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  • Leaking Water Heater...

    Well, not the water heater, but the pressure relief valve. The water heater (gas) is 1 year old and I replaced the valve last X-mass. It is leaking again. A buddy at work called his plumber buddy (out of the area)... and he suggested a few things:

    1) Make sure the check valve was drilled out - I have no idea what he means. I do have a check valve (local code) But, don't know what to look for.

    2) Check the city service incoming pressure. It should be less than what the pressure relief valve is rated for?

    3) I may need to add a air-over-water tank between the water heater and the check valve.

    Any ideas? I'm living in fear of an exploding house. I usually hang out in the wood working forums, but thought you guys may be able to help me.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    - Jdawg

  • #2
    Re: Leaking Water Heater...

    my guess would be 3 since water does expand when heated even though it is just a little bit, but i am not a plumber nor do i pretend to be.
    9/11/01, never forget.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Leaking Water Heater...

      most Big box stores sell a pressure gage, so you can check it your self, many will screw onto a water hydrant or hose connection. Some have a needle in them that will record the high pressure reading, In the pictures below there are pictures of both types. (if you have a working check valve, then the pressure may easily reach to 150 pounds do to water expansion by the hot water heater, but if you leave one faucet drip jsut slightly you should get the city pressure.)

      Drilling out the check valve would basically be the same as removing it and since it is a required item, by your code, tampering with it well your on your own.

      The expansion tank would be the better way to go. Any time you have a closed system, and the check valve makes it closed, as the hot water heater heats the cold water it expands and will many times force water by the T&P valve, IF the check valve was a installed item from the start, there should have been an expansion tank in the system from the start, if there is it could have a damaged bladder in it and needs replaced.

      Picture from ( the only good one I could find of it in place) some info there as well.
      http://www.popularmechanics.com/how_...c/1275231.html

      some more good information on expansion tanks (there is a calculator for figure size in the first link)
      http://www.delcowater.com/InternetPa...ansioninfo.htm
      or
      http://www.flexconind.com/pdf/wh-whv_install.pdf

      note: the urls are for information only not an indorsment of any company or brand.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by BHD; 05-04-2007, 10:50 PM.
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Leaking Water Heater...

        BHD,

        Thanks for the info. That helps a bunch. There is not currently a tank installed. It looks like that is my answer.

        Can these be purchased at the big box stores? and do you think could be homeowner installed? I'm a pretty handy guy and have done some basic copper pipe soldering.... but don't want get over my head. It looks like it would go on the cold side and about 18" (min) from the HWH. Flexcon says theirs come precharged at 40psi, will that be sufficient? I don't see any pressure reducers in my system and the Watts valve is rated at 150 psi if that helps? What size would you recomend? Could I use the WH 18?

        Lots of questions - thanks for any help.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Leaking Water Heater...

          I lost the post I had typed out so I will do a quick one,

          I would think they would carry the tanks.

          I would guess that size would work, but would check the sizing with the calculator in the one url.

          If you can get the water completely shut off and water out of the pipes (you can't normally solder a pipe that has water in it or steaming), and know how to solder, it is basically putting in a tee, and a threaded fitting,
          you may need to or want to support the tank in some way depending on
          where and how it is located,
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Leaking Water Heater...

            jdawg, this has come up on many discusions. basically a check valve is a 1 way valve, it lets the water in but not back out. when you have a closed system(check valve) the water pressure in the tank is what it is. you have no pressure regulator according to what you posted. now you heat the water and it will expand. if there is no dripping or running fixtures, the water will expand and then create more pressure. by drilling a small hole 1/8'' in the check valve, you will allow the excess pressure that the thermal expansion generates back into the main and out to the city main.

            solutions are to check the incoming house pressure. if it is over 80# at any time, day or night, you need a pressure regulator. set it to 60#.

            anytime you have a closed system/ check valve, you need an expansion tank. this is a special tank with a rubber air bladder. you set the air bladder to the static water pressure of the system. then as the water heats up it will expand and be absorbed into the bladder section.

            what ever you do, don't disconnect or cap the pressure relief valve. it's there for your safety.

            so tonights homework is to get a pressure gauge and test your pressure. once we know what it is, then we can advise you to the next step. (reuglator, expansion tank with the proper precharge)

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Leaking Water Heater...

              Ok guys, you were right i used that new fangled search feature I found you guys have talked a ton about this subject. Sorry for being lazy.

              I did what was suggested and checked the water pressure - 62 psi with or without a faucet open.

              i also check Lowe's and they sell an expansion tank used in well systems. is that the same as the flexcon unit?

              I've attached a pictures also. You can see my shut-off is less than 18" from my water heater. will I need to add another or remove it and relocate further up?







              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Leaking Water Heater...

                We love pictures!!!

                No the current valve location is ok. Plenty of room to cut in a tee between it and heater to add the expansion tank. I looked on Lowes website and didn't see the expansion tank you need I don't know why they even sell water heaters without them. It's small tank just holds about a gallon in size and it's for domestic water. I see you have check valves installed so you def. need one. Go ahead and replace relief valve while your at it.

                ~Bill

                Wishing I had that kind of room in my basement
                Last edited by plumberscrack; 05-06-2007, 07:51 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Leaking Water Heater...

                  god dand did they over build your floor or what???? TGI floor joist are supost to be every 19 3/8" i belive and yours appear to be closer to about every 12" but i also see that you have an OSB sub floor instead of plywood and that might be the reason for the closer then normal beams
                  9/11/01, never forget.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Leaking Water Heater...

                    Here it is...



                    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...T-5&lpage=none

                    I also checked with a few neighbors (we all build within the last 2 years) and no one else has check valves in their system. We all would have had the same inspector too, there's only one for our little burb. So, I'm tempted to remove the check valve or drill thru it(?), what would be the downsides? I will have to double check the local codes, CYA right?

                    Not sure why the pic is huge - sorry.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Leaking Water Heater...

                      the well tank is the same type of construction,, it may be bigger in size, which will not hurt any.
                      (added)
                      that link bgings up a- 5 Gallon Expansion Water Heater Pressure Tank, should work fine,
                      Last edited by BHD; 05-06-2007, 10:53 PM.
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                      attributed to Samuel Johnson
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Leaking Water Heater...

                        I still go back to fact that no-one else has the check valves. Was my plumber unaware that it was not required or did theirs not know it was required. I'm guessing mine, since we all passed inspection. How do i find out what my codes are in my area?

                        I did go thru the calculator anyway...

                        Cold Water Temp 45°F
                        Hot Water Temp 135°F
                        Hot Water Tank Volume 40 Gallons
                        Tank Pre Pressure 58 PSI
                        System Water Pressure 62 PSI
                        Maximum Allowable Pressure 150 PSI

                        Minimum Size Tank = 1.15 Gallons

                        So, I could get away with a 2 gallon size.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Leaking Water Heater...

                          Leave the check valves as they are. The 5 gallon exp. tank is too big for your 40 gallon heater. 2 gallon is better if they have one.

                          Comment

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