Ok, so can I replace my own water heater?

Page 2 of 3  


I'm no pro, and someone will probably quickly post something to say this is bad... but I replaced my water heater and had a similar problem. I ended up using that flexable stuff, the same stuff that is on my clothes dryer. I didn't get a permit, but I did have my gas furnace replaced a few months later (hired a pro for that one) and the contractor and inspector both said what I did looks fine and technicly didn't violate any codes (the inspector was only looking at the heater, but I'm guessing he would have busted me for not getting a permit if he had thought it was a possible safety issue).
I installed a carbon monoxide detector just outside the closet with the water heater and furnace, just incase.

Also watch out for the width (diameter), that was almost a major problem on the one I got. I got the most energy effecient one I could find (got it at Sears), which turns out to be a lot wider since it has more insulation. The contractor that did the heater kept asking me why I really needed that much hot water, even though I explained twice that it was the same number of gallons as the one I removed, just a lot bigger anyway.
I had to re-route the blow-off drain pipe because of the extra width. Also watch out for the location of that blow-off valve (not sure if I'm calling it the right thing, but the valve that opens if the presure gets too high), seems like some of those are a little different. Usually the top connections are the same, but on the one I got that valve was a little different if I remember correctly.

Check where you live, but here the gas company will do a free leak test for you. I think it is supposed to be only for new appliances, because they want you to convert from electric to gas, but I bet they would do it for replacement as well, since I could have replaced with electric (not that I had the extra amps available).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It's not the same stuff...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Kind of slow checking this group... but yes, I actually used the same stuff. Not dead (long pause) yet. Although by "same stuff", not sure what everyone has on their clothes dryer, so let me clarify. It is about 5 or 6" in diameter. Thin walls that look like thick tin-foil (or aluminum paper, whatever they call it these days). It has some wire inside the paper walls that wind around in a spiral fasion. If you have a length of it that is about 12 inches compressed, it will probably stretch out to several feet, it is kind of like a slinky... That is the same stuff they sold me when I bought a new gas clothes dryer -- I think that was at Best Buy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Are you using the slinky stuff for the chimney (flue, exhaust gasses) of a water heater? Hope not. It's not designed for that high a temperature. Please check with your local building codes department, or fire department.
--

Christopher A. Young
.
.

< snipped-for-privacy@surfbest.net> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ever think of going to electric?
I have had it for many years, no vents, no gas leaks, no pilots, less expensive, and easy to install. Plus you might get a kilowatt reduction dicount from the power company.
I never ran out of water, and we had 2 teenagers in the house, my son was a catcher in baseball, had dirty uniforms every night!
Just a thought, all you need is a 35 amp 240 volt circuit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Electric cheaper than gas? In NYC? With ConEd? Not likely here. Even with gas going through the roof, they'll just raise the electric to make up for it. Plus, the whole house is 100 amp I think. That needs to be redone as well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You'll pay twice as much for the heat most places, and your electric bill might increase even more due to the increased usage.
How many power companies give a discount for more usage these days?
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The *floating around* on the subject ; tells me you have time to get a permit, if necessary. Call a local permit authority office.
In an emergency I replaced a WH, but needed to bring too code when I sold the home. The latter code required an earthquake strap.
Our local gas company will render a free connect and inspection. Realtors use this all the time to check/connect gas appliances.
-- Oren
"I wouldn't even be here if my support group hadn't beaten me up."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I called the 311 city info line today and asked about permits. They said that only a contractor needs a permit. A homeowner is on their own. Seems fishy to me but that's what they said.
I don't have too much time either. I just turned it back on to take a shower, but when I'm done I'm shutting it all back down.
ConEd does nothing for free but I'll give them a call.
How about the flex stuff folks? My plumber, who can't get to the for a least a week, said not to use it. Other folks say it's fine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I have gas flex lines on the stove top, clothes dryer and water heater.
...and live to type about it....
-- Oren
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've done it. There should be a shutoff on the gas line within a few feet of the water heater. If there is already a flex line connecting the old heater, you should be able to adapt it to the new one. If the old heater was attached via all hard piping, you may need to install a flex connector or make some other adjustment to the piping. The vent issue does sound tough. When you say "through the wall" do you mean the vent goes through the wall and directly outside, or does it go into a chimney? -- H
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You're not to reuse an old gas flex... try reading the instructions.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 23 Oct 2007 14:06:32 -0700, Heathcliff

Chimney, with a liner. I'm in no hurry to mess with it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dgk wrote:

The only difficult part is the weight of the sucker. Hint: The old one is easier to move if you drain it first (40 gallons of water x 8# per gallon 240 pounds) (Hint #2: A pint's a pound the world around)
Gas connection is dirt simple with a flexible metal hose and either the appropriate Teflon tape (grey) or pipe dope.
As for venting, if the new heater is taller than the old, saw off some of the existing vent pipe. If the existing vent doesn't line up very well with the new heater, exhaust pipe "union" or "twistable" connectors are available.
In the best of all worlds, the vent pipe should be double-walled.
Hint: If you leave the old heater on the curb, the urban faeries will dissapear it overnight.
Hint 2: I don't know if they're standard, but the electronic ignition for the pilot is nice.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

with
Exhaust pipe 'union", I thought I'd heard it all...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Three posts and none of them helpful. Keep it up monkey boi.
--
---
there should be a "sig" here
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Thanks, the water part did occur to me. There is a drain and it looks like a hose will fit perfectly. Run it outside and down the drain in the driveway. The things really aren't very heavy once the water is out.
My plumber said that flex stuff is no good, but he might be a bit old fashioned. There isn't much vent pipe to trim off really, but it looks like if it's only an inch taller I can get away with it. All of them seem to be around 58" and the current one is 57.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dgk wrote:

That's exactly what it's for.

The flex stuff works, is certified, annointed, blessed, approved, and designed for gas connections. It works swell if you don't flex it too much.
Your plumber may be thinking of the hose attached to something that gets moved a lot, like a space heater. Continued flexing of the flex hose will, through metal fatigue, cause it to fail. But how often are you going to relocate a water heater?
You should connect a pipe to the T&P valve and at least have it pointing downward. If it ever blows, you don't want to spray scalding water on anybody standing nearby - like at the washer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why would you attempt a DIY project without the proper training? I mean, it's not like your going to waste yarn on a scarf, this project could *kill* you and your loved ones.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Training. Well, I've read a ton about doing it on internet in the last two days. There have been several projects where I started out thinking that I couldn't do it and managed.
I asked the maintenance guy at work. He doesn't have the time but knows a plumber who can do it. So, I'll probably work with him. I buy the heater, he's got the tools and pipes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.