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Change out my Water heater

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  • #16
    Re: Change out my Water heater

    I still have a couple of them eq straps in the green box from about 20 years back (we don't use them here) and I still remember when the requirement came down for installing them. We were all saying WTF are you kidding me? What a pain in the *** to put these in. A lot of them were fudged no doubt. Seen a lot of them installed with drywall screws, nails etc. Most of them back then you could just pull them out by hand. Ah the good old days!

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    • #17
      Re: Change out my Water heater

      Most of the seismic events in CA are small tremors, several a month throughout the state. Without some flex in the connections, each tremor can add to fatigue a rigid connection at its weak point, and then one tremor later the connection breaks. I think the flex plumbing in CA to a water heater has the same use as a flexible electrical connection to a motor or other vibrating equipment, not really useful in a catastrophic event but useful for the small ones.

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      • #18
        Re: Change out my Water heater

        Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
        Did a remodel in Noe Valley ,above the Castro couple of Years ago. Use to go in to Tuggys hardware in the Castro for small stuff. What's upsetting is How violent the Castro has become ! Just last week there was a drive By Spanking !

        Worked down there in the late 80's when the Aids thing was just coming out. I remember having meetings about it at the shop. Is it safe to clean drains etc. Stuff like that. We didn't know anything about it. I remember doing calls down on Broadway at the strip clubs. Actually replaced a water heater in the dressing room and all these girls were in there naked and changing. Well at least I think they were girls!
        I think the worst one was a clogged sink down there. The p-trap was full of used rubbers. Why in hell would they put them down the sink I don't know but it was sick.

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        • #19
          Re: Change out my Water heater

          Originally posted by hochwald View Post
          Most of the seismic events in CA are small tremors, several a month throughout the state. Without some flex in the connections, each tremor can add to fatigue a rigid connection at its weak point, and then one tremor later the connection breaks. I think the flex plumbing in CA to a water heater has the same use as a flexible electrical connection to a motor or other vibrating equipment, not really useful in a catastrophic event but useful for the small ones.
          Why just the water heater? If the entire building has copper pipe then wtf? Wouldn't you have the same problems with the rocking and rolling all over the building on water pipes? As I said, the flex pipes to a water heater are just useless and do nothing imo. I also think it's just an easy way out for a quicker job, lazy. We hard pipe all water heaters here. Propress all of them with hard pipe. Makes for a very professional job. The other problem with using flex connectors here is the water gets so cold in the winter it shrinks the washers causing leaks. Heck why not make it code in California that all piping be pex, that way no problems with earth quakes right? LOL

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          • #20
            Re: Change out my Water heater

            People may say I am crazy but I think a Dormont style hose (like in restaurants) should be used on gas for these people that like quick connections.
            AllurePlumbing.com
            • leak detection
            • drain cleaning
            • utility locating
            • conductor fault locating
            • and other specialties.

            Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

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            • #21
              Re: Change out my Water heater

              Originally posted by ironranger View Post
              Why just the water heater? If the entire building has copper pipe then wtf? Wouldn't you have the same problems with the rocking and rolling all over the building on water pipes? As I said, the flex pipes to a water heater are just useless and do nothing imo. I also think it's just an easy way out for a quicker job, lazy. We hard pipe all water heaters here. Propress all of them with hard pipe. Makes for a very professional job. The other problem with using flex connectors here is the water gets so cold in the winter it shrinks the washers causing leaks. Heck why not make it code in California that all piping be pex, that way no problems with earth quakes right? LOL
              When I lived in the Redwood City, I would find furniture and appliances that had moved or turned slightly after tremors, relative to the wall. If any of these were attached to the plumbing or gas system inside the wall, I could imagine stress or crack develop if the piping was not flexible. I imagine a water heater wouldn't be different, but I'm not sure if I ever saw ours creeping around the garage . Perhaps the piping system in the house moves in unison during a tremor and stresses don't develop as much from pipe to pipe unless the house suffers structural damage.

              Redwood city is just a couple of miles from San Bruno, where the gas explosion killed 6 ppl in 2010. I could see that fire easily from my home. I think that PG&E was supposed to upgrade the pipe to be more tolerant to seismic events, I don't think they completed the part that ruptured, not sure if a tremor triggered the leak. I always thought a brick house was the best until I went to CA and saw what few brick houses still standing looked ready to collapse because of all the rattling they endured. I live in a brick house now LOL.
              Last edited by hochwald; 07-15-2012, 07:45 AM.

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              • #22
                Re: Change out my Water heater

                When I hired a plumber to install an expansion tank on my water heater a couple months ago, I indicated a customer preference for the Rino stainless steel corrugated flex connectors, based on a recommendation from Rick on this forum some time ago. I don't know if they are still Rick's preferred brand, but my plumber was OK with them. He said they can bend like a curly-Q and not leak, and they are less expensive than the copper ones due to currently high price of copper metal.

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                • #23
                  Re: Change out my Water heater

                  I would like to thank everyone for the replies. I can see everyones points actually. We do live in a potential earthquake area and have never thought about straps before. I wonder are they just screwed into a stud? Are they made especially for that? At any rate I am not sure I will do the job myself, but I might. Generally I know my limitations and try to never surpass them. Right now I am OK as I just checked the thermostats and had to replace the elements. Everything is fine now. I see some small rust spots and think in a year or two the whole unit will need replacing hence the questions. I have replaced them before in older houses I have lived in but they all had the flex connections. I was just trying to make it easier for future changes. If I do it myself, I may just solder on some male connections and use the flexible stainless lines. However I may just have a plumber do the job when the time comes, I know very well there are reasons to let the professionals do it! I like to do as much as I can and in some areas I am able to, but as I said I am careful not to exceed my limitations as I never want to mess something up and then have to call the cavalry! It is an electric Hot Water heater by the way and power is there. I will also try to use the exact brand so the size will be the same hopefully as it is a tight space with the water softener, I have to disconnect it and replace it just to work on the hot water heater. Again thanks to Rick and all the others who replied as I always learen something here.
                  Take care,
                  TPS

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                  • #24
                    Re: Change out my Water heater

                    The real question is if you are going to live in an earthquake zone (New Madrid?) why not move to California and enjoy the weather while waiting for the big one?

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                    • #25
                      Re: Change out my Water heater

                      Shut down the fundamental water vent. Close up a circuit breaker. Decrease the pressure from the hot water heater dripping location. Take care not to touch the hot water heater leaking area, allow it cool for some minutes or so.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Change out my Water heater

                        Hochwild,
                        I see you are familiar with the area and I only have two answers to that veryu good question Inlaws and taxes: )
                        Thanks again guys,
                        TPS

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