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  • Quick Question

    Hey guys, I gotta run to the local community college to fill out an application to take a blue print class, but I had a question...

    So today I was working in this large(9 Bathroom) home, and it has 2 water heaters back to back, one's gas one's electric. The T&P valve on the gas water heater(1st of the 2 heaters) was going off and the truck I was on today did not have another one, so I was told to cap the line going out of the T&P. I didn't want to do it, and tried of thinking of a decent argument but he kepting saying if it 'got bad enough' the T&P on the electric(2nd of the 2 heaters) would go off. Remember this is only for a few days till we get a new T&P Valve. Granted, I know it only takes a second for something like this to create major problems, but who was right?
    Proud To Be Union!!

  • #2
    Re: Quick Question

    Well, well, well.........


    If the two heaters are plumbed in series, I guess his thinking could be somewhat correct, but why have the two heaters in a series, but thats a different argument for residential.

    If there is a check valve between the two, then no, it wont work.

    Personal opinion of mine is that what was done is not safe. There had to be a problem that caused the first one to open in the first place??

    In short, I guess it could work if the right conditions are present, but I would get fired if I told one of my guys to do something like that.

    IF the two heaters are in series and serve the whole house, I would have shut down the one with the problem and told the owner what I had done and why. (PLAY IT SAFE).

    Regards,

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Quick Question

      Aaron,

      DON'T EVER PUT A CAP ON A RELIEF VALVE!!!!!

      This is where your inexpeirience can cause serious damage.

      I don't care who told you to do that or how long the cap was going to be there, you just don't do it.

      Your gut instinct was right not to do it. You should have listened to it.

      The situation doesn't change because you don't have a replacement on the truck and you've got somewhere to be later.

      The relief valve is leaking because something is wrong and it's probably not the relief valve.

      I can't stress enough just how dangerous this situation is.
      Last edited by plumberscrack; 08-07-2007, 05:23 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Quick Question

        His thinking would be wrong.

        What's it called...a T&P valve. The T is for temperature. The T&P valve in WH#2 might go off on a high pressure condition but it will never respond to a high temperature condition in WH#1.

        This is against code anywhere. For someone to do this who holds a plumbing license is probably grounds to report them to the State Master Plumbers Board, it would be here in NJ.

        If anything happened that caused damage to the structure or people inside when the insurance investigator found this the plumber wouldn't have a leg to stand on. And if he told a subordinate to do it (whether or not the protested or even realized the danger) it would still fall back on the license holder, he/she is responsible.

        Biscuit is right in saying that the malfunctioning WH should have been shut down until repaired. If there is no bypass around the WH shutting down the gas may or may not work. Turning off the gas to WH#1 would lower the internal temperature but if the valve is shot and not leaking because of high temperature or pressure then this won't do much to stop the leakby.

        The requirement for the T&P valve in not a part-time thing. No one has the authority to arbitrarily decide it "will be OK for a couple days". Why is it you could not find a T&P valve within an hour somewhere in the city? You are in Baltimore right? There got to be more than one plumbing supply house and there are certainly the big box stores and most likely half the hardware stores carry them too. It's such a common item I have trouble believing that one was not on the truck or within a half hours drive, so I can't see the reasoning behind waiting a couple days.
        ---------------
        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
        ---------------
        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
        ---------
        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
        ---------
        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Quick Question

          Now I won't be able to sleep knowing there is a water heater out there somewhere with a plug in the relief valve.

          thanks Aaron
          Last edited by plumberscrack; 08-07-2007, 05:28 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Quick Question

            That Watts training video with the WH heading for the Moon comes to mind right about now doesn't it PCrack?

            http://www.watts.com/pro/divisions/w...dorderform.asp#
            Last edited by Bob D.; 08-07-2007, 05:34 PM.
            ---------------
            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
            ---------------
            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
            ---------
            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
            ---------
            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Quick Question

              Aaron...you were 100% right.
              I don't care that there's another water heater piped in with it...it's an absolute NO!

              I am FOREVER getting "intelligent" homeowners telling me to save them a few bucks by cutting corners.
              You should have shut down the heater, period.
              I got a call yesterday for a water heater...guy says he wants a draft type installed in place of a power vent going out the side of his house.

              He refused the price on a powervent and I told him I refused to jeopardize his families lives.
              I lost the job and I'm proud I did.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Quick Question

                P Crack, Bob D and Duck all get 5 gold stars.

                Aaron, please go back to this job and make things right. If anyone there gets hurt, killed or there is major property damage they (home owners and/or family) may very well come looking for you to ***** you into minced meat. Ever hear of revenge?

                If your boss really did tell you to plug or cap a T & P relief valve he/she needs to go on a one way trip straight to 7734.

                I'm and MD and like P Crack won't sleep very well thinking about the big KABOOM that might result from this mess.

                I strongly urge you to replace both of the T & P valves with new ones of the proper type. It's just not worth saving a few bucks and leaving things dangerous. Even if you end up paying for them yourself and not getting paid by your "Massa" (greedy money hungry boss) it's worth it not to become a hated person.

                Note: 7734 = very hot and dreaded place
                Last edited by Woussko; 08-07-2007, 11:37 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Quick Question

                  guy's i'm going out on a limb and play devils advocate

                  true a t and p is a combination of a temperature and pressure relief valve.

                  pre 1995 they were not required on a heater so long as there was pressure relief valve outside on the main.

                  now if there is a check valve on the system that prevents the pressure from returning to the outside or to the other heaters relief valve, then you could have a problem with an overheating heater.

                  as the temperature goes up, so will the pressure.

                  sure it was a judgment call the plumber made. but most likely the heater has a faulty t&p. on all the t&p valves that i have replaced, non were due to excess temperature. some were due to lack of a expansion tank. and most were due to people bleeding water from them and not having the outlet drain all the water as it was piped up hill.

                  arron, it's great that you questioned the call. even better that you put it out here for debate.

                  like i said, i was playing devil's advocate, so please don't jump on me for sharing some other parts of plumbing theory and real life experiences.

                  out of curiosity, has anyone ever come accross a heater that has exploded due to a missing relief valve. sure you can find one in a text book, but actually one on a job that has exploded that you're personally aware of?

                  just trying to calm down the masses.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Quick Question

                    Wow guys, I know it's a serious question, and situation but please, calm down. I wasn't gonna throw punches with a dude over his call. I'm only apprentice and my word would have been going against the owners son who is a whinny *** *****, I might have been gone. I just wanted a 3rd party opinion on the situation.

                    To make it alil clearer. There is a 1" check valve on the main water feed into the first heater, not in between the two. It is also a new home, which makes it more confusing.

                    Thanks for everyone's advice, have a good night guys.
                    Proud To Be Union!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Quick Question

                      one more note arron. 1 thing you could have done was to take a good pressure reading and a temperature reading on the heater from the bottom hose bibb. at the same time that the t and p is leaking.

                      since you're into backflow testing, you should have very accurate gages.

                      at least with that info you would be able to determine if it's a bad t & p or a dangerous situation.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Quick Question

                        Originally posted by Aaron91 View Post
                        Wow guys, I know it's a serious question, and situation but please, calm down. I wasn't gonna throw punches with a dude over his call. I'm only apprentice and my word would have been going against the owners son who is a whinny *** *****, I might have been gone. I just wanted a 3rd party opinion on the situation.

                        To make it alil clearer. There is a 1" check valve on the main water feed into the first heater, not in between the two. It is also a new home, which makes it more confusing.

                        Thanks for everyone's advice, have a good night guys.

                        aaron, it's a great question and it's a good debate issue. that's the reason i took the other side of the masses. just to stir things up and put it into perspective

                        you need to carry a camera for this kind of stuff aaron. i just started to the last few weeks.

                        get some sleep and let the fun begin

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Quick Question

                          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                          out of curiosity, has anyone ever come accross a heater that has exploded due to a missing relief valve. sure you can find one in a text book, but actually one on a job that has exploded that you're personally aware of?
                          It didn't explode but the the shell cracked and split along the inner seam. It caused quite a bit of water damage. The owner had installed a 3/4" gal plug in the t&P. We couldn't figure out why it cracked until we talked to the wife who told us what her husband did and then we discovered the cap next to the stairs by thw heater. The water heater was 2 years old so we cut it in half to find out what happened. The crack was big enough to stick a credit card through it.
                          Buy cheap, buy twice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Quick Question

                            Gear,

                            I had the same thing happen to one of my customers. Some genious took the relief out to install a recirc line. Split the heater tank vertically along the seam and even blew out the steel outer jacket. Flooded a finished basement but all survived except the ginea pig.


                            Rick,
                            I'm taking you off the pedestal I had you on
                            Last edited by plumberscrack; 08-08-2007, 06:34 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Quick Question

                              Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                              Gear,

                              I had the same thing happen to one of my customers. Some genious took the relief out to install a recirc line. Split the heater tank vertically along the seam and even blew out the steel outer jacket. Flooded a finished basement but all survived except the ginea pig.


                              Rick,
                              I'm taking you off the pedestal I had you on
                              Rick was on the pedestal No way

                              Comment

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