Leaking Water Heater


Hello,
My water heater rusted and leaked and spewed water all over my nice floor. It has a "pan" underneath it, but this was not able to contain all the water that spewed out. I have a new water heater now, with a new pan underneath, but I'm trying to avoid this from happening again. I'm wondering if there is some sort of a "sup-pump" that I can use to take the water out of the house when the new water heater leaks? I'm told that there are moisture alarms, but are they any good? This still will not take the water away if the water heater leaks. I'm open to the "BEST" solution...something that will avoid this situation in the future.
Thanks.
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Have your water heater replaced with a quality replacement. Demand a ten year parts and labor coverage on it. Any good dealer will accommodate that. The new tecchnology is very touchy with the conditions around the water heaters. Dirt, gas pressure, and draft. Make sure they are all addressed by the contractor.
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Bob Pietrangelo
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samadams snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote:

The pan for my water heater has a 2" pipe that runs through the wall , so if the pan starts to fill with water it will drain outside.
A sump pump would work , there are some with a water sensor that are made for that purpose , but you may get a LOT of water pouring out if the tank fails.
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1. I make a tour of the house/fitting/systems about once a month to check on things.
2. I turn the water OFF when I leave the house for more than a day.
After a couple of nasty surprises over the years, just keeping on top of things helps, especially if it is an older house. Most leaks give some warning before you have a major flood.
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The "BEST" solution to avoid getting water in the house from a leaky hot water heater would be to put the hot water heater outside the house in a location that is graded such the water flows away from the house. Foolproof. Can't fail.
If that's not feasible, the next "BEST" solution would be to find the balance between a sump and a sump pump such that flow rate of the pump just slightly exceeds the discharge rate of the leaking hot water heater. Since you can't predict the discharge rate of the leaky heater, you'll have to plan for the worst case.
Let's assume a catastrophic failure of a 50 gal heater. When the unit bursts and all the water spews forth instantaneously, you'll need a set up that is somewhere beween a very small sump with a 50 "gallon per instant" pump and a 50 gallon sump with a pump that takes it's sweet time moving the water out of the house. Keep in mind that the water heater and the sump have to be positioned in such a manner that regardless of where the water leaks from, it ends up in the sump.
I guess I would opt for a 50 gallon sump with the heater installed inside the sump. Seems like the most failsafe way to contain the water until the pump can move it to an outside location.
OK, I'll bet you think I'm kidding. Alas, if you really want to avoid getting any water on your floor in the future, you have to plan for the worst case. Other than that, the "BEST" you can hope for is that a smaller sump and sump pump will suffice for whatever type of leak actually occurs. Think back to your original problem. How fast did the water leak out of the heater? If you know that answer, and feel safe assuming that that is the most probable rate of discharge, then find the combination of sump and sump pump to meet that critera, keeping in mind that the water has to actually end up in the sump in order for the pump to move it out of the house.
samadams snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote:

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I haven't seen pumps made specifically for this purpose, but you could probably find one that would work. First, I'd look into any possible gravity drain type arrangements. Like a simple drain to outside or down to a basement sump pump, etc.
The alarms are $10, they work and I have one, but they obviously only help if the leak starts out slow.
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balance the damage cost caused by leak vs the cost of sump.
aroundf here tanks usually last over 10 years so i replace them at 9 years or so ON MY SCHEDULE.
This avoids snowstorms, frigid temps, holidays and leaving on vacation.
With a nice 50 gallon tank under 500 bucks the cost of tank is under 50 bucks a year or less than a dollar a week.
sometimes it pays to replace before failure, cause its jjust easier that way
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On 5 Jan 2007 14:36:59 -0800, samadams snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote:

imho:
I saw on DIYNetwork, Ed the Plumber. He showed how to install a float valve in the pan to auto shut off water, and the gas to leaky water heater.
I believe it's this episode: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/shows_detp/episode/0,2046,DIY_19138_36851,00.html
Good luck, keep us up to date on what you do.
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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