water heater leaking!

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My water heater is leaking from the bottom today. There's a drop falling every second or two so its failure is probably imminent. I have called a plumber to come check it out this afternoon. I'd like to know what to expect or any diagnosis you might have.
Bradford White Model MI403S6LN12 Capacity 40.0 gal Input 40,000 btu/hr. Natural Gas
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badgolferman wrote:

The above unit was made in 1997.
A replacement Rheem (appropriately named) unit will cost $897 installed tomorrow.
I called a few other places and the cost was about the same but it would take at least a week. I've dealt with these people before and would rather give them my business since they have always arrived the same day to diagnose the problem.
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badgolferman wrote:

I was going to say that the plumber will charge you $1000 installed, but you could simply drive to Home Despot and pick up a new one and install it yourself for $300.

So I was $100 off.
They're not that heavy you know.
And easy as pie to put in.

Real men know how to install replacement gas water heaters.
If you can attach a barbeque tank to a barbeque grill you can replace a gas water heater.
I replaced exactly one water heater about 4 or 5 years ago - still working just fine.
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HomeGuy wrote:

There are welded pipes and gas fittings. I don't think I want to fool with those since I've never used a torch before.
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On 5/20/2014 9:56 PM, badgolferman wrote:

There is some skill to working with black iron pipe for natural gas. If you get the same brand and size of W.H. it might be possible to reuse all the old black iron.
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badgolferman wrote:

You would not need a torch to disconnect the gas line from your water heater.
You shut off the gas valve in the line going to the water heater, then you take a wrench and unscrew the coupler at the tank gas inlet.
Naturally, you'd drain the tank and close the water valves going to (and coming from) the heater (if you have such valves) or you'd shut off the main water supply. Then you unscrew the couplers and move the old tank out of the way.
When I replaced my tank, I added a ball valve to both the incoming and out-going side of the copper water lines going to the tank, to make replacement easier the next time.
The gas input of the old tank matched exactly (in terms of height from the floor) of the new tank, so I didn't need to rework the gas line. Just move the new tank into position, screw the coupler back, turn on the gas, spread a little dish-soap on the connection to see if it bubbles, and the job is done.
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On Tue, 20 May 2014 22:09:46 -0400, HomeGuy

Assuming the guy who installed it last used threaded unions. Most just solder everything solid.

And I installed unions in the lines so it is easy to disconnect next time.

You were lucky - I had to replumb both the gas and water.
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On Tue, 20 May 2014 20:38:30 -0400, H wrote:

That's what insurance companies like to hear after a house burns down.
They just walk away ... with their check book as full as when they arrived ... while the code official writes a citation for installing the unit without a permit.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

BZZZ. Wrong.
The gas inlet is threaded pipe. The water inlet and outlets are also threaded connections. Nobody makes gas water heaters with that don't have threaded connections.

You show me a water tank that has short lengths of raw copper pipes sticking out of the top. You won't, because you can't.
Same goes for the gas inlet. NO TORCH OR WELDING REQUIRED to hook up the gas line, like BGM (the OP) claims.

Even if I did have to rework the iron gas line, it would be a simple matter of screwing a few short lengths together, a 90-degree elbow or two. But I don't see why you would have to - unless you wanted to relocate the new water tank. It should have lined up with existing pipes as-is.
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bob haller wrote:

Yea - that's something I didn't think of.
Your water heater doesn't move around, shake or vibrate like a clothes dryer does. The use of a short flexible link to connect a gas water heater is a much safer application of those flex lines than any other gas-using consumer device.
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trader_4 wrote:

What - do you expect every joint and elbow in the water distribution lines in house is going to have threaded connections?!
What kind of bone-head are you?
The point of this discussion is that you people are claiming that it's hard, oh so hard to connect a new hot water tank yourself because you have to break out the torch and welder, because nobody uses threaded connections, yet you completely miss the point that the most crucial location (and really, the ONLY place you need or want to have threaded connections) is on the friggin device or appliance itself. Why you would want threaded connections or unions anywhere else makes absolutely no sense.
And if you want a threaded joint somewhere in a water pipe where it currently doesn't exist, you cut the friggen copper pipe and solder one on. If you can't do that, then what the hell are you doing reading and posting to this news group? You should be reading rec.crafts.sewing or baking or similar.
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A common internet meme ...

... that has never happened in real life.
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On 5/21/2014 10:11 AM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Actually it is a common occurrence in state like New York and California. If you insist on doing your own work...Go get a permit and have it inspected to cover your ass and to keep your family healthy. Use a little common sense for crists sake!

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Unless you live in earthquake country (most of the continental US can be subject to earthquakes, albeit rarely).
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On Wed, 21 May 2014 08:30:28 -0400, HomeGuy

I was referring to the WATER connections. Sorry.

But the average plumber, and most DIY installers, cheap out and thread the connector to the water heater with pipe soldered to the connector, then solder that pipe right to the water pipes in the house. Saves them 2 unions at something like $10 each, and saves them 2 solder joints.

Didn't say they did. But they don't have unions on them either.

Different brand of water heater - and 24 years later. New one has different gas valve and piezo ignitor, about 15 degrees of rotation from the original in reference to the water pipe connections. About 6 inches difference in height too if memory serves me correctly - and different diameter - so EVERYTHING had to be modified. No problem - I had it changed in just over an hour - this wasn't my first prom!!!
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On Wed, 21 May 2014 10:17:05 -0400, HomeGuy

Makes no sense? How in blazes do you expect to "unwind" the threaded fitting, whether it be gas or water, without a union? Or are you one of those Mensa types that uses compression fittings???

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On Wed, 21 May 2014 15:11:04 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

Mabee not NEVER, but it would be a very very rare occurrence..
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On Wed, 21 May 2014 15:11:04 GMT, Scott Lurndal wrote:

An example from last month:
<http://woodtv.com/2014/03/16/house-fire-after-water-heater-explodes/ The fire broke out just after 10 p.m. Saturday ... He said the family had replaced the water heater Saturday.
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"Wally W." wrote:

Yea, but it doesn't say if they did it themselves, or had a "professional" do it.
But there's a bigger issue with that story.
Water heaters are supposed to have safety valves.
Even if there were shut-off valves on both the inlet and outlet - and they were both shut off,
Even if the thermostat fails and calls for continuous heat,
The over-pressure valve is supposed to kick in and prevent a pressure buildup (and tank explosion).
Also note that it doesn't say if the tank is electric or natural gas.
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On Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:38:17 PM UTC-4, HomeGuy wro te:

Even more importantly it doesn't say the insurance company failed to pay.
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