldwin
 
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Old 01-08-06, 12:20 PM
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The reason I suggested the expansion tank on the hot side is because if there was some kind of flow restriction on the cold side that would impede the flow of water back out of the heater, the pressure wouldn't be able to get to the expansion tank. The poster did say there is a backflow preventer at the main water inlet to the house so there is no other place for the pressure to go. So an expansion tank on the hot side and the problem is solved. It also slightly angers me that there are now 2 perfectly good water heaters going to be scrapped because of a mis-diagnosis. And you better believe that all the costs associated with this kind of replacement is passed on to every purchaser of Rheems equipment. It happens in every trade and to every manufacturer so it isn't just a problem in this case. I was once told by an oil burner fuel pump manufacturers representative that 98 out of every 100 pumps returned for warranty were perfectly fine and were either installed wrong or improperly bled. But by the time they get back to the factory, there is probably not much use in repairing them or even reboxing them. They probably just throw them out or sell them to a rebuilder cheap. Whatever.

Ken
 
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Old 01-08-06, 02:58 PM
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sounds like someone installed a check valve on the cold water side.
and in that case you created a closed system anda closed system needs an expansion tank on the hot side.
I see this all the time plumbers dont seem to understand water exspansion.
easy solution remove the check valve if your code permits you to.
some water meters come with check valves
 
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Old 01-08-06, 03:17 PM
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All new plumbing codes are requiring a dual backflow preventer on the incoming water from a public supply and another backflow preventer on a hydronic heating system. They also require anti-siphon valves on outdoor faucets. They are good things when they work properly and they do protect the public water supply. The plumbers who haven't cracked a book since the days of the 5 gallon flush need to get with the program and start recognizing the causes of the problems created by these new devices and offer the simple solutions that are available. This thread should not have been necessary and neither should all the aggravation that jolynndan has gone through. The good news is that the fix is easy and relatively inexpensive and better yet, permanent.

Ken
 
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Old 01-08-06, 09:17 PM
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Ok, after many hours of research and much needed assistance from all of you we have finally decided after all our testing to get the expansion tank. (to the disgust and dismay or our city water department, 2 local plumbers, 2 contractors and the plumbing "expert" at the hardware store)!!

Sooooo...is this something that a do.it.yourselfer can accomplish?? We have some knowledge (especially with all our research) and have installed one of the replacement water heaters ourselves. So I wonder if we could FINALLY save some bucks and not pay one of the plumbers (who have NEVER installed an expansion tank) and just do it ourselves.

Any thoughts??
Thanks for all the previous help and info....hopefully we can get my daughters room put back together and she can sleep in there again..(water heater is located in her closet and floor and drywall have to be replaced from water damage and mold that occured after we moved in)!!
 
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Old 01-08-06, 09:26 PM
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Goodness, what state do you live in? I'm going to move there.

A thermal expansion tank normally goes between the cold water inlet valve and the top of the water heater. The pressure of the tank should be preset to the working psi of the incoming water pressure or PRV setting. This disallows premature wear of the bladder in the tank.

You can tee off at the location above and run that line 50 feet if need be. Inspectors will pass a thermal expansion tank on the cold water line in numerous locations, it's best to place the tank at the source of thermal expansion. Make sure the tank is properly supported.

Why do you have your temp setting so high on your water heater? That is dangerous for little people in the home not knowing how hot is until it is too late.

On the front of the water heater there will be a breakdown of how fast different temps of water can cause burns and what severity. Very important facts.
 
 

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