I am replacing a 6+ year old Rheem 50 gallon gas water heater with
another 50 gallon gas that is almost identical. I have some questions
about the installation:
1) the old water heater had small metal "legs" that raised it 2-3" off
the floor, which is actually a brick pedestal in my garage. The new
one has no legs and appears to be designed so that the flat bottom just
sits directly on the floor. Do the newer ones not have feet?
2) The cold water inlet is supplied through a brass shutoff valve, with
a piece of copper flex sweated into the outlet of the shutoff valve,
and the other end of the flex goes to the fitting that screws on the
cold water nipple on the old heater. The fitting is *VERY* corroded,
so I plan to replace that entire piece of copper flex. I assume I
should able to just heat up the outlet side of the brass valve, removed
the old copper, and then sweat in a new piece of flex. Is there any
precautions I should take to protect the brass valve from heat during
the sweating/soldering process?
6 years old and your are replacing it? Your water must
really be corrosive.
I am just a home owner but here goes:
1. Seldom ever see a water heater with legs, and have never
seen a new one. Some make a little stand that the heater
sits on. Most just sit directly on the floor. It were me,
I would put down a piece of linoleum or other non water
absorbent material as a cushion for the heater to sit on.
If nothing else, use a couple of pieces of 6 mil plastic
2. Again. if it were me, I would sweat a copper male screw
fitting into the outlet, that way you wouldn't have to do
any soldering the next time. You need to put in new flex
line for both the cold inlet and the hot outlet. Don't know
what kind of brass valve you have, but I would turn the
water off upstream of that brass valve, open the valve, and
then solder. Might clamp a vise wrench on the valve just
upstream of your solder joint as a heat sink. You get
around all these kinds of problems by soldering screw
fittings to the pipe and using screwed on valves and and
pipe connectors. Plumbers don't do that because it is more
expensive and they don't care about change overs cause they
get paid. Besides, if it is all soldered together, there is
less chance that the homeowners will do it themselves.
If you are really worried about the valve, say the heck with
it, remove the valve, solder a screw fitting in the pipe and
by a valve that screws in.
I got the water heater successfully installed today. We are up and
running with hot water !!
I put the water heater on some of the flexible rubber matting that is
installed in the bottom of showers before tile is put down, whatever
that is called.
After I cleaned the fitting with a wire brush, turned out it wasn't
nearly as bad as I thought it was - mostly surface corrosion that I
cleaned off. It is good enough to continue to use, so I did.
Thanks for the advice.
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