Burst Water Heater> Help! (question about pipes)


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Old 06-13-15, 12:26 PM
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Burst Water Heater> Help! (question about pipes)

Well, I was playing the odds with my 10yo Rheem 30gal GAS water heater which had some corrosion/rust at one of the joints or anode and it's been making "noises" for >1yr. I told my plumber- he suggested replacing within 3mos (it's been 6) I waited as the Town is replacing all its water pipes and I didn't want all the gross sediment in my new tank! Well, no choice now. It BURST like a shotgun last night and leaked (1st floor) but due to a hole for electrical wires the majority of H2O went down into my crawlspace (also not good as my furnace is underneath!) My question is> I turned off the one incoming water pipe I could see w/a red handle. I turned the unit's gas dial to OFF. I hear a "humming" sound from the exhaust area on top but what most concerns me is at times I still hear some trickling water inside- WHAT IS THAT FROM? If the water's shut off- what is that? Is there something I missed? (I forgot to ask the plumber about that) Is there also an electric source that needs to be shut off or is it ALL Gas run? (is it hardwired into my circuit breakers?) I had a horrible contractor that didn't label anything.
Thanks,
deb freaking out in Boston- it's been an expensive week- Car repairs, etc!
 
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Old 06-13-15, 01:49 PM
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If it has an draft inducer blower on top then you should be able to just unplug it.

You may hear water running out the leak. That would be normal.
 
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Old 06-13-15, 02:14 PM
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but what most concerns me is at times I still hear some trickling water inside- WHAT IS THAT FROM? If the water's shut off- what is that? Is there something I missed?
If you have the cold off to the heater when you use a mixing valve in the home ie: sink, shower, the colde will go back through the hot and to the heater. thats what you hear..

Humming? Dont know. As stated is it a power vent?
 
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Old 06-13-15, 02:49 PM
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Name:  hot waterheater 2.jpg
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Here's a pic (very dirty- sorry) but there doesn't seem to be anything electric for the vent on top- just ?passive? yet humming and some air movement. I still hear periodic trickling but would think it would be empty by now even if small leak?... (you can't see the Red Handle but there's a similar pipe right behind that black upright thing (which just spins around?) and it did shut off the wooshing water sound during the incident so I think it IS the main water supply. The copper pipe on the left says Hot p.c. and has no valve. that's all I know. I just want to minimize any further leakage onto my furnace, etc... I believe the leak is on the bottom (maybe a seam?)
 
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Old 06-13-15, 03:20 PM
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Even with the water off, every time you use water from a single handle tap water will back flow through the hot line and fill the water heater.

Hope you understand this..
 
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Old 06-13-15, 04:42 PM
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Mike, I "sorta" do- because of the mixing valve you mentioned- I guess I just don't know how it's getting in there (maybe that OTHER pipe without a turn off valve on it?) Well at least that makes sense! Thanks- harder than you think to be without hot water... (dishes/wash your face, etc) Have to shower at my parents! eek. But grateful to have somewhere to go vs a COLD SHOWER- we've all done that at least once- No Fun. Have good weekend.
 
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Old 06-13-15, 04:57 PM
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My opinion is to replace with an AO smith heater. you can get at your local Ferguson dealer.. All I use and install...
 
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Old 06-13-15, 09:25 PM
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That "black thing" that spins around is a vacuum breaker and as I understand it is required in Massachusetts. Its purpose it to prevent the water in the tank from siphoning out in case of a break in the supply piping.

Any mixing faucet, including the automatic valve in the washing machine that controls hot/warm/cold wash cycles, will allow a "back flow" of cold water into the hot water piping, all the way back to the heater tank.

You have no electrical with your water heater. It IS possible the humming you hear is being transmitted from a different location or it could be as simple as the transformer for the doorbell being in the same general area. My doorbell transformer is mounted about 18 inches from the water heater and it hums slightly.

I had my water heater blow a hole inside the central flue a year ago this past February or March. For various excuses it took me a full week before I got hot water back. The cold showers ARE rough but not as bad as bathing in the river like our ancestors did. Those were hardy people back then.
 
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Old 06-14-15, 05:52 AM
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"it burst like a shotgun"

Do you not have an expansion tank?

With a properly functioning expansion tank the water heater would probably not have gushed out water suddenly but rather a slow leak happened giving you time to shut it off without getting water all over the place.
 
 

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