Installing HW heater without heat trap nipples

I posted a few days ago to ask about ideas on reloacting my HW heater. I just noticed a possible issue with clearance of the heat trap nipple on the hot side. My 6" furnace duct runs close to where the HW heater is going. In order to avoid it, I was going to make a tight 90 degree turn off the top of the water heater to clear it. But I forgot about the heat trap nipples, which are about 3-4 inches high. So now I run the risk of hitting the duct. I have seen some HW heaters that do not have these nipples installed, including my own. I have heard sometimes they cause noise/flow problems. What are the downsides if I don't put them in, besides lose some heat loss in the pipes.
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Whats a Heat Trap Nipple, is it a Insulated Union - a Thermal Break, which you should have.?
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ransley wrote:

Then it'll cause heat loss when heat i not trapped. It's code as well I would think. You have to intall one.
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I came out the top of my water heater with street elbow and then connected the traps. I hope this os OK.
Jimmie
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JIMMIE wrote: ...

If they're the check valve type they won't do any good in that orientation because they're just a gravity check ball in a seat.
You can achieve the same effect w/o them by plumbing the inlet/outlet lines in an inverted 'U' either by bending flex or tubing or w/ hard copper/galvanized and fittings.
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.

Yep upside down U works well and dont foreget to insulate the lines too.....
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ransley wrote:

No, they're a nipple that includes a check valve to stop hot water rising via convection loop flow.
<http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic 100>
The may or may not be dielectric as well...these are
<http://www.idealtruevalue.com/servlet/the-21303/Detail
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Aren't those the type that comes with the HW heater? I thought they were dielectric also.
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Mikepier wrote:

My recently installed GE (Rheem) water heater came with them already installed.
Jon
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