My wife and I are buying a HUD foreclosure that has been sitting
vacant for a few months with all utilities disabled. While checking
out the hot water heater I noticed the the copper pipes running into
and out of the top of the heater had been completely severed. We are
at a loss as to why this would be the case, but I have several
supicions: Maybe the previous owner had bought a new heater and wanted
to take it with him or maybe it was in a lame attempt at being
vindictive or maybe it was something that HUD has done to "winterize"
So, anyone have any ideas on why the pipes would be cut? How do I go
about reconnecting them? I've bought a plumber's soldering kit and
some copper sleeves to re-attach the pipes, but I've never done this
kind of soldering before. If anyone has any ideas I would very much
appreciate the help.
So, the house was in foreclosure. It sounds like the prior owner was in the
process of unhooking the hot water heater, but for some reason got cold
feet. Maybe he was uncertain how to unwire the electrical wires and just
gave up, or gave the idea a second thought and thought it would get him into
trouble or something.
If you have NEVER soldered a pipe before in your life, perhaps you could
have a friend with some experience help you. On the other hand, it shoud
take a plumber less than an hour, so I would call a few places, explain the
simplicity of what you need, and get a few quotes. I doubt it would cost
much to do it right, and while you are sleeping at night you would not have
to worry about your soldering skills.
Just some thoughts..............
I don't know where you live, but getting a plumber out to solder two
sleeves (a 10 minute job) would be horrendously expensive in most places.
It's just way to small a task to even justify the drive time.
My guess: someone was getting ready to replace it. Don't need
to cut them to winterize.
Take a look at the serial # on the nameplate. Usually, the
first 4 digits denote the month/year of mfr. If it's 10 years
old or more, figure on scrapping it.
Unless there is 4" or so of copper pipe sticking out of the
heater, you may have trouble getting the connection hot enough
to solder. Clean pipe and fitting and use flux.
Do a GOOGLE Advanced search on this newsgroup for solder/soldering
for extensive tips.
HUD and banks don't just "winterize" a forclosed home. Sometimes, especially
when they feel it will be a while before it's resold, they must make the home
"uninhabitable" which effectively forces the town/ township / county to stop
levvying all property taxes, other than the taxes on the land.
That usually includes disconnecting all utilities, completely boarding up the
windows, and rendering the kitchen and heating systems inoperable.
firstname.lastname@example.org (HA HA Budys Here) wrote in message
Well, I fixed it using several techniques. I was having real problems
soldering the pipes because they were out of round-- a fact I was
unable to see at the time. The original installer had created a "Rube
Goldberg"-style of angles and straight pieces that made it difficult
to work with. I ended up cutting most of the copper off and replacing
it with a section of flexible heater tubing connected to compression
fittings by brass couplers, which works quite well and gets rid of
about ten solder joints. I ended up with three solder joints that I
had made and it seems to be holding quite well.
I noticed that the original owner had replaced several electronic
components on the heater. I asked HUD about the lines being cut and
never got a response, although there were no other lines damaged in
this way. The gas was still on and everything ran fine once I had the
power and water on, so I have no idea why this was done. I did notice
the lines were badly cut using a hacksaw, which would seem
inconsistent with my experience with HUD.
So, who knows? I do appreciate the insights you've provided, though.
I'm responding to all the messages on this thread-- I appreciate the
thoughts you have all provided.
hot water heater
I had been thinking along those lines as well. The heater looks brand
new, so I thought maybe he had replaced it recently and decided that
he wanted to keep it. The rest of the house is in good shape, so he
didn't destroy a bunch of stuff that was obvious like in some HUD
your soldering skills.
I have soldered a lot of small pieces of metal together and am pretty
good at it, but I've never done pipes. The peace of mind thing is
making me doubt that I should do this.
digits denote the month/year of mfr.
Thanks Jim-- good call! I don't think it's that old-- it looks brand
new, so maybe the heater was missing or badly damaged when HUD got the
home and they were replacing it. It sounds to generous for HUD,
town/ township / county to stop levvying all property taxes, other
than the taxes on the land.
This sounds more in keeping with the typical HUD behavior... Thanks
for the advice!
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