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  • water heater dielectric corrosion

    I have a cast mainline in the house, with a dielectric connecting 2' copper section to the water heater....that dielectric has failed and really corroded, as well as where the copper connection meets the water heater (which also happens to be damp to the touch)...

    can I just shut off the water, remove the dielectric, clean and reassemble with a new dielectric? Will the corrosion at the water heater/copper inlet connection cause failure down the road (ie, should i replace the w.h?)

    Thanks,

    Doug

  • #2
    Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

    Do u mean galvanized?

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    • #3
      Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

      We need photos of the items in question. Can't really assess the damage without seeing it.

      Eventually you will have to replace the water heater. How old is it?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

        if its damp then theres a leak if theres a leak and you have hard water that could be what you are calling corrosion. fix the leak change out the dielectric nipples and the fittings going to the 2' copper and see what happens.

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        • #5
          Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

          You will be fine to just remove and change out the dielectric unions. You should probably also change out the dielectric nipples as well.
          Distractions are everywhere, don't lose sight of your dream.

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          • #6
            Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

            nope, its not galvanized...black iron...id imagine its original, so 1948?

            Anyway, yes, i would imagine it probably is mineral buildup, as we have very hard water in St Louis, MO.

            Ill definitely replace the copper section and the dielectric, just wanted to make sure i wasnt going to get into a 30min job, and end up with having to replace the water heater due to a corroded/falling apart fitting....

            having not worked on water heaters before, do i just shut off the water into the tank, drain some of the tank, then go to town replacing the dielectric/copper?

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            • #7
              Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

              Black Iron for water pipes??? You should be having rusty hot water if that's the case!

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              • #8
                Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

                I can't imagine black iron lasting since 1948.
                They probably replaced sections of galvanized pipe with black.

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                • #9
                  Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

                  One of my neighbors has all black iron waterlines, His home is also from the 40's. If they go out of town for a few days they get rusty water when they turn on the tap, and i'd have to imagine they have a constant not quite perceptible rust coating in their water.
                  No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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                  • #10
                    Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

                    It must have been a thicker wall back then or something.

                    I have made repairs on work where somebody stuck black nipples in a galvanized system. The nipples were less than 10 years old and already falling apart.

                    The only reason I asked the age of the water heater is when he starts draining and pulling the nipples if there is a lot of rust and corrosion he may end up having to change out the water heater. Drains don't shut nipples don't budge etc... tank maybe full of pipe rust etc...
                    Last edited by EasyEman; 05-02-2009, 10:16 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

                      MoJourneyman,
                      Well, at least your neighhbors don't have to take iron supplement pills!!!

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                      • #12
                        Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

                        very very true. We have so much Lime in our water i'm thinking it probably makes a barrier on the inside of the pipe, and thats why it hasn't rusted completely through. Kind of the same theory on the old lead water services.

                        Originally posted by Chemeng View Post
                        MoJourneyman,
                        Well, at least your neighhbors don't have to take iron supplement pills!!!
                        No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: water heater dielectric corrosion

                          yeah, its a little ridiculous with the black iron...

                          anyway, got it all apart...one of the couplings was frozen to the water heater, and no amount of wd40 or pb blaster would get it free, so i ended up reusing that threaded fitting, but replaced the rest with 3/4 copper and threw in a ball-valve w/ drain, all back in action.

                          Yes, those pipes were corroded nicely inside...probably making the 3/4 line the equivilant of 1/2 or less....the only piece of iron left in the house is the trunk line....(ive replaced the branches while doing kitchen/bath remodeling. After seeing the corrosion on the water heater side...i want to replace the main as well...so do i go with 1" copper or 3/4? the branch lines are all 1/2, and the water heater is 3/4. Its a small 2bd 1 bath house.

                          Also, the water heater seemed fine, no rust coming out when i drained it, but noticing its about 10 years old and I cant imagine anyone ever replaced the annode...should i do that, or just start looking for a new water heater? Its a Ruud Professional 40 (if that makes a difference).

                          Thanks for everyones help,

                          Doug

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