Heater leaking at hot water exit


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Old 06-22-18, 05:50 PM
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Heater leaking at hot water exit

I have a relatively young (~4 years or so) Rheem gas heater in the attic. Long story short, discovered that it's been trickling water on the hot water side. The leak seems to be exactly at the fitting, not above it.

What I'm confused about is this:

The cold side has a sleeve of sort coming out which is around the copper pipe. The hot side does not. So - why did this not leak before? I'm making an assumption that the installer did something different between the two sides.

I'm a bit scared to try undo the fitting by myself as I'm not sure how this is supposed to seal exactly; is there a rubber washer of sort under there? I see some blue Teflon (or similar) tape. I don't have copper handling tools / torch etc to replace the hot water pipe (if that is what it would take). So maybe I'll wait for the contractor on Monday...

But why are the two sides different?

 
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Old 06-22-18, 06:03 PM
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Yeah - I went and checked; the water heater connector pipe is connected to copper pipe through a soldered connection which means that if I undo this and it needs to be replaced, I'd need to cut pipe. I think I'll just leave it be until Monday and turn on hot water (hence the trickle) only when need to take a shower. Eh!
 
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Old 06-23-18, 05:49 AM
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Don't know why the two sides are different but water heater nipples come in different flavors:
* Plain, single piece of metal with straight through flow,
* Heat trap with tiny ball or flapper to prevent tiny eddy currents up and down the pipe above that dissipate heat,
* Dielectric, two concentric layers of metal with electrically insulating material in between, which retards tank rusting.

Teflon tape may or may not result in dielectric isolation because the screw threads may or may not cut through. Although teflon tape is used on water heater anodes, the anode will not work unless the tape is cut through and the anode becomes electrically connected (bonded) to the tank.
 
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Old 06-23-18, 01:43 PM
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Well, I learned that they made SharkBite connectors for this so - cut the pipe off, unscrewed, bought a stainless braided SharkBite 2 foot connector and put it all together. Used thread tape too.

Seems to work!
 
 

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