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  • Cut the WH in half

    We had to cut this water heater in half (more or less) in order to get it out to the attic and down the curvy stairs. 75 gallon gas. The white tube you see is a piece of pex we were using to pump the remaining water out with since the drain was clogged with rust.
    The homeowner had complained of very little hot water. There was no dip tube in this tank. I couldn't even find pieces in the bottom. Not even a nub on the top. No anode rod left either. The tank was 10 years old.
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    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

  • #2
    Re: Cut the WH in half

    I've never had to cut a W.H. in half before...interesting.

    One time about 7-8 years ago, I had to pull a water heater out of a basement with Rheem's delivery truck, cause it was easily over 400lbs. The darn thing was concrete lined and had an old mercury switch on it. Rheem kept the water heater on display for awhile to show some of their classes.

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    • #3
      Re: Cut the WH in half

      Did you just cut that bad boy with a regular bi metal sawzall blade? That is so cool!!!!
      Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
      You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

      Derek

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      • #4
        Re: Cut the WH in half

        Yup. I've done several. I used to practice in my driveway knowing it would come in handy. Most water heaters around the midsouth are in the attic. Those 75 gas and 80 electrics can be daunting. Most of them were put up before the attic stairs were installed so they won't go down through the stair framing. I usually take out the relief valve and start from there, cutting down to about the center and around. It only takes 5-10 minutes with a new blade. The gas are the hardest of course and take longer. You have to cut a big enough hole in one side to access the flue and cut it through. LOL, on the one pictured we initially forgot to remove the flue baffle. Boy, was that noisy and slowed the cut considerably.
        The fun thing about cutting them is you get to see all of the abuse to the lining and exactly where the leak started and where they were about to leak. Wear ear protection. Sometimes just cutting the jacket off makes them easier to handle and a lot skinnier. Unless it's foam insulation.
        "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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        • #5
          Re: Cut the WH in half

          What was the height of the drain outlet to the bottom of the tank?

          wookie

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          • #6
            Re: Cut the WH in half

            Did you cut through that with just 1 sawzall blade? I've never cut one open either, sure would make it easier on the back, even if it wasn't in the attic. Looks like you replaced it with a smaller tank?

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            • #7
              Re: Cut the WH in half

              Wookie, the bottom of the tank is slightly concave and the drain outlet is mere inches above where the bottom and side meet. Not surprisingly it was totally stopped up with all the debris, mostly from the anode I think.
              Don, we had to cut the 75 in order to get it out due to size constraints not because it was heavy (though I would have done it for just that!). There was no way to get another 75 in there. Besides, this homeowner had lived without a diptube for years. As far as available hot water is concerned she would swear we put in a tank twice the capacity of her old one. We put in a 50 gallon bradford white.
              When you look inside the tank you see that the welds are the most vulnerable places to rust. You will also see places in the glass lining that look like impact craters on the moon with lines radiating out. I would assume it was from rough handling though there was no visible evidence on the outside of the tank of that.
              One blade did it all. The tank is really quite thin. The flue is the hardest thing to saw through (especially if you forget to remove the baffle!).
              "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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