The water heater is leaking slowly so I've turned off the inlet valve
to prevent complete disaster. Can I turn it back on, take a shower,
and turn it off again? Will it keep heating if the valve is off and no
water is flowing through it? I can't think of any reason it won't
work. I guess I'll find out tomorrow morning.
I thought the gas was turned on and off by a temp sensor on the side of the
tank. So, a dry water tank would not end up turning off the flame, as the
heat might not make it back to the sensor.
If the tank remains full of water, then it's OK.
Christopher A. Young
"Phil-In-Mich." < email@example.com> wrote in message
if someone uses all flex lines give some thought to securing the tank
so it cant fall over. most tanks around here are held in place by
their lines, in earthquake areas they must be strapped to the building
saw a all flex install once, i told the homeowner who had a small
child it was a hazard
No, I don't think there is an expansion tank. So I took the safe way
and turned it off. Shut off the water and shut off the gas. I can get
away with that for now since the Significant Other won't be back until
the weekend. Plus, it's just short of heating season. Having followed
the pipes a bit, I see that the furnace gets its water from the hot
water outlet of the water heater. I think that's cheating but that's
how it is and, I guess, how it should be. But I couldn't pull this off
in another month.
I'll shower in the gym when I get home in the evening until then and
do without hot water otherwise. Maybe I'll even work out a bit.
If I can't get someone to install a new water heater within a few
days, cheaply, I'll do it myself. I may just do it anyway. This does
not look like rocket science and I think I can get away without having
to solder - which is definitely my weak point.
Both the hot and cold water pipes are connected by what appears to be
a union, a big (2" maybe) hexagonal ring connecting two smaller
hexagonal rings. It looks like I just use a big wrench and turn it one
way (or the other!). Assuming I can figure out which way, that should
disconnect the existing one.
According to what I read, I can use a flex connector for both hot and
cold pipes on the new heater, which should make life much easier.
The gas line presents a similar situation. There is a smaller union
connecting the mess of pipes that was necessary without a flex
connector, but there are now flex gas connectors as well. I'll have to
check if that's legal in NYC but if not I can jury-rig the same crap
as is currently there.
No electric to deal with as far as I can tell. That's sort of
surprising to me but that's how it is.
The venting should be a 1" rise per 4 feet, but is almost straight
right now. I will NOT be ripping holes in the side of the house to
change the connection to the chimney but I will see if I can get a
slightly lower water heater so the rise is better.
What's the big deal otherwise? It really looks simple. I'm sure it
won't be this easy, but it looks doable.
When you turn off the water heater, the water will still stay hot for
a long time, for longer than 24 hours, assuming you don't use it, or
at least don't use a lot, like for taking a shower. So, no reason
you can't turn it back on periodically. Just move the gas control
between pilot and on.
Assuming it's copper, I'd much rather just cut the two lines and avoid
unions, which IMO are just another potential source of problems with
leaks. And unless the new unit is exactly the same height, etc as
the old one, you're liklely going to have to do some soldering
anyway. I'd go get a piece of copper pipe and a few cheap fittings
and practice. The keys are making sure there is no water in the
pipes, get the pipes and fittings both perfectly clean (best to buy
the brush type cleaners, one that goes inside the fitting and one that
goes around the pipe), apply flux, Buy a tubing cutter too. Then
just apply heat and when you think it's hot enough, just touch the
solder to the joint. If it does easily melt, it's not hot enough.
When it is the solder should easily melt, flow around the joint, and
get wicked into it. When done, you can wipe it quickly with a rag so
it looks nice too.
Yes, you probably can use them if you want to. Here in NJ, I haven't
seen them used, at least not in new construction houses that I've been
When I replaced mine, the new one had the gas connection at exactly
the same height/location as the old one. It may be that most of them
Std ones have no electric. But I think the high efficiency direct
vent ones may have a blower for the exhaust? Not sure on this, but
you most likely want one that will use the existing chimney.
On Tue, 23 Oct 2007 03:52:51 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
There goes another reason to go to the gym.
But everything seems threaded from before the union; the only
soldering is a few feet away. I'll look again when I get home.
I should practice my soldering technique anyway I guess. Just in case
I need it. Ah, wonderful internet. I see exactly how to do a good
soldering job. Like you say, it's all in the preparation.
That's only true if there is some type of backflow preventer in the
system, which most homes don't have. If you just have a straight
connection to municipal water or a well tank, there is nothing
blocking the water flow, so pressure remains the same and there is no
need for an expansion tank.
If you shut off the tank inlet valve, and have no hot faucets open,
all flow out of the tank is blocked. Doesn't matter whether you're
on well or municipal, nor whether there's backflow preventers or not.
Think of the valve as an "anyflow" preventer.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
All you have to do is open/close the water valve. When doing that, make sure
you turn the water heater gas control to the pilot position. When you want
to take a shower, open the water valve and turn the control back to on, wait
a bit, then take your shower. The pilot burning on an empty tank won't hurt
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