Water Heater Pipe Replacement


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Old 05-31-18, 10:30 PM
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Water Heater Pipe Replacement

Hello all,

It's one of those water heater pipe questions. But even after googling for information, reading threads/articles, and watching videos, I'm still a bit confused and hope this community can help me out.

So here's the story. While cleaning up the garage, I noticed something odd with the water heater pipes. Upon close inspection, it looks like the inlet water pipe is corroded. And the outlet water pipe is showing signs of corrosion. Not sure if it's a dielectric issue or small leak issue(would like get people opinions on this) And I plan to fix this problem myself as I think it's a straight forward process of replacing the pipes.

Please see pictures in the attachment section for more detail.

A question about the pipe setup. From what I have read and watch, I saw a simple setup of a copper flex pipe connecting to a short galvanize pipe(or maybe a dielectric nipple) and then into the water heater. What I got on my water heater is a copper flex pipe, a straight galvanize pipe, galvanize coupler, and another galvanize pipe that goes into the water heater. I don't understand the 3 piece galvanize pipe setup. I'm probably not understanding how this work and could use some help to clarify the setup.

With that said, I plan to replace the pipes but trying to figure what pipes to replace. One idea I had was to replace the entire copper flex pipe and the galvanized pipe(the one before the coupler). But I'm confused if I should replace the entire pipe setup. The setup that includes a small straight pipe, a coupler and the pipe that goes into the heater. Or can I simply the setup?

Additional, from I can see, I don't see any corrosion on the pipe that goes into the water heater.

Sorry I didn't use the correct terminology and/or use the terminology wrongly. If it's confusing, please let me know and I'll try my best to clarify.

Thank you
 
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Old 06-01-18, 04:37 AM
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I don't see any leaking water in your photographs so I would not try replacing the pipes. I would wait until the water heater dies and needs replacing then do the pipes at that time. The worst one is probably the cold water inlet and I would guess the corrosion is caused by the pipe sweating and not a leak.
 
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Old 06-01-18, 05:12 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

My visual instinct tells me, "Damn, that pipe looks nasty, it needs to be replaced". But if you're saying it's not a problem and can probably be ignored, that's good to know. But my OCD will drive me nuts if I don't clean it up. Would there be any harm if I took a wire brush to remove the corrosion off the pipes?
 
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Old 06-01-18, 08:27 AM
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Yes, it does look nasty. Probably a cheap imported pipe nipple with a very thin plating for corrosion protection. The inside of the pipe might even look worse.

If you want you can clean off the pipe with a wire brush. Then paint it or coat it with a corrosion inhibitor spray like Corrosion X or wipe it down with oil.
 
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Old 06-01-18, 02:29 PM
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I'm betting if you clean that pipe you actually cause a leak. With a nasty looking pipe like that I would replace it rather than wait for a leak. With that said, how old is the tank. If it's in the 7th year, You want to replace it now. The average life of a tank is 8 to 10 years.
 
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Old 06-04-18, 04:32 PM
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Understood, I'll just leave the pipe alone and replace it when I replace the tank.

The tank was installed in 2012. So it's about 6 years old.
 
 

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