Most common leak sources?


  #1  
Old 03-17-13, 08:26 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 12,282
Received 263 Upvotes on 214 Posts
Most common leak sources?

Just curious, I have Sears tech coming out Tuesday as it's under warranty (55 gal electric; 8 years into 12 year). Water dripping from upper access panel at about 3-4 drips/min. Checked under panel and the element itself is not leaking, so the source is elsewhere but migrating to that opening. Figured there were only so many repairable places for it to be coming from so I removed the inlet and outlet fittings (top) and the anode rod. Cleaned the threads, reapplied sealant and reinstalled. [Anode rod was pristine BTW] No change. Had a belated thought that maybe the t&p could be leaking at its connection (mounted above and about 8 inches sideways from where the water is coming out access panel) and the water traveling over to the access opening, so removed, cleaned, reapplied sealant and installed. Still no change. Called Sears and they're sending a tech out Tuesday which, as I understand it, is going to cost me $79 to be told the the unit has to be replaced. After which I will have to pay for a second visit/installation. At least the replacement unit will be free.

Question: Am I missing anything in my troubleshooting/repair attempt?

Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 03-17-13, 09:25 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,775
Received 4,121 Upvotes on 3,701 Posts
Did you check the lower element (sorry.....couldn't resist)

You didn't miss anything. The problem is most likely where they welded one of the threaded fittings to the tank. Pinhole in the weld.
 
  #3  
Old 03-17-13, 12:01 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,443
Received 907 Upvotes on 765 Posts
If they do tell you the old one is shot, I would tell them to just drop off the new one and you do the install. Swapping out a water heater is only about a 2hr job. Less if you have flexible hoses.
 
  #4  
Old 03-17-13, 01:29 PM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 12,282
Received 263 Upvotes on 214 Posts
Water runs up hill in PJ's area apparently.

Yeah, I had that in mind for the install; whether Sears will do that on a warranty item or not, I don't know. Won't make me real happy in any case because I'm sure the guy won't be carrying one on the truck, so even though I'm bordering on 100% sure it's a goner, they still have to send a tech out (at my expense) to sign the death certificate. Then I'm sure it'll be another 2 days waiting on the new one. Fortunately at the rate of leakage its only making a damp spot in the corner.

Side note, when I was bored today I checked water heaters other than Kenmore and I was surprised at how few manufacturers there seem to be, at least around here. HD carries GE and Lowe's carries Whirlpool. Those two and Kenmore seems to be about the limit. Doesn't matter since mine's warrantied, just curious.
 
  #5  
Old 03-20-13, 08:01 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 12,282
Received 263 Upvotes on 214 Posts
All's well that ends well.

Got my replacement water heater and installed it yesterday. No hassles with them about pickup and self-install. They called me about 45 minutes after the tech left and gave me a sales check number. Just had to go down to the local Sears merchandise pickup and get it.

The tech visit was rather interesting; would you believe he was here for an hour and 45 minutes??? First 15 minutes he did the once over checking everything and listening to the narrative on my troubleshooting/repair attempt and agreeing to my diagnosis. Then the next 45 minutes having to talk to the head tech guru on his cell phone while being walked through every troubleshooting step under the sun about six times over [including, PJ, having him open the lower access ]. Followed by the last 15 minutes doing paperwork. Apparently Sears is trying to cut down on unnecessary warranty replacements, but I thought it was well beyond the point of being sure.

Funny part is the tech guy stuck a label on the old unit with identifying numbers, etc and it appeared like I was going to have to return the bad one, but I called and they said no.
 
  #6  
Old 03-20-13, 11:08 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,775
Received 4,121 Upvotes on 3,701 Posts
An hour and forty five minutes ...... wow. Yup...it's leaking. Here's your sign

The head tech guru on the other end was reading one of the threads here on how to check for water heater leaks. Somehow my response got mixed in so that's why he checked the bottom access hatch.
 
  #7  
Old 03-20-13, 12:23 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 15,993
Received 85 Upvotes on 77 Posts
What type of nipples were installed in the top of the old heater?

Anode rod that was not corroded is not good. It has passivated. Strange and an unknown phenomenon. If it happens on the new heater you should change it after 2 or 3 years.

Your warranty is now prorated. Meaning you have 4 years on the new heater.

Next heater I would recommend an AO smith. Find your local Ferguson supply.

Hope you did not pay the $79 bucks...........It was a warranty issue and you should not of paid it.

Locations Finder
 
  #8  
Old 03-21-13, 05:41 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 12,282
Received 263 Upvotes on 214 Posts
My bad, I meant to say and hour and 15 minutes not hour and 45; not that it matters much, still a long time.

Nipples were simple galvanized stubs with plastic inserts for heat retention. Will be checking anode rod from time to time to see what's up. It is well water, if I didn't mention that earlier.

They didn't tell me, but I figured the new warranty would end when the original 12 years was up.

I would have to dig around to be sure, but I think the box the new one came in had A.O. Smith on the shipping label; thought that was interesting when I saw it. Did a look up and Ferguson has a location in Sarasota, pretty close.

Yeah, I'm out the $79, but not complaining; better than when my expensive refrigerator crapped the compressor at 8 years. Hmmm, something about Kenmore appliances at the 8 year mark....
 
 

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