Installing New Gas Water Heater


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Old 01-20-08, 07:43 AM
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Installing New Gas Water Heater

Looking for recommendations on water supply hookups. I see my existing water heater was not installed with a 6 inch heat trap. Should I install a few more 90 degree fittings and make a 6 inch heat trap on both hot and cold with a 12 inch solid brass flex hose to the tank? Here is a pic of my old system.

 
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Old 01-20-08, 11:12 AM
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Personally, I would cut back the copper lines to the lateral, install my cut off ball valve with a male nipple and a male adapter on the plain one. Then you can use corrugated supply lines that you can bend to fit your application. No two water heaters are exactly the same size so they allow for the variance. Is your water heater on a stand, now. If not, you may want to consider installing it on one, which will change the height of your supply lines, anyway. The water heater should come with new dielectric nipples for you to attach the corrugated lines directly.
 
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Old 01-21-08, 09:22 PM
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Who told you to install heat traps? Dont use those brass flexitubes. Always hardpipe a water system, same as gas.

Fortunately, in Illinois you can work on plumbing in your own house. If not, you need a plumbing license. Good luck!
 
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Old 01-22-08, 04:10 AM
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TH, rather than making a blanket statement against using a product, fill us in on the "why's". The flex tubes are commonly used here and make installation alot easier. Hard piping can cause problems should you have vibrations, such as in an earthquake area, or if you have water hammer problems that go unchecked. I respect your experience, but feel an explanation is in order. Thanks for the information.
 
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Old 01-22-08, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler
TH, rather than making a blanket statement against using a product, fill us in on the "why's". The flex tubes are commonly used here and make installation alot easier. Hard piping can cause problems should you have vibrations, such as in an earthquake area, or if you have water hammer problems that go unchecked. I respect your experience, but feel an explanation is in order. Thanks for the information.
Good point...a lot of people use them because they are easy. Many feel plumbers just hate them because it puts them out of work. I am not familiar with earthquake codes, so my mistake.
From what I have learned, be told and have seen...
-Flexible lines are weaker than L copper which is required in most installations.
-Ribbed lines restrict a smooth flow of water to the water heater. After time, this can cause leaks with the connections due to erosion, or cavitation.
-In just about every water heater install I have done, the flexi tubes are calcified, corroded, and can be crimped fairly easy with a pair of Channel Locks. The other day I saw a water heater installed less than three years ago using the steel braided lines. It had corrosion around the connections.
-L copper when soldered is very, very strong. Homeowners (not all) have a tendency to use water lines for clothes racks, hanging other plumbing, and electrical wires. This all puts strain on the pipe, and flexi tube will flex, and over time you can have damage.
-Check local code to see if prohibited. Many inspectors (Illinois) do not allow them.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
 
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Old 01-22-08, 07:06 AM
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All points are good. The flexible lines are easier for the homeowner to change out should there be a problem with either the line or the water heater itself. Of course, as you state, plumbers hate this. I don't think cavitation is a big problem in domestic hot water, but in an industrial situation, I agree with the flow change at that point. Wonder if the corrosion could have been caused by a dielectric fault, rather than the tubes themselves? I know what you mean by the clothes hanging thing. My wife started doing it until I had to build her racks to hang clothes on. She started using supply lines, hvac discharge lines, everything until I panicked. "You're a carpenter, fix it!" she said. Take care friend.
 
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Old 01-22-08, 07:30 AM
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LOL...thanks, you take care as well friend.
 
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Old 01-22-08, 05:31 PM
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The instructions say to loop the copper for a heat trap. The same instructions that say to use a flexi. But I was told that Mt Prospect Ill. does not allow that. I was afraid of using sweat shut off valve because of the extra heat. Maybe damaging the valve. I noticed some sort of plastic in there. So I went compression. The tank I replaced was from 1986. So I thought how could you go wrong getting another Rheem. I did go from 40 gal to 50. So everything needed to be adjusted. My first water heater replace. Only took a grand total of 4 hours with cleanup.




 

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Old 01-22-08, 05:35 PM
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Well done! looks great!
 
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Old 01-22-08, 06:24 PM
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I'll second that. You can be proud!
 
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Old 01-22-08, 06:32 PM
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I should mention I almost used 100% brass fittings on the tank nipples. Good thing there was advise at Home depot that I needed these fittings with a dielectric. Could have been a problem in the future I assume.

The brass fittings were 19 bucks each!! I asked about them and he pointed out these fittings with the dielectric that cost only $3.80 each. Talk about a win-win situation.

 
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Old 01-22-08, 09:23 PM
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While I agree that a hard-piped system certainly looks better, in my area the flexible connectors are REQUIRED by the local code.

Nagra, I would clean off all of the excess pipe dope from those threaded fittings. I would have also used a threaded valve and sweat thread adapters rather than the valve with the compression fittings but that is a personal preference.
 
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Old 01-23-08, 06:17 AM
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I did over solder. Paranoid it would not be enough. A tip or two on that would be great. The black is those upc stickers that charred. Is a wet towel enough to clean the flux? Is it best to clean minutes after the sweat? The flex copper sure would have been easier. But I concluded I better stay with the way it was done before. It sure did last!
 
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Old 01-23-08, 09:09 AM
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Worry not about the extra solder - a dry towel would have allowed you to wipe the excess off right after soldering - but/c'mon - you're a DIYer, right? I've seen pros with as messy a finish (though I have seen those whose work is crystal clean/perfect). If Furd would have cleaned up the dope/solder while he installed it - then he's the type of plumber who I want to do my work if I have to pay for it..... If I have to do it myself and the wife complains about the solder/dope - I tell her to get out of the basement - and back in the kitchen where she belongs
 
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Old 01-23-08, 03:34 PM
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Ooooh, you're raw! And, I'm sure she's not looking over your shoulder, right?
 
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Old 01-24-08, 12:28 PM
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Out of town at the moment.. and by the time she returns.. this thread will have run it's course and died.......

I might add... my wife knows where the kitchen is - and what's it's used for - but as a high ranking corporate executive working serious hours/week - has little use for it. (It's "my" domain)....
 
 

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