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  • #16
    Re: Water heater flexes

    EasyEman, you already have the answer to your question, you have had occasions where you thought the flexes were good but they failed when you turned the water back on. Do you normally reinstall used water flex lines? I make it a point to install everything new on a water heater install. If your customers balk you can always write a disclaimer on your invoice stating why new flexes were not installed. I often had customers ask me why a water heater would leak when from the outside appearance it looked to be quite new (we have all seen heaters out of warranty that look good from an appearance point of view) I have often used that same analogy to promote the upgrading of additioal parts as seemed neccesary.

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    • #17
      Re: Water heater flexes

      rookie,

      my boss in montreal told me to tell the customers when they questioned how something could break. "but it looks new."

      "we're alive one day, and dead the next."

      makes sense to me and my customers.

      Vincense

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      • #18
        Re: Water heater flexes

        Its funny but the few times I have hard piped it has been faster than the flexes.

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        • #19
          Re: Water heater flexes

          Originally posted by APHCO View Post
          Flexible lines for water and gas are non code for water heaters, in Michigan at least. Whenever you see them on an install you can be certain that it was done by a homeowner or handyman.

          Just because HD,Loews or Ferguson sells something, it does not necessarily mean that it is cade approved or a quality item. They all sell what moves.

          Well, it does have everything to do with the shaking! And the Calif. Plumbing code. All water and gas connections to a water heater must be flexible.

          Copper flexes are usually very long lasting. But prudence suggests that they be replaced with a new WH install.

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          • #20
            Re: Water heater flexes

            Originally posted by lovetheUSA View Post
            Well, it does have everything to do with the shaking! And the Calif. Plumbing code. All water and gas connections to a water heater must be flexible.

            Copper flexes are usually very long lasting. But prudence suggests that they be replaced with a new WH install.

            Is Prudence a plumber?

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            • #21
              Re: Water heater flexes

              after our big quake, we found out that hard piping did not support the shaking of a 40-50 gallon tank full of water. as mark mentioned hard pipe required no strapping of the heater. while a flex only required a roll of plumbers tape.

              after the quake, the code changed to an approved seismic strap. plumber tape was no longer an approved method.

              then came the stainless braided water heater flexes. looked good, but theses were problems as either the rubber lining would create a black goo/ slime. or the barbed insert would eventually fail. so back to the copper flexes.

              now there are corrugated stainless flexes that have great flexibility without the kinking factor and the cost is better than copper.

              look into getting the "rhino flexes".

              as far as gas flexes go, it's a no brainer. why would you take the chance and solid pipe a gas line to an aluminum gas control valve and pray that the heater/ appliance will stay put during an earthquake and not shear off the gas line. same reason why we are required gas seismic shut off valves to prevent a catastrophe. we are also required to properly secure the vent pipe with 3 screws per joint. this is the 1 code violation i see missing the most.

              we have earthquake standards and others have hurricane standards. none are perfect, but they are there for a reason.

              rick.
              phoebe it is

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              • #22
                Re: Water heater flexes

                Its funny how things that become code in California leak over to Arizona . We haven't had a noteworthy Earthquake but our inspectors require three screws per joint on the flue. In most cases 1 would suffice. The UPC only requires securing with screws. We don't have to used straps unless its a mobile home.

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                • #23
                  Re: Water heater flexes

                  Originally posted by EasyEman View Post
                  Its funny how things that become code in California leak over to Arizona . We haven't had a noteworthy Earthquake but our inspectors require three screws per joint on the flue. In most cases 1 would suffice. The UPC only requires securing with screws. We don't have to used straps unless its a mobile home.
                  I disagree that in most cases 1 would suffice, 3 screws ensures that not only does the joint stays together, but it stays straight. I like to use 3 screws, and tin tape over top. And really, how hard is it to put in 3 screws?? You do have a drill right?
                  West Trail Mechanical Ltd
                  Service. Commitment. Expertise.

                  www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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                  • #24
                    Re: Water heater flexes

                    Originally posted by EasyEman
                    Always one guy has to take it too far. Yes your the best plumber ever. You are the only one that knows anything. How would I have gotten along without your answer?
                    3 Screws is code here in Missouri too. Will one work? sure, but 3 makes sure the joint stays straight.

                    Also disagreeing is fine, but don't be a dick, keep it constructive.
                    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Water heater flexes

                      Most of flues go straight up or are limited to the area above the water heater. So it isn't likely that that the flue will be bothered by accidental contact or someone grabbing it. If you have to run the flue out away from the heater using a long run of vent pipe and elbows then use as many screws as you need to make it safe.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Water heater flexes

                        when i was in victoria, british colmbia in 2001 i believe when the earthquake hit.

                        the epicenter was located stateside.

                        i was working in a bakery at the time and i was slicing loaves of bread.

                        it was the weirdest sensation i ever felt.

                        first i felt and heard the wind, then the floor starting to move up and down. not very much (3-4 inches), but it was enough to get my attention and only lasted about 5 seconds.

                        it subsided. i was standing there holdling on the the bread slicer wondering what, if anything just happened. i did wonder if i was losing my marbles.

                        i walked out to the store and noticed all of the instore signage a swaying back and forth.

                        ...............!!!!

                        i was the only eskimo in the store and the first on the yell;

                        Earthquake!!

                        i got out of there faster than $h!t through a goose.

                        that's when i started to became aware of earthquake building codes.

                        sorry for the thread (snow) drift.

                        Vince

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                        • #27
                          Re: Water heater flexes

                          while a flex only required a roll of plumbers tape.

                          I just found myself wondering what plumbers tape is? At first i would suspect teflon, but what would that serve in an earthquake, then maybe foil tape, but thats not gonna hold a water heater either, mill wrap maybe? Plumbers tape must not be used around here. I am not familiar. Enlighten and enrich me.

                          The problem that i have with flex connectors is the thermal expansion tank. How do you secure it to flexible piping?

                          How flexible does it have to be to meet the code (we don't have hurricanes or earthquakes in central alabama so its not even mentioned in IPC that i am aware of)? Would hard pipe out of heater the 12-18" neccessary then a say 1' section of pex and then back to the cu work? Seems it would have some flexibility, probably look more appealing, and definately have better quality. Especially if you used Everlock fittings on pex!! I guess even that would be installation specific since you would be installing 2-2 1/2 feet of pipe above the heater that may be on a stand. Might not always have room.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Water heater flexes

                            plumbers tape is galvanized pipe strapping
                            No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Water heater flexes

                              Gotcha - here we call it strapping. I will however go to the supply house and order some plumbers tape and see what they give me. That should be interesting!

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                              • #30
                                Re: Water heater flexes

                                If an expansion tank is required then you have the valve then pipe to an upturned "T" then the flex comes out of the "T".

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