Parent's Water Heater Valve Leak Causing Rust

Old 03-11-13, 04:01 PM
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Parent's Water Heater Valve Leak Causing Rust

Hello all,

My parent's have an old water shut off valve above the water heater which has been leaking for a while and causing the top of the water heater to rust. I can see the droplets come out from where the shutoff valve is inserted into a brass T. Not sure if these two pieces are actually all one piece or two seperate pieces. I am going to replace this valve with a ball valve. The water heater is about 7 years old and is made by GE. It looks good everywhere else except the top. I flushed it last year and did not notice any build up come out of it. I have attached pictures. I have a few questions:

1) Right now the shutoff valve is above the cold water inlet. Should I add a shut off valve over the hot water outlet?

2) The copper is connected directly to what appears to be galvanized steel (or some other type of rusted) nipples in the water heater. Shouldn't there be brass fittings between these two dissimilar metals? Should I do anything about that at this point?

3) What should I do about all the rust, sand it off?

Thanks all.
Old 03-11-13, 08:51 PM
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The advantage of having a valve on both the hot water and the cold water side is that when you need to service your water heater you can shut both valves and not have to empty the pipes.

Those look like the proper nipples on the top of the tank. At 7 years old I don't think I'd mess with them.
Old 03-12-13, 05:01 AM
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If the shutoff valve is leaking at the valve stem you can try tightening the packing nut. It's the hex on the side of the valve where the stem for the handle enters. Put a wrench on the valve body so you don't move it when you apply force. Then put a wrench on the packing nut and tighten it a bit by turning clockwise (righty tighty) when viewed from the knob.

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