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).
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.
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
< firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
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
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.
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.
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.
"I wouldn't even be here if my support group hadn't beaten me up."
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.
I have gas flex lines on the stove top, clothes dryer and water
...and live to type about it....
"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."
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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