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  • Change out my Water heater

    Hello guys,
    I am going to have to replace my hot water heater soon. It is plumbed in with copper fittiings. My question is this, After I cut the copper pipe to get the old water heater out can I just sweat on some 3/4" male fittings and get some of those flexible copper pipes to screw on when I put the new water heater in instead of making new joints and using a slip joint etc. to try and put the pipes back together where I cut them? I am not great at sweating old copper so I thought it would be easier for me to use the screw on flex pipes. If this is not a good idea then I will go with what you guys advise, that is why I come here! If it is better to use the slip joint should I take off the old fittings on the old hot water heater and reuse them or make new ones from scratch? Also any tricks when using the slip joints to get a good joint but not get solder into the pipes? Thanks for your time and expertise.
    THP

  • #2
    Re: Change out my Water heater

    There's a lot of conflicting opinions on this forum about giving DIY advice.
    Sometimes I'm conflicted, myself.
    But since you asked, and seem to be determined to do it yourself, the least I can do
    is advise you on how to do it correctly.
    Do not reuse your old fittings. Replace the valve if necessary.
    Solder with type L hard copper.
    Completely clean the pipe and fittings and you should not have to use
    more than 3/4" of solder on each side of the fitting. (Given it's 3/4" piping)
    If the solder runs out of the fitting, you used too much. Just wipe off the drips.
    Go easy on the flux. Just a thin film on the end of the pipe and in the fitting.
    Do not try to solder with water in the pipe. Even if it runs, the steam will blow it out.
    Personally, I don't like flex connectors and please...don't use shark bites.
    Let the beatings commence.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Change out my Water heater

      Get it inspected! No questions on the electrical/gas/oil hook up?
      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

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Change out my Water heater

        Originally posted by Gettinit View Post
        Get it inspected! No questions on the electrical/gas/oil hook up?
        Apparently, no power is needed. He's replacing a HOT WATER HEATER.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Change out my Water heater

          Originally posted by ArizonaPlumber View Post
          Apparently, no power is needed. He's replacing a HOT WATER HEATER.
          I try desperately not to correct people, but I even catch plumbers saying it. I just shake my head and move on. Lmao.
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Change out my Water heater

            i don't know about rural missouri, but hooking up a 30-50 gallon water heater out here in earthquake land without flexible connectors is asking for a leak/ flood. there was a time before our large northridge quake of 93, that we could hook up a heater solid and not strap the heater to the wall, or use flex connectors and strap the heater to the wall.

            now we are required to use 2 approved seismic straps upper and lower 1/3rd of the heater. we don't have to use flexes, but it would be foolish to think a piece of 3/4'' copper will restrain a heater that weighs 450-550# from moving with a quake. just like a seatbelt keeps you in the car, the strap keeps the heater from falling over. it doesn't keep it from moving. the flex connectors of choice are the corrugated stainless steel ones. look just like the copper ones, but are stainless. do no, do not use the stainless braided hoses.

            so my answer is there is nothing wrong with a flex connector on the water and defiantly the gas too. nothing like an aluminum gas valve trying to absorb the movement from a shake or settlement.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Change out my Water heater

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
              i don't know about rural missouri, but hooking up a 30-50 gallon water heater out here in earthquake land without flexible connectors is asking for a leak/ flood. there was a time before our large northridge quake of 93, that we could hook up a heater solid and not strap the heater to the wall, or use flex connectors and strap the heater to the wall.

              now we are required to use 2 approved seismic straps upper and lower 1/3rd of the heater. we don't have to use flexes, but it would be foolish to think a piece of 3/4'' copper will restrain a heater that weighs 450-550# from moving with a quake. just like a seatbelt keeps you in the car, the strap keeps the heater from falling over. it doesn't keep it from moving. the flex connectors of choice are the corrugated stainless steel ones. look just like the copper ones, but are stainless. do no, do not use the stainless braided hoses.

              so my answer is there is nothing wrong with a flex connector on the water and defiantly the gas too. nothing like an aluminum gas valve trying to absorb the movement from a shake or settlement.

              rick.
              Add....if you get the copper ones...once they are bent do not bend them in an opposite way. I have changed many of them that split within a year that leaked like crazy (in the creases) when HO installed them.
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Change out my Water heater

                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                i don't know about rural missouri, but hooking up a 30-50 gallon water heater out here in earthquake land without flexible connectors is asking for a leak/ flood. there was a time before our large northridge quake of 93, that we could hook up a heater solid and not strap the heater to the wall, or use flex connectors and strap the heater to the wall.

                now we are required to use 2 approved seismic straps upper and lower 1/3rd of the heater. we don't have to use flexes, but it would be foolish to think a piece of 3/4'' copper will restrain a heater that weighs 450-550# from moving with a quake. just like a seatbelt keeps you in the car, the strap keeps the heater from falling over. it doesn't keep it from moving. the flex connectors of choice are the corrugated stainless steel ones. look just like the copper ones, but are stainless. do no, do not use the stainless braided hoses.

                so my answer is there is nothing wrong with a flex connector on the water and defiantly the gas too. nothing like an aluminum gas valve trying to absorb the movement from a shake or settlement.

                rick.
                BINGO RICK! Who can photo shop 2 car seat belts on a W.H.? Now that would be a HOOT, and travel the web like wild fire !!
                I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Change out my Water heater

                  Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                  BINGO RICK! Who can photo shop 2 car seat belts on a W.H.? Now that would be a HOOT, and travel the web like wild fire !!
                  Yeah, use some old school 'pull tight' lap belts of yesteryear! Maybe some vintage 50's Chevy, that be sweet! Haha!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Change out my Water heater

                    they actually make straps that are flat nylon webbing. pretty much seat belts without the fancy buckle.

                    i've used them on exposed installations as they have no sharp edges to snag.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Change out my Water heater

                      Rural missouri has no inspections, no licenses, and no seismic requirements. Sleep tight.
                      No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Change out my Water heater

                        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                        they actually make straps that are flat nylon webbing. pretty much seat belts without the fancy buckle.

                        i've used them on exposed installations as they have no sharp edges to snag.

                        rick.
                        Yup, they sure do. I personally haven't installed the nylon straps, but I'd imagine they'd be much more expensive than the steel ones.
                        Ideal Plumbing

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Change out my Water heater

                          The idea that flexible water heater water connectors are going to save your life or your property is just BOGUS! I worked in San Francisco and Marin during the 89 quake and I saw first hand what happened to dozens of water heaters with those connectors. THEY FELL OVER. We were picking up water heaters for weeks that were laying on their side. Pulled the copper right out of the ceilings. The flexible connectors did NOTHING. The shop was in the heart of the Castro District, (no funny comments please) LOL
                          The gas flex is another story, they work. Though when a gas water heater is laying on it's side and still firing that's another story, seen many of them and it wasn't pretty.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Change out my Water heater

                            Originally posted by ironranger View Post
                            The idea that flexible water heater water connectors are going to save your life or your property is just BOGUS! I worked in San Francisco and Marin during the 89 quake and I saw first hand what happened to dozens of water heaters with those connectors. THEY FELL OVER. We were picking up water heaters for weeks that were laying on their side. Pulled the copper right out of the ceilings. The flexible connectors did NOTHING. The shop was in the heart of the Castro District, (no funny comments please) LOL
                            The gas flex is another story, they work. Though when a gas water heater is laying on it's side and still firing that's another story, seen many of them and it wasn't pretty.
                            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 !
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Change out my Water heater

                              Originally posted by ironranger View Post
                              The idea that flexible water heater water connectors are going to save your life or your property is just BOGUS! I worked in San Francisco and Marin during the 89 quake and I saw first hand what happened to dozens of water heaters with those connectors. THEY FELL OVER. We were picking up water heaters for weeks that were laying on their side. Pulled the copper right out of the ceilings. The flexible connectors did NOTHING. The shop was in the heart of the Castro District, (no funny comments please) LOL
                              The gas flex is another story, they work. Though when a gas water heater is laying on it's side and still firing that's another story, seen many of them and it wasn't pretty.
                              keep in mind that there were not seismic restraints available other than plumbers tape and drywall screws. and the junk nipple restraints. with no real approved method of strapping. it wasn't until the northridge quake that the codes changed and approved methods and strapping was required.

                              todays straps and fasteners will allow the heater to stay standing. the flexes will allow some movement without shearing. i also switched over to the corrugated stainless flexes. much more flexible and can be bent without kinking or snapping years later.

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

                              Comment

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