Quick question on leaking State Industries Select gas water heater


  #1  
Old 11-02-10, 10:44 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 86
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Quick question on leaking State Industries Select gas water heater

Hey, we have a 10-year-old 40 gal PR640NBRS 40 gal water heater (6 year warranty expired) in our basement and I noticed it leaking...it looks like the leak is on top of the heater where the hot-water-out pipe connects to the tank, the coupler on the tank seems to be corroded so I suspect that is the cause. There was water in input pipe "bay" too but the coupler on that side looked "cleaner".

Can the output coupler be replaced? If so does it simply screw into the tank? I have basic tools, can I replace it by myself or do I need to call a plumber? If I need a plumber how much is a reasonable cost for the repair?

I really hope this can be fixed...I would hate to buy a new heater right now...

Thanks for the help!

adding...the corrosion may be galvanic as two years ago I insulated the hot output pipe using aluminum tape on the seam of the foam tube...
 

Last edited by pics20; 11-02-10 at 11:08 AM.
  #2  
Old 11-02-10, 09:12 PM
SeattlePioneer's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 4,469
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
You need to identify exactly what is leaking. Is it a piece of pipe with a crack or hole in it? A leak where the pipe threads into a fitting? What material is the pipe made of?

In general a leak on a pipe can be repaired.

I'd also plan on replacing the anode rod if you want to extend the life of the tank. If you do that you might get an additional ten years of life from the tank, and you might be able to replace the anode rod again after eight or so years (depending on the condition of the existing rod and extend the life of the tank some more.
 
  #3  
Old 11-03-10, 11:17 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 86
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your reply. The leak is coming from the hot water "bay"...see this photo: That fitting is probably made of soft steel. The pipe is copper. I cannot see a hole or crack in it though.

This image shows both inlet and outlet sides...the outlet is corroded, inlet not: Do you think that fitting can be replaced or could the leak be in the tank itself? Good info on the anode rod, the heater has one.

Hmm... I cannot see the photos, here links:

ImageShack: Host and Share your Photos and Videos - 1000423d.jpg
ImageShack: Host and Share your Photos and Videos - 1000424p.jpg
 
  #4  
Old 11-03-10, 11:33 PM
SeattlePioneer's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 4,469
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
It looks at least possible that the water is condensing in the vent pipe and then dripping down onto the water heater.

If you wipe away the water can you see it reappear at the outlet? That would rule out water from the vent.

There ought to be a threaded copper fitting that screws into the outlet of the water heater and which then has copper pipe soldered into it. The copper fitting should have flats on it so a wrench has a place to be used on it.

Is there a union that allows the copper pipe to be disconnected? If there it would be outside the view of the pictures.

The usual installation would have steel pipe nipples threaded into the water tank, followed by a dielectric union to make the transition between steel and copper, followed by a copper union to allow the piping to be disconnected for service, maintenance or replacement. I don't much care for the installation I see in the pictures.

If no union is present, you'll probably have to cut the copper pipe in order to remove the leaking fitting. I'd then install the piping correctly as described above, or use another suitable way of plumbing in the tank.
 
  #5  
Old 11-04-10, 07:09 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 86
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
It is a pretty bad leak, not condensation. I took the photo after water being shut off overnight. I opened the input valve for testing and got the floor wet right away again.

I checked in detail...there is a thin "washer" type of plate with small holes at the bottom of the corroded pictured part. Similar washer with holes is on the input side. The corroded part is round with no flats. The "washer" is the lowest thing I can see and when opening the inlet valve I saw water coming from the small holes in the "washer" so the leak is below the washer somewhere I cannot see it. I don't know if this helps...hopefully...

Adding: I just called the plumber who had replaced our neighbors water heater...he said "the fitting you see in the photo screws to the tank. probably not galvanic corrosion...can come out and fix it ~$200 with no warranty, can last or break soon again. he has replaced several water heaters in this 10 year old neighborhood. A new one (Bradford-white) with 6 year warranty about $1k installed. For Energy Star model add maybe $100. For longer (10????) year warranty model add again about $150." If I could fix this myself I could save a LOT. I don't know what I should do really. Energy tax rebate would help some...

Is tankless heater an option for our house? Hot water needed in 2 and 1/2 baths, kitchen incl. dish washer and a room with washing machine.
 

Last edited by pics20; 11-04-10 at 08:18 AM.
  #6  
Old 11-04-10, 10:02 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 86
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I have a Home Depot contractor coming to check it out. $100 if fixable. If I need a new one I'll let him install 40 gal Energy Star Rheem-made GE w/ 12 year warranty ($911 without expansion tank)
 
  #7  
Old 11-04-10, 11:49 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 86
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Old water heater no repairable gggrrrr. Went for the 40 gal GE 12-year ($911), old expansion tank no good (water came thru the bottom "hole" when opened) $90 and the water pressure in house after the pressure relief valve was high at 95PSI, the tech said I had to get a new one (old one may be adjusted but thei dont guarantee it) that was $200 installed. Whole thing is $1200 Does all that sound reasonable to you?
 
  #8  
Old 11-04-10, 12:26 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 19,281
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
No Plumber...but yes...if you can't do it yourself..then those prices sound reasonable.

If the Pressure Regulating (not Relief) Valve uses unions or is threaded in...you could probably do it yourself for less than $100 including wrenches if you don't have them.

They should be able to quickly try adjusting it..and if it holds..then it might be fine. Your supply pressure could have increased for some reason. Surprised he didn't at least try that while he was there..for a customer satisfaction kinda thing.
 
  #9  
Old 11-04-10, 02:12 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 86
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
It's done...I asked the tech about the unison, he said if in the future I need a new PRV I shoudl be able to replace it by myself. He adjusted the new one for 60PSI. He said that due to the problems they have had with old valves they do not want to adjust them, they can begin to leak etc...they either leave it as is or replace.

We have hot water and lower safe pressure but owe now $1200 to the CC company, well...we should be OK the next 12 years. By the way we could have saved $110 by going for a GE model with 9 year warranty and no energy star. I thought in the longer run it was worth paying that extra.

Thanks for the responses!
Originally Posted by Gunguy45
No Plumber...but yes...if you can't do it yourself..then those prices sound reasonable.

If the Pressure Regulating (not Relief) Valve uses unions or is threaded in...you could probably do it yourself for less than $100 including wrenches if you don't have them.

They should be able to quickly try adjusting it..and if it holds..then it might be fine. Your supply pressure could have increased for some reason. Surprised he didn't at least try that while he was there..for a customer satisfaction kinda thing.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: