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What I think is there was a hydrant cleaning one day, or a fire in the neighborhood, and no one was home.
Given there is a PRV on that main line, The water pressure climbed significantly in the house to extreme pressures *like 300 pounds* and given the fact that the T&P didn't open, the tank basically started expanding big time, even through the water lines in the house since CPVC allows for that given the nature of the piping. The PRV acted like a check valve and captured the pressure and wouldn't let it return to the main line...
and possibly the heater fired and did a maintenance cycle either while the property owner was gone/at work or this all unfolded while they was asleep. Who knows.
But the pressure built to extreme pressures and the only reason it didn't explode is the flue chase tieing it all together up top in the center. Gotta remember these tanks aren't thick in steel either. So envision an alumimum can in a freezer. You get the picture.
I've come across this more than once in my day, and that's most likely the scenario that unfolded. It couldn't really be anything else since we all know that water heater didn't come with those connections at the top of the heater bent inward. It would of never been used/installed.
My beef is that water line install that I see too much in new homes where this stuff is so cheap and what do you expect when the labor is cheap, the material is cheap, the idea is to slam it in and go to the next.
And then I come in as the cleanup machine making a killing off of all of it. It's good for the bank account, but another bad shiner for the trade as a whole, and it's always going to be this way given the way we install and provide these things as the finished product and our names are stamped all over it.
Can't knock the homeowner that can easily, easily put up a better job than this.
Ahh didnt think of that. scary stuff no doubt. i duno over in these parts you hardly rver see CPVC water lines only copper here. hell here pex is new fangled
That's what I was trying to determine.....that when a PRV fails, does it still operate as a check valve?
I checked from the sillcoc.k before the PRV and at the hose bibb directly above, and the pressure matched and they was over 75psi which is the range limit for the PRV.
Actually, they'll go a little higher but not much.
The bolt wasn't even cranked in; looked like the PRV was still set at the initial 50psi factory setting.
At one time, I had the luxury of giving ultimatums that they "have" to install/bring that system up to code in order for me to install it. What changes all that thinking on this job is all the piping I'd have to rework just to do it right, make it a decent repair.
Another plumber mentioned to me once about how they throw in Expansion tanks on all their water heaters no matter what the pressure, no matter if there is a PRV or not. IF there is a closed system on a home, there must be a Expansion tank present. If it is there already, there's no code that covers that
1. I'm obligated to replace it when it is failed/defective
2. I'm obligated to replace a PRV when it has failed
Loopholes for the matters that be and I brought attention to this matter for many reasons and that was just one of them.
If the customer wasn't counting dollars before the sale of this home and this was 'just another install'....
I bet the cost of the heater and install that the customer would of opted for it. The cost to fix everything else along with the cost of the two defective items killed the sale of those add ons.