Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Water heaters in jeopardy?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

    Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
    I agree with all but the bold, HD is a magnet for unlicensed hacks, because the HD guy will walk them through anything they don't know how to do. (chuckle)

    I all but had a screaming match once, as I was interupted by a handyman while talking to a HD employee (licensed plumber) about how I don't trust the Sharkbites they sell.
    The handymans argument was how convenient it is to charge to do plumbing work, despite not knowing how to solder too well.
    I think there are two different things you are pulling together here. The unlicensed guy charging for plumbing is a problem. I think that counties which allow homeowners to do plumbing/electrical, and if required pull a permit and get it inspected are better than those that don't. There are people who would get an inspection and do it right if they could, but since they can't they'll go ahead anyway.

    Also, just because you do it yourself doesn't mean you are going to do the cheapest easiest thing. Remember, even licensed plumbers or electricians do stupid things or are lazy and do that shouldn't be done. My parents had both licensed electricians and plumbers on their kitchen remodel (they didn't go with the lowest GC bidder either). The wires in the basement were just stapled along the bottom of the joists not drilled. As far as I know that is a no no. A month later, the first time my mother fills the sink to do dishes and lets it drain, water starts coming out of the base cabinet, because the drain wasn't properly connected. Takes a week to get the plumber to call the GC back and schedule a fix.

    In my house, which had only one previous owner, and the components were dated with the original build date, the electrician didn't bother connecting the ground wire in the kitchen (so the outlets were only sort of grounded), a 20 amp circuit had an outlet using backwire, and the bathroom light/fan had two wires on a single terminal. Also, pretty much lots of places near wood that you see a copper fitting you also see scorch marks.

    If you do the work, at least you know the person at fault is going to return your calls. A licensed plumber or electrician could be cutting corners to get the job done faster and make more profit and you wouldn't know it. I'm not saying that all, or even most do, but there some that do.

    Comment


    • #47
      Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

      So lets see... we've got the diy guy who may or may not know what he’s doing and may or may not be concerned about a quality job, the licensed guy who can make honest mistakes or someone he has working for him (licensed or not) that does something wrong intentionally or not (cutting corners), there is the home owner who hires someone (unlicensed, knowledgeable? handy man) to do the work. Seems like there are many possibilities for something to go wrong just in the installation phase of a water heater.

      Things like TPRV discharging into drain pans, regardless of code – small leaks (that enter the pan) created at the time of installation that go unnoticed for who knows how long. A water heater isn’t like a washing machine or any other appliance (except furnace) that is seen and touched when used. If there is hot water the thought is that everything is fine (with it). Actually there is no thought process, if there is hot water most people don’t think about their water heater at all. A small leak can keep retained water in a drain pan indefinitely.

      As far as manufactures returning to installing legs, how is that going to be acceptable if the legs are made from metal and will also rust? Is one part rusting acceptable while another part rusting is not? Maybe they could make the legs out of plastic. This is possible, but would probably meet with some resistance for a couple reasons. Manufacturers are very concerned about keeping costs DOWN to stay competitive. Plastic legs would need to be designed and probably injection molded (I doubt they are going to glue PVC couplings on the bottom of a w/h). If the water heater gets banged around in shipping a metal leg will bend and can be bent back, not true with plastic. Once a barely strong enough (trying to keep costs down) plastic leg breaks then what do you do, put a brick under it (kidding)? And here we go with a warranty claim and a warehouse with water heaters with broken legs. Most likely legs are something a manufacturer is quite happy not to have to deal with anymore and may fight to keep it that way.

      The drain pan is a great idea and I know has saved many homes from expensive repairs, maybe $1,000 or many times that. The pan has a flaw though, and is damaging an undetermined amount of water heaters. A device that raises the w/h to protect it and also LEVELS the water heater, seems to me, has merit. A pan or a raising device are like insurance, there in case of possibilities or eventualities. Does it make sense to recognize one possibility or eventuality and ignore the other?

      Thank you, Chris

      Comment


      • #48
        Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

        chris, remember a smitty pan is suppose to discharge into an area that is not going to cause damage. i would think/ hope that dripping will not go un-noticed.

        gas heaters without legs are a relatively new (5 years) idea.

        electric heaters have been around forever without legs.

        could it be the newer fivr heaters purposely don't have legs due to intake air shutters?

        could raising the heater go against the manufactures recommendations?

        yes installing a new gas heater into an existing smitty pan is pretty much worthless as the capacity/ net free space is pretty much gone.

        p.s the cheapest most reliable way of raising a heater is running 2 pieces of 3/4'' angle iron, edges down, the with of the heater. 16'' is a good number as the heaters are approx. 18-21''.

        the steel can be painted or made from aluminum.

        total cost $2.00-$3.00

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #49
          Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

          I wish you all the luck in the world, but it seems you're beating this to death. Not that my idea is any better than yours, but you can put 3 to 4 brick pavers in the pan. There waterproof, fireproof, inexpensive, adjustable, and raise the tank above the drain outlet of the pan.

          And you may not even need that. Ask the plumbers how many water heaters they replace from excessive rust at the bottom that appears to rust the outer jacket and then the inner tank from the outside in that are in a pan.

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #50
            Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

            IPC 504:7 where water heaters or hot water storage tanks are installed in locations where leakage of the tanks or connections will cause damage, the tank or water heater shall be installed in a galvanized steel pan having a minimum thickness of 24 gage, or other pans approved for such use.

            504:7:1 Pan size and Drain. The pan shall be not less that 1.5 in deep and shall be of sufficient size ans shape so as to contain all dripping water or condensate from the tank or water heater. The pan shall be drained by an indirect waste pipe having a minimum diameter of 3/4 in.

            So like Aaron said, cut some 1 1/2 pvc rings and put them under it if you need to get the drain valve up. Why over engineer this whole thing.
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #51
              Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

              Originally posted by W/H watcher View Post
              So lets see... we've got the diy guy who may or may not know what he’s doing and may or may not be concerned about a quality job, the licensed guy who can make honest mistakes or someone he has working for him (licensed or not) that does something wrong intentionally or not (cutting corners), there is the home owner who hires someone (unlicensed, knowledgeable? handy man) to do the work. Seems like there are many possibilities for something to go wrong just in the installation phase of a water heater.

              Things like TPRV discharging into drain pans, regardless of code – small leaks (that enter the pan) created at the time of installation that go unnoticed for who knows how long. A water heater isn’t like a washing machine or any other appliance (except furnace) that is seen and touched when used. If there is hot water the thought is that everything is fine (with it). Actually there is no thought process, if there is hot water most people don’t think about their water heater at all. A small leak can keep retained water in a drain pan indefinitely.

              As far as manufactures returning to installing legs, how is that going to be acceptable if the legs are made from metal and will also rust? Is one part rusting acceptable while another part rusting is not? Maybe they could make the legs out of plastic. This is possible, but would probably meet with some resistance for a couple reasons. Manufacturers are very concerned about keeping costs DOWN to stay competitive. Plastic legs would need to be designed and probably injection molded (I doubt they are going to glue PVC couplings on the bottom of a w/h). If the water heater gets banged around in shipping a metal leg will bend and can be bent back, not true with plastic. Once a barely strong enough (trying to keep costs down) plastic leg breaks then what do you do, put a brick under it (kidding)? And here we go with a warranty claim and a warehouse with water heaters with broken legs. Most likely legs are something a manufacturer is quite happy not to have to deal with anymore and may fight to keep it that way.

              The drain pan is a great idea and I know has saved many homes from expensive repairs, maybe $1,000 or many times that. The pan has a flaw though, and is damaging an undetermined amount of water heaters. A device that raises the w/h to protect it and also LEVELS the water heater, seems to me, has merit. A pan or a raising device are like insurance, there in case of possibilities or eventualities. Does it make sense to recognize one possibility or eventuality and ignore the other?

              Thank you, Chris
              Being an inventor or manufacturer is all about having the guts to put everything you have into your idea hoping you will hit the mother lode. You've come to this forum to ask professionals what they think of your idea. I can tell you in my 35-years of experience I have not seen enough instances of damaged cause by a water heater to justify installing a safety pan on every water heater installation done. I have however seen two cases where water closets have flooded homes with each cases causing over $500,000 in damage. I guess one can argue had the bathroom only had a waterproof floor and dam it could have saved some damage but then does that mean we do that to every home?

              Your product does not have to be "Code Approved" to be installed as it is not part of the plumbing system. If your thought is to make them "Code Required" so people are forced to use your product you will need to go to IAPMO. However, as there main office is local to you that should make it much easier. I will not be investing in your idea as I believe it has a limited need but I do wish you luck in bringing your idea to volition.

              Mark
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #52
                Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

                Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                Being an inventor or manufacturer is all about having the guts to put everything you have into your idea hoping you will hit the mother lode. You've come to this forum to ask professionals what they think of your idea. I can tell you in my 35-years of experience I have not seen enough instances of damaged cause by a water heater to justify installing a safety pan on every water heater installation done. I have however seen two cases where water closets have flooded homes with each cases causing over $500,000 in damage. I guess one can argue had the bathroom only had a waterproof floor and dam it could have saved some damage but then does that mean we do that to every home?

                Your product does not have to be "Code Approved" to be installed as it is not part of the plumbing system. If your thought is to make them "Code Required" so people are forced to use your product you will need to go to IAPMO. However, as there main office is local to you that should make it much easier. I will not be investing in your idea as I believe it has a limited need but I do wish you luck in bringing your idea to volition.

                Mark
                Mark,

                I appreciate your input. Obviously you have been around this business and are knowledgeable as well as being an intelligent individual. Not meaning that the others aren't (intelligent) by any stretch. It's safe to say for the most part smart people get involved in these forums because they are concerned about their business and doing a good job. Thank you, Chris

                Comment


                • #53
                  Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

                  Originally posted by cpw View Post
                  I think there are two different things you are pulling together here.
                  There are - unlicensed "handymen" charging for illegal work, homeowners doing work thats often dangerous & illegal (my state requires a license for plumbing & especially gas work)
                  Originally posted by cpw View Post
                  The unlicensed guy charging for plumbing is a problem. I think that counties which allow homeowners to do plumbing/electrical, and if required pull a permit and get it inspected are better than those that don't. There are people who would get an inspection and do it right if they could, but since they can't they'll go ahead anyway.
                  I'll label this #2 for reference...#1 coming up...
                  Originally posted by cpw View Post
                  Also, just because you do it yourself doesn't mean you are going to do the cheapest easiest thing. Remember, even licensed plumbers or electricians do stupid things or are lazy and do that shouldn't be done.
                  NUMBER ONE!
                  Originally posted by cpw View Post
                  My parents had both licensed electricians and plumbers on their kitchen remodel (they didn't go with the lowest GC bidder either). The wires in the basement were just stapled along the bottom of the joists not drilled. As far as I know that is a no no. A month later, the first time my mother fills the sink to do dishes and lets it drain, water starts coming out of the base cabinet, because the drain wasn't properly connected. Takes a week to get the plumber to call the GC back and schedule a fix.

                  In my house, which had only one previous owner, and the components were dated with the original build date, the electrician didn't bother connecting the ground wire in the kitchen (so the outlets were only sort of grounded), a 20 amp circuit had an outlet using backwire, and the bathroom light/fan had two wires on a single terminal. Also, pretty much lots of places near wood that you see a copper fitting you also see scorch marks.

                  If you do the work, at least you know the person at fault is going to return your calls. A licensed plumber or electrician could be cutting corners to get the job done faster and make more profit and you wouldn't know it. I'm not saying that all, or even most do, but there some that do.
                  <In best Letterman impersonation>
                  Number two reason homeowners rationalize risks and do things that can endanger themselves, their families..and their neighborhoods -"I shouldn't have to pay someone to do work on my own home, it's MY home, I'll do what I want"

                  Number ONE: "I saw a plumber install a dishwasher wrong once, I think I could just do a better job putting this boiler in myself & save the money.".
                  Your in the NE, read the papers in the winter you'll see a few CO poisonings & deaths every year as well as home fires resulting from improper installation of heating fixtures.
                  I've had my b-lls busted by an inspector over the smallest detail on a CO vent...(he was right, it was 2" too low by code at the outlet), I was mistaken and luckily he was there to point it out.
                  This detail most likely would never have mattered, but having the inspection & doing the work legitimately is MY job whether I like it or not.

                  A family died here a few years back when the CO exhaust on a gas fixture was too low...the assumption was made that the heat from the exhaust was sufficient to melt any snow or ice, there were small children in that family.

                  We don't have to worry about cholera, dysentery and many other commonly seen diseases in third world countries, because we have licensed plumbers that know that some of the smallest, seemingly unimportant details can be the difference between a puddle of disease breeding s--t in a concealed location and a drain that works effectively and is set up in a way that it can be cleared in the future.

                  I'll spare the details on backflow prevention to the public potable water supply, or the explosive nature of heated water in a closed tank amongst others.

                  What you have said, we hear almost constantly, you may not realise that, nor how belittling it is to hear the only reason homeowners have to hire plumbers is it's the law.

                  Imagine if, every day, you had to listen to your customers tell you they were going to program their own software from online tutorials or free websites with pro's that walk them through it...how would you feel listening to that regularly?

                  I have a software engineer who's a customer, he decided to do a flip two years ago and do the work himself that doesn't require a license.
                  His house is partially done, he lives in the finished level, with the rest of the home being exposed insulated walls and a gas bill thats draining him dry.
                  He says if he could go back he'd never have done it, he completely underestimated the scope of work, monetary prerequisites on stock & labor, difficulty level on labor as well as technical aspects, his credit is maxed and he's nowhere near done.

                  In the end, he'd have paid substantially less if he'd used the highest bidding contractor on the original job.
                  He's turned out to be somewhat of a friend, with an occasional social call.
                  I debate the fact with him that he's learned alot the hard stuff and he might consider doing it again when the markets back up, his response - "NO!"

                  Nothing personal CP, but for some reason it seems like engineers are the most common conveyors of the idea that plumbing is simple, of the engineers, it seems like software engineers do it the most.
                  Maybe it's just my area, with so many software co's (Boston), but it's undeniable.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

                    Originally posted by W/H watcher View Post
                    Mark,

                    I appreciate your input. Obviously you have been around this business and are knowledgeable as well as being an intelligent individual. Not meaning that the others aren't (intelligent) by any stretch. It's safe to say for the most part smart people get involved in these forums because they are concerned about their business and doing a good job. Thank you, Chris
                    A thing I've come to know of him, he has enough integrity to disagree with you and have you angry with him when you might be making a mistake.
                    Personal experience...patent searches & patent atty's can be both daunting & expensive.
                    Also, the corporate world will oftenb find creative ways of taking a patented idea and modifying it enough to get their own patent, I've even heard of foreign MFG's stealing U.S patents that aren't covered in their country.
                    Some inventors cut to the chase and have an atty work out an agreement for royalties in exchange for the patent with MFG's.
                    Research, research, research.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

                      Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                      A thing I've come to know of him, he has enough integrity to disagree with you and have you angry with him when you might be making a mistake.
                      Personal experience...patent searches & patent atty's can be both daunting & expensive.
                      Also, the corporate world will oftenb find creative ways of taking a patented idea and modifying it enough to get their own patent, I've even heard of foreign MFG's stealing U.S patents that aren't covered in their country.
                      Some inventors cut to the chase and have an atty work out an agreement for royalties in exchange for the patent with MFG's.
                      Research, research, research.
                      Duck,

                      Sounds like Words of wisdom to me. Good reply, Thank you, Chris

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

                        Originally posted by cpw View Post
                        I think there are two different things you are pulling together here. The unlicensed guy charging for plumbing is a problem. I think that counties which allow homeowners to do plumbing/electrical, and if required pull a permit and get it inspected are better than those that don't. There are people who would get an inspection and do it right if they could, but since they can't they'll go ahead anyway.

                        Also, just because you do it yourself doesn't mean you are going to do the cheapest easiest thing. Remember, even licensed plumbers or electricians do stupid things or are lazy and do that shouldn't be done. My parents had both licensed electricians and plumbers on their kitchen remodel (they didn't go with the lowest GC bidder either). The wires in the basement were just stapled along the bottom of the joists not drilled. As far as I know that is a no no. A month later, the first time my mother fills the sink to do dishes and lets it drain, water starts coming out of the base cabinet, because the drain wasn't properly connected. Takes a week to get the plumber to call the GC back and schedule a fix.

                        In my house, which had only one previous owner, and the components were dated with the original build date, the electrician didn't bother connecting the ground wire in the kitchen (so the outlets were only sort of grounded), a 20 amp circuit had an outlet using backwire, and the bathroom light/fan had two wires on a single terminal. Also, pretty much lots of places near wood that you see a copper fitting you also see scorch marks.

                        If you do the work, at least you know the person at fault is going to return your calls. A licensed plumber or electrician could be cutting corners to get the job done faster and make more profit and you wouldn't know it. I'm not saying that all, or even most do, but there some that do.
                        Your parents hired hacks. I don't care if they were cheap or not, they were hacks. Why did they choose these companies of the many choices out there? I know there are bad contractors out there, but if you call hire one, make sure to get some references, check if they are members of the BBB, etc. Instead of just hiring some random guys and then blaming the industry. Also ANY time a plumber does work in your home, ask him to pull a permit and get it inspected, it will cost more but THE WHOLE POINT OF THE PERMIT AND INSPECTION SYSTEM IS TO PROTECT THE CONSUMER.
                        Obviously the electrician didn't get an inpection in the above stories, so that where the system failed. Consumer's think of permits and inspections as an extra expense, and a pain in the rear, but without one there is no way to know if your contractor did a safe, proper job or not.
                        Last edited by Service Guy; 05-27-2008, 02:55 PM.
                        Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

                          Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                          Your parents hired hacks. I don't care if they were cheap or not, they were hacks. Why did they choose these companies of the many choices out there? I know there are bad contractors out there, but if you call hire one, make sure to get some references, check if they are members of the BBB, etc. Instead of just hiring some random guys and then blaming the industry. Also ANY time a plumber does work in your home, ask him to pull a permit and get it inspected, it will cost more but THE WHOLE POINT OF THE PERMIT AND INSPECTION SYSTEM IS TO PROTECT THE CONSUMER.
                          Obviously the electrician didn't get an inpection in the above stories, so that where the system failed. Consumer's think of permits and inspections as an extra expense, and a pain in the rear, but without one there is no way to know if your contractor did a safe, proper job or not.
                          Thank you, for illuminating the possibility that NOT all licensed tradesmen aren't worth hiring.
                          Last edited by DuckButter; 05-27-2008, 06:30 PM. Reason: inserted double negative

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

                            Also, go ahead and do your own work, CPW. If you feel you know what you are doing confidently.

                            I installed a tankless electric water heater in a mobile home today that owner tried to connect themselves. Copper flexes hanging from the heater, no shut-off valves and then she tried to use compression fitting on the polybutylene, which leaked like crazy.
                            I installed it according to the manufacturer's directions and told her to try to return the parts that she had bought. This happens quite often, people attempt to do their own plumbing and then it costs them more because they have to call a pro in anyway, after buying parts adn wasting time fiddling around. Hopefully without causing property damage.

                            The old water heater was gone but it was installed without a pan (which is required by code in this state) and leaked all over, the floors in the bathroom were warped so bad they will have to be completely ripped out.
                            Thats the second house with severe water damage I have seen this week because a water heater pan wasn't installed in situations were it was required by code for good reason.
                            Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

                              Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                              Thank you, for illuminating the possibility that all licensed tradesmen aren't worth hiring.
                              Yes, hiring a licensed tradesmen is smart, but unfortunately no guarantee of quality workmanship. Lots of companies have one licensed guy, but then send young, inexperienced kids out to jobsites unsupervised.

                              Imo, its best to get a referral from a friend, and maybe check with the better business bureau before hiring a contractor.
                              Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Re: Water heaters in jeopardy?

                                Ditto Carl. The larger the shop... usually the less quality personnel. Every shop I've known with 5+ people usually had only 1 licensed person.

                                Maybe different other places.

                                J.C.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X