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Water heater flex connector goo

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  • Water heater flex connector goo

    had a customer that called me complaining about "black goo" in their bathtub when they use the hot water.

    i diagnosed it over the phone and went there to replace the faulty stainless braided water heater flex connectors.

    turning on the tub surprised me at how much of this dissolved rubber was present in a large surge. the reason why only in the tub, it's the only fixture that is not flow restricted.

    there were issues when these connectors first hit the market in the early 90's. they did have this problem of the rubber breaking down, especially on the hot side. i was surprised to find them on this customers heater this late.

    then came the newer replacement braided flexes and they had overcome the rubber dissolving, but instead they failed at the crimped joint years later.

    so now the newest and i think the best of the connectors are the corrugated stainless steel flexes. real flexible and easier to bend than the traditional copper flexes.

    remember that in california we have earthquakes to worry about. flexes allow for heaters to move without the piping being twisted and kinked.

    rick.



    a very small sample of the black goo. the tub was covered in it once the fresh hot water entered.



    notice the tight bend/ kink at the hot side connector. please note this heater was moved out to the garage about 10 years ago. appears it was never inspected based on the venting.



    upper left is the hot connector. upper right is the cold and lower is the new corrugated stainless flex.

    the hoses have brass barbs that are crimped to the hoses. notice the mineral build up and smaller id.



    new stainless flexes. 18'' was too short and 24'' provides a nice smooth bend and will absorb seismic movement.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 07-17-2009, 11:31 AM.
    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Re: Water heater flex connector goo

    Rick, are the braided SS hoses I see in the first pics from Watts?
    Who makes the corrugated flexs you used?
    ---------------
    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


    • #3
      Re: Water heater flex connector goo

      Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
      Rick, are the braided SS hoses I see in the first pics from Watts?
      Who makes the corrugated flexs you used?

      i have to go look at them, but i don't think they were the watts brand.

      the corrugated ones are "rhino" as the "falcon" brand is not annealed and too stiff.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Water heater flex connector goo

        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
        i have to go look at them, but i don't think they were the watts brand.

        the corrugated ones are "rhino" as the "falcon" brand is not annealed and too stiff.

        rick.
        Thanks Rick, couldn't tell from the photo whose make the corrugated flexs were. They are not commonly used around here. Most times you will see the SS flex hoses installed (if any).
        ---------------
        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: Water heater flex connector goo

          I replaced a 2 year old braided flex this week because of rubber breakdown. The newer braided flexes won't break down due to chlorine, but they still have a problem with chloramine on the hot side.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Water heater flex connector goo

            I was just going to post about the chlorate on the hot side breaking down rubber washers. I see it a lot on angle stops at restaurants, with really hot water.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Water heater flex connector goo

              Rick -

              Why does the flex you installed on the cold side have a small, straight portion on either end?

              I'm not a plumber and am guessing it's what you had on the truck?

              -----Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Water heater flex connector goo

                Originally posted by Bogart View Post
                I was just going to post about the chlorate on the hot side breaking down rubber washers. I see it a lot on angle stops at restaurants, with really hot water.
                Are you replacing them with 1/4" ceramic disc stops???

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Water heater flex connector goo

                  Nice picture, I learned something new today!

                  I have never seen this before ;-)

                  Rick, Thanks for the post man !!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Water heater flex connector goo

                    Some of the non- plumbers need to be aware that while the flexible connectors are necessary and approved in CA. and maybe other states, they are violations of the plumbing code in many others, and not desirable to boot.

                    Simply because an item is sold at the big box stores does not make it code acceptable or even safe for that matter.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Water heater flex connector goo

                      Originally posted by Nature_Photog View Post
                      Rick -

                      Why does the flex you installed on the cold side have a small, straight portion on either end?

                      I'm not a plumber and am guessing it's what you had on the truck?

                      -----Mike
                      mike very good eye and observation

                      they are the same rhino brand. the difference is the newer ones have the non corrugated end and the older ones have all corrugation. also the newer ones are larger corrugations.

                      carry both the 18'' and 24'' in stainless and 12'',15'',18'', and 24'' in copper.

                      good call mike

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Water heater flex connector goo

                        Originally posted by Plumbus View Post
                        Are you replacing them with 1/4" ceramic disc stops???
                        Whatever Brasscraft makes, I don't know if it's ceramic or what inside. They are all I keep on the van.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Water heater flex connector goo

                          Originally posted by APHCO View Post
                          Some of the non- plumbers need to be aware that while the flexible connectors are necessary and approved in CA. and maybe other states, they are violations of the plumbing code in many others, and not desirable to boot.

                          Simply because an item is sold at the big box stores does not make it code acceptable or even safe for that matter.


                          So true,union plumbers are soo smart! Amazing We can find our way home
                          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Water heater flex connector goo

                            Had this in My own home. Bought the problem with it.
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Water heater flex connector goo

                              [QUOTE=PLUMBER RICK;241312]mike very good eye and observation

                              they are the same rhino brand. the difference is the newer ones have the non corrugated end and the older ones have all corrugation. also the newer ones are larger corrugations.

                              carry both the 18'' and 24'' in stainless and 12'',15'',18'', and 24'' in copper.

                              good call mike

                              rick
                              __________________________________________________ __


                              ----Mike

                              Comment

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